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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2011
This book has more detailed practical instructions for everyday things than Urban Homesteading. I hope to use it as a resource to teach a community class in the future. It is just a wonderful resource book to have on hand and so easy to use and very, very good quality materials used to produce the book, in light of the fact that it will not just be read but used more like a reference book and handled a great deal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2013
You don't see too many books like this out there. We buy far too many things that we could be making, only no one knows how. This book will definitely get you started learning the how part. You will be surprised at how many things you can actually do for yourself. So sad that this book is so rare. If you see it, I advise snatching it up before someone else does.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2013
clear and easy instructions. love the setup of simple to more time consuming. The title is accurate as their ideas certainly challenge the norms of home economics. i will do some and leave some for others (waterless toilet).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2012
This has to be one of my new favorite DIY books. There are a lot of fun projects here, well fun if you enjoy making things on your own. I personally believe that if I cannot pronounce an ingredient than it probably should not be in there. Take a look at the ingredient list on shampoo bottle lately? Is it really that hard to make shampoo? Well at least with a book like this you can make your own if you want to avoid all of the stuff they put in everything now. The projects are not overly complicated either, and definitely doable. I have been doing them with my 4 year old twin boys and their favorite so far has definitely been the worm farm. Highly recommend
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2011
Great information - simple but useful! I also liked the way they organized the book - starting with simpler projects: a great way to think about things.... I have been doing diy projects for a short while but still found this book one of the best. really interesting choices of projects and information included with the projects
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2013
This book has easy recipies for making such esoteric things as lotion and soap (both of which I've tried and they work great) as well as commonplace stuff like sewing a hem by hand. I use it so much that I had to buy a copy for my daughter rather than let her borrow it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2013
Maybe not right away, but as you realize the benefits of making your own things you will value this book greatly. Some of the projects I didn't use exactly but modified for my purposes or got a great idea of my own. It has already saved me the price of the book.
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26 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2012
I was very disappointed in this book, so much so that I sent it back. The items that it has you producing rather than purchasing most often take quite a bit of work, require a lot of storage space, along with a lot of patience and persistence to boot while the return does not seem to be that great or practical. The easiest thing probably was the homemade toothpaste but I didn't need this book to tell me I could clean my teeth with baking soda mixed with a little water, I simply do not find the taste of such a concoction to be worth the few pennies saved. I can save more on toothpaste by just clipping coupons and using the tiny amount that is recommended in the first place. Nor did I find it useful to see bread recipes when those are a dime a dozen and there was nothing new this book had to say on that subject.

Some items I felt were actually dangerous like the oil lamp and some things were just really a waste of time such as the sewing lesson which was so elementary it could have been in a kindergarten's how to book.

I was able to glean one bit of advice from the book and that was the "Dog's Pot". We already compost and have chickens who eat basically every leftover scrap but I hadn't realized I was leaving the dogs out of the mix by not saving greens for them to put into a soup as a topping for their food or supplement to their food. I still am not sure I can come up with enough leftovers for everyone but as a result of this chapter in the book I will at least start looking to spice up the dogs' dinner with a soup of their own; if I come up with enough space in the frig to accumulate it and enough space on the stove to simmer it and enough room to store it for doling out during the week. Chickens are much more efficient and eat it all as soon as possible.

I think there are much better how to's and more practical advice out there for those of us who appreciate the efforts of less consumerism, less package food, and more economical choices. I personally just didn't find this book gave me anything of substance that was usable, desirable, or practical and I question the economics of most of it. A cost/benefit breakdown would have been interesting but that was left with just the note that this or that item could be made for pennies. I expected more after reading the description and the reviews and I didn't feel it was delivered.
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on May 8, 2014
I have been learning to make soap over the last couple of years. I love the tricks taught in this book that make turning out a batch of soap a snap. Thanks to this book I have learned it is not necessary to get the lye and oil into a temperature range. It adds a lot of time going back a forth taking the temp of these and waiting til they are both within range. This has saved a lot of time. I can now crank out soap in 15 min or less. I don't really care for the blender idea. I just use a bowl and stick blender which is just as quick and easy. I REALLY love the coconut oil laundry soap. It makes a great shampoo bar. The author says it is too drying to use on your body but I haven't found that to be true. It does make my palms a bit papery dry feeling but other than that everywhere else I just feel clean, no signs of dryness. It is bar none the best on my hair of any homemade soap. All others have left my hair feeling gunky like there is residue on it and tangly hard to get tangles out and like it needs lots of vinegar rinse to get that out and even with vinegar rinse it still doesn't feel very good to me. With the co soap it feels great: clean, manageable, soft, no tangles. I do go ahead with a vinegar rinse also which makes it even more soft and tangle free and clean feeling but it's good even after just the soap. I don't even need a conditioner. For the papery palms I just dampen and rub in a little shea butter and no more papery palms. If you have skin on the oily side you might find you really like it as a shampoo bar and on your oily spots
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2012
Love this book! Has a lot of great recipes for making household cleaners, soap,shampoo etc. Fun to read and try this stuff out.
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