Recent Hints

End ant invasions pronto with Talon gel

I have found a truly fantastic product which gets rid of ants like no other pest treatment I've ever seen. Upon my recent invasion of ants, the faithful old borax and sugar mix was barely making a dent in their numbers. I couldn't use my own kitchen bench, guests were commenting and while I hate killing anything, it was driving the whole family crazy.  Thank goodness for Talon Ant killer gel! It works immediately (I saw ants leaving food and running to this gel), they swarmed it and as the product promises, they are gone in 48 hours. I can leave food out on the bench now and there are none to be seen. The gel works for 14 days, but at $8 for 5ml, it is totally worth it!

By: LLNOE 4 responses in the members' forum

Many meals from one rolled roast

I have found a way to get maximum meals and value from one single rolled roast. I bought a rolled pork roast which was way too big for just the two of us. Not wanting to be living on leftovers all week, I decided to cut it in half before cooking it. As I was about to place the uncooked half in the freezer, I decided to cut it into thinner slices and use the meat as pork chops instead. This has worked well! I also plan to cut the rolled roast into chunks in future, to use for stir fry, sweet and sour pork and so on. Normally you could never get pork chops or stir fry for $7.99 a kilo! There's no reason why you couldn't use this method with other rolled roasts too.

By: Jaye 5 responses in the members' forum


Hottest Hints

Home mixed household cleaner

My mother is chronically ill and disabled. She suffers from a rare type of auto-immune disease, called lupus, and is therefore allergic to most chemicals. This made cleaning difficult because she was allergic to most cleaning products, or those she wasn't allergic to were too expensive to buy on my carer's pension. Because Mum's disease is an auto-immune disease, I have to keep our house hospital-grade clean.

So I have come up with a fantastic recipe, and my house is spotless, smells great and is fresh and clean. The solution cleans and polishes everything, including windows. I have never seen glass and stainless steel taps look so clean.

This solution also lasts forever. Household cleaner used to cost me $80 per month, but now I buy detergent every three months, vinegar once a year at $1.50, washing soda every 18 months at $0.98c and eucalyptus oil once every eight months at $3.50 - a saving of $880 a year minus $20 for the few items I do buy. In total I've saved around $2640 over three years.

Household Cleaner

1 litre water
200ml vinegar
40ml detergent
40ml eucalyptus oil
2 dessertspoons of washing soda

Mix all ingredients together, and it's ready to use. Use 60ml of solution in warm water to wash your floors. Fill a spray bottle and use it to clean your table, benches and bathroom.

By: Becky-lee Taylor 433 responses in the members' forum

Big savings on seeds

We have saved over $150 in seeds alone this past year. Instead of paying up to $5.00 for packets of seeds which may or may not sprout, we have started grabbing packets of seeds from the herb sections of Woolworths, Coles and IGA. Most mustard, coriander, fennel, cardamom or celery whole seeds that you get as a spice for cooking will sprout for you in your garden. These normally cost around $1.05 per packet and you will get a lot more seeds than if you bought them from a gardening shop. We also get the full dried peas (not freeze dried) from the soup section and have planted these successfully for three years now. They give us the sweetest sugar snap peas ever! A packet normally costs $1.53 and you get close to 100 seeds. In comparison to buy 'packet' seeds it would cost you over $12.

We also cut the ends off shallots and replant them, it takes about three weeks before they start to recover, but then you have an endless harvest of shallot leaves to use in salads. We do the same with old onions that have hidden themselves away in our cupboards and have sprouted. Plant them in your garden, let them go to seed and you will have a great seed stock for the next few years. No need to buy more!

Garlic can be done in the same way. Grab a clove and plant it flat end into the ground. After about four months you will get a great bulb of garlic from your original clove. Be aware that garlic from China or Mexico has been treated with Bromide (cancer causing agent) so only use Australian grown garlic.

Old potatoes and sweet potatoes that start sprouting can be replanted and will give a good yield. Just cut a 3cm piece around the sprouting part of the potato and plant it, from one potato alone you could get up to seven new plants.

Pumpkin, cucumber, capsicum and other vegetable seeds can be cleaned, dried and then planted out to give you more seed stock to play with. Try planting two different types of pumpkins near each other and you might get a hybrid created which tastes great. Our family had a butternut mix with a jap pumpkin and it was the sweetest tasting pumpkin we'd ever tried. We also let one or two of each vegetable go to seed so that next years planting will cost us even less. Our goal is to go totally self sufficient in the garden. So far we have an abundance of butter lettuce, silverbeet, rocket, mint, corn, tomatoes and sugar snap peas all from previously saved seeds.

By: Nat 8 responses in the members' forum