Haystacks are a family favourite and we enjoy them regularly. They're quick and easy to make and topped with lots of lovely fresh veggies they are the perfect easy meal all year round.
I've no idea where the name came from, I first started making them about 35 years ago when I was a cook for school camps. The kids loved them because they were "junk" food, we cooks loved them because it is a one-pot wonder recipe, that can be made ahead, and is easy to serve. Now my family loves them, this really is a recipe that has stood the test of time.
This recipe is one of the most requested from the Cheapskates Club Recipe File. Every time they are mentioned in a meal plan or a newsletter I get emails asking what they are and for the recipe.
2 tins baked beans in tomato sauce
1 tin red kidney beans (or dried equivalent, soaked and cooked)
3 tbsp MOO taco seasoning (or 1 packet)
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 tins diced tomatoes
Sauté onion, add taco seasoning and then beans and tomatoes. Heat through. Serve over corn chips or toasted pita bread or torn mountain bread (I've even put it over pappadums in a pinch) add salad to suit, top with salsa and sour cream.
I usually put the salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, cheese, salsa, sour cream) out and let them make their own.
This makes a double quantity, so half goes in the freezer for the next time. Freezes well and it makes a great filling for stuffed spuds too.
As I was whizzing through the checkout at my local supermarket recently I was astounded to hear the fellow on the checkout telling the lady in front of me that she must have the cleanest house around because she had so many different cleaning products in her trolley.
She had a multi-purpose spray, window cleaner, a gel cleaner, another gel bathroom cleaner, a bleach, a box of washing powder, a spray bottle of ironing aid, a spray can of furniture polish, a shower cleaner and two bottles of toilet cleaners. Brother what a load of money she was about to pour down the drain! I couldn't help myself and joined the conversation when it became a "but I have to have them or I just can't keep the house clean" talk. I politely pointed out that a bottle of vinegar, a box of bicarb, a jar of borax, a bar of soap and perhaps a little elbow grease would do the same job as all these cleaners for a fraction of the price and damage to the environment.
I was very excited when she decided I was right and she didn't want all those cleaners. I did feel a little sorry for the people behind us as she had them taken off her bill, but I was so proud of her, especially when she said she already had everything she needed to clean the Cheapskates way in her cleaning cupboard.
This experience had me thinking: just how many of us have never tried to clean using cheaper alternatives because we didn't know there were any or we weren't sure how to use them? You can make your own household cleaners easily and best of all cheaply using these tried and true recipes. As well as saving you money, these cleaners will save you time and effort and rid your home of some nasty chemicals too.
If you were to make all the recipes below you would have a cleaning solution for just about every household cleaning problem for the grand total of $6.72! If you were to add the equivalent of these products to your shopping trolley you would add another $44.50 to your grocery bill. By making them yourself you are saving around $37.80! What an incredible saving!
By keeping some very inexpensive and basic supplies in your cleaning cupboard you can clean your whole house for just a few cents rather than hundreds of dollars.
Bi-carbonate Soda (bi-carb or baking soda) – is a powerful cleaning agent on its own, even more powerful when combined with other materials.
Borax - found in the cleaning aisle, usually next to the Drano. I use Harpers, in a white tub with a red lid. It's usually on the bottom shelf.
Vinegar – is made from fermented apples, grapes, sugar cane, malt or wine. It is an acid and a mild
Washing Soda – buy it in the supermarket under the brand name Lectric Soda. It is a good water softener.
Eucalyptus Oil –can be bought at supermarkets, chemists, health food and hardware stores. Use eucalyptus oil to remove sticky residue, as an inhalant and a disinfectant or a cleaner. It is toxic, so keep it away from children and pets. It will also damage plants, so beware when using it in the garden.
Cost: $0.10 for 250ml extra strong window cleaner
1/2 tsp washing up detergent
3 tbsp vinegar
2 cups water
1 drop blue food colouring (optional)
Blend well and store in spray bottle.
Cost: $1.89 for 600g scouring powder
1 cup bi-carb soda
1 cup borax
1 cup salt
Blend and store in container.
This is so easy to make, and it works!
Cost: $1.13 for 375ml furniture polish
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
Pour oil and lemon juice into a squirt bottle or jar. Stir to combine. To use, dip dust cloth or rag into oil, blot the oil by folding the cloth together, and then dust your furniture. Leaves a beautiful finish!
Cost: $1.88 for 90 washes
1 bar laundry soap
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax.
Grate soap. Add washing soda and borax. Use 3 teaspoons per load for top loading machine, 2 teaspoons per load for front loader.
Super Effective Weed Spray
Cost: $0.40 for 4 litres weed spray
4 litres white vinegar
1 cup salt
1 tbsp washing up detergent.
Mix well. Spray on weeds to kill them. This is a very effective weed spray so only spray it on the things you want to kill. It is excellent for weeding paths and pavers and along the edges of garden beds.
Shared from Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing
"I have just purchased an electric pressure cooker (Fast & Slow) and the recipe book that comes with it is not every day basic recipes. For example, I wanted to cook a piece of silverside in it, but was unsure of how long to cook it. Does anyone have any good easy recipes or know of a good recipe book?"
Can you help?
If you have a suggestion or idea for Margaret, let us know. We'll enter your answer into our Tip of the Week competition, with a one-year membership to the Cheapskates Club as the prize too.
The last couple of days have been good blanket washing days - bright, warm sunshine and a gentle breeze, so I've taken advantage and washed all the winter blankets ready to store them for the summer.
I use this wool wash recipe, which is based on the Martha Gardener Wool Mix available at supermarkets. I've used it for 30 years on all our woollens and delicates and anything clothing or manchester that is stored away. It leaves woollens especially soft and clean, and helps to deter bugs like silverfish and moths that like to feast on our woollies.
4 cups Lux flakes*
4 cups boiling water
1 cup methylated spirits
2 tbsp eucalyptus oil
Mix together and bottle. To use dissolve mixture in hot water, cool before gently kneading woollens to wash. Rinse well and dry carefully in the shade, preferably flat to retain shape.
*Lux flakes - you can use any pure soap flakes or grate cakes of pure soap to get the flakes. Depending on the size of the cakes of soap you'll need 2 or 3. If you use the zester side of your grater the soap will dissolve easily and quickly.
From the Laundry: Manchester Tip Store
You can make really pretty and unique baubles for your Christmas tree with just sewing thread, paperclips and two or three different, recycled gaudy necklaces made of large beads. Just string one large bead with two, three or five large ones and use a paperclip to hang them on the Christmas tree. You'll find a wonderful assortment of necklaces at any op shop for just $1 or $2 each and you'll get a lot of ornaments from one necklace.
"My elderly folks live on a 46 acre rural property in WA. It's lovely but they have had it for sale for 9 years as NO ONE is buying...They took out a reverse mortgage when they first put it on the market, thinking they would sell the property shortly after...BUT the mortgage it is eating away at their equity, as it costs a lot to maintain the property - especially on a pension. Mum recently became very sick and has been in hospital for 5 weeks. And Step-Dad, at 82, is trying to run the house, let alone the property by himself. They live 9km from the nearest town, 50 minutes from their doctor and the hospital. I need advice about where to go to find assistance for them. As they (and the bank) own their only asset - that they can't sell, they are limited with the assistance they can receive. I'm sure they're not alone. We live in the city, our house is small and we have a young family. We've offered for them to move in with us but they would like to maintain some independence if they possibly can. Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated. Thank you."
Do you have the answer?
If you have a suggestion or idea for Lyn let us know by leaving it in the comments below. We'll enter your answer into our Tip of the Week competition, with a one-year membership to the Cheapskates Club as the prize too.
"I'd be very interested to know whether anyone has any recipes for using leftover hot chips (from the fish & chip shop). We get minimum chips but there's still too much for two. I have made a frittata from them which was good but I'd like to hear what others do."
Do you have the answer?
If you have a suggestion or idea for Carolyn let us know in the comments below. We'll enter your answer into our Tip of the Week competition, with a one-year membership to the Cheapskates Club as the prize too.
"My husband and I have two small kids – 5-1/2 and 2 years old. I work 3.5 days a week and my husband works full-time. We have an investment property (we're paying interest only on the mortgage as our accountant advises) and we live in a rental property. My question is, do any of your members have any recommendations about how to save and create harmony when I VERY much want to save money to buy a family home for us to live in and my husband, who is a spender, isn't prepared to have a conversation about budgeting or saving? I know that $$ is one of the main things that people argue about and otherwise our relationship is great, but I want to have security for our kids and build towards our retirement."
Do you have the answer?
If you have a suggestion or idea for Kate let us know, by leaving it in the comments below. We'll enter your answer into our Tip of the Week competition, with a one-year membership to the Cheapskates Club as the prize. And keep an eye open, you may even see your answer in next week's newsletter.