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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - June 4, 2009

Better Grillin'
My children grill a great deal over the summer and I noticed an aluminum pan filled with water. I asked my son-in-law about the pan and he said it keeps everything he grills moist. What a great idea! ~Jeanne W. in Dublin, OH

Better Cheap Sunglasses
Do you need very durable and highly protective sunglasses? I found them at my local home improvement store for less than $9. Ask for "eye protection," not sunglasses. I took mine to my ophthalmologist and he said that they are made of polycarbonate and are 99-percent UVA and UVB protective. They are sturdy and wrap around close to my face to keep out those rays. ~H.M. in Orlando, FL.

Quick Cookies
Whenever I make chocolate chip cookies, I save some of the dough and freeze it. I put it in a large resealable bag, roll it out to about half of an inch thick and then freeze. When I want a few cookies for dessert, I break off chunks (the dough is still semi-soft, even while frozen), roll them into balls, and bake them in the toaster oven. No need to buy those "ready to bake" cookies ever again! ~Esther B. in Rincon, GA

Protecting Boy's Pants
My son goes through pants at an amazing rate. After he wore through the knees on several pairs after only wearing them a couple times, I decided I had to do something. I've found that sewing or ironing knee patches on the inside of the jeans or pants before they get holes will extend their life dramatically. Initially, I was concerned the patches would rub my son's knees, but he says he doesn't even feel them. Since I've started doing this, he actually outgrows his pants! ~Karen G. in Haymarket, VA

Just One More Day
If you normally grocery shop every week, try spending your normal budgeted amount for food, but try to last eight days until the next shopping trip. Shop and spend the budgeted amount for food and try to last until eight days instead of seven again. In two weeks, you have saved two days on food. In seven weeks, you should be able to save one whole week's grocery money. Using this tip, in a year, you should save over seven weeks of food budget! In my house, seven weeks at $80 per week saves me $560. ~Janet M.

Easy Shower Curtain Cleaning
Once a month, I throw our plastic shower curtain, bath toys, plastic bath mat as well as our combs and brushes in the washing machine along with a couple of white towels. I wash them with hot water, detergent and bleach. When the load is done, I put the towels in the dryer and let the plastic items drain in the washer before putting them away. They all come out clean and deodorized. It makes the hairbrushes look brand new, and I haven't had to replace our shower curtain or bath mat in over six years. ~Cate S. in Sparks, NV

How Much?
I've noticed that laundry detergent lids have markings that are difficult to read. They have lines inside, but who can see them? Manufacturers assume we will just give up and fill the cup, wasting more detergent. The result is overuse of detergent when it's unnecessary. To remedy this, use a black marker or nail polish before using it the first time to clearly mark the lines in the cup, or instead of using their cup, use your own to measure. A little goes a long way so don't waste expensive and precious drops of detergent. ~Shannon W.

Check Clearance First
I was recently reminded of something I've known for years but had forgotten. When you go to a bookstore for a particular title or author, check the clearance tables first. I was reminded of this tip while in Books-A-Million a few days ago. A store employee saw me holding a paperback and directed me to the clearance section where the same book, in hardback, was 50% cheaper! I thanked the employee and resolved to always check the clearance section from now on. I also used my discount card for an extra 10% off. ~Pam W.

Doggie Care
I just got my eleven-pound dog spayed and she had stitches on her belly that she started to lick, which, of course, is not good. I tried a bandage, which lasted about 30 seconds. We didn't get that silly lampshade for her head, which was $15 from the vet and I'm sure not the most comfortable thing to wear. We found a miracle solution, which was a 12-month onezie that I had from my kids. It fit her perfectly and snapped at the rear. When I let her outside, I just had to unsnap the bottom and she could go do her business and come back in. ~Michelle V.

Free Starter Pots
I have found that two-liter and one-liter empty soda bottles make great starter pots for flowers, herbs, etc. Cut the top off and poke a hole in the bottom of the "pot." Now you have air circulation and the bumps on the bottom will catch extra water. You can adjust the height of the pot easily. Roots can easily be seen for transplanting purposes. Any color soda bottle will do! You can't beat the price of these "pots" and these can be used multiple times. Once your pot has proved its purpose, just toss in to the recycling bin! ~Frances C.

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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