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on 25 September 1999
I am greatly impressed! It's a vast encyclopaedia of tested , unusual but practical ideas to help any individual or family become self-reliant (even self sufficient) and free of the consumer rat-race - while still working 'within' the consumer society.
It's clear that Mr Yeoman has great experience in doing this himself, and his research is awesome. What's more, the book is entertaining, easy to read, irreverent and guaranteed to give you plenty of mind-provoking ideas to save money, make money and live better.
Highly recommended.
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on 29 March 2017
Not exactly what I expected (I was after a complete wild food cookbook) but completely my fault for not reading the blurb properly before buying. It does have loads of great info on wild foods (including recipies) but it is also jam packed with other great information from everything from shelf life of different stored foods to how to distilling alcohol. The author is exceptionally thorough whilst still being concise and interesting, also his referencing is very good and really pulls the book together into a usable field manual. Great book, I can't recommend highly enough! I will be buying copies for the rest of my family incase the worst should ever happen.
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on 10 March 2005
When I first saw the book, I liked it a lot. The idea behind it (not complete self-sufficiency, but just a bit of independence from the consumer society - mainly by reducing the food bill) is good, the writing is amusing and easy to read.
BUT: When I read through for the first time I noticed some errors (soaked nettles smell just as bad as soaked animal dung - if not worse, the idea of putting wine into an oven that's hotter than for joghurt-making to get it up to drinking temperature could get Yeoman banned from France) and when I started to try out things, I found more (my orange peel are difficult enough to get to burn, I never managed to start a fire with them, as Yeoman suggests). Based on this, I certainly would not rely on the book for survival in a real life-or-death situation (as the last part, "Recipes for Real" suggests).
Still, there are some useful ideas - the best thing would probably be to borrow the book and copy down what seems useful. Writing down the good ideas is necessary anyway, as the table of contents is more concerned about being "cute" than informative ("Put a Tabby in the Tank"), the structure of chapters and sections is not always logical, and the index is not very useful either - I had to reread the book to find the section about conserving fat (which then worked).
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on 28 May 2007
haven't read the book, but thought I'd comment on the other review that mentions orange peel as a fire starter. My Gran lived in a 2 up 2 down terrace with a "Yorkshire Range", and she always saved orange peel for starting the fire on a morning. I guess the other reviewer didn't dry it for long enough first.

regards

Mick
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on 27 February 2008
This is a GREAT book. With the way the world is going at the moment there are some very real issues, that we all must become more self reliant. This book is a great start and has really encouraged me to prepare myself and my little family to be a little more aware of what is on offer around us!
I recommend this book to anyone who is a little nervous of the future. This book brings a little more reasurance that we might actually be OK, if we suddenly find ourselves fending for ourselves.
I do pity his poor family though, they must have been very longsuffering!!! Having said that, I think my poor husband is getting a little nervous when he saw me reading how to create great culinary delights out of grass!!
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on 11 February 2008
Mr Yeoman's book presents the frugal/self sufficient lifestyle by degrees. The book starts off with simple thrifty ideas and progresses through to radical self sufficient living.

I found it very interesting and full of lots of ideas worth trying. I've already done the bean sprouting and the yoghurt making with success! My only concerns are a lack of proper references for some of the more scientific sections about diet and nutrition; and a slight tendency to apocalyptic scaremongering towards the end.
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on 5 February 2002
I can only add my praise to that of the previous reviewer - and in fact would go further. I would willingly deliver my lovely wife and charming children into slavery; divest myself of all material belongings and abseil naked down the Kangshung Face of Everest if, at the end, I could be guaranteed to find another book as good as this one.
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on 3 November 2010
a great book full of loads of money saving ideas. from the very simple to the totally absurd. I refer to these recipes on a regular basis and have found many of the ideas easy and fun to implement. if you have any interest in simple living, survival or money saving this is a fantastic book to start you on your way
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