Gems from the Vault

Posted July 30th, 2005 by Penny Wise

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!

Want to comment? Become a Simple Savings member »

January 2015

December 2014

March 2014

December 2011