We have received lots of new tips in recent weeks and answers to questions from readers.
Last week, Thrifty from Hamilton asked about storing part sachets of yoghurt powder. Em from Christchurch replies, "I just fold over the top of the packet and put the whole in a zip-lock plastic bag, seal, then put it back in the cupboard. I normally use the rest within a week or two, and I have had no problems with it setting."
Thrifty lady from Taihape says, "When using part of the sachet only, you don't have to do anything special with the rest, just fold it and put a pin on top or seal with some masking tape. We haven't had any bad experiences at all."
So there you are!
Last week, Madcow from Opunake asked how to make your own frozen roast ready meals. Kathleen from sunny Tauranga has this suggestion. "When we have a roast, I slice the meat that is left, cover it with gravy and freeze. It keeps really well, so when you want another roast all you need to prepare is the roast vegetables."
Doug from Featherston writes, "I just cook a roast and put what's left over into takeaway containers and freeze them. I use these when I go away in my camper or when I get too lazy to cook!"
Doug is another one who has joined the Grey Power electricity scheme. "My power costs have dropped from just over $100 a month to $67.
As I am a one-person household that is a really big saving -- and it only cost me $15 to join Grey Power."
Doug also tried the tip using vinegar in the rinse cycle of the washing machine: "It certainly removes the lint from clothes. Keep up the great ideas!"
There are now over 6200 members of the oily rag club -- it's free to join and you can opt in to receive our free weekly newsletter of "tips for tightwads".
You might be interested to know that about 50 per cent of our members live off the smell of an oily rag because money is tight and they need to make ends meet. About 36 per cent hate waste and the remaining 14 per cent want to increase their savings (perhaps for a specific purpose, such as saving for a deposit on a house).
Whatever the reason, we think living off the smell of an oily rag is fun and makes sense!
Thrifty from Hamilton has this tip for keeping pesky pukeko out of the garden. "A pukeko is a bird with a strong sense of smell and it can be deterred with the smell of mothballs -- but this may have an effect on beneficial insects in a vegetable garden too. Mothballs are usually used around flowers like roses."
Fay from Blenheim has this cat tip. "For kitty litter I use wood pellets (the ones used in pellet fires). I find them very economical."
Fay also has a question. "Would lavender oil be okay to put on a dog, to stop fleas?"
Also, do you have any tips about shampoos for cats and dogs? If you can help Fay fight doggone fleas, drop us a note.
Last week, Canny Scot from Christchurch suggested using WD40 to remove oil stains from concrete drives and for polishing stainless steel. Gaynor from Paraparaumu says she has read it may in fact make stains worse, and instead suggests baking soda and vinegar as a cheap and non-toxic cleaning agent.
We have had a quick look at the WD40 website and it does recommend it for a number of cleaning purposes.
However, baking soda and vinegar would be cheaper.
Thank you to everyone for sharing your questions and tips -- please keep them coming! You can send your suggestions and join the Oily Rag mailing list, by visiting oilyrag.co.nz -- or you can write to us at
Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.
Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. Read our wealth of tips at www.oilyrag.co.nz