It’s taken me almost a year to make my Kindle Fire a part of my day-to-day life. My husband gave it to me as a birthday present last March, and I was skeptical that I would ever be able to enjoy reading books on a screen instead of holding an actual book in my hands.

I’ve realized that my Kindle is a useful way to make my cookbook collection larger. I have two shelves on my bookshelf dedicated to cookbooks, and my rule for a while has been that if I bring in a new cookbook, an old one has to go. With the Kindle, I can have as many cookbooks as I can afford.

I’ve also realized that if I pay close attention, I can get Kindle cookbooks at some great prices. In the past month, I bought three well-reviewed slow cooker cookbooks for my Kindle (I’m on a slow cooker kick), that I paid $14.98 for in total. If I purchased those same cookbooks today, I’d pay $30.97.

Why the difference? I bought two of the three cookbooks when they were on quick sales. I’ve learned that many cookbooks (and other books) can be offered for a short period of time for free or at a deep discount. The discounts seem to run for about a day, and then the price can go up significantly.

  • Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker: This book wasn’t on special sale when I bought it. I paid $9.99, and it’s still the same price for the Kindle version.
  • The Italian Slow Cooker: I paid $3.99 for this cookbook during a quick sale, but the price is now $10.99.
  • Slow Cooker 101: I downloaded this cookbook that usually runs $9.99 for free during a one-day sale. It’s back to its regular price now.
How do I know when the books go on sale? I follow several Facebook pages of websites that gather the information about discounted and free books. Since I check my Facebook frequently, the sale prices are usually still good if I decide to click on the information.
Some of these websites also have information about free and discounted Kindle apps. I haven’t done much with apps yet on my Kindle so I’m not sure how useful the information is.

There are also other sources of information about daily discounts and free books.

  • Kindle Daily Deals — Amazon usually has four Kindle book deals each day. You can sign up to receive a daily email that lets you know what they are. One of the deals is almost always for a kids or young adult book. It’s rare that a cookbook is on this list, but it happens once in a while.
  • Amazon Deals of the Day — These deals aren’t usually for ebooks, but once in a while there are book offers. You can sign up to receive a daily email for this, too, and check it quickly to see if ebooks are offered.
  • Kindle Buffet — This is actually a Kindle book that you can download. It helps e-reader users find and download the best free books, magazines and newspapers for your Kindle, iPhone, iPad or Android. There is a wealth of information in this book that leads you to freebies, and the book itself is free (at least it is right now – that could change).
The biggest tip I have is to be diligent. A book that’s deeply discounted or free right now might not be an hour from now. I usually like to think about a purchase for a day before I make it, but when snapping up deeply discounted e-reader cookbooks and other books, that’s usually not an option. If I wait a day, the price usually is higher.

The discounted cookbooks you’ll find for the Kindle usually won’t be the hottest celebrity cookbooks (although "How to Eat by Nigella Lawson" is $3.47 right now), but you’ll find an interesting variety. Read the reviews and look at the previews before purchasing. If the cookbook was free, you’re not risking anything by downloading it. If the book costs a few dollars, you always have the option of returning it for a refund if you find it's not useful.

Have you gotten any great cookbook deals for your Kindle or e-reader? Do you have any additional tips for knowing when a quick sale is happening?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Tips for buying discounted Kindle cookbooks
A list of tips and sources of finding deeply discounted and free cookbooks for Kindle.