Cooking On A Bootstrap: BOOK THREE needs YOUR help!


Well hello my wonderful readers. It’s been a year since my last cookbook came out, and I am inundated with messages every day, asking when my next book is coming out.
The good news is, it is nearly written. A hundred budget recipes, in the same style as that surprisingly runaway bestseller A Girl Called Jack, with Breads And Breakfasts, Super Soups, Beans Pulses And Lentils, etc, with extra chapters ‘Eat Your Greens’ and ‘Don’t Throw That Away’ for nifty tips on using leftovers. (Stale cake truffles, anyone? Or bread crust soup?) It has been an absolute joy to write; irreverent, cheeky, nifty, thrifty, and delightful. I’ve stripped it back from the gorgeous gloss that was Book Two, as beautiful as it was, the glass slipper didn’t quite fit my budget foot, so I’m going back to basics.
My first book came about by accident. Some of you may know this story, or most of it. I started writing a politics blog after a local councillor declared that ‘druggies, drunks and single mums are ruining our town’ in early 2012. I started going to the council meetings, as an unemployed single mother, and writing about what I saw. The blog expanded to a diary of my day to day life, the impact of housing benefit paid 11 weeks late, of cuts and suspensions to benefits and the real impact that had on a young mum and a two year old boy. Of turning the fridge off because it’s empty anyway. Walking everywhere in the pouring rain in your only coat, dragging a child behind you, into every pub and every shop in walking distance to ask them if they have any job vacancies. Of trying hard not to go red when the person behind the counter assesses your ripped jeans and scruffy jumper and the crying child behind you and says no. You add the ‘not for you’ in your head, unsurprised. You drag that toddler home and pour the last of the tin of tomatoes over some basic pasta and you try not to hurl it at the wall when your three year old says “I want something else, Mummy.” Because there isn’t anything else.
I made a decision, then, to try to feed myself and my son as well as possible on the scraps of change I had left at the end of the week. My first recipe, a carrot and kidney bean soup, had 100x as many hits as my previous blog post on local election results, and so I carried on, documenting my food shop, poring through famous recipe books and adapting their recipes to the contents of my local supermarket basics range, forensically costing it, and uploading it onto my blog.
The recipe blog turned into a publishing deal, and in February 2014, A Girl Called Jack was a runaway success. The letters and emails pour in daily from readers who have learned to feed themselves and their families on low incomes, well, and simply. I never set out to create a movement, I just wanted to share what I was doing with others. Yet still the letters come, from desperate people trying to make meagre incomes stretch to meet rising living costs, growing children, and demanding working hours. Students trying to supplement their loans with part time jobs balanced between their studies. People who have just left the military, having joined in their teens, unable to cook a meal for themselves. People from all walks of life, who want to learn to cook but haven’t the money for fancy gadgets or premium ingredients. People asking me, when are you going to write another book? We need another book.
So here we are. I’m not looking to make a fortune or have a number one bestseller (although the first one was nice!); simply to write and deliver a book to anyone who wants it, and to be able to pay my bills. I’ve decided to do it like this, myself, because I’m a bit of a maverick, and so I can deliver something affordable, authentic, from my heart to your kitchen counter – the best book I can write, to the people who want and need it, as quickly and directly as possible.
 I might not succeed – Kickstarters are only successful if they reach their full funding amount, and I have crunched the numbers to try to keep my costs low to deliver an affordable cookbook, without compromising on the quality. I’m going to try – for every one of you who has asked me for a third book, I’m going to try my damndest to give you one. Will you help?

Jack Monroe. Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr: @MxJackMonroe



  1. I’m having trouble getting onto the website kickstart. Probably faults with my computer :-(.
    But i would like to back and pre-order your book. I just got your first book and am loving it. I know you are busy but can you email me another way i can get my pledge to you. cheers Adrienne

  2. YAY. Well, that was a no-brainer. Thank you Jack and especially for going back to your roots with Cooking On A Bootstrap. I do love the recipes in Book Two but Book One has some amazing recipes.
    When I got Book One I bought three copies, one for me, one for my daughter and one for the library. I’ve just got a signed one for me and yep, one for a library.
    Daughter will probably get one too, though. Roll on next May!

  3. So pleased to be able to support the creation of this book. I have shared the link to your kickstarter page on my facebook page. I am not a great social networker but people do pop by and read from time to time:0) I am sure this will be more successful than you can imagine. I know any extra copies I get will be given to local food bank, library and possibly care home where they are trying very hard to give everyone living and working there god food on a small budget. Be sure to try and take some deep breaths and even put your feet up from time to time:0)

  4. I wanted to pre-order the Bookstrap book and put my details in over and over but it won’t accept the card which IS valid. Is it because its a DEBIT card? So how can I pre-order.

  5. Hi, Jack! I have only recently discovered your blog and your recipes and am a total fan! My problem is that i live in South Africa and would like to know if you will be selling your new book outside of the UK and also if you could tell me how to go about getting the first one!! i have already used a number of your recipes (my budget only allows for the cheapest of the cheap!!) and have been extremely happy with each and every one! So enjoy your blog (the only blog i follow!) – keep up the good work and the amazing job you are doing with your boy!!!

  6. Hi Jack I am happy to support your project and will buy a copy of your book however I don’t like leaving my card details with on-line sites. 

    If you have an alternative method for me to pay (cheque to an address or postal order) then please let me know and I will send this to you.

    You are an inspiration – I hope you are healthy after your recent period of being out of sorts and that your little man is thriving. Very best wishes Sarah From: JACK MONROE To: Sent: Thursday, 3 December 2015, 21:51 Subject: [New post] Cooking On A Bootstrap: BOOK THREE needs YOUR help! #yiv9788090155 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9788090155 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9788090155 a.yiv9788090155primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9788090155 a.yiv9788090155primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9788090155 a.yiv9788090155primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9788090155 a.yiv9788090155primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9788090155 | Jack Monroe posted: ”  Well hello my wonderful readers. It’s been a year since my last cookbook came out, and I am inundated with messages every day, asking when my next book is coming out.The good news is, it is nearly written. A hundred budget recipes, in the s” | |

  7. Just pledged. Can’t wait to see this book. I read ‘A Girl Called Jack’ as though it were an exciting novel. 🙂 It is one of my most used cookery books. The fancier tomes just gather dust.

  8. Living on a shoestring doesn’t fit well with helping financially but I’m also a professional-level proof-reader, so I could offer you the benefit of those skills instead of cash to help with this great project.

  9. I don’t think you need to worry about not getting your goal – just pledged, and also shared on FB. Loved your first book, can’t wait for this one.

  10. Pledged. Really looking forward to this. Enjoyed the first book so much and every visitor took my latest copy home and I had to get yet another. I’ll so be hanging onto this signed copy though! 🙂

  11. Hi Jack! Seems through your instagram feed, you’ve gone vegan on us! Is your book going to be vegan? Of course I’m pledging either way 😉

  12. Have pledged; hope you get enough! If Kickstarter could use Paypal, I reckon you would get even more, although I can see why it could be a problem with something that might not be debited.

  13. Hi Jack,

    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years now and I’m so glad to see you blogging more regularly again — long may you be able to continue. My question is: what’s the best way to buy your books such that you see the most money?

  14. Jack, I have followed you (sometimes a bit on and off) for the last few years, but this latest blog really touched home. I’ve pledged and you have real supporters out there who truly stand for what you believe in…have you seen your total today? You are so brave to put yourself ‘out there’ again, you are a true inspiration to many and hope things go well with Kickstarter. Can’t wait to read the next book & hope you have a lovely Christmas with your son. Best wishes x x

  15. Hello – so glad you decided to do a kickstarter as I’ve wanted to donate to your project somehow. You don’t have to send me anything! I’m in Australia and it would be more cost effective for you if I bought book 3 here (I’m waiting on book 1&2). My parents were dirt poor for ages when I was a kid – my Dad refused to go on unemployment. Mum scrounged greens from grocers by saying we had a rabbit (we didn’t then but later we did). She told me she cried in the supermarket looking at other people’s loaded trolleys. Now I’m not so poor I donate to the state Foodbank and would like to donate some of your books to them. Hope you and your son have a fab Cristmas.. Cheers!!

  16. Hi jack, im moving house before March so I cant buy your book at the moment. I will buy it if you ever decide to publish it mainstream. Loved your first book.

  17. Just pledged , my first book purchase of the year . can’t wait to get my hands on this book . made loads of your recipes and being a vegan this will be a treat 😊

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