The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman
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Dollar Stretcher Tips - April 8, 2010
Softening Line Dried Clothes
Using your clothes dryer to soften jeans or towels hung on the line? You don't even need the heat cycle. The air cycle will soften things up just as well. ~Susanna
Class Ring Alternative
When my daughter graduated from high school in the 80s, I offered her the choice of a class ring or real jewelry for the same price. She chose a lovely amethyst ring, which she still wears. It was money well spent. ~Patty
Finding Bulk Spices
Instead of spending a lot of money at the grocery store for spices, go to your local health food store. They usually have many spices in bulk that are very inexpensive. I saved my empty spice jars and now I refill them. ~Kristine
Simple Frugal Body Scrub
For a cheap body scrub that works wonderfully and as well as the expensive ones, mix baby oil and sugar, so the sugar is saturated but not wet. Scrub before you wet yourself in the shower. Your skin will feel like silk. A drop of your favorite perfume or essential oil in this makes this a cheap pampering. ~Gammychick
Cheaper Pet Meds
I have three large dogs that require the 75-100 pound version of Heartgard®, the monthly heartworm preventative. At my vet, a six-pack is about $130. I checked into 1-800-PetMeds, and I could get a 6-pack of the pills for $78. When PetMeds called my vet for verification of the prescription, my vet called me and said that they would match the price, including free shipping. I saved over $50 for one six-pack, which will amount to a yearly savings of $300! I just thought I'd share this, since I wouldn't have dreamed that my vet would agree to match the price. ~Jodi
Natural Cold Remedy
When you get a cold, instead of using over-the-counter medicines to get rid of it, use apple cider vinegar. Take a shot glass and fill it full. Then gargle with it. It will kill the cold. My grandfather used this and told me he got this tip from his grandfather. It always works! ~Becky H. in Carrollton, KY
This tip helps save our family time and wear on good clothing. We keep a large hen flock and we garden, so everyone has "chore clothes" that include sturdy, worn clothing that can withstand wear, tear and dirt. I take twist ties (the type that comes on bread wrappers or with trash bags) and wrap them on the clothes hangers to identify work clothes in a snap. No more grabbing a shirt thinking it's "good" for school, work or church and finding a stain or hole. This can also be used for children to identify their play clothes as well. ~Betty C. in Brunswick, Maine
Avoiding Broken Glass
We have five (with one on the way) active children who are home all day for homeschool. We also have a window that is placed directly at the foot of our stairs. This window was constantly being broken and repaired. Concerned for possible injuries, we replaced the glass with a piece of plastic sheeting (Lexan) purchased as scrap for just a few dollars. The sheeting is clear and looks like glass. It also cleans like glass, but has not broken. This cheap investment saved us from costly ER visits as well as replacement glass. We also used this idea in a cabinet we picked up off of Freecycle because the former owners were tired of the glass in the door being broken by their children. ~Wendy A. in Hayes, VA
Time to Call - Free Coupons
I have been calling the 800 numbers found on cans and packages and telling the representative how much I enjoy the product. I then ask about coupons or samples that could be sent to me. So far, just after two weeks, I have received two free coupons for shampoo, one for hand lotion, one for laundry detergent, plus other high value cents off coupons. All it costs me is my time. ~Rita D. in Eagle Bend, MN
My husband and I bought a foreclosure that needed a lot of love and a lot of improvements. We inherited white cabinets and white countertops, and in a family with three messy kids, that's less than ideal. Several of my neighbors have installed granite countertops for about $4,000, even new Formica countertops were going to be over $1,000. Neither was an option for us. I took the plunge and painted my countertops. I cleaned them with denatured alcohol, primed them with an oil-based primer, spray painted them with granite paint and put on four coats of polyurethane to seal them. The finished product looks awesome! I couldn't be more pleased and wish I had done it years ago! The cost of my project? Roughly $100! ~S.
Always save the manual that comes with appliances. Recently my refrigerator's ice dispenser stopped dispensing cubes. Only crushed ice came through. I called the Maytag repair service and was told it would cost a minimum of $95 for them to come out and then $95/hour plus the cost of parts. I declined their services. My husband dug around and found the manual and the solution. He carefully unscrewed the ice storage unit, pulled it out and all around it was small cubes that had fallen out and apparently disintegrated. As they got smaller, they clogged up the dispensing mechanism. It took five minutes to clean it out and saved us at least $190. His repair didn't cost one cent! I've been careless about saving these manuals. My husband, on the other hand, is obsessive about it and saved the day. ~Fran M.
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