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Review: Molly Saves in the Kitchen


Here’s another Money-Saving Digest review.  As usual, I’m sharing exactly what’s in this Digest so you can determine if it would work for you.  So pick up a cool glass of water—and perhaps your baby or toddler—and read about saving money while enhancing your family’s standard of living.

Molly likes to give monthly reminders of seasonal to-dos, things I tend to forget, like cleaning out the dryer vent or sealing the deck.  I still have to transfer them to my to-do list, of course, but they are very helpful.

One of our most useful kitchen items is an entire book full of ingredient substitutions.  I’ve often wondered how people can survive without such a book, but this Digest contains a long list as well as links to other substitution lists.  The gas money you’d save on quick trips to pick up a missing ingredient would pay for this Digest very quickly.

Eleanor Joyce shares how she finally overcame her perfectionism to start digital recipe collections for her children…and she shares exactly how she’s doing it.  If you have projects waiting for someday, you’ll find her article so inspiring!

But organizing recipes isn’t something you do just for your children.  It’s also something to do for yourself, and there’s a great article detailing how I can streamline my hodge-podge of recipe cards, magazine clippings, and cookbooks. 

Molly’s “Meal of the Month” includes a healthy, scrumptious-looking Moroccan Garbanzo Salad that will likely make it to our table soon, although the dessert sounds a bit too special for everyday.

Now, I am not a remodeler.  At all.  But for those of you who understand paint pots and hammers, and have husbands who love to tear out cabinets and replace sinks, here’s a great idea:  use Craigslist to remodel.  Complete with tips and pictures, “A Craigslist Kitchen Remodel” will be sure to inspire those of you who are itching to fix up your house without spending a bundle.

Are you busy?  Me too.  That’s why “Homemade Convenience Foods” by a busy mom of 5 boys appeals to me.  Like Marcia, I can’t do the once-a-month systems, but Marcia’s method, an extension of what I already try to do, makes so much sense!  Between stockpiling the pantry and learning to cook efficiently, she now spends more time with her family…and even gets asked for recipes!

Molly’s vet, Dr. Rule points out that one great way to save on pet care is to avoid overfeeding.  Not only will you save on pet food, but you’ll also save on medical bills.  Our three dogs are outside all the time and have free access to food, both the kind they hunt themselves and the bought kind.  I’ve often worried that they are too skinny, but now I feel better.  (And I suppose what works for pets works for people, too.)

If your teen (or you) is planning to buy a car, check out “Tightwad Training Camp” for all sorts of tips and links to help you choose the best car for your budget and lifestyle.

Did you know you could make a beautiful lazy Susan yourself from things you most have lying around?  “Something Old, Something New” gives detailed instructions with helpful pictures and ends with a wise spiritual application.  

One of the more expensive aspects of modern life is medicine, but your pantry is already full of inexpensive home remedies.  Molly suggests a whole list.  Do use common sense, however.

Another use for food is as skin treatment.  If you like masks, Molly suggests all sorts of interesting ways to pamper your face.  To be honest, I’d rather eat the chocolate than put it on my face, and the avocado mask sounds as though it would be yummy with crackers….  However, using Molly’s skin care recipes might be a fun and frugal activity for a spa party at home.

The book Molly recommends and reviews this month, the More-With-Less Cookbook is one of our favorites also.  It’s full of ideas, resources, and, of course, yummy recipes.

If, in your search for a healthier, more frugal lifestyle you are prepared to “Change One Thing This Month,” the article on “Alternative Food Sources” could inspire you. Rather than providing startling new revelations, Molly gently reminds us of the many options available to us.

This month’s “Inspiration” is truly inspiring.  One mom, in her effort to control her food budget, discovered not only a great way to save, but also a great way to earn.  She’s thrilled to earn “an extra $100 just for working in the kitchen during our baby’s naptime, doing something I would already do.”

I was disappointed by the quotes this month.  They were alright, I suppose, but why use Aesop’s “A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety,” when you could use a similar sentiment from Proverbs?

Nevertheless, Molly Saves in the Kitchen is full of joyful frugality and will add to your family’s quality of life.  You can buy it here.  

Disclosure I received a complimentary download of Molly’s June Money-Saving Digest in order to give you my honest opinion of it. 

For more great tips, see Works for Me Wednesday, Healthy 2Day,  Raising Homemakers, Thrifty Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, and Frugal Friday.


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