customer's bill so low it worries power firm
By MIKE WATSON - The Dominion Post,
June 12 2010.
power bill is so low that a utility company wrote to ask
whether anyone lived in the house. "They
said it was unlikely anyone lived in the house with a power
bill that low, and gave me 30 days to prove it."
Dominion Post >>>
Dominion Post, June 6,
The Dominion Post talks to
oily rag editor, Frank Newman, about garage sales and other
Dominion Post >>>
hits the land of buy now and pay later
NZ Herald, Nov 25, 2008 - AP
Fearful that economic conditions could get worse and stay
that way, Americans are showing an enthusiasm for thriftiness
not seen in decades.
This behavioural shift isn't simply about spending less.
The New Frugality emphasises stretching every dollar. It means
bypassing the fashion mall for the discount chain store,
buying secondhand clothes and furniture, or trading down to
Not long ago, yoga teacher Gisele Sanders didn't think
twice about dropping US$30 ($55) for a bottle of Chianti. That
was before her husband, a real estate agent, began to feel the
brunt of slowing home sales.
Now Sanders, 53, picks up grocery-store wine at US$10 or
less per bottle, shops for used clothes and plans to take her
mother's advice about turning down the thermostat during
That kind of scrimping has the potential to reinforce the
miserly mood. Yet with home prices, company-sponsored
retirement plans and job stability suffering, such frugality
is likely to be more than a fad.
"It is a whole reassessment of values," said
Candace Corlett, president of the consulting firm WSL
Strategic Retail. "People are learning again to say 'no,
costs take the cake
NZ Herald, Nov 16, 2008 By
Happy couples planning their
wedding day may be taking a closer look at their quotes as the
financial crisis grips the country. Photo / BOP Times You have
picked your dream venue, agonised over choosing the
photographer and plumped for the perfect cake.
Now comes the real shock:
your already big wedding bill is likely to be much larger than
Suzanne Carson, director of
Christchurch-based Events and Wedding Professionals said it
was common for suppliers to boost their prices for weddings.
Overseas couples getting
hitched here - often without relatives, guests and a full
reception - were commonly charged "horrific" bills
of up to $1000 for wedding photos. "That's just to take a
few shots, put them on a disc and send them on their
Tightening budgets and
soaring meat prices are fuelling a revival in the cheaper,
old-fashioned cuts that granny used to cook.
Butchers say requests for ox
and lamb hearts, ox livers, spare ribs and neck glands and
offal are on the rise.
Pork hock, similar to a lamb
shank, and pork mince are becoming more popular for price
reasons, with the latter $4 cheaper per kilo than its beef
counterpart, according to industry board NZ Pork.
The past two months have seen
beef and lamb prices increase by an average of $2-$3 a kilo
for most cuts and an industry source said the price of chicken
was tipped to rise again next month.
Taranaki Master Butchers
Association president and owner of New Plymouth's Kiwi
Butcher, Peter Morrison, said more people were seeking cheaper
cuts and specialist advice unavailable at supermarkets.
Whole pig heads weighing
6-7kg were selling for $7, while wing rib roasts, at $14.95 a
kg, were a cheaper alternative to porterhouse.
Beef cheek was the "most
succulent" meat, but if cooked incorrectly tasted like
"old leather," he said.
People were even buying
brisket, or beef chest, and sweetbreads, but there was a long
way to go before shin overtook eye fillet - despite the $24 a
kg price difference.
He said: "A lot of the
young ladies don't know what skirt is - aside from the one
worn around the waist - even though there are four varieties
when it comes to beef, and it's the best meat you can buy for
Morrison sold beef skirt for
$8.99 per kilo, much cheaper than the most expensive cut - eye
fillet - which is $32.99 per kilo, but could fetch up to $7
more at a supermarket.
Cheaper cuts didn't mean the
meat was unhealthy, he said. "It's all very nutritious -
it's just so many people aren't aware of what's
Jeremay Viall of the Aussie
Butcher in Auckland's Birkenhead said the price of most meats
had shot up.
sausages were expensive, due to increases in hog intestine
casing - though he still sold flavoured snags for $5 a kilo.
Viall had noticed customers
cutting down on the amount of meat they bought and others were
saving by stocking up on mince.
Hadleigh Smith of NZ Pork
said buying old-fashioned cuts was a fun way to experiment
The cheaper cuts often came
from tougher parts of the beast and required slower cooking.
Beef and Lamb New Zealand
nutritionist Fiona Greig said customers on a budget should
consider going for mince, lamb shoulder chops, beef topside
steak and chuck steak to save money. She said many Kiwis were
now returning to traditional cooking methods such as making
casseroles and using slow cookers, which were ideal for
cheaper cuts of meat.
Sunday Sep 28, 2008 view
of Boiling an Egg
A top chef says it
is "pretty basic", but for many young Kiwis the
simple art of boiling an egg is beyond them.
A Colmar Brunton poll that
asked nearly 1000 people about their confidence in boiling,
scrambling and poaching eggs found that one in 12 Kiwis aged
under 30 were not confident, or had never even attempted,
boiling an egg.
The survey, commissioned by
egg producer Farmer Brown, also showed that one in 10 people
under 30 had never tried to poach an egg or make an omelet,
and 15 per cent had never scrambled an egg.
Chef Simon Holst was
surprised younger people did not cook eggs more, but suspected
it was because people were increasingly skipping breakfast,
especially cooked ones.
Eggs might have "slipped
out of fashion", he said. He had heard similar stories
about young people not cooking potatoes "because they
don't have instructions on the packet. I hope that's not the
Though young New Zealanders
are not confident cooking eggs, Kiwis are among the biggest
consumers of them. Figures from the Egg Producers Federation
show that per capita we consume 218 each year.
Dominion Post, 12 August
Heat pumps blamed for power
As winter weather bites, so
have the electricity bills, with heat pumps being blamed for
Some South Island consumers
who complained after seeing their power bills more than double
from last year have been have been told there is nothing
faulty with their metering or billing.
Contact Energy told the Southland
Times it had investigated a number of complaints this
week, including several from customers who had power bills
leap by more than $500.
Retail general manager Jason
Delamore said the company had looked into each case and
established a change in user patterns, such as the
installation of heat pumps and the use of oil column heaters,
was behind the increases.
manager Jonathan Hill said estimated accounts were based on
usage at the corresponding time the previous year, so if the
company was unaware of change in energy use, the next actual
reading would factor in a significant catch-up.
The installation of a heat
pump in Christchurch woman Selena Cannell's home was
"almost certainly" the key reason her bill had more
than doubled from $160 in May to $400 in July, he said.
Heat pumps were efficient but
still impacted heavily on power bills, Mr Hill said.
"There is a perception
out there that heat pumps are almost free to use - that is not
the case at all.
"We don't think it would
be uncommon for people who are running them really hard to
incur costs of up to $5 a day," he said.
Trustpower staff told
disgruntled Timaru customer Moira Melhopt that a heat pump
could cost up to $7 a day to run.
"More and more New
Zealanders are getting heat pumps, so all retailers will be
facing similar issues," Mr Delamore said.
However, Ms Cannell disputed
Contact's claim a heat pump had caused her power bill to
The company that installed
the heat pump had told her it should be costing only $60 to
$70 maximum a month, she said.
Ms Melhopt said she felt
disappointed about what she had been told.
"We have been promised
efficient heating and therefore lower costs with a
Daikin New Zealand, which
specialises in heat pumps, said they cost between 10c and 20c
an hour to run.
2008, NZ Herald, see
pinching our penny pinching ideas!
following article appeared in the NZ Herald, August 18, 2006.
and Income cookbook has flavour of Newman
Labour MPs used to ridicule
Muriel Newman's books on penny pinching - now the former Act
MP could be forgiven for thinking they're stealing her ideas.
Development Minister David Benson-Pope was on hand yesterday
for the launch of a Work and Income cookbook billed as "a
simple practical guide to affordable cooking and good
Dr Newman, who lost her seat
at the last election, was famous for three books on how to
live cheaply- one of them a cookbook entitled How to Feast on
the Smell of an Oily Rag.
Her political rivals used to
mock her books, which included tips such as how women could
model lingerie for extra money. However,
sections of Work and Income's Great Little Cookbook bear
uncanny similarities to some of Dr Newman's work.
Her cookbook was billed as
"delicious mouthwatering meals without a lot of fuss and
The Work and Income book is
full of recipes that are "simple, nutritious and easy to
But yesterday Mr Benson-Pope
had only praise for the idea of a cookbook for beneficiaries.
no longer take for granted that people know what ingredients
are needed for a good, nutritious family meal, or that they
know how to put these ingredients together."
He said the Work and Income
staff who came up with the idea felt basic skills such as
gardening and cooking were no longer being passed down.
As well as
suggesting affordable meals, the book focused on healthy
eating. Mr Benson-Pope said the book, developed in conjunction
with Nelson- Marlborough District Health Board, was free of
Politicians ...they are
Rag goes to Parliament!
you think the oily rag movement is nothing but mere frivolity
then read Hansard (the transcript of New Zealand's
Parliament). There it is recorded forever, recorded in
the Nation's history forever, the oily rag club! And not is it
just mentioned in passing - oh no, the oily rag movement is
far more important than passing.
On no less than three occassions have
honourable members of New Zealand's highest House of horrors
recognised the achievements of the oily rag establishment.
But, I have to report my fellow oily raggers, the three
honourable members in question are not quite ready to send in
their oily rag membership forms just yet.
not a happy chappy; The Right Honourable Wintintin Peters has taken
exception to us oily raggers using the colloquial expression,
“Beg, borrow or steal” when describing the desirability of
sharing rather than owning. How dare theft be encouraged!,
he says. On the issue of theft, we reckon the honourable MPs should swear on the
Oily Rag Bible to promise that they be as oily raggish when
spending our money on themselves as they are when spending
their own money (and upfront when declaring their donations
from wealthy benefactors!).
the "Honourable" Judith Tizzy Tizard
is in a tiz about oily raggers earning a few extra dollars by
selling party plan merchandise (24 April 2002). Maybe Tizzy is
doing pretty well on the taxpayers payroll and pension plan
but others in the real world do have to earn a few extra
dollars to make ends meet.
Lizzy is also in a Tizzy. The Honourable Lianne Dalziel (24
wants to curb the artistic talents of budding artists by
banning oily raggers posing as bare-all models. Lizzy may not be
a work of art but others may have a canvas worth showing! Perhaps we should
also ban Picasso from displaying his more revealing works? Should
we shroud the statue of David so that his more personable
features are concealed? What would real-life artists do
without real life models? You tell me! Manoquins? Playmate
pictures? Or would these struggling artists have to reply on
imagination and life experience alone? For a Party happy to give $100 million of
someone elses money to the arts, one would have thought Tizzy
Lizzy would support the plight of those working hard to master
their artistic talents of the natural form!
[One reader has suggested Wini, Tizzy and Lizzy and nine more
of their fellowship bare all
(tastefully) in an charity calendar. They said it worked very
well for the Country Woman's Institute in the UK. Can you
imagine it! Tizzy baring all as Ms August! Lizzy as Ms Maybe!
Wini as Father Xmas in his birthday suit! What a hoot! - Oily Rag ed]