Rag Club Newsletters
week we publish new ideas and tips for the frugally inclinated
(otherwise known as inclined!). Here are the latest issues.
||8 March 14
||Preserving the summer
||2 March 14
||Four decades of spending
||Bad debt and very bad
||Money saving tips from
||Money saving tips for
newsletters, see here >>>
Join the Oily Rag Club and receive the FREE oily rag newsletter by
>>> for more.
reader is asking the oily rag community for fish recipes. This summer they
are going on a fishing holiday and are keen to try try lots of new fish
recipes. If you have a favourite fish dish send in your comments
and ideas >>>
I have found that cooked rice in a fish pie will extend the amount
without affecting the flavour or texture of it. Adding turmeric powder
will give a nice golden colour and is good for you too. - J.S., Taupo.
mashed potato in bottom of shallow Pyrex and place hake or cod fillets
on top of mash after dipping first into melted butter. Bake until fish
is cooked about 12-15 minutes at 180C. Mix together - half cup of mayo.,
half a cup of grated cheese, 2 egg yolks, a teaspoon of dried mustard,
and stir in the whisked egg whites. Place over cooked fish and bake
until nicely browned in moderate oven. - Diana, Whakatane
fish. 3 minutes to prepare, 12 minutes to cook. Serves 2 people.
Ingredients: 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, cumin, turmeric; 1 teaspoon of
chilli powder (if you think this is too hot, use half the amount), 2
tablespoons of groundnut oil, 2 cloves garlic peeled and sliced, 250g
fish fillet cut into 50mm pieces, 200ml canned coconut milk, and
coriander leaves to garnish. Mix together the spices with 1 tablespoon
of water and set aside. Heat oil in pan, put in garlic until lightly
browned. Add fish and sauté for 2 minutes.
Stir in spices and cook for another minute.
Pour in coconut milk, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. -
fish salads are great.
Just dice pieces of fish, mix with chopped up red onion, red
peppers, celery, tomatoes or whatever good ingredients you have and
like, then pour a vinaigrette dressing over it. This salad is good left
to marinate for a while, but can be scoffed as soon as it's mixed. -
your oily rag tips?
you have a favourite money saving tip, a funny frugal yarn, or a comment
about living on the cheap? How about sharing it with others. Click
wee note from Oily Rag Ed'
We have received great feedback from the column about frugality and home
ownership. Many have said “well said”, which was nice, and a few have
said they remain of the view that home ownership is an impossible dream.
It is impossible if one does not save, and for most, saving means giving
up the things we can do without: like smoking, drinking, gambling, flash
cars, and so on.
no coincidence that smokers and drinkers are usually the people who have
the least money – and for obvious reasons: they spend it on smokes and
booze! Save and invest $50 a week
and within 14 years a person will have $50k for a house deposit. A couple
could do it in 8 years. If people don't want to give up something to get
something then, yes, they will forever rely on others to provide their
Here's the article, 9 Sep Hints on home ownership >>>
Viv from Masteron asks, “I have an excess of Nashi pears. Has anyone
got some good tips? I thought about jam but not sure what to put with
here >>> if you can help Viv.
Jim asks, "There used to be a number of places were you could buy
(a case 10 ) of chicken seconds. The fault could be a broken wing. Used
to be one on Great South Rd north of main Manukau centre. Does anyone
know of such a place now. Pukekohe or Papakura: perhaps Manukau." Click
here >>> if you can help Jim.
from Auckland asks, "Have just joined your site and have
spent a good part of the day reading all the money saving tips. So many
of us out there trying to live off 'the smell of an oily rag'
. I do have a question. Years ago I was given a banana tree and has
grown so big. Cut a lot of it back and now my clothes are covered in
banana sap stains. Any suggestions?
here >>> to
Lee from Rotorua asks, "How do other folk keep cups and mugs clean?
I truly hate seeing the insides of dirty cups but need a quick and easy
method not one that takes hours to work.
here >>> to
To clean stains
off cups sprinkle salt in them and rub with a damp cloth. -
Canny Scot, Christchurch
stains off cups, try using baking soda, - works a treat! You could
also try bleach for those incredible stubborn stains. - SPS, Tuakau
To rid the
inside of cups from tea and coffee stains use some bleach neat. Then
wash thoroughly. - Kate, Hawera
Question: Cleaning/ Sterilising Your 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? Thank-you – Wendy (Kapiti) Click
here >>> to
Reply to Wendy
and her toothbrush. Use conventional supermarket toothpaste- Aim or
Colgate. It's dental
assoc approved, and best for you tooth and gum health..
....probably cheapest too! Use
only a blob the size of a pea. I do this and rinse T.
brush between use...with no after taste. Good Luck. - C.
freshening toothbrushes. I use Steradent, and if you have someone in
the house with false teeth pop your toothbrush in the glass with them.
Don't worry about picking up their germs, Steradent is a
steriliser and you can wash your toothbrush in jot water before you
use it again. - Jacque, Napier
Rodders from Rotorua asks, "I am a bachelor and find that my
clothes always smell musty when I take them out of the drawers after a
while. What do I use to keep them smelling nice?"
To keep your clothes smelling sweet, store cakes of soap in your
drawers. Not only do they
make your clothes smell nice but the soap matures and hardens on
storage and has a longer life when finally used. - Bernie,
Cakes of your favourite toilet
soap placed in your clothing drawers will change the musty smell. -
H.E, Te Kaha
Can anybody help me clean the
underside of my iron? It has black sticky residue on it which stains any
clothes I might want to iron. I have tried baking soda, and ceramic
cleaner (the iron is ceramic after all) but nothing will get it off as
yet. – RJ, Auckland. Click
here >>> to
help our reader.
Heat the iron and then rub over
the bottom with a candle. ( not a coloured one). Wipe iron a few times
onto a paper towel. Works really well. - Charmaine, Whangarei
I use a detachable teflon sole plate, not cheap but they last a long time
and nothing will stick to them! Before that, I used to do the old 'salt
trick'. Spread a layer of table salt on a sheet of newspaper. Move warm
iron back and forth until clean. Discard salt and repeat with clean salt
if necessary. Wipe iron on clean, damp cloth, tapping on ironing board to
dislodge any salt in the steam holes. Finish by rubbing a candle stub over
the plate and iron over clean newspaper until all traces of dirt and
grease are gone. Never, ever, use abrasives (like sandpaper) to clean! -
My mother would place salt (the fine pouring kitchen salt) onto a piece of
brown paper and run the hot iron surface over the salt - work the iron
back and forth until it comes clean. This was for metal iron but imagine
it might also work on ceramic. – Jayasri, Christchurch.
I remember cleaning the base of the iron by turning it on and then ironing
salt on brown paper. Worked a treat! - Summer Day, Auckland.
This is a tip that
was given to me years ago and it really works. Use wet and dry sandpaper
to clean the soleplate. Use
the sandpaper wet, then wipe off. Take
care not to get the steam holes gunked up with the resulting black goo and
do a test iron on an old piece of cloth before you start ironing. – LM,
reader has asked about cooking offal. If you cook offal please share your
recipes and tips with the oily rag community. Click
here >>> to
help our reader.
I only cook ox kidneys and liver and absolutely love them.
One kidney is generally enough for 2 of us but usually I buy 2,
just so I have some left over for the following day. I just dice the
kidney removing all the fat and dice up an onion with them.
Add 1 tsp salt and a good shaking of pepper for added flavour.
I cook this like I would a stew for about 30 -40 minutes on a
slow heat then thicken with some cornflour and water.
Yes it smells but on goes the range hood and the lid on the pot
reducing the smell. For liver,
remove the sinew running through the centre and soak in milk for as long
as needed. I cut the liver into pieces about the size of a small steak.
I usually prepare it in the morning ready for tea at night.
Remove from the milk and dry with a paper towel.
Dredge it with flour and put into a dish in the oven with a small
knob of butter. It can be
fried if you like but we tend to love it oven baked with some bacon
pieces and when cooked make a gravy and pour over it. We love having
these dishes maybe twice a month. I
only ever cook up ox kidney and dislike the smaller sheep kidneys
immensely. My father used to
love the sheep kidneys halved and fat removed then fry them.
He always had a large pot of cabbage to eat with it.
As for my own family we don't ever fry food but the sheep kidneys
have quite a different flavour and none of us like them at all. –
Lambs fry (lamb liver), sheep
kidneys, sheep hearts. Slice thinly, dip in flour and fry until cooked.
Ox heart can be stuffed and roasted. – Robin, Palmerston North.
from Tirau asks, “What can I do to make my washing smell nice without
spending a fortune on conditioner.” Click
here >>> to
Use left-over perfume or aftershave that no one likes as fabric
freshener. - Ann, Matamata.
If you add a few drops of
essential oils to your load they will come out smelling nice. Also if
you use a dryer try adding a couple of drops to a clean rag or face
cloth and add to the dryer with your load. That way the smell lasts
longer. - Kla, Stratford
few drops of tea tree oil in your wash will make it smell fresh and lovely
and have the added benefit of being antibacterial. - LAJ, Sydney.
Buy baking soda from Bin Inn and add
to wash with laundry powder. You can also reduce the amount of laundry
powder by about 1/5 as baking soda is also a cleaner. I use equal amount
of baking soda and laundry powder. - Motel Owner, Whakatane.
When my son came
back from flatting he asked me what washing powder I used to get my
washing to smell nice. I discovered that he had been overloading the
washing machine and drying the clothes in a poorly ventilated room so
they ended up smelling musty. I do a cold water wash with unperfumed
washing powder. I hang it to dry in the wind and sun or inside in the
sun on an airer and if necessary put a fan heater going to speed up the
drying time. I hope this is helpful to Chris. - Rosemary,
"I have read your 'Living
off the Smell of an Oily Rag' book and think it is fantastic!…
Thank you for such an inspiring book. I have told all my friends
about it.” – Wayne.
you so much for a wonderful book. I hope my son and daughter get
as much reward (financial and contentment - knowing that they have done
it / made it themselves) from the book as we have. We are about to
embark on the next adventure of our life - buying a little bit of land
so we will soon be the family on the front of your book - free range
chooks included! Can't wait to extend our veggie garden and plant fruit
trees and save even more whilst having fun! Thank you -
book is fantastic and now has a permanent place on the coffee
table, where we can brush up on ORT's (Oily Rag Tips) whilst
chilling on the sofa. Our enthusiasm for keeping our money in our
pockets has been ignited and we look forward to many happy hours
of ORA's (Oily Rag Adventures). Many thanks." - Sarah
tips and recipes!
Wanted to make lemon and cream
cheese icing for my Banana cake. By mistake bought sour cream. Oh dear!
Anyway had to make do. Here is my recipe and tip. 1 small potle of sour
cream, zest of one lemon, a few drops of the lemon juice and then add
the icing sugar. Wow! It was even better than the original cream cheese
icing and definitely cheaper. – Annie, Auckland
I have a heated towel rail, but
never use it! In winter, I place my bath towels in the airing cupboard
overnight, they're still warm and bone dry when I use them the next
morning. Luxury! – Karen, Palmerston North
differently when it comes to buying meat. When visiting a supermarket
don't look at the price of the item but how much per kg. You can pay
$16.00 for sausages and $10.00 a kg for beef. Buy a piece of meat i.e. a
beef bolar. From that one piece of meat you can cut it into: slices to
slow roast in the oven or slow cooker; smaller pieces to casserole; or
mince it and make burgers. Same principle with Pork. You may need
someone to show you how to cut the meat correctly but it’s worth
finding out as you will save yourself money. Maybe your friendly butcher
will show you how to cut meat. I never buy chicken pieces – always a
whole chicken. From one chicken you can make - from the breast - butter
chicken, or schnitzels to pan fry; legs can be slow cooked; wings can be
fried Chinese style. The frame can be cooked with onions, carrots and
celery then left overnight. Next day, skim off the fat, retain the meat
and veggies and add a can of cream style corn to make chicken sweet corn
soup, or add extra veggies and make a chicken vegetable soup. If you buy
a fresh chicken you can then freeze the stock for another time. If you
don't have a mincer either borrow or pool money with friends and buy one
together. Same with the meat - sometimes it is an outlay to buy a medium
to large piece of meat, but again pool with your friends and distribute
between you. Once you get the hang of it, the recipes are limitless and
you’re saving a heap of money and eating well. - Denise,
If you have a lemon verbena bush
growing, it makes a lovely summer drink. Just shove as many
leaves/branches (I don't strip the leaves off) as you can into a jug and
fill with water. Put it in the fridge and strain to drink. - P.L.,
When you can't squeeze any more out
of your tube of hand cream or makeup, sit it on its lid for a while,
then cut the tube about 1/3 of the way up. You can then get to scoop out
all the extra cream that will be sitting on the lid. The other end will
fit over the tube to keep it from drying out. This has given me a good
two weeks worth of hand cream. - P.L., Hamilton
I have put up bubble wrap on my bedroom windows. It needs blue tac. On a
window that is not important to the outside look it seems to work well
and there is no condensation to worry about. Mind you that moisture
probably condenses somewhere else. I shall put up more this winter. -
Instead of heading to the supermarket to buy your groceries and food,
shop online and try to use coupons to save a bit of extra cash - I use www.flipit.com/nz
for coupons.This way, you're able to stick to your list, and
there are no sweet temptations. - A Howe, Auckland
Warm Salad. Preparation time: 4 minutes. You will need: 3 medium carrots
coarsely grated, 2 or 3 Brazil nuts crushed slightly, 1 level teaspoon
salt, a rounded teaspoon of honey, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1
teaspoon of butter. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the nuts.
Drop the carrot into the pan and add the honey. Turn the heat down. Stir
and toss for half a minute until the carrot looks pale but still has
some crunch. Tip into a bowl. Sprinkle the lemon juice on top and serve
warm. - JWC, Auckland
I'm 74 now but I well remember being a poor university student and
begging bacon ends from the butcher and ends of the cheese rounds from
the grocer. We ate Pavlova most nights - sugar was cheap and we got egg
whites free from the laboratories because they only used the egg yolks
for their tests. We used to line our rooms with egg cartons for
sound insulation and to stop draughts. That was in 1957.- JWC, Auckland.
[Egg cartoons for sound proofing and insulation – now that is an oily
I bought a spray bottle from a dollar store and put in just a little bit
of cream cleanser – with a good shake it is ideal for the shower and
bath. - LM, Paraparaumu Beach
Using pumpkins. Make a normal pancake mix using wholemeal flour, cooked
and mashed pumpkin, spices, butter, a cup of rice milk, and two eggs.
Pour into a pan and cook for a minute on each side. - LM, Paraparaumu
Make tasty breadcrumbs by using up dry bread - grill and turn every
couple minutes until golden then blend. I also add blended cornflakes to
give a nice golden colour. Kept in an airtight container it lasts for
months. I keep odd slice of bread in the freezer until there’s enough
to defrost and make batch. - Denise, Auckland
To make a cheese sauce that looks cheesier without using lots of cheese,
add a small amount cheese then chicken power and optional mustard - to
enhance the flavour. Adding a pinch of turmeric will give it a golden
colour - but don't add too much! - Denise, Auckland
I bought the cheapest bleach in a trigger spray bottle and keep it at
hand to clean benches, tea stained cups etc. Using a trigger spray is
very economical. By using bleach in kitchen, the summer flies are kept
away too! - Denise, Auckland
lemons being plentiful on my tree I came up with a refreshing summer
drink. For each litre of water you need the juice of 3 lemons and
around 3 tablespoons of sugar. Strain the juice to remove seeds.
Heat juice and sugar in the microwave for a few seconds - to make the
sugar dissolve faster - then pour into a bottle and top up with the cold
water and refrigerate. - R'laine, Kawerau
For a refreshing fruit iced tea you will need: 5 teabags (either black
or green - I like the Twinings Green Tea with Cranberry), 1 litre
(approx) boiling water, 2 litres cold water, 1 cordial sachet with the
flavour of your choice (Apple Berry, Raspberry, Crisp Apple or Peach are
nice ones for this) with white sugar added to make it up to about
two-thirds of a cup. Place teabags in heatproof jug. Add boiling
water. Allow to steep for at least 5 minutes then remove teabags.
Add sugar and cordial mix and stir to dissolve. Pour into 3 litre juice
bottle. Top up with cold water and refrigerate. - R'laine, Kawerau
Collect water for your pot plants,
place a bucket in the shower, and collect the water you waste waiting
for the shower to reach the right temperature. I leave the bucket in the
shower and collect what I splash around. - Annenz, Auckland
My Mum never ever turned the oven on to just cook one thing.
So when there was a casserole etc. on the bottom rungs, there was
always a cake or date loaf or pudding on the top ones.
I now do the same and even if I'm making scones, I whip the
temperature down as soon as they're cooked and then in goes a
lasagne/stew/macaroni cheese and then a cake or two.
Once cooled into the freezer they go.
- GVP, Waipu
The plastic domed packets that duvets or sheets come in make ideal
kneelers for gardening. Just
stuff with the packaging or a newspaper. - Yane, Porirua
As a retired couple we do not need
large jars of preserved fruit so I pick up small amounts of fruit on
special. I then use jam jars
or similar jars (about 400mls) which have the seal in the lid.
The other advantage you can do small amounts of fruit in the
microwave. Two or three jars at a time is no major hassle.
- Matureteddybear, Taupo
This is not a new tip as such but
a big thank you for the idea of making ones own gift baskets.
I followed the idea of creating themes and made one on baking,
and another on scone making. It is great to be creative and the
cost of these baskets is so cheap compared to ready made ones. - E.L.,
I have read many suggestions for making soap ends into liquid soap or
soap cakes but didn't want to wait until I got a good quantity.
I took the foot of an old pantyhose, put in the soap ends and
tied a knot. I have used
this pad for cleaning my hands after gardening and find it great for
scrunching fingernails in- no need for a brush! - Muff, Birkenhead
save my empty Maggi stock plastic containers (washed & dried) remove
label & re-label-for my Spices & Herbs. One side used as a
sprinkle the other side if I want to use a bit more. - Shar,
I freeze a few lemons whole and
grate them as needed into sauces etc when cooking and also bottle up
preserved lemons by using Annabel Langbein's prefrozen quartered lemons
recipe. After trying different processes this one worked the best for
me. - Dordy, Auckland
Many people think they can get good pocket money by delivering junk
mail. THEY CAN'T! I did it for a few years and I wouldn't pay young kids
the hourly rate it works out at! And
also it's hard work! If you live in an urban area ask your local real
estate agent if they want circulars delivered. They tend to be a bit
tight until you can satisfy them that you're reliable but YOU set the
pay rate, and if they don't want to pay that much they can do it
themselves. Once you have a couple of regular clients, ask around local
businesses for the same work, but tell them you'll give them a cheaper
rate to deliver in areas where you're already going. I charge real
estate agents $70/1000 flyers and have been told by 2 clients that I'm
not charging enough! Add-on work is $60/1000 which can give me a return
of about $23/hr cash! and it
keeps me fit and healthy so I'll live longer. I'd kill myself trying to
earn that much from a junk mail company - their average is about $4/hr
overall. - SWB, Auckland
I bulk buy frozen food(K9) in 5 kg.
lots for my dog and find that weighing a daily amount and bagging it up
in the blue bags is a very handy way to store it in the freezer. it
helps identify dog food in the freezer and once she has eaten it I
re-use the bag for scooping the poop. Saves finding lots of containers.
My dog is on 400 grams a day which fits nicely in the blue bags which
have to be the cheapest bags around. - Canny scot, Christchurch
A friend trims the scraggly
bristles of her toothbrush to make it last twice as long. I thought I'd
try it, too. The brush looks a bit odd, now and it feels like there are
more bristles on the brush! Maybe it will do a better job cleaning my
teeth, too! - JO. Springfield
of Grey Power can get cheaper electricity from www.greypowerelectricity.co.nz.
From what we can see, Grey Power has done a deal with Pulse Energy a
power retailer. The website does not give any examples of the savings
but they do make the promise of “low prices, price protection and
additional discount options”. To gain these benefits you do need to be
a Grey Power member, which costs $20 a year. - Tony, Blenheim
A lot of my Xmas gifts came from
dollar stores. No one needs to know the price. I brought men's and
women's perfume for only $6. It was well worth my time and money when
you are on very tight budget. - LM, Paraparaumu
To make fabric softener and
freshener I use one teaspoon of washing powder (fragrance powder)
tablespoon of baking soda 1 cup of water fragrance hair conditioner if
you don't have a fragrance in your conditioner add a 15 drops of an oil
of your choice, mix then put in finial rinse. - LM, Paraparaumu
wipe the toilet with water and nice rose essential oil - makes it smell
good and on tube of toilet paper roll when in use. Vinegar and baking
soda is another good cleaner. - LM, Kapiti coast.
Hair shampoo. 1 tablespoon baking soda, Water, 8 oz bottle. -
Apple cider vinegar, water, 8 oz bottle. -
whitening formula. 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide, 1 teaspoon baking soda,
1/2 teaspoon water and a dab of toothpaste. Apply weekly until desired
results, then reapply monthly. - Pauline, Tauranga
I always seem to have an over abundance of lemons and most neighbours
have as well, so I juice them and put them into ice-cube trays and
freeze, then bag them and take out what I want when I need them
especially with fish. Keep the tips coming, love them. - Lee, Rotorua
If you or a friend have one tomato plant it is really easy to get many
freebies. Use the laterals. These are the 'unwanted' side shoots that
you are told to remove. Do remove them. As you do your gardening keep a
cup of water handy, carefully pull the shoot off and put the shoot in
the water. After about 3 days in water the shoots will start to grow
roots. A new plant. Once the roots are about 1-2cm long plant them into
pots of mix or compost & soil, then after a week or so into the
garden. If you have some fine gravel or pumice put this in the water the
shoots are in. It helps to keep the roots separate, grow stronger &
easier to pot on. DO NOT DO THIS,
BELOW, FOR GRAFTED TOMATOES. Always plant standard tomatoes deep so the
top is just above soil level. The original roots are deeper, closer to
water and the buried stem will grow roots allowing the plant to
grow faster & healthier. - Michael. Auckland
My cat suffers from skin allergies
-maybe from flea bites, maybe something else - but I used to spend
hundreds of dollars every year on vet visits and cortisone injections,
as he would lick constantly and end up with bald and/or weepy/bloody
patches. After researching online, I now give him a cod liver oil
capsule every 2 or 3 nights, and his coat is gorgeous and intact. Caps
are around $7 for 100, what a relief all round! - Karen, Palmerston
Christmas sweets. If you make uncooked slices, instead of spreading it
flat - roll in balls and coat with coconut - Truffles. For gifts put
about 6 in the containers you get from supermarket deli sections. Some
supermarkets will sell them for a nominal cost. - Ranat, Christchurch
chucking out your leftovers! Not sure what to do with that last little
piece of pumpkin, kumara and potato, broccoli or handful of peas, carrot
and leftover mashed veges? Try whisking up 3-4 eggs, 1/4 milk and about
1/4 cup of flour together. Add
some chopped parsley and 1-2 tablespoons of curry powder and
salt/pepper. Add your
leftovers or grate your singular vegies (spring/onion also if desired)
and mix thoroughly. Using a
spoon and commonsense cook either using deep or shallow fry
method...DELICIOUS! - Sarah, Gisborne
For the silver beet conundrum my incredibly fussy eater (miss 3 year
old) at the time LOVED these fritters: 2-3 eggs mixed with about half a
cup of flour/s.r flour and approx. half a cup of milk.
Whisk together to get rid of the lumps and add a couple of finely
chopped silver beet leaves (stalks removed), mixture will seem kind of
runny which is good, season with salt/pepper. Deep or shallow fry in
spoonfuls or as one big fritter which can then be broken up.
We dip our fritters in sweet chilli sauce-absolutely delicious!!
I was a bit apprehensive about these when I first tried making them but
every time I serve these up to guests they ALL get eaten and people ask
what they are and how I made them. I
guess they taste a little like paua? Not at all how one would expect
them to taste. - Sarah, Gisborne
To make strong "rubber"
bands of varying sizes, cut used rubber gloves into strips. The cuffs
make big bands and fingers make smaller ones, good for keeping pairs of
knitting needles etc together. - Canny Lass, Upper Hutt
Old toilet roll spools. Save
them up, cut them in half, pack in a kitty litter tray and fill with
seed raising mix. Add your parsnip seeds, one to each roll. When they
sprout you can plant out by lifting the toilet roll and transferring to
garden bed. Roll breaks down
in soil. - Alastair, Whangarei
Christmas ideas. Print out a snowflake template from internet.
Trace it onto an old plastic milk bottle, cut it out, decorate
with glitter, buttons, beads etc and then glue a child's photo to the
centre, punch a hole, add ribbon and you have a gorgeous personalised
ornament to hang on your tree or a grandparents one. - Andrea, Te Puke
I read this tip in local newspaper and it apparently is used a lot by
chefs. When you have a
surplus of lemons, freeze WHOLE lemons in a plastic bag.
When you want lemon flavour, remove a lemon and, while still
frozen, grate the whole fruit, including the pips. This provides the
zest and juice and has a great flavour.
Great in rice salads, quinoa, a cooling drink, fish pie,
anything. - C.E., Christchurch
I sell stuff on Trademe when some
extra cash is needed. - LM, Kapiti coast.
Most mobile phones are expensive. I
highly recommend skinny mobile or Te
lecom for those who 100% need a mobile phone but can't afford the other
types of phone. You can put money away in a loose-change jar and use it
to top-up the phone. - LM, Kapiti coast.
Buy makeup from 123 store and they
work just as good as expensive makeup. Some cost $4 for mascara. - LM,
For fitness, use the internet and do bodyrock. You can find it on youtube.
Bodyrocktv is popular and free! - LM, Kapiti coast.
I use candles for lighting around the house saves heaps of money [hey,
but be careful about the fire risk! - ed]. I use family members washing
machine [hope they don't mind paying! - ed] - LM, Kapiti coast
Rather than wasting old pieces of
soap in the bath or shower, the last one to have a bath or shower
squeeze the old soap onto new cake of soap, after you soften up the new
cake and leave overnight. The old soap will blend into new soap with no
waste. - Diesil Den, Christchurch
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 firefighters 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.]
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
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.
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,
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
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
As a Kiwi settled long-term in Melbourne, here's a budgeting tool I find
extremely helpful. You will need to change the odd government allowances
term. Just fill in the details and hey presto! – LP, Melbourne moneysmart
Check out www.whatsmynumber.org.nz
to see if you can get a cheaper deal on your power. Power companies
constantly change their prices and you may find a cheaper company who won't
lock you in to a contract. - Lucie, Wellington.
How fuel efficient is your car? Click
Calculate the energy cost of your household appliances. See
reader has asked about loo paper... specifically if we use the
"flat roll approach" mentioned on page 107 of Living off the
Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. Here is my reply: "Nowadays visitors
are subject to a quota per visit system. Each visitor is provided with a
toilet roll as they are greeted at the door and the number of squares on
that roll inventoried. They are given a usage quota of 1/2 a square per
hour of their stay (or part thereof). On their departure a stock take is
done of the remaining squares on that visitors roll. Visitors can elect
to become part of an emissions trading system (ETS) modelled on the
internationally recognised carbon trading approach, whereby a
group of visitors (typically a family but not necessarily so) may trade
their allocated quota. This we believe is a fair system as it
accommodates individuality and diet. Those visitors who exceed their
tissue allocation are required to provide suitable compensation in cash
or bartered goods (at a rate determined by market pricing), while those
under quota are provided a return invitation." Just kidding.
Oily Rag Ed.
can you do with a can of baked beans
We want to know what you can do with a can of baked beans. send in your
tips and suggestions. Click
For reader tips click here
The Best Comment of the moment is
(drum roll please!)...
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 second hand shops. I have bought everything from
clothing to gifts for my family from these shops and I really enjoy buying
from them or having a sniff around. Unfortunately they don't sell food but
by buying home brands or things on special and a very careful shopping list
I can still manage to save money from my benefit. As well I save all gold
coins in my purse left over from shopping trips. It is surprising how fast
it grows. I put them all into a tin I have and last year alone the amount
came to $3000. It was money I never missed at the time, and the money saved
I put towards a lovely holiday with friends. They just could not believe I
had a holiday with the savings I had made from gold coins.
Already this year I have saved $250 so it can be done.” - Lynne,
I think your site is an excellent one and I will be informing our city
Missioner about it too. BTW last year we ran some budgeting and cooking classes for the low
incomed entitled Living on the smell of an oily rag. I took the budgeting one which was quite successful and had requests to speak on
the subject around Wanganui. The base line most found challenging was my statement that shopping for $40 per week per head would allow one to
enjoy not only the basics but some luxuries like chocolate, ice-cream, ginger beer, and the occasional dozen cans for those times my mate wants
to lollygag with a beer. Actually we do more than just fine as we shop only once a month and draw out $340.00.......$320.00 for ALL our
groceries and $20 for petrol for our van.
We are both long-term beneficiaries, I handle the admin side, and so speak from a do as I do point of view. - Lynda.
Rag survey - how do you hang the toilet paper roll?
To see the results so far click here
I am 76 years of
age so was brought up in the days of "waste not want
not". It amazes me sometimes when I see waste especially
electricity eg: lights being left on, food being thrown out when it
could be used the next day, vegetable scraps going down the thing in
the waste disposal unit, huge pieces of land covered in lawn or
weeds instead of it being a vegetable garden etc."
Rosana from Opotiki writes, “Your 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 new friends. I am hoping to revive a small orchard
and grow all my veges this summer.”
"Many years ago I read with
delight your Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag and our family have
been leading a very simple life ever since thanks to your wonderful
book! After seeing Good Morning recently it reminded me of just how much
I have got out of your book and thought it would be a wonderful idea to
buy two more for my two oldest children that have since left home. (I
have implemented so many of your ideas in your book over the years, they
are second nature to me and our home now)...
"Thank you so much for a
wonderful book. I hope my son and daughter get as much reward (financial
and contentment knowing they have done it/made it themselves) We are
about to embark on the next adventure of our life – buying a little
bit of land so we will soon be the family on the front of your book –
free range chooks included! Can’t wait to extend our veggie garden and
plant fruit trees and save even more whilst having fun! Also enjoying
your emails on new tips now that I have joined your club." - T.
wee note from Oily Rag Ed'
The contributions that
appear on this site have been entered in the way they have been
submitted. Any editing is of a grammatical nature only (and from time to
time we even add our own grammatical errors!). Our policy is to
not exclude suggestions that some may think unfashionable or not
politically correct. Freedom of expression is one of our oily rag
mottos (actually, we just make up the mottos as we go!). We also do not
test every tip that is sent in and posted on this site, so miracles are
not guaranteed! - Oily Rag Ed
wee note from Oily Rag Ed'
What I enjoy most of all is the
humour of oily raggers We know living off the smell of an oily
rag is fun, and you display that in your comments. Thank you everyone for
sharing your oily rag tips. Just keep on sending them in! - Oily Rag Ed
another wee note from Oily Rag Ed'
We have developed this
site on the smell of an oily rag. We don't employ experts, we just learn
as we go. So don't expect a seven figure site. This is living off the
smell of an oily rag in action! Your thoughts and suggestions for
improvement would be appreciated. - Oily Rag Ed