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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - May 21, 2009

Liquid Foundation Stretcher
To extend the life of your liquid foundation, apply it with a makeup brush. Put a small amount of foundation in your hand and grab some with your brush to apply. I have found that the coverage is even and I use less than I did applying it with my fingers. This trick also works well with liquid blush. A little goes a long way. ~Rebecca in PA

Which Movies to Watch
I go to the pay-per-view movie section of my cable and make a list of the movies that I want to rent from the library for free. I know exactly which ones I want as I can get a free preview. Then I just place a hold on the movie at the library. Sometimes it takes a week and sometimes it takes several months. I get all the latest titles and previews with no cost from the library. ~Theresa M.

Just a Shake
A quick shake of your clothes before putting them in the dryer saves time and money, which are two things that I never seem to have enough of. When you transfer the clothes to the dryer, give them a hard shake, even the socks. Because they are now untangled and more fluffed, they dry much faster and there is considerably less ironing needed. ~Rebecca D

The Trader
I am saving money on plants this summer by trading with friends and neighbors. We all have plants like irises that need to be divided or shrubs that can be propagated. I have a big yard and can't afford much for landscaping. This works out for everybody. ~T. P. in MO

Leftover Paint
I'm a contractor, and when we have small batches of leftover paint, we either just add a small sheet of plastic wrap to cover it, or we make sure the top is on very tightly and store the can upside down. The humidity in the can will keep the paint from drying out. ~ZR

Is It Really a Sale?
When grocery shopping, I always pay close attention to the "sale" price as it is not always a bargain. If it says "buy one get one free," don't just assume you're getting a great deal. Often times the price of the item is hiked up so it is really not a great deal. ~Regina in Ohio

Too Far to Shop?
If you have a coupon for a particular store, especially a national chain, but the store is too far away, call the competitors close to you to see if they will honor your coupon. For example, I have all three of the major pet supermarkets near me. From the one that is farthest away, I regularly get a $2 off anything coupon for this store in the Sunday paper. I called the store closest to me to see if they would honor the coupon. No problem. This is another situation where all you have to do is ask. ~Lee

Persistent Stains
To remove persistent stains from white clothing, mix one part dishwashing soap and one part white distilled vinegar in a small container. Dab this mixture on the stain and let it sit overnight. The stain usually fades completely by morning, but if it doesn't, rub more of the mixture on the spot and let it soak again before washing in cold water. It is a safe and effective alternative to chlorine bleach, and it works on many fabrics. It's best to test the mixture on an inconspicuous area before treating the whole garment if fabric content is unknown. Works well on cotton. ~Janet

A Matter of Time and Place
I didn't eliminate all of my luxuries. Instead, just like being on a diet, I just use smaller portions. When we order out to eat, we just order one dinner that costs just enough to cover the amount needed for them to deliver. I changed the schedule for my manicures from once a month to once every three months. I joined so I can read as much as I want without paying full price for the book. Instead of having lunch at the cafeteria every day, I bring lunch three times during one week and then I bring it twice the next week. This way, I don't feel cheated. I found a school that gives massages for half price, and I found a school that cuts hair for half price. ~Jan C.

Really Scorched Pots
Here's a cost-saving (or maybe just aggravation-saving) tip my mother used to use. If you are planning on throwing out a pot or pan because you've scorched food so badly in the bottom that you don't know how to fix it, this tip may save you some money. She sprinkled about a tablespoon or two of powdered dishwasher detergent over the scorched food. Then added about one or two cups of water. She put it on the stove to simmer for 10 or 20 minutes. When it's done, it should come out pretty easily, and if you use a SOS pad on the bottom, it should shine pretty nicely in most cases. ~Connie A. in WA

Cheaper, Healthier Spread
To save money and have a healthier spread, use the following recipe to enhance and stretch your butter:
1 cup warm water
1/2 to 1 tsp. lecithin granules (found at health food store and acts as emulsifier for water and oil)
1 cup olive or canola oil
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt, as desired
1 pound butter (room temperature)
Soften lecithin granules and salt in warm water and add oil and butter. Whip until creamy and no lumps remain. Store in containers in fridge. Makes a nice creamy spread, and when cold, it still spreads easily. ~Carol M. in Hamilton, MT

Want to live better on the money you already make? Visit to find hundreds of articles to help you stretch your day and your dollar! Copyright 2009 Dollar Stretcher, Inc.


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