Make the Bread, Buy the Butter {Review and Giveaway}

by CarrieB

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should (and Shouldn’t!) Cook from Scratch to Save Time and Money was offered to me for review as it has just recently been released in paperback. I couldn’t say “YES!” to accepting this book fast enough. I’d seen it on bookstore bookshelves but didn’t quite know what to make of it. Then several friends recommended it to me and I was growing curiouser and curiouser. When it arrived in my mailbox, I devoured it. (Pardon the bad pun!)

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter is more than just a practical how-to guide when it comes to deciding what you should create in your own kitchen verses what you should buy. Jennifer Reese is a hilarious author and I chuckled my way through the read as she described her enthusiasm over becoming a beekeeper or obsession with her chickens. She pokes fun at herself – as well as other consumers – as she talks about making her own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I loved her wit which is sprinkled merrily about the book.

What Reese decided to do was to compare costs between homemade and store bought items. She kept track of her experiment and this book gives the readers a rough idea of whether it is in their best interest to learn how to make any variety of things – from bagels and hot dogs! For each item she documents the hassle involved in making any given item, to the cost difference between homemade and store bought. She also provides the recipes that she found most successful in her endeavors. And in between recipes we are treated to her commentary on country life in the suburbs or a tale of how her chickens were attacked by neighborhood dogs. All in all, I was fascinated and entertained by this “documentary”, if you will, of Reese’s experiments in the kitchen.

As Christmas is coming up, I want to make mention of Make the Bread, Buy the Butter being a great gift for the foodie on your list. I have someone in particular that I intend to gift with a copy of this book. It’s more than your average cookbook but a look back in time to see what life was like for people who had to make anything they desired to eat. Fun book, fun thoughts and I’m highly recommending this one.

Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter after you leave a comment. You can also earn extra entries each day. We’ll announce the winner in the book review column on 11/26.

The winner of The Shortest Way Home is Sandra Knobloch. The giveaway for the novel Sad Dask Salad is still open another week, so enter now.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Free Press (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) for sending a copy of this book my direction in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Carrie occasionally blogs about food and gardening adventures along with the books she reads to learn about both over at Reading to Know.



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{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca November 11, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I try to make my own floor cleaner with rubbing alcohol, vinegar and water.

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2 Brittany November 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I make cookies and cakes from scratch.

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3 Jenny November 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm

My kids love making butter…get a small jar and pour in some cream. They have a blast shaking it up and watching for that moment when it turns to butter!

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4 lana November 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm

pie crust always buy the pillsbury

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5 Tabitha Pyle November 11, 2012 at 9:07 pm

i make biscuits.

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6 Jennifer Thomas November 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I love my homemade jam!

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7 Dawn November 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm

This book sounds really interesting! Thank you for reviewing and offering this give away.

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8 Dawn November 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I always make homemade pizza crust in my bread maker and I now make my own granola too.

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9 Kimberly November 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Just recently I started making bread from scratch. I use a bread machine to mix up the ingredients and then shape it however I want. It is soooooo good!

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10 Chip November 12, 2012 at 6:58 am

I love making bread at home.

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11 anne November 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

I make pizza, and most baked good from scratch.

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12 Lawanna November 12, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I’ve been making homemade wheat bread for the last 10-ish years.

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13 Wehaf November 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm

We make our pasta sauce from scratch now; it tastes so much better than anything from the store!

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14 Staci A November 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm

We make our own bread and desserts.

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15 Idaho Jill November 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm

salad dressing – I know what’s in it now!

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16 Liz November 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I cook and bake A LOT. But, chicken stock is something I almost never buy anymore!

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17 Shari November 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I love to make chocolate sauce from scratch!

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18 Erin November 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm

This sounds so interesting. I always wonder whether it’s worth the effort and if the quality will be as good.

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19 Melinda November 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I make eggnog from scratch.

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20 Ms. Yingling November 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Sometimes I buy instant mashed potatoes, but I didn’t know you could BUY pickles and pickle relish until I was 20! My mother made so many things from scratch.

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21 Jen November 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Waffle mix/pancake mix!

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22 Susan P. November 13, 2012 at 12:04 am

I make my own spaghetti sauce, pancake batter and bread (sometimes on the bread) from scratch.

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23 Christian Alejandro N. November 13, 2012 at 2:27 am

I’d love to try a real cake or pizza from scratch.

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24 Pam M November 13, 2012 at 8:27 am

This book looks really interesting. I would love to win a copy!

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25 Chava November 13, 2012 at 9:10 am

I make bread

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26 Stephanie November 13, 2012 at 10:36 am

What a cute book! I’d love to read it.

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27 Heather E. Carrillo November 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Pick me! I would like to win it. It sounds really good. heatherliz.carrillo@gmail.com

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28 benita November 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I make my own pasta and pasta sauce.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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29 Cindy B November 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I’m making bread, hot dog and hamburger buns, cakes, and sauces from scratch. I’d love to learn to do more!

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30 Jen N November 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Cookies and working on making dinner rolls/french bread instead of buying already made.

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31 Barbara H. November 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm

For a while I made barbecue sauce from scratch after having run out and needing to make some in a pinch one day, but I have reverted back to the bottled kind. I do make homemade spaghetti sauce and dislike the kind in jars. I love cookies made from scratch but like a few store bought ones, too.

This sounds like a great resource.

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32 Shonya November 14, 2012 at 9:22 am

I make my own chicken broth–you can practically see the vitamins in it!

This book looks like so much fun!

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33 Emily November 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I make cake from scratch.

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34 Elizabeth November 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm

cake, brownies, pizza crust, and French fries

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35 glykia November 14, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Among other things, I make my own jelly, floor cleaner and laundry detergent. Would love to know what else is worth making myself because it’s cheaper, better, or just more satisfying.

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36 debbie November 15, 2012 at 7:56 am

I make my own bread and pizzas.

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37 Michelle November 15, 2012 at 10:47 am

I make just about everything from scratch from bread (yay – though not butter!) to cookies and cakes and soups and stock. I LOVE this idea for the book.

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38 nannypanpan November 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm

macaroni and cheese
nannypanpan@gmail.com

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39 Christine November 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I make bread, soup, sauce

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40 Jessica T November 16, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Pasta sauce! And soup. . .

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41 Cassandra November 17, 2012 at 11:03 am

I make my own pizza sauce. And I hope to start making my own pizza crusts!

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42 Kelly Blackwell November 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I make my own laundry detergent, bath salts, soup, and soup stock.

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43 Stephanie Larison November 19, 2012 at 12:19 am

Cookies, and laundry detergent. My mom makes her own detergent, she has for years!

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44 Denise S November 19, 2012 at 9:15 am

Real cookies instead of packaged.

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45 Amanda R. November 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

There’s a growing list of things I’m starting to make outside of baking (since that’s my destressing activity). So much!

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46 Katy S. November 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I’ve just begun making many more things from scratch including salad dressing and pie crust. I’m going to try some more.

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47 Amy Rene November 19, 2012 at 8:47 pm

i make most of our bread from scratch now. Once you find THE RECIPE it’s easy as pie. Actually, easier.

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48 Anita Yancey November 20, 2012 at 9:52 am

I make pizza, cake and cookies.

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49 Milly B November 20, 2012 at 11:14 am

I’m starting to make a lot more things from home. I make things like bread, yogurt, eggnog, hot chocolate, brown sugar…. I would LOVE this book!

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50 Caitlin McClure November 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I make bread every day

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51 Paula Hafner November 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I would love this book!

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52 riTa November 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Just the things i want to learn to do.

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53 Karen Gonyea November 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

Pancakes; I used to buy the box mix and now I make them from scratch.

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54 Karen November 22, 2012 at 10:19 am

Broth and tomato sauce. Thanks for the giveaway.

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55 Nance Meyer November 22, 2012 at 11:32 am

I make pizza from scratch – so much cheaper than delivery and tastier than frozen!

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56 Noreen November 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Bread rolls, I made some for thanksgiving

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57 Jen V. November 23, 2012 at 11:36 am

Bread is the big one for me. I used to buy it, but now I have a breadmaker so I make it. I also make my own pizza.

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58 Candis Binkley November 23, 2012 at 11:38 am

cookies and cupcakes

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59 Kimberly Hilbert November 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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60 Katherine November 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Chicken stock, easy and inexpensive to make at home.

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61 Rachael November 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Cakes and cookies

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62 rochelle johnson November 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm

i make homade cookie, cakes and indian fry bread

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63 Brenda S. November 23, 2012 at 11:40 pm

I love my homemade jam, blueberry.

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64 Cammy November 24, 2012 at 1:02 am

Right up my alley!!! I love cooking from scratch!

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65 Lisa November 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

I sometimes make cookies from scratch

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66 jenny November 24, 2012 at 11:12 am

I make homemade breads, cookies, pie crust, cinnamon rolls and pies.

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67 Crunchy Con Mommy November 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I put “bread” in the widget, but we’ve been having fun doing a lot more cooking from scratch, and we still buy this stuff pre-made, but we are trying to often make bread, spaghetti sauce, pizza crust and sauce, etc all from scratch. It’s amazing how yummy it is, and it ends up being less sugar and salt and more whole grains that we were eating before!

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68 Becky S. November 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Cookies – they’re really not that hard to make, and the homemade are 1000 times better!

beckytag618 at gmail dot com

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69 Charlene November 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Peanut butter cookies. I have a great recipe that only takes 3 ingredients & the cookies are yummy :)

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70 Lanicsha Wynn November 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I finally perfected making gravy from scratch, and my all time favorite is my lemon pound cake made from scratch, my husband LOVES it

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71 Sarah Yurga November 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm

very rarely, pasta

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72 Cheryl Reinhardt November 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I always make cookies, don’t buy them anymore!

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73 Laura Proctor Unger November 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I make pancakes from scratch. I always used to buy a box mix, but making them from scratch is just as easy and they taste so much better!

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74 Veronica Garrett November 24, 2012 at 11:17 pm

I mae my own gravy.

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