Thursday, January 22, 2009

Review: Molly's Money Saving Digest

I've been eyeing Molly and her money saving ideas ever since she was introduced to subscribers of the TOS magazine and the e-newsletter, "The Homeschool Minute". What kind of money saving tips is she offering, I wondered? Because we've got one child on a gluten free, casein free diet (we have other allergies to consider, too), I was afraid the money saving digest would be heavy on tips that I can't take because of our dietary needs. I do very little food shopping in a "regular" grocery store and I can't head to the store with the priority to stick with the sales, because the foods on sale may not be on our "safe" list. And a section on how to bake my own bread would not be helpful at my house!

I jumped at the chance to review a digest--I really wanted to know if, in our situation, if Molly has ideas that will work in my family.

We continue to move away from using chemicals for cleaning at home, because I believe that a lot of cleaning products are more poison than positive. I was delighted to open the February, 2009, issue of Molly's Money Saving Digest to see that this issue is called, "Gardening Basics and Natural Cleaners"!

The "Molly's Minute" section tells readers that this particular issue is longer than most. In the "Begin With The Basics" column, Lisa Vitello provides readers with a background into a time in history where being frugal not an option: The Great Depression. The digest includes a list of items on sale in February, followed by a section on coupon organization. I used to be a big user of coupons -- and then I had children! Molly offers several ideas, including one method of organizing coupons that I have never heard before! A section on becoming more fiscally fit builds on an article from last month's digest. (And I noticed a teaser for next month's article about how to make money from home, too!) The February issue contains a lesson in decoupage in the "Feather Your Nest-Frugally" section along with some simple decorating ideas.

One of my favorite sections of the digest is the "Pull Up A Chair" section where readers are offered a list of holidays and special days in February and March! The lists provide lots of great excuses for GFCF cookie, cake and cupcake baking! ;)

I am always skeptical when I reach the recipe section of a magazine or newsletter -- I find that most recipes offered tend to be difficult or impossible to convert to GFCF +++, because the recipes rely on cheeses and flour and products that are off limits at my house. This particular issue of Molly's digest, though, is different--the first two recipes are "safe" for my family and the third recipe is easily converted. (I don't know if all issues are so GFCF friendly, but this one is!)

"Parenting that Pays," is an article that is rooted in "guided participation" from a Biblical perspective, and offers information and ideas for parents that are both important and practical.

Dena Wood's contribution, "Something Old, Something New" describes ways in which she has recycled old items into new. I like her clever pot rack!

The gardening section is full of short cuts to links filled with information, and offers tips for folks with lots of space and for folks with notsomuch space for gardening. From an herb garden to a salad garden, the "how-to's" are provided here.

The raise-your-own-chickens section is a little "out there" for me. We live in a suburban setting where we cannot consider chickens in our back yard! If you are in a rural area and are considering your own chickens, Molly has the information for you!

The digest offers a section on spring cleaning that includes ideas on what to do now and what to tackle in the fall. Here's another of my favorites in this digest--the recipes for making your own cleaning products. Readers get recipes for potpourri, window/glass cleaner, furniture cleaner, carpet fresheners, a general floor cleaner, and a room/linen spray.

The digest concludes with a "Goal Getter Story", a testimony from a family who's been there in terms of setting financial and life goals and how they went about reaching them. Beginning in March, Molly will host a Q&A section in the digest.

Molly does a nice job weaving verses from scripture among parts of the digest, for encouragement and inspiration, and for instruction. Cost is $4.95 per e-book, available through the tab here.

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