Recent Hints

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Here are the ten latest hints added to the Vault:

Cheap phones, games and movies from CeX

If you need to replace a mobile phone, make sure you check out CeX for great deals! They are Sydney based, but you can order online also. My old Samsung phone was dying, so I decided to get a replacement. I ordered a Huawei, and it was locked to Vodafone for just $80. I am using the Telco "Lebara" which is bought by Vodafone. The software is up to date too, better than the old Samsung! So if you know which provider you are connected to, e.g. Telstra, you can order a phone which is "locked" to them. Locked means, you can only use that provider's SIM card, no others. They have a lot of cheap games and movies available too! For more information, visit their website

by: Nick Blaine 6 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

Find the reason behind nail biting online

If you are spending money on solutions to put an end to nail biting, it could pay to instead get to the bottom of WHY you are doing it! Nail biting is associated with anxiety, because the act of chewing on nails reportedly relieves stress, tension, or boredom. People who habitually bite their nails often report that they do so when they feel nervous, bored, lonely, or even hungry. For more information, visit this link:

by: Jo Carson 2 responses in the members' forum

No more shopping lists with free app

We have eliminated paper shopping lists by using a free app called Our Groceries. You can link the app via entering one email address, so everyone who does the shopping at your house has the up to date grocery list at any time. The best thing is, you can customise the list to be very specific about what you want. There is a paid version of the app but we have been successfully using the free version and love it. No more wasted paper and no more forgetting things as the list is always with us!

by: Sam 15 responses in the members' forum

DIY 'Cryovac' seals your food at home for free!

My savvy DIY food sealing method has saved me a fortune and is so easy! I like to organise meals ahead of time, and have at times thrown out food due to serve freezer burn. I researched Cryovac machines, but priced at anywhere from $400 - $500, not to mention constantly buying bags, it was out of the question. So I came up with a solution! I fill up a container, or the kitchen sink, and when I have the meals prepared in bags and ready to go, I slowly lower it into the water until it is almost level with the top of the bag. Then I just seal it shut. The water forces the bag together and pushes out the air. It works a treat and I have saved hundreds not having to buy a machine, replacement bags and also power!

by: Jessie Stokes 6 responses in the members' forum

Make your own nut butters for a fraction of shop prices

I save a fortune on buying nut butters by making my own. Almond butter, cashew butter and good quality peanut butter can be fairly expensive to buy so instead I buy roasted almonds for about $4 at a bulk supplier (Bin Inn if you're in NZ) and blend it in my Nutribullet with the addition of a smidgeon of olive oil. This gives me twice the quantity of a shop-bought jar which would cost at least $12! You can also add a little honey or chia seeds to add variety. I use the same method to make cashew butter. I simply buy 200g of cashews for $4.80 from an Indian grocer, roast them in the oven and blend them with the addition of a little olive oil to start the process. At around $15 a jar to buy at health food stores, this is a terrific saving!

by: Asoka Basnayake 1 response in the members' forum

Berry nice savings to be had on blueberries!

I have found the answer to enjoying the health benefits of blueberries is in the freezer aisle! Blueberries are so good for you, but very expensive if you buy the punnets of fresh fruit. The regular price of fresh ones works out at well over $30 per kilo and while they look nice on a fruit platter, they don't have a lot of flavour. Instead, I now buy frozen blueberries at around $4 or $5 per 500g pack - less than a third the price! Simply throw a cupful in the microwave with a teaspoon of sugar and zap for a minute or two. Much tastier and are delicious with ice cream, natural yoghurt or just on their own!

by: Judith Lowe 13 responses in the members' forum

Dairy-free oat milk for 26c per litre

I make dairy-free milk for my allergic daughter for just 26c per litre! I make oat milk at home, and it tastes just like the shop-bought version that we used to buy on special for $2 per litre. I also use it in desserts, baking and cereal, even though I’m not dairy-free. It’s even cheaper than prepared powdered cow’s milk, which I recently priced at 80c per litre!

Here is the recipe (costed out using Coles home brand ingredients) -


1 cup rolled oats 120g (22c)

4 cups water

1 tsp brown sugar (2c) - optional

1 tsp sunflower oil (2c)


  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender for one minute

  2. Strain through a muslin or a nut milk bag (I use old muslin baby swaddles).

  3. Store in the fridge for up to five days.

My husband and I eat other dairy products and my daughter still has two cups of calcium-fortified, shop-bought, non-dairy milk per day as a drink, but we now use at least three litres less of shop-bought milk per week, working out to a saving of over $300 per year!

by: Freedom from the machine 8 responses in the members' forum

Cheap MP3 download helped me quit nail biting for good!

I found the answer to quitting my lifelong nail biting habit in a $15 app! Over the years I had tried everything from bitter aloes to spending a fortune paying for regular manicures, thinking if I paid someone I would be too embarrassed to turn up with bitten nails. I do not like acrylic nails at all, so that was not an option for me. Now in my 50's, I shudder to think how much money I have spent on manicures over the years! The only thing that worked for me and worked immediately was hypnotherapy - but not the 'go-see-a-hypnotherapist-at-$300-an-hour-for-five-to-ten-sessions', no way! I simply purchased a downloadable MP3 for $15 USD. I listened to it each night as I went to sleep. Normally it takes about 21 days to change a habit, but I found that it worked for me completely after five days. I have no desire to bite my nails at all. I continue to listen to it from time to time as a "top-up" to maintain the cessation of nail biting. I bought my download online from He has MP3 hypnosis programs for everything from weight loss to writer's block. They vary in price and often he has flash sales from as little as $1 per MP3 program. I am not affiliated with his company at all, but can highly recommend!

by: Kerry 6 responses in the members' forum

A 'glovely' way to stop nail biting

If you're a nail biter and want to stop, get your gloves on and leave them on. Don't knock it until you've tried it! It's impossible to get past a fleecy woollen layer, no matter how hard you try. If you can leave them on long enough, (maybe get the kind with fingertips so you can still use your phone!) the habit is broken and before long, your nails will be strong and long (er). Give it a go!

by: pat c

Lower price promise saved on a new cistern

I saved an easy $40 recently on a new cistern by price shopping between competitors! I first checked the prices at both Bunnings and Mitre 10 and found the latter to be the dearer option. Seeing as they promise to better the lower price on the same item, I showed them the proof of the cheaper Bunnings price. They did indeed hold true to their promise and charged me another 15% less than the lower Bunnings price!

by: Anna Read

DIY 'mixed vegie bags' makes meals faster and easier

This simple tip saves me money and time every day when preparing meals. Whenever I buy frozen vegetables, I bring them home and immediately divide them into portions, placing them into ziplock bags, then popping them in the freezer. I often divide up broccoli, peas, cabbage, sprouts, carrots into the same bag. This way, they take up less space in the freezer and I know exactly how many meals they will serve. None ever get wasted and they can be either stored together or placed with other food to make it instantly possible to grab a complete meal. The same method works well with fresh food in preparation for things such as school fruit or lunch breaks, when time is at a premium in the mornings!!

by: Ann w 1 response in the members' forum

Get every last cent out of your powder foundation

I have found an easy way to use up every last bit of make-up powder foundation. You know when you have almost got to the end of your powder compact, and all that is left is the powder on the rim? It's sad to waste, but so hard to use. Not any more, however! I've discovered it can easily be removed using a small spoon or lolly stick, then transferring it into another container. From there, you can simply apply it with a brush, like a loose powder! From now on, every time I buy a new compact, the left over bits first get mixed together and used. These days I never run out in between buying my more expensive foundation. Better still, I get to use the crushed foundation powder for 'everyday' and keep the new compact for special occasions, making it last even longer!

by: Phran Cassey

Keep nail bitten hands busy doing good

I have found an easy way to stop biting my nails and do a good turn for others at the same time! I have bitten my nails all my life, and especially do so when I sit down to do something like watching TV, when my hands are idle. A couple of years ago however, I began crocheting for charity and gift giving during these times. While being more conscious about what my hands are doing, I am also creating things to bring happiness to others. My nails grow and are stronger than they were, my hands are away from my mouth and I don't have the same urge to bite my nails!

by: Ann Earle

My uni studies STOPPED me biting my nails!

I've been enjoying long, beautiful nails for 30 years, thanks to a method called behaviour modification! I was required to do it as part of a psychology unit at university. It is a method which rewards good behaviour and punishes bad behaviour. This is the method:

  1. You determine what you want to change: I want to stop biting my fingernails.
  2. You determine what would be a good reward. I will give myself $1.00 coin.
  3. You determine what would be a good punishment. I will give $2.00 to charity. Note: It is best that the punishment is worse than the reward, so you can obviously achieve your positive goal ASAP. The simpler your rewards and punishments are, the better. I used the money to purchase a scarf but you could do it for anything.
  4. You work out what you need to motivate yourself to achieve that positive outcome. I used hand cream daily, I used oil to massage the cuticles daily, I painted my nails with nail hardener and once the nails grew past my fingers, I got manicures regularly.
  5. Draw up a table as shown below, to keep track of your progress daily to get to your eventual goal:

Day 1 – Outcome: I put my fingers in my mouth So you put a cross in the negative box and take the punishment. Negative Positive Punishment Reward x $2.00 paid to charity

Day 2 – Outcome: I didn’t put my fingers in my mouth So you put a cross in the positive box and take the reward Negative Positive Punishment Reward x $1.00 paid to myself

From memory I stopped biting my nails after the second week and kept going until I grew my nails to the length I wanted them. I found that it took about 10 weeks to achieve the outcome I wanted. I didn’t think I would get long fingernails, but I did and continue to do so!

by: Heather B 3 responses in the members' forum

You can heal your life - and your nails!

A book by Louise Hay helped me to put an end to 45 long years of nail biting! According to her book, 'You Can Heal Your Life', biting your nails may represent 'frustration, eating away at oneself, or spite of a parent.' It wasn't until I made the conscious connection to my unresolved feelings and nail biting that I stopped. What I found really helped me was downloading some free meditations from YouTube. These cost absolutely nothing to help relax and unwind. I also repeated some daily affirmations such as 'I enjoy having beautiful, long and strong nails'. I have also used homeopathic remedies such as Brauer's Nerve Tonic, which in my opinion is the best thing since sliced bread to calm a stressed nervous system!

by: Natasha Z 1 response in the members' forum

Eat your way to lovely, strong nails with blancmange!

If biting your nails is a problem, start growing them from the inside out, with this easy coffee blancmange recipe! All you need is:

One x 400g can coconut milk or cream. 2 tbsp gelatin 2 tsp coffee 1/4 cup hot water Sweetener of your choice, e.g. sugar, stevia or artificial sweetener

Stir the gelatin into the hot water and mix well.
In a separate bowl, put in the coffee and sweetener of your choice and stir, then tip in the can of coconut milk or cream. Pour in the hot gelatin mixture and stir all together well. Refrigerate for one hour.

The result? Delicious, smooth coffee blancmange, with the health benefits of coconut, and gelatin for nail growth!

by: Tony Ransom

Online tips and tricks to stop nail biting

To prevent nail biting, let your fingers do the walking online to find some 'handy' solutions! These nail cover rings are one way -

Or you could even try Thai Dancers tips with a little modification -

Self cast tips would be more costly, unless you know someone in the business; or invest in a set of silicone tips if you can stop the nail biter from peeling them off!

by: Tina Othello

Re-use butcher's paper to save on paper towel

Instead of buying expensive paper towel, which doesn't seem to last in our household, we use the butcher's paper that is wrapped around purchases such as deli products to clean out oily pots and pans. This saves us money, as well as a heap of paper towel, landfill space and our precious trees!

by: Akiko Yoshimoto

Full strength DIY 'Dettol' spray for just 2c a bottle!

A little supermarket research led me to making a huge saving on keeping germs at bay! When my two young children had a gastro bug, I needed anti-bacterial spray to clean up and stop the spread of germs, which vinegar didn't touch. The cheapest anti-bacterial spray I could find was Dettol anti-bacterial spray which cost $4.20 for 500ml. On reading the active ingredients it said it contained Benzalkonium Chloride 0.095%. Then, I saw that a bottle of Coles brand disinfectant was $1.40 for two litres. I read the ingredients and saw Benzalkonium Chloride 1%. The instructions said to dilute it in a ratio of 1:20, or 30ml to 600ml water. So I bought that one, made up the solution and put it in an old spray bottle I already had. It worked just as well and cost just over 2c per spray bottle of prepared solution, compared to $4.20 for the Dettol spray! While Coles brand disinfectant says it can only be used on “floors, walls, bathroom and toilet areas”, not in kitchen areas like the Dettol spray, for me these were the only areas that I needed to disinfect and worked a treat!

by: Freedom from the machine 2 responses in the members' forum