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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - February 18, 2010

This is not so much a time- or money-saver, but it may save your life. Now that people keep their emergency contact number in their cell phones listed as ICE (in case of emergency), you should also include your list of medications and/or medical conditions. Then you or an ER hospital staff can easily find necessary information. ~Nancy C. in Southgate, MI

Easy Counter Top Cleaning
I was buying expensive cleaners for my countertops, but then I discovered that using a lemon cut in half works great on countertops. It really removes stains also. Just wipe with lemon and dry with cloth. Clean your sink with a lemon sprinkled with salt and rinse. ~Kelly

The Lunch Bunch
One of my biggest tips for saving on groceries is to eat the big meal of the day at noon. Everyone is more willing to eat leftovers a few hours later rather than the next day. I no longer hear, "Oh, man, that again!" Instead, I hear, "Hey, is there any more of that..." ~Candy F.

Small Area Rugs
When we got our new carpeting, we had many leftover pieces. For a fee of $20, the carpet company bound the extra pieces into the sizes we wanted. Now I have a rug at the front door, back door, and deck door, and I also several for our dog to lay on in her favorite spots. This makes it easy to keep the main carpeting clean and also easier to clean/shampoo just the small rugs, not the whole room, when necessary. ~Alice in NJ

Reducing Paper Clutter
Paperwork is my biggest issue when it comes to clutter and time zappers! My counter tops get consumed by school papers, birthday invitations and other "important" documents with which I can't seem to part. But I have a new plan that is working wonders for me. I finally started using a great portable calendar that I can carry with me even away from home. I enter every commitment (from my kids' school project due dates to my husband's travel dates) in it and pitch the paperwork. It is very liberating! I am seeing more of my home's surfaces and I am spending much less time looking for miscellaneous papers. ~ Anne

Homemade Recipe Books
I use photo albums that have the sticky sheets to store all my favorite recipes. I wait until they go on sale. They are perfect for storing recipes you find in magazines, etc. I just use tab dividers to sort out main dishes, side dishes, desserts, etc. It's perfect and right at your fingertips. My cupboard is so organized now that I store my recipes in photo albums. ~ June C.

Protect Your Garden
Many of our neighbors have returned to growing vegetable gardens. Unfortunately, we live in an area with a heavy deer population. To discourage the deer from his garden, one neighbor has begun hanging used CDs on fishing line along the perimeter of the garden. As the CDs turn in the breeze, the sunlight reflects off the surface in bright flashes, frightening away the deer. ~Angela S.

Stopping Winter Drafts
Every time I see the ads on TV for the foam insulation for windows and doors, I laugh. They want $19.95 each! I fill knee high nylons with sand from the building supply store and tie the end tightly. They stretch as they are filled and are easy to fit into any size window. I make one for the outside to fit between the storm window and the window and one for the inside to push tightly against the window. There are no drafts, and it costs pennies for each. ~Fran M.

Free Paint
Springtime is the time to spruce up your house. Instead of buying new paint, check to see what you have on hand. I mixed little dabs of my white, off white and tan paints and then added texture. We had over three gallons of free paint to paint our ceiling. It worked, but if it hadn't, I was only out my time, not money. Plus, I used up something that would otherwise be wasted. ~Connie

Shopping for Services
eBay isn't just for getting stuff on the cheap. There are plenty of people offering useful services at a great price. I've used it to get my resume rewritten ($7 total) by a HR professional and a logo designed for my business ($5 total) by a graphic artist. There are also sellers offering things from web design to life coaching. Do shop around to compare prices, feedback, qualifications and turnaround time. ~Heidi

Roll Control
You know how frustrating clear wrap and aluminum rolls can be. It can be challenging to unroll the product out of the box without pulling the whole tube out. If you look at each end of those boxes, you will find push in tabs to prevent the roll from flying out each time. I had never noticed those before in all these years and received this tip in an email. Go and check your boxes and push in your tabs! ~Janine in VA

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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