I got in here a little late, but I don't think I'd be any help, anyway!!
I knit that first Booga some time ago, and I can't remember how much yarn I had left.
It seems like it wasn't much, though. I think the idea of knitting the handles first is a great idea. Just a little suggestion if you think you've got enough yarn: try two strands for the handles; otherwise, they're pretty stretchy.