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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - November 5, 2009

Winterizing Your Dog's House
I've found that I can use Mother Nature to assist with insulating my dog kennels and dog house. We are doing fall cleanup and using the fallen leaves in them. They are great insulation and generally easy to clean up. My dogs love to snuggle into the leaves to take a cozy nap. It's free bedding. What else can you ask for? ~Brian B.

Smelly Plastic Containers
To take the smell out of plastic containers, wet newspaper, scrunch it up, put it into the container, and seal it. Then put the container into the freezer for a couple of days. When you take the container out, throw away the newspaper and the smell will go with it. I've used this when my husband left a salad with meat and a boiled egg in his car for a few days and it really does work. ~Fiona

Easy Inside Weatherstripping
The windows in my apartment leak cold air, but I found a way to deal with it. Buy some foam tape weatherstrip (I bought a 3/8" wide 10' roll at Wal-Mart) and put it over those areas in the windows that are leaking air. You need to do this on a day when the window frames are dry without a lot of condensation on the glass/window sills. It has made a real difference for me! ~Carleen N.

A Fresher Fridge
For musty refrigerators, you can simply put a sheet of newspaper inside and close the door. This works just like baking soda to keep the smells out. Change it as needed, and if you read the paper, it is free! ~TJ

The International Shopper
To save money, I shop for some things at an international food market. I got almonds and cashews there for $6.99 versus $8.99 at my usual store. Today I got 7 ounces of turmeric spice for under $2. Also I got kale for 79 cents a pound today versus 99 cents a pound. And saved about 20 cents a pound on apples. It really adds up to a great savings. ~Donna W.

Stain Removal
Try cooking spray to take paint and marker stains off of hard surfaces. Spray on the spot directly and wipe off in a circular motion. Stains come right off. ~Jennifer in NC

Cooking for 1
If you're working, find someone to trade meals with one day a week. I used to trade meals with a guy on his busiest day and he brought me meals on the day I had a night class at the university. ~P.

Griddle Cleaning
My ceramic top stove has a griddle on the side. After grilling various foods, it tends to leave a stuck on mess. I found that if I place a couple pieces of ice on the grill while it's still hot and scrape lightly, the stuck on mess cleans off easily. ~DJG

The Tourist Un-Trap
When I travel, I always stop in the local grocery store for a quick scan. Sometimes the savings are staggering from one region of the country to another. In Massachusetts, walnuts have not dipped below $5.99 a pound. In Pennsylvania, I bought them for $2 a pound. I always leave room in my suitcase for a few bargains. ~Mary Z. in Woods Hole, MA

After Purchase Savings
When shopping, it is so hard to find just the right deal. When I purchase anything, I always save the receipt. That way, if I see an item on sale after I have made the purchase, I can go back and be reimbursed the difference. Most stores will do this within a two-week to 30-day period. Check with the store when making a purchase to see what their policy is. Stores will honor this even if the item goes on sale at another store. I just purchased a stovetop for my kitchen. Two weeks after I made the purchase, I saw the same stovetop on sale for almost $100 less. All I did was take in my receipt and the ad and they credited my account the difference. ~Tori

Easy Indoor Storm Window
To help reduce our winter heating bills, I further insulate our windows by sewing a simple panel of white polar fleece fabric and hanging it on a tension rod in the window. Fabric stores often have polar fleece for 50% off and it takes very little for each window. You simply cut a panel slightly wider than your window and about 4 inches longer than the window. Then you sew a pocket across the top to hold the tension rod. No fancy finishing needed. If you don't sew, you can cut the panel and then fold it over the tension rod and fasten with safety pins. By putting this between your window glass and window drapes, it adds another layer of warmth. When the season is over, simply lay the panels flat and store between your mattress and box spring! ~Betsy H. in Texas

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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