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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - January 14, 2010

End of the Jelly
Why throw away the jelly or jam that lingers in the jar? Add milk to the jar, shake, and then add mixture to a smoothie. ~ Ms Fixit

Protecting Mom's Sleep
I added some glow in the dark tape to the kids' water bottles. Now when they wake in the middle of the night, they can find the bottle glowing in the dark. ~ Brenda H.

Easier Snow Shoveling
For those of you like me who live in snow country, just spray your snow shovel with some cooking spray before you start. Snow will not stick to your shovel, making the job more enjoyable. ~ Wayne from MO

The 'No Buy' List
On my grocery list, I also have a "Do Not Buy" list. There are always certain items, like cartons of egg whites, that I always seem to buy on impulse but never use. Seeing them under the "Do Not Buy" list reminds me that this is something I rarely end up using and should save my money for what I really do use. ~ Heidi

It's All There
For board games, when all of the little pieces have been punched out, store them in plastic zippered bags. This way, if the box gets damaged, the pieces will remain. Also, keep money and cards for the games in one place by binding them with a rubber band and throwing them in the zippered bag with the game pieces! ~ Rebecca

Dish Soap Dispenser
I used to go through a bottle or two of dish detergent each month, washing just pots, pans, knives, and items too large to fit in my dishwasher. I bought a decorative hand soap dispenser that matched the decor of my kitchen and poured my dish detergent into it. Now, when I am hand-washing an item, I get one squirt (or two for a large item). The bottle now lasts me six months or more, and my sink area is not littered with a detergent bottle. ~MS

Table Centerpieces
For my wedding centerpieces, I scoured local secondhand stores and bought wine glasses, champagne glasses, etc. After I had quite a supply, my mother and I divided them into threes, varied by height, and decorated them with ribbon. Each set was placed on a mirror tile with a tea light candle inside each glass. It was classy, inexpensive and lit up the room! ~Alisha

Renewing T-Shirts
When white t-shirts get underarm stains, dilute one part liquid detergent to three parts water, and using a spray bottle, spray on stain. Then sprinkle on baking soda and spray again. Gently rub in baking soda. After laundering, let air dry. You'll be surprised how well this works in restoring whiteness. ~ Helen B. in Belle Plaine, MN

Mark-Up Savings
I have read that many people throw leftovers away. In an effort to reduce this, our family has been using a "wet erase" pen to label the containers. We mark with the date and contents. When someone is looking for something to eat, they don't have to open all of the lids. Since the pen is "wet erase," whatever you write comes off with water. And if for some reason the food is past its lifetime, you know to stand over the trash when you open it. ~Monica in Fults, IL

Free Soil
My husband and I recently moved into a new home. Unfortunately, the home was previously owned by an elderly couple who did not take care of the yard. When the snow melted and we were finally able to begin pulling weeds and planting grass, we discovered that there were several areas in our yard where the dirt had receded, leaving large, uneven slopes across our yard. We looked into purchasing dirt to fill in the area, but the cost was too high. One of our friends told us to call a local cemetery. The cemetery that we called had hundreds of yards of dirt available for free, and they even loaded it into the truck for us! ~Sarah

Accidental Air Freshener
I was not trying to make an air freshener but rather laundry soap. I mixed a half of a cup of borax, a half of a cup washing soda, and one bar of soap that I shaved with a cheese grater. I forgot to put the lid on my laundry soap one night and the next day every inch of my 3000-square foot home smelled wonderful! This also makes a wonderful laundry soap. As laundry soap, use one tablespoon per load. Use two for a heavily soiled load. As an air freshener, it's amazing! ~Cynthia

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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