Home Ec 101: A Great Book for Newlyweds, Home Schoolers

April 30, 2011

Frugal, Reviews

Springtime! It’s here! Oh, ignore all that mud and rain and frigid nighttime temperatures– there’s green out there! While shopping yesterday, the daughter and I spotted a plethora of limousines in town. It seems that every year, as soon as the snow is gone, everybody races out of their winter-weary homes to get married or get a new apartment or bring home a new baby! Mother’s Day, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries… the next few months are glutted with events (and gift buying). What’s a frugal gal to do? You want to give useful gifts, affordable gifts- gifts that won’t be tossed in the trash in a year… lo and behold, the answer was sitting on m shelf….

I LOVE the snarky, retro look of the book cover.

I was recently sent a marvelous book to review: Home Ec: 101, Skills for Everyday Living: Cook It, Clean It, Fix It, Wash It by Heather Solos.

Short Version: This is a spectacular book!!! A perfect addition to the household OR as a terrific gift!

Long Version: Home Ec: 101 Skills for Everyday Living is a colorful paperback book (pages are decorated with teal-colored borders) that covers the basics of everyday living in its 240 pages (including index). It is PERFECT for the newly married couple, or the young adult ready to strike off on her own, or as a Home Ec homeschooling tool. The content is simple and very readable. Here’s a little bit from the table of contents:

  • Getting Started: Tools, Secrets, and the Chemistry of Cleaning
  • Make It Manageable: Flexible Scheduling
  • Dining Rooms and Dusty Dens of Doom: Yes, You Do Windows
  • Minor Garment Repair: Beyond Dental Floss and Staples
  • Laundry: The World’s Most Thankless Chore
  • When Good Appliances Go Bad: Avoid Minor Meltdowns (a very good section!)
  • Plumbing: Someone Jiggle the Handle Already
  • Outfit Your Kitchen: Cookware and Small Appliances
  • Recipe Rundown: Deciphering Terms and Basic Techniques
  • Meal Planning: Not Just For the Control Freaks
  • Substitutions: I’ll Remember to Put It on the List, Promise

There are also several appendixes with formulas and checklists, for you geeky types. 😉

Interspersed throughout the book are anecdotes related to the chapter. I really liked those, especially the hilarious anecdotes in the plumbing section. Barrels of laughter from that one, folks. (Yes, we do our own plumbing here at the Mecomber homestead, hahaha). :whistle:

Heather, maybe sometime you can write a post about how you keep your skin looking so gorgeous! :)

Be warned, this is no encyclopedic tome with snobby, puzzling professorial formulations spewing from the pages. Home Ec: 101 is snarky, it’s funny, it’s easy reading, it’s concise. Heather Solos did a terrific job organizing all the tips and compiling them into interesting and readable sections, adding twinges of humor at every turn. You know how we have our special “books” for the household, like Webster’s Dictionary and The Joy of Cooking? Home Ec: 101 Skills for Everyday Living is another to get for your collection. It’s kind of like This Old House, Heloise’s Hints, The Joy of Cooking (the interesting parts) and Erma Bombeck all rolled into one paperback package. It’s witty enough so that young people will like it, detailed and informative enough that experienced old coots like me like it. And the book would make a really, really nice gift.

Heather has a Home Ec 101 Blog, too, where she shares additional tips (with videos she’s discovered!), questions from readers (with answers!), and writes about chipping away at her piles of laundry and lawn mowing chores just like the rest of us.

Home Ec: 101, Skills for Everyday Living: Cook It, Clean It, Fix It, Wash It is very affordable. It sells retail for $20, but it’s on sale at Amazon.com for under $15. And if you’re a Kindle user, you can download the Kindle version of Home Ec: 101.

Just so you know, F+W Media provided a review copy of this book in exchange for this post. All opinions are always overflowing and my own. 🙂

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One Response to “Home Ec 101: A Great Book for Newlyweds, Home Schoolers”

  1. Heather Solos Says:

    Thank you so much for this kind review. I appreciate the time and energy you put into reading the book and reviewing it.

    As far as skin? The answer is a trifecta of luck: good timing (I wasn’t horribly stressed about anything), good lighting, and soft focus. What you don’t see is me holding a white piece of poster board to reflect white from an open window.