I just finished reading Little House in the Suburbs by Deanna Caswell and Daisy Siskin. Which was quite the interesting read, the tone was familiar and the comments in the book were often quite funny. The book centred on backyard farming and self-suficientcy. It covers a wide variety of subjects from gardening; keeping chickens, goats and bees; canning; making your own beauty products, house hold cleaners and gifts; and building a community in your area.
The instructions in the book are simple and easy to follow. While it does not go into minute detail on all the subjects it gives you a beginners knowledge and additional resources that you can use. The emphasis is on giving the reader the confidence to get out there and start experimenting. I would highly recommend this book as a starting point for anyone who wants to learn more about the subjects mentioned above.
Of course one of the big questions is: why on earth is this relevant to some one who wants to save money? Among the many other benefits associated with the self-sufficient lifestyle is that making your own, or growing, from scratch is often cheaper than buying something from a store. Buying base ingredients for cleaners and soap in bulk and then mixing them yourself is often much less expensive than the store bought version. A garden will give you fresh produce for a very low price all summer long. As for keeping animals in your back yard the cost reduction for the products you receive (eggs, milk and cheese) may be minimal. However, we live in a society that spends thousands a year on furry friends. If I were to buy a pet I would rather buy one that will give me food as well as companionship.
All in all this was a great book which I highly recommend to anyone looking to push the envelope a little and develop skills that were a matter of fact 50 years ago. I for one am looking forward to trying out the recommendations of this book.