Author Archives: Oily Rag Ed'

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 […]


American-style pancakes are great for breakfast, lunch, or as an after dinner dessert. All you need is 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of milk, 1 egg (use a duck egg if you have one), a couple of tablespoons of sugar, a heaped teaspoon of baking powder, a tablespoon of melted butter, and a pinch […]

Cheap threads and other frugal tips

This week we have had lots of interesting letters from the frugal community. John from Whangarei writes, “I have discovered another virtue in having a son-in-law – especially one that is about my size! I now receive an endless supply of pre-loved clothing. My wardrobe is literally bursting with the almost-latest fashion jeans, jackets, and […]

Deal sites

Lorraine from Hamilton writes, “I have found a website that lists all the daily deal websites which people can check out. It’s called“. The site acts as a portal to all the deal sites (portal is IT talk for a gateway that takes you to…) – Oily Rag Ed’.


Here are my ideas, some of which we used, and others which I now realise would have been a good idea: • Get married in summer. The weather will probably be nice enough to get married in the great free outdoors. You will also need less material in the brides dress as it won’t need […]