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Romance, checking the check-out, and woolly socks

Romance, checking the check-out, and woolly socks

By Frank and Muriel Newman

The mailbags are full again, with interesting and helpful tips.

When romance is in the air, P.B. from Auckland has this tip to keep wedding costs down. "When my husband and I were married 13 years ago, (2nd time round), when we sent out the invitations we put on the bottom BYO gents, ladies a plate (starter, main or desert). This was a huge success, with guests saying that it was the best wedding that that they had been to!"

Katy from Whangarei has this very good grocery shopping tip. "Always, always check your till receipt after doing your grocery shopping. It is rare not to find mistakes which have cost you money. The shop computer and the shelf prices don't always match and the staff are always happy to remedy this."

Thrifty from Hamilton has sent in a number of tips.

"The best and cheapest exfoliate you can buy is a ladies frilly nylon bath sponge available at $2 shops or the big red shed for about $3 (at the time of writing). I just use water with the sponge on my face and my favourite body wash for the rest of me then moisturise. Simple."

"To keep flies out of the house wipe door-jambs, window frames and the inside glass with undiluted vinegar. Any vinegar will do. White vinegar added to window cleaning water will also keep them off the windows. To clear the house of flies boil up a cup of vinegar on the stove. You'll get one or two stubborn ones left but the majority depart at the whiff of vinegar."

"Use a small squirt of shampoo to a cup or two of water to clean house plant leaves. It doesn't need to froth. Wipe mixture on leaves. No need to rinse. Result is nice glossy leaves without using a leaf shine."

And our readers have some questions that the frugal community may be able to help with:

DH asks, "Can anyone tell me if Fonterra milk is dehydrated before being re-hydrated and sold in bottles? I have heard that this happens. I am a convert to dried milk powder which I re-constitute with more water than the packaging advises. No more plastic milk bottles, no more running out of milk and hugely cheaper."

K.F. from Northpark in Auckland would like to know how to remove nicotine grime from china. "How do you safely remove the build-up from china figurines and crystal (items of sentimental rather than monetary value)"

A few weeks back Karen from Northland asked for help about removing grass clippings from work socks. Oily raggers have come to the rescue with these suggestions:

Steve from Tauranga says, "I just hold the toe of one sock in each hand and swing them together so they twist round each other, and pull them apart quickly, two or three times. It works well with sawdust - should work with any other loose material."

Shona from Martinborough has this simple trick. "To clean sawdust and grass clippings from socks use a wire brush - it just flicks off!"

Caron from Victoria, Australia writes, "Take a piece of clear packing tape or masking tape - about a 4 inch length works well. Fold it back on itself, making a loop, so that the sticky face is on the outside, then place 2 or 3 fingers into the centre of the ring of tape and work it over the grass clipping covered sock. The stickiness of the tape pulls the grass off. Keep working the tape over the sock, until there is no more sticky left, then make yourself another circle of tape, and keep going until the socks are clear of clippings. This method also works for removing pet hair from your clothing."

There you go Karen, lots of things to try to get rid of that problem grass from your hubby’s woolly socks – and it is great to see that the Oily Raggers’ International network is working so well!

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 - or you can write to us at Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.


© Scoop Media

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