Oily rag: A smorgasbord of old sammies

By Frank, Muriel Newman

Oily raggers are not the sort of people to let anything go to waste. It's no surprise they have lots of ideas to make the most of what others throw out. Here are some suggestions from readers.

Use leftover breakfast cereal in muffins. Delicious when mixed with stewed apple and rhubarb. -DG

If you have leftover cake, biscuits, trifle sponge, etc turn it into a steamed pudding. Just mix all together, bind with a little milk, put a dollop of jam or golden syrup in the bottom of the steamed pudding bowl and drop in your mixture. Steam for about one hour.-DM

When sandwiches are left over, use them by placing them in a roasting dish. Scramble some eggs and pour over the sandwiches. Bake until golden brown - turns out like a fluffy omelette. -AM

We don't do leftovers in our home. What self-respecting oily-ragger does? We have "the fixings for a smorgasbord", which happens every Friday night. Any, and all leftovers are nuked, baked or snaffled from the depths of the freezer and fridge and popped on the table - smorgy night. No takeaways for my clan. And surprisingly this is the night when my teenager tends to bring home her friends, who love our Friday night smorgys.

-Waste Not Want Not Lauren, Whangarei.

Use inside "plastic" bags from cereal packets to wrap leftover food instead of grease-proof paper. I use it to wrap my lunch and it keeps fresh. Just wipe and dry it each night.-JJ

How about saving those calendar pictures. They make wonderful wrapping paper.-GA

Don't throw your old sports balls away. Simply cut the tops off and poke a few holes in the base of the ball. Fill with sphagnum moss and soil, and fill with plants. Poke four holes evenly around the top and hang up with rope or whatever you have lying around. Makes a good hanging basket. Have fun.-Dianne MacDonald.

When dried, orange peel makes an excellent fire starter.-OR

Paper towel cardboard rolls are a convenient and tidy way of storing plastic bags in your drawer. I just stuff the plastic bags in, and pull them out when needed. -Anon

Shirts with scuffed cuffs and collapsing collars can be transformed into pillow cases.-OR

When cooking, I use junk mail, old newspapers, box of cereal opened up, to line the kitchen counter while I prepare food. All the rubbish just gets folded in the paper and the countertop is as clean as, or just needs a little wipe. -Joan, Wellington.

I have a friend who made a really attractive lamp shade from a newspaper. The old shade had worn out so he simply pasted the pages around the frame. What made it really interesting was that he used the newspaper that reported a share market crash. It is always an interesting read and it is nice to know that he has finally seen the light! -OR

When planting my strawberries I have given them a mulch of wet shredded paper from my shredding machine. It matts together nicely, keeping light out to prevent weeds and I should have nice clean strawberries to eat.

Makes use of your old bank statements, too. Or your advertising junk is very colourful when shredded.

Will break down eventually and feed the worms, helping the soil.-Canny Scott, Christchurch

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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