Oily Rag mailbags

This week we took a spring dip into the bulging oily rag mailbags to see what fantastically frugal, and sometimes funny ha ha ideas the oily rag community have come up with. As usual we were not disappointed and again marvelled at the creative ways oily raggers come up with to strength a gold coin into a $10 note, and turn waste into treasure.

When using spring onions, leave the last 3 / 4 cm at the root end and replant in your garden, it will regrow, can then just cut spring onion leaving root in ground. Will have for spring onions for seasons from 1 original purchase. – C J Turner,  Masterton

A lot people have trouble getting parsnip seed to strike. The secret is after you have put in the fertiliser and sown the seed in the row pour boiling water over the seed. I know someone who always had trouble getting parsnips to strike I told him of this method, and he has had success ever since. Make sure to use hollow crown seed so you don’t get a tough core. This method also works on older seed. – Diesil Den, Christchurch

Bread crusts make great croutons. Cut them up and toast them in an oven with other dishes, or after the oven has been turned off just leave them there. Store in a jar…use on soup or salads. (The only ones missing out are the birds!!) – Jaelle, Auckland.

To clean oil from concrete, place wood ash on the affected area and leave for a couple of days. You wouldn’t know there was any oil spilt when you clean it up. – Diesil Den, Christchurch. [Excellent tip!]

Gather all the old pieces of hand soap and place in a jar.  Fill with water and let it dissolve. It becomes liquid and is ideal for hand washing, washing woollens etc. – Mike, Auckland.

Go vegan. Your staples become bread pasta fruit and veges. You save money from overpriced Fish, Meat and Dairy and lose weight to boot. – CR, New York City

This is a trick I learnt when I was tired of paying for haircutting.  I have long hair (just above my waist) and when I want to trim it, I just get a hair tie and scissors.   I lean forward and brush all hair forward and put it in a ponytail.  I then pull the hair tie down as far as I want to trim and then cut.  It gives a great layered look without the cost.  I have only done this with wet hair. – SandyA, Auckland

Regarding your tip on reusing old tea bags as firestarters do you need to drain off the kero’ after adding to the jar of dried teabags?  Very drippy and smelly and it lingers on the fingers for ever! Have used a wooden skewer to fish them out and put the whole thing in the fire. By the way my husband tells me his Dad used to do a similar thing with cut up old Pinex soft board tiles. – MJP, Rotorua. [In answer to MJP’s question, yes, drain off the kero’ so the now kero’ infused teabag is dry.]

Wendy from Kup-of-tea (otherwise known as Kapati) has a question about cleaning/ sterilising a toothbrush. “I have tried before the boiling water/soda and (I think) vinegar soaks but always seem to still end up with that strong ‘toothpasty’ smell so it never quite feels as fresh as new. Any ideas guys?” If you have a suggestion for Wendy, please share it with the oily rag community by visiting oilyrag.co.nz (and any other tips you have as well).

For those that don’t know, each week members of the oily rag club receive a free email newsletter with the latest tips, yarns, and questions about frugal living. Last count the club had over 5000 members which just goes to show what a popular sport the good life is. To add your name to the newsletter list go to oilyrag.co.nz