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Your Money Saving Tips

Your frugal living tips just keep on coming in, so much so that our staff in the Oily Rag Club Department are struggling to keep up. Here are some of the tips we have received in the last couple of weeks.

 Read more Oily Rag articles by Frank and Muriel Newman

Your frugal living tips just keep on coming in, so much so that our staff in the Oily Rag Club Department are struggling to keep up. There are now close to 3,000 members of the Oily Rag Club, which just goes to show how many people are now experiencing the joys of frugal living. Here are some of the tips we have received in the last couple of weeks.
Jan King from Whangarei has some thoughts on how to get into that pumpkin. “Throw a pumpkin on a concrete path it usually breaks open and is the easy to cut up.” Jan is also keen on Chokos. “They are a good source of amino acids and vitamin C. All the plant, leaves, stems, shoots and roots are edible. Puree the flesh and add it to anything, sweet or savoury as a thickener. The internet has heaps of good recipes.”
Blue Gnome from Plimmerton says, “I love garage sales (this weekend I got 12 items of clothing including a bath robe for $21) but I do not love getting to garage sales at the published start-time to find all the good stuff has been snapped up by the early birds…. As online auction prices rise, think about returning to the old kiwi tradition of trading second hand in person – it's really good fun and you never know when you'll stumble upon just what you've been looking for.”
L.J. from Whakatane has a ‘hate waste’ tip from her grandmother. “With soft biscuits, place them in the oven for a few minutes (even if they have filling) and they come out crisp, fresh and taste beautiful!”
Jeffro from rural Te Awamutu asks if the oily rag community has thought of starting a barter forum on the oily rag website. “Barter beats bucks! I have a wife and two small children and am on a salary which if converted to an hourly wage would be well below minimum. I don't complain because times are tough and a job is a job. I do however use many tips on your site and would like to swap some of my produce or skills for other things I can't grow or make for myself. For instance I am a dairy farmer, computer technician, gardener, chicken breeder and on it goes. I only have a lemon tree on the fruit front though and would swap for apples peaches, etc.” There you are, if you live in the Te Awamutu region and would like to barter with Jeffro, let us know and we will connect the oily rag dots.
One of our Australian readers asked if anyone had a favourite Sally Lunn recipe. Well, we got lots of replies. Jude from Palmerston North has this favourite. “You will need: 1 cup cold mashed potato, 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of sultana. Beat potato and sugar til creamy, add rest of ingredients. Bake 180C (or 350F) for 30 mins on a well greased tray. Ice while warm and sprinkle with coconut. Enjoy.”
Keryn from Tauranga has a similar recipe, except she puts in 1/2 cup sultanas and about 1/4 cup milk. “Cream the sugar and potatoes thoroughly. Add sifted flour and salt, beat well. Stir in sultanas and sufficient milk to mix into smooth firm dough. Shape into portions. I make 8 lunch sized.”
For the icing, you will need to mix two tablespoons of soft butter into 1½ cups icing sugar. Then add a few drops of vanilla essence and enough milk to make a thick but spreadable icing. Coat heavily with coconut.

This is a great way to turn left-over mashed potatoes into a treat!
If you have a favourite recipe or money saving tip, send it in to us so that we can share it with others. You can contact us via the oily rag website ( or write to 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. Readers can submit their oily rag tips on-line at The book is available from bookstores and online at