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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - December 31, 2009

Just Enough
By removing the tape off the top of the can and placing it halfway across the holes, I solved the problem of dumping out too much cleanser at a time. I can now shake away without wasting it. ~G.

Cheap Makeup Remover
Vaseline® works really well as a makeup remover. It lasts forever and keeps the skin around my eyes moisturized and soft. ~Amanda in Pittsburgh, PA

Custom French Toast
Ever go to make French toast and find that you are out of milk? I use flavored liquid coffee creamer instead. I buy vanilla flavored and just add a shake of cinnamon to it. You can use whatever flavor you like. Add a couple of eggs to the mixture and dip your bread. Fry in light butter. My kids and friends rave over how good it is. ~Jeannie S.

College Textbooks
I currently work full time and attend college part-time in the evenings. Tuition is expensive enough, but adding the costs of textbooks can be another small fortune. I suggest asking professors for the text's ISBN number (or sku number) along with the title, author and edition. I have been able to save hundreds of dollars on my books by purchasing them from sites like or I also am able to sell the books once the semester is over for nearly the same price that I purchased them for, making the books virtually free! ~Danielle W.

Skinned Chicken
There is no need to pay the extra money for skinned chicken. You can skin it quick and easy just by taking a paper towel and grabbing the skin. It pulls right off and sticks to the towel. You can do a lot of pieces before changing to a new paper towel! ~Debi S.

Savings Solution
We all know that saving our change adds up, right? But let's be honest. It's tempting to dig into your change when you need money for something. I found a way to put a stop to that. I save my change in a two-liter plastic soda bottle (wash and dry it out first). I cut a coin slot close to the neck and glued the cap onto the bottle. Now my coins will go in, but I can't get them out unless I cut the bottle open! ~Towana in Chicago, IL

Ground Beef Stretcher
Last night I had less than a half a pound of hamburger to feed our household of four adults and two children (my husband, myself and my grown son and his family). Rather than everyone having to skimp, I got out my food processor and ground up two green peppers, three large mushrooms, two onions, and three carrots. I added them to my usual meatloaf recipe and my family was not only delighted with the taste (it was much more moist than my usual meatloaf), but we also have a lot of leftover meatloaf for lunches today. ~Deborah B.

The Key to Frugal Living
It seems the key to frugal living is to be attentive. Frugal living requires looking at things closely to see what they are made of, how they work and what their real value is. Noticing what we buy, why we buy it and what is essential is the very basis of frugal living. It is not being "cheap." Instead, it is independent thinking and analysis. Just a thought as the New Year approaches. ~Laurie

Affordable Custom Kitchen Cabinets
You can refinish your cabinets by yourself for less than the cost of having it done professionally, and it's not a hard job. Simply take off the cabinet doors, remove the handles and fittings, sand them down (yes, you have to sand all of it), and either stain or polyurethane them. Even if you have to rent a sander, you'll still only spend about $50. Or, if you want to be more creative with your kitchen, look into papering your cabinets! Take the doors off and paint the cabinets. Put textured wallpaper on the cabinet doors; you can find tons of designs at any home supply store. The paper can then be painted or lightly stained to achieve a wide range of looks. Experiment to see what you like best and coat with polyurethane to protect it from wear and tear. A friend of mine made a great "leather" kitchen bar using textured paper, water-based paint, and spray-on shellac. I'm sure you could create something just as cool! ~Martha

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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