Author Archives: Oily Rag Ed'

Fuel tax

Low petrol prices is good news for frugal motorists, but an oily ragger has asked why, given the collapse in crude prices, petrol pump prices are not a lot lower. The answer is actually quite simple. At US$27 a barrel, crude oil prices are at their lowest level since 2003, and a long way from […]


With spring in the air it’s a good time to start seedlings for the garden. A reader has this suggestion for re-using egg cartons. “Fill with top soil and use to propagate seedlings. When the seedlings are ready to plant, cut the carton into portions. The cardboard will disintegrate and the plant will not suffer […]

Whiteboards, cleaning

PHS from Fielding has this suggestion to remove permanent marker from whiteboards. “To get vivid permanent marker off surfaces, use Lynx deodorant spray.” We are pleased to say it works and smells good too! Perhaps others can see if it works for all deodorant brands.


Here are some tips for renters: • Ask your landlord to reduce the weekly rent in return for work around the home. In one case the tenant (who happened to be a painter) had the rent reduced for redecorating the unit. It worked well for everyone – the landlord had his unit upgraded on what […]

Bored? Try board games.

We recently came across a chest full of well-used board games. We had a great time with the grandkids playing Battleship and other classics. Many of the great board games can be found in garage sales at really good prices. Games can be both educational and entertaining, and encourage participation and active communication (like shouting!). […]

Starting a garden

Spring is a good time to think about starting a garden so you can enjoy the harvest for Christmas. Here are some tips. An oily rag garden need not be any larger than six or seven metres square (it actually can be a lot smaller). It would have four or five garden beds bordered with […]

Unit pricing

When looking for the best buy focus on the unit price, not the total price, like the cost of a product per 100g. It makes it really easy to compare the price of different brands and weights. For example, on the Countdown online shopping site a 1.5kg bag of flour is shown as $1.19 a […]

Sensational sausages

Here’s a simple recipe for crumbed sausages, which in posh households is known as ‘bangers a’ la crumb’. All you need is 500g sausages, 1 egg, flour, breadcrumbs, oil for frying, and salt and pepper. Boil your favourite sausages for 5 minutes. Allow to cool, then peel off the skin. Roll the now skinless sausages […]

Coffee cards

Take advantage of the free coffee and tea cards that some of the fast food outlets offer pensioners. One reader is a regular customer of a fast food chain and she never spends a cent!


Popcorn is a great TV treat. If you want to get a bit fancy try caramel corn. All you need is 125g popping corn, a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil, 125g butter, two tablespoons honey, and ¾ cup sugar. Heat oil in a large saucepan until hot. Add the corn, place the lid on […]