From dog fees, frozen meals and more

We have received lots of new tips in recent weeks and answers to questions from readers.

Last week Thrifty from Hamilton asked about storing part sachets of yoghurt starter. Em from Christchurch replies, “I just fold the top of the original packet over, and put the whole packet in a zip-lock plastic bag and seal it, then put it back in the cupboard. I normally use the rest of the packet within a week or two, and I have had no problems with it setting.”

Thrifty lady from Taihape says, “When using a part of the sachet only, you don’t have to do anything special with the rest- just fold it and put a pin on top or seal with some masking tape. We haven’t had any bad experiences at all.”

So there you are – no problems using part of a packet when making your own yoghurt (which we recommend by the way).

Last week Madcow from Opunake asked about making frozen roast ready meals. Kathleen from sunny Tauranga has this suggestion. “When we have a roast, I slice the meat that is left, cover it with gravy, and freeze. It keeps really well, so when you want another roast all you need to prepare is the roast vegetables.”

Doug from Featherston writes, “I just cook a roast and pack what is left over into take away containers and freeze them. I use these when I go away in my camper or when I get too lazy to cook!”

Doug is another one who has joined the Grey Power electricity scheme. “I also joined Grey Power and my power costs have dropped from just over $100 a month to $67. As I am a one-person household that is a real big saving – and it only cost me $15 to join Grey Power.”

Doug also tried the tip about using vinegar in the rinse cycle of the washing machine: “It certainly removes the lint off of the clothes. This site [] comes up with some great ideas. Keep it up!”

Please keep sending in your tips so thrifty ‘frugalites’ like Doug can make one dollar stretch into two. In fact there are now over 6,200 members of the oily rag club – it’s free to join and you can opt in to receive our free weekly newsletter of ‘tips for tightwads’. You might be interested to know that about 50% of our members live off the smell of an oily rag because money is tight and they need to make ends meet. About 36% hate waste, and the other 14% want to increase their savings (perhaps for a specific purpose like saving a deposit on a house). Whatever the reason, we think living off the smell of an oily rag is fun and makes sense!

Thrifty from Hamilton has this tip for keeping pesky pukekos out of a garden. “A pukeko is a bird with a strong sense of smell and it can be deterred with the smell of mothballs – but this may have an effect on beneficial insects in a vegetable garden too. Mothballs are usually used around flowers like roses.”

Fay from Blenheim has this cat keeping tip. “For kitty litter I use wood pellets, (the ones used in pellet fires). I find them very economical.”

And Fay has a question. “Would lavender oil be okay to put on a dog to stop flees?” If you can help Fay fight dog-gone flees, drop us a note and we will share it around the oily rag community. Also, do you have any tips about shampoos for cats and dogs?

Last week Canny Scot from Christchurch suggested using WD40 to remove oil stains from concrete drives and for polishing stainless steel. Gaynor from Paraparaumu says she has read it may in fact make stains worse, and instead suggests baking soda and vinegar as a cheap and non-toxic cleaning agent for brass, silver, gold, bronze, enamel, stainless steel. Also toilets, glass, fibre glass and oil on concrete. We have had a quick look at the WD40 website and it does recommend it for a number of cleaning purposes. However, baking soda and vinegar would be cheaper.