Monthly Archives: April 2015


Jane from Auckland has asked: “I would like some advice as to how to clean mildew from cream coloured cotton/linen curtains.” If you can help Jane please add your comment.

Frugal business

Families are not the only ones enjoying the benefits of thrifty living. Lots of businesses gain lots of profit from having a frugal mindset. A reader writes, “I have introduced an oily rag mentality throughout my business. Everyone in the business has benefited. I have shared the rewards with staff so they are now being […]

Why live off the smell of an oily rag?

Why live off the smell of an oily rag? A good question! There are lots of really really good reasons for living off the smell of an oily rag. Here are just some of them: 1. It’s fun! 2. It saves you heaps of money! 3. Waste not, want not! 4. It’s good for the […]


I live off the smell of an oily rag because I think its the right thing to do. I am not driven by necessity. I have lots of money, but I think it is better to be frugal so that I have the say-so what happens to the savings. I actually give quite a lot […]


I have been an oily ragger for about 16 years since my parents brought me your book. My Oily Ragging can basically be put down to the fact I hate waste…. why waste money or anything for that matter if you don’t need to.

Rosana, Opotiki.

The great oily rag ideas have really inspired my lifestyle. From Townie to Coastie, now 51 years old it’s time to get back to nature. We do a swap – hen eggs for duck eggs or a cake or a batch of fried bread for some cows full-cream milk. But the best part is making […]

Lynne, Dunedin.

I have lived the oily rag existence out of necessity. My husband left me and took our life savings. I had to exist on a benefit which I just hated but ill health has left me unable to work again. My biggest savings came from buying nearly everything from our local hospice shop and local […]

Mrs. Valuable Forthright Opinions, Canterbury (in the UK).

Explore the wonderful world of the hot water bottle. Warming you is much cheaper and probably healthier than heating the space around you. Re-boil the water when it’s no longer warm enough to keep you toasty but still has some warmth in it – it boils much quicker this way. And wrap the hottie up […]