Category Archives: Reader tips


Lorretta from Auckland suggests a couple of websites to have a look at: for budgeting advice. for benefit entitlements.  

Mean on clean

Lorraine from Hamilton writes Now that I’m unemployed I’ve become the queen of mean. I spend lightly over $10 p.a. on cleaning products plus dishwashing liquid (single use). This is how I do it: Cleaning Products p.a. $3.00 2L bleach $2.40 homemade laundry liquid (@ .04c per wash x 60 washes p.a.) $2.00 2 x […]

Making peanut butter

Karen from Waikato writes, I was dismayed to see that Pics peanut butter was $6 at the local supermarket so I decided to buy blanched peanuts and I cooked them in the oven with a little oil until lightly brown then popped them into the small bowl that came with my blender stick and a […]


Lorraine from Hamilton writes, I was given a battery charger with rechargeable batteries as a gift recently and thought how convenient I don’t have to buy batteries each month anymore. Then I did the sums – $5.59 spent on 2 AAA batteries per month x 12 months = $67.08 ($65 is a week of food […]

Hair washing

Fonafrend from Lawrence in South Otago writes, Hair Washing. I wash my hair with Trade Aid soap. It’s $3 at New World and other places. It lasts for 2-3 months.

Hot water

Fonafrend from Lawrence in South Otago writes, Hot Water – I save hot water in a thermos pump for jobs like cleaning teeth, warm water for bread making, boiling the jug quickly etc. When I do boil the jug I put the leftovers in my pump. Also always have at least 2 kettles on the […]

Phone plans

Lorraine from Hamilton writes, It pays to check various plans you may have on a yearly basis these days to ascertain you’re getting the best deal eg. broadband, mobile, electricity, financial products, bank fees like credit card rates etc. to name a few. I used the internet recently and just by googling ‘compare electricity plans […]

It’s dishwashing liquid?

Lorraine from Hamilton has these homemade dishwashing liquid recipes to share. Recipe 1 1 tbsp dishwashing liquid 2 tbsp vinegar 1 tbsp baking soda 11/2 cups warm water In a largish bowl add baking soda and vinegar (it will foam up ). Add warm water then dishwashing liquid. Store in an old dishwashing liquid bottle. […]

Baked beans

Kool.kats from Dunedin writes, When I open a large tin of baked beans I transfer any leftovers into a recycled jam jar and keep it in the fridge to add to my lunchtime soup. It adds protein without too many calories.

Wholemeal Bread

Lorraine from Hamilton writes, Countdown have a lockdown price in their in-store bakery on bread called ‘wholemeal and grain sandwich loaf’. Don’t be put off buying it if you like the thicker toast slice. It’s 90% wholemeal and just as filling per slice as toast bread. Good value I think for fresh bread at $2.00 […]