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If you are a little bit of a frugaleer, like myself you will love this book, and even if you are not, it has a wealth of knowledge to help running a home, from meal planning, which I have never been able to get my head round, to supermarket shopping, and not being sucked into clever marketing while there, to budgeting for bills.
I am pretty good at all this already, but what was good was to find this book explain it in a way that anyone could understand, while at the same time not juts telling you what to do, but how to do it with examples. That's what makes this book that bit different, as it has examples through out. I particularly love the section on Make better and Mend. It not only shows you how to do basic things like hem, but also an array of stitch, like darning , forever hear it said on TV while watching programmes but never knew how to do it, now it makes sense, and the diagram was particularly helpful. In fact in this section there are instructions for making bags from old T-Shirts, and also skirts from old jeans, which I am definitely going to give a go , especially as this can be done with and stitching, and not just using a machine, as too many books automatically assume you have a nifty spare room dedicated to the art of craft and all things hand made.
The book is full of hand drawn diagrams, which I usually loath, but the kind of go along with this book, and I don't mind them as it reminds me of reading a diary, it feels that way too , like these are little secrets being passed down from one generation to the next. Particularly in the sections on cleaning the house, and also home made beauty and food recipes.
In fact this book is jam packed full.
It is split into chapters which then are split into sub chapters.
1. Around the house
Which not only includes the sections on budgeting and Make Better and Mend but also very useful information on ;
Household cleaners - using very few ingredients, so wont cost the earth
Making soap - which I am so excited about as I may make some this year for Christmas gifts at the fraction of the cost of the handmade soaps you can buy in the shops
2. In The Garden
This section has the usual information Gardening and growing herbs, fruit and vegetables, but also some great information on keeping Bees ( if that's your thing) , Keeping Hens which I am very interested in and will be reading again later this evening, and also keeping Ducks. Plus a nice little section on foraging from the wild. But more importantly once you have your free wild goodies what to do with them, how to store them , and more importantly what can be made with instructions on how to do it.
3. Food and cooking
This is the most exciting part for me, as I love good home cooked food, and there are recipes galore here from my childhood, from baking bread, pies, cakes, to making your own butter , cheese, toffees sweets, drinks, cordials, stocks, sausages, soups and preserves, and a lovely little section at the end on making wine.
I am yet to make anything from this section, but on reading through the recipes they are quite straight forward, so no need for expensive ingredients or equipment as they are very straight forward and simple, the way good home cooking should be.
The book retails for £12.99, and on Amazon , second hand for £8.99, but if like me you are a little unsure if this type of book is your cup of tea then I suggest doing like I did and pop along to your local library and borrow it before you decide if it is a book you want to add to your collection. I will definitely be adding this to my collection, but will try to source it a little cheaper .