This week we have a couple of questions from readers and some new money saving tips to share.
Does anyone have some suggestions for R.J. from Auckland? "Can anyone 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 other cleaners but nothing will get it off - as yet!"
And a reader has asked about cooking offal - do you have a favourite offal recipe you could share?
Sande has a Christmas tip. "Being a bit strapped for cash this Christmas, I looked at what my grandchildren like to do when they come to my house. Knowing I had a printer full of ink I decided to print off all different paper dolls and clothes for my 10-year-old granddaughter. Weren't they fun when we were children? For my 6-year-old granddaughter I printed all sorts of paper boxes, bags, toys, and paper airplanes of all designs and folds for my 13-year-old grandson. I've put them into bright cheerful clear-view files. Added to the other small things I'd bought all year, it should keep them entertained for a while!"
JJ from Waikouaiti has this hot water tip. "A hot water cylinder works on the same principle as a pot on the stove. If you start with cold water you have to turn your stove up high to get the water boiling, but when it's there you can turn it down to the lowest setting and keep it simmering. When you turn off your hot water cylinder the water cools down so the cylinder has to work on full power to get it hot as quick as possible - this uses more power than the 'simmer' function of leaving the cylinder on all the time. We only turn our cylinder off if we go away for three nights or more."
Mike from Auckland has a power-saving tip for those who are technically inclined. "If you have a mains cylinder fit a 350kpa limiting valve instead of the normal 500kpa. You will barely notice the difference but will save lots of water in the shower. A high-flow shower head will more than offset the felt loss of pressure and all valves will operate as normal."
Laura from Otago likes ricotta but does not want to pay the super expensive price. She says it's cheap and easy to make. "Heat two litres or even one litre of blue top milk (don't use trim as you get less yield) to 90 degrees, take off the heat and pour in one to two tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice. You will see the milk separate into curds and whey. Strain off the curds (ricotta), refrigerate, or eat straight away. The whey is great for the garden."
Linda from Paraparaumu suggests milk powder. "It tastes great and (trim milk) only costs $1 a litre.
"You can buy a Homebrand pack at Countdown for $10 that makes 10 litres. The advantage is that you only make up what you need. Good for the environment as you are not using milk containers. We don't notice any difference in the flavour."
Cole from Auckland has a tip about broccoli. "Once you have cut the head off your broccoli plant, instead of pulling it out and starting again, leave it in. Smaller heads grow out just above where the leaves join the stem. You can keep eating broccoli for months. I did this a few years ago and we ate broccoli at least two or three times a week for about four months off eight broccoli plants."
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.