More tips on frugal living

The oily rag tips from readers just keep coming. This week we have tips from Whangarei in the North to Dunedin in the South, on topics as diverse as snails and play dough.

Spring time means oily raggers go gardening. Marion from Auckland has this tip for making a natural weed killer. Mix 1 gallon of white vinegar, half a cup of salt, add eight drops liquid dish soap – put it all in a spray bottle to apply. Marion says it will kill weeds in two to three days.

Emma from Auckland has this tip about waging war on snails. “I decided to start tidying my small vege garden today, ready for spring planting. In the centre of it there was an old square recycle bin, lying upside down. As I lifted it up I just about fainted; the inside was covered with snails! There must have been a thousand! Now, what to do with them all? I half-filled a bucket with water and a liberal amount of salt. Within 2 minutes they were crawling their way up to the top. So much for salt. Cut long story short, it took more than an hour before they finally gave up the ghost. I then remembered an old trick: Strong, fresh- brewed coffee is the thing – kills them dead!”

Eru from Whangarei has this tip about rubbish. He put puts food scraps in bread bags and stores them in the freezer until rubbish day. This avoids unpleasant smells and means he doesn’t have to pay for rubbish bags that are only partially full.

P.W from Christchurch has this tip about dishwasher powder. “Dishwasher powder is really expensive and this works just as well if not better: equal parts borax and Baking soda. I bought both in bulk from Bin Inn.”

Liz from Auckland has sent in this silver beet soup recipe. “Every child I know loves this soup. 750 gm cubed potatoes, 1 bunch of silver beet with stems removed and roughly chopped.(stems can be sliced up into mince, stew, or stir fry etc), 5 cups chicken stock (vege stock works just as well), 1 cup of cheese, 3/4 cup sour cream. Boil potatoes in stock then add silver beet. When cooked, remove from heat and blend. Add cheese and sour cream. Season to taste”.

Tina from Christchurch has this washing liquid recipe. “I make my own washing liquid for the laundry which has saved our family of seven a fortune over the years. Use 1 cup Lux Soap Flakes (you can grate a bar of soap but I like the flakes) 1/2 cup washing soda (do not confuse with baking soda!). Bring 2 litres of water to the boil, drop in 1 cup Lux flakes and stir gently till melted. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup washing soda and stir until melted. Use a large lidded bucket that easily contains 10 litres and fill with 8 litres of hot tap water. Pour the soap mixture into the bucket and stir. You can add drops of essential oil of your choice to this mixture. It will thicken on cooling. I use a very long soup paddle and mix it up several times and use 1/2 cup for a normal sized load. Keep this mixture locked up and well away from young children.”

Aliza from Dunedin suggests this for a toilet cleaner: “Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into the bowl and leave for a few hours or overnight. Scrub the bowl with a brush and rinse.”

Aliza also has this playdough recipe for children. “You will need: 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, 4 tsp cream of tartar, 2 cup water, 2 tbsp cooking oil, and food colouring of your choice. Mix dry ingredients together. Add water, oil and colouring. Blend until smooth. Stir over heat until mixture comes away from the sides and forms a ball. Tip onto board and knead well then store in an airtight container. This is really nice playdough.”

Miriam from Christchurch has the cleanest windows in the world because she reckons she has the world’s best glass cleaner: “Equal parts water, meths and kerosene.”