Oily rag: Fruit smoothies' secret ingredient

By Frank, Muriel Newman

This week we have lots of tips - warts and all! It is always amazing how diverse the tips are, and what an interesting bunch the frugal community is.

Jodie from Whangarei writes, "I am into aquaponics - growing fish and plants together. The fish feed the plants and the plants feed the fish!" If you would like to know more about this from Jodie, please get in touch with us via the Oily Rag website.

Fibertrix from Hokitika has a tip on cutting down cooking costs for people who have portable fish smokers. "If you have a woodburner with a cook-top, place the fish smoker on top. Cut vegetables to size, season, and place on the rack. Place on top of the fire box and voila, healthy roast vegetables."

Lesleigh from Wainuiomata has a warts and all tip. "Ever since I was a child I have used dandelion milk to treat warts. Break the flower off and dab the plant's milk on to the wart three to four times a day for between four and five days. The wart will be gone in about five to seven days. Dandelions have so many goodies in the stem, milk and leaves!"

R. Williams of Mangawhai has this sneaky tip about introducing silverbeet into the kids' diet.

"I like to chop it up fine and put it into a mince bolognese sauce. Kids won't know it's there if you cook it well. You could also put small raw amounts into a fruit smoothie. Add apple juice, kiwifruit, silverbeet and honey to sweeten. Lovely green colour!

"Rather than steam cooking silverbeet, another nice way to have it is to cook in a frypan with a knob of butter and finely minced garlic, with salt and pepper to taste. Yum!"

Ed from Wanganui has a tip for those with draughty fireplaces. "Do you have an unused open fireplace? Get a couple of supermarket shopping bags and fill them with crumpled up newspaper, then stuff them into the chimney. A great way of insulating - and if you want to use the fireplace just pull them out." A word of warning: do remember to remove the stuffing before starting the fire!

Erina from Christchurch has a great idea for bird lovers.

"Keep quail. They are gorgeous little birds and you can sell the eggs to your Chinese friends and neighbours - or to Chinese restaurants. Alternatively, swap them for hen eggs or other goods."

Now there's a good idea that makes a change from chickens!

Ross from Rotorua recommends readers look closely at how much they are paying in bank fees.

"My bank's cheque account is fee-free if you deposit a minimum amount each month.

"This amount can be a little short of my wages for the month, so on pay day, before I pay my bills, I withdraw money from the cash machine outside the bank and walk into the bank and redeposit it. I save $5 a month - but that's $60 a year."

Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. Readers can submit their oily rag tips at www.oilyrag.co.nz.

- Hamilton News

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