This article is part of the Oily Rag topic. Below are more articles in this topic.
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This week we have a number of money savings kiddy tips to help young parents, and a low cost way to clean blocked drains.
J.C. writes, “I have come up with the cheapest and most effective way to deal with messy baby spills! As the mother of a 16 month old, I was sick of cleaning the mess up after my son had been eating in his high chair. More food seemed to end up on the floor than go in his mouth! I couldn't find any good floor mats that could be wiped clean and re-used, so I made my own using a $2 plastic table cover from the local bargain shop. I got a large sized one which measured 152cm x 274cm and cut it in half. Now I have two re-usable floor mats for just $2. No more mess on my floor and they are easy to wipe clean, then fold up and store ready for mealtimes.”
K.B. says, “I saved heaps on recovering my son's highchair. I was given a great highchair, but it had a cloth covered seat and as you can imagine, this was quite hard to keep clean as things would soak in before I could wipe them up. I decided to re-cover it but after checking out the price of vinyl per metre, I realised I needed to get creative. Instead, I used a cheap shower curtain and stapled it over the fabric. There was still enough left over to use under the high chair for any food that hits the floor. Fantastic, cheap and easy to clean!”
S.K. has a savvy sister. “My savvy sister has saved me heaps on buying baby bibs. As the proud single mum of a beautiful nine month old, I was finding the costs were really adding up! So my sister (who has three children of her own) came to the rescue. She used some old towels, cut them up and made them into bibs! She just bought some 'cuffing' from Spotlight for around the neck, and some velcro to fasten at the back and they are great! Much better than the shop bought ones, as they soak up more of the mess and are much longer lasting and harder wearing. My sister jazzed them up with some little motifs sewn on the front and no one would ever know they were made from unwanted towels. I've had so many comments from people saying they look great and I always proudly reply 'my sister MADE them!”
And when the kids are old enough to want to spend your money here are some ways that they can make their own. Raking leaves in the leafy well-to-do ‘burbs, buying and selling second hand goods, babysitting, shopping for the neighbours, house cleaning (yeah right!), picking and selling fruit, waitering at parties, putting on a kids art exhibition or putting on a drama (drama comes easy to kids!), selling flowers from your garden (ask mum first!), growing and selling Xmas trees, convincing mum and dad to increase your pocket money if you get better grades at school(!), standing in a queue (every queue is an opportunity and the longer the queue the higher the standing price), recycling aluminium cans, delivering papers and pamphlets, lawn mowing, making greeting cards for friends and relatives, car washing, giving computer help to those who are new to computers (and still searching for the on button!), teaching those older than 40 what the heck this social media thing is all about, web site design, collecting autographs (and selling them on Trademe), cleaning computers, busking or street drama, entering competitions, collecting golf balls or acting as a bag carrier, retrieving tennis balls so your friends and family can spend more time playing and less time finding the ball, tutoring younger kids, walking dogs… the list is endless!
Now to that blocked drain. T.M. from Waiuku says, “Use Baking Soda and White Vinegar to unblock drains. After the commercial drain cleaner failed I used the above (1/2 Litre White Vinegar to half a packet of Baking Soda) and left it for 15 mins to bubble away then turned the hot water tap on for several minutes. Drain cleared!”
Finally, with winter fast approaching Busy Parent has asked for oily rag ideas on ways to entertain pre-schoolers on rainy days. If you have some favourite suggestions, please send them to us to share.
Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ . You can contact us via the oily rag website (www.oilyrag.co.nz) or write to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.
* Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. Readers can submit their oily rag tips on-line at www.oilyrag.co.nz. The book is available from bookstores and online at www.oilyrag.co.nz.