It never ceases to amaze me how little snippets from the Vault just pop up at the most spooky times. For example, earlier this week, Noel brought me home a gift from one of his clients, a big green vegetable with tendrils, which he told me was a 'taco'. Fortunately I didn't believe him, and sure enough my garden bible told me it was actually a 'choko'. The problem was, what on earth was I supposed to do with it?! I couldn't believe it when the very next day I was browsing the Vault for something completely different, and by chance I came across this brilliant hint, all about the joys of chokos, how to grow them and what to do with them!
Another coincidence occurred on the same day, when I had taken some mince and sausage meat out of the freezer with the intention of making a meatloaf. I didn't know why I was bothering; as I knew the boys would turn their noses up at dinner time and refuse to eat it. I devised a cunning plan when I found a hint that suggested making your meatloaf following your usual recipe, but instead of packing it into a loaf tin, divide the mixture up into muffin tins. It worked perfectly! The boys happily tucked into their 'mince muffins' as I called them, blissfully unaware that they were actually eating the same old meatloaf in a different form. The meat mixture was enough to make 12 muffins, which were really filling, so I was able to just pop the leftover muffins out of the tin and freeze them.
I was also interested to read of a hint for treating facial eczema, which has been a problem for Noel for years. Based on a successful remedy from WW2, the idea is that you rinse your face in vinegar each morning (brown or white, it doesn't matter). I shared this tip with Noel, which he tried out that very evening. Upon retiring to bed, I soon realised why the person who donated the hint had suggested using the vinegar in the mornings, as I was horrified to find myself curling up next to a husband who reeked of vinegar. I spent the entire night trying to sleep alongside a life sized jar of pickled onions. From that night on, the vinegar has been applied in the morning and so far seems to be working well!
A dear friend of mine has recently had an operation and is out of action for six weeks, so I spent an afternoon cleaning her house a few days ago. As I went about my Mrs. Mop routine, I blasted through the house using her brilliant home brand products. By the time I had finished, the house sparkled and smelled wonderful. Before Simple Savings, I would never have considered using 'no name' cleaning products, but I saw absolutely no difference in effectiveness between the cheaper ones and all the flashy top brand cleaners I used to buy. Another great lesson learned!
I can't stand to spend money these days. If I run out of something as mundane as cheese in between grocery shops, I feel terrible having to go to the shop and buy some. I was in the supermarket and about to buy a pack of Blu-Tack for Ali to stick up some new pictures on his wall the other day, until I saw the price - over $4.00 for boring old Blu-Tack! I put it back and managed to scavenge enough bits from his old posters to do the job. I could see my Mum watching my dilemma in the supermarket and I'm sure she thought I was crazy. Mind you, she was very impressed when the hunger pangs struck and I produced my cut-out coupon from New Idea entitling us to a free Subway!
Mind you, I've still plenty of wrinkles to iron out. Remember how I said recently that I was no longer going to donate to any of those charity phone calls? Rubbish - I gave in to the first call I got this week!