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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - April 15, 2010

Deodorant Marks
You're in a rush and notice white deodorant marks on your clothes. There is no time to change. Grab an old nylon stocking and rub it on the areas. The marks will be gone in a flash. ~Suzan

Not So Disposable Razor
I have been using the same razor for months. When finished shaving, I rinse the razor with water and then drizzle with baby oil. This keeps rust, which leads to knicks in the blade, from forming. ~Judy

Easy Menu Planning
I put my family's favorite meals on index cards with the menu on the front and contents on the back. Then when I make up the week's menus, I just pick out seven cards and make my grocery list of items I don't have on hand. I set them aside for the week. As I fix a meal, I put the card back in my box. It makes it so easy to see what's to eat on any day of the week by seeing what cards are still stuck on the front of the fridge. ~Vini

Use for Expired Coupons
I would like to remind people not to throw out expired coupons. Most don't realize that our military can use coupons on base overseas for up to six months past the expiration date! There are many places to send expired or extra coupons that will ship them over for military use. I send a large package of coupons once a month for less than $2 in postage. ~Chrissey in Seattle, WA

Protecting Garden Tools
I have an insulated lunch bag that has finally given out. Since it is no longer usable for lunches, I filled it full of sand and use it to store my gardening hand tools after using them. Since the bag was meant to sit upright on a table, it sits perfectly in my garden cart. Cleaning my hand tools off and storing them in the sand helps to keep them from rusting, prolonging their life. ~Renee S.

Nighttime Teeth Guard
My tip is about teeth grinding. My dentist said that I grind my teeth in my sleep and I needed to purchase a mouth guard. These can be very pricey to buy. To save money, my dentist suggested that I use at night the mouth guards that can be bought inexpensively at Walmart for athletes. I buy mine there for under $2. ~Claudia in Kentucky

Manual Solution
Readers who have not carefully saved the manuals that come with appliances can usually download a new one. We have also done this when purchasing an item on eBay that did not come with a manual. Sometimes it is helpful to go online and read the manual before purchasing. It is a good tool for comparing products. ~Linda B.

Hosting a Party?
A few years ago, we had a rather large party for my son-in-law's college graduation. Since we wanted an outside party on a warm California evening, we offered a great salad bar. We used a round aluminum umbrella table (no umbrella that day) and put a very small size inflatable splash pool on top. We filled the small kiddie pool with crushed ice to keep all the salad ingredients cool. Large paper cups (about quart size) worked great. Everyone loved the salad bar, and the kiddie pool kept everything ice cold. It was an inexpensive way to entertain many people. I don't know if this was an original thought, but it worked for us. ~Tommie in Abilene, TX

Pricing Errors
Be aware of whether or not the store has a consumer-friendly policy for handling items that ring up incorrectly at checkout. I shop at our local Kroger, and if an item rings up incorrectly, I stop at customer service on the way out of the store and show them the item and my receipt. If the price that was posted on the shelf or in their sales circular is lower than the price that it rang up at, they refund the price paid back to me and I get the item free. The catch is not to bring it to the attention of the cashier (I always go through self-checkout). If the cashier corrects the mistake, there's no freebie. I average one free item in every trip to the grocery store. And on the topic of self-checkout, a lot of people are intimidated by the prospect of scanning and bagging their own groceries. However, doing this for myself allows me to take my time and keep a close eye on every price charged. Going through a line that has a cashier almost guarantees that some items will be scanned/charged incorrectly and I won't have time to catch it because they are moving so quickly. ~Judy H. in Jasper, GA

Cheaper Spreadable Butter
Turn one cup of butter into two cups of spreadable butter! Let two sticks of butter soften to room temperature. Using an electric mixer, mix 1/2 cup of room temperature water into the butter. Then, slowly mix in 1/2 cup of canola oil (or you can use 1/4 cup canola and 1/4 cup olive oil). Put your butter mix into a plastic container with a lid and refrigerate. This butter tastes great and is spreadable right from the refrigerator. Use for a spread or on veggies/pasta. Because of the added water, I do not recommend heating or cooking with the spreadable butter. Stores charge more for their spreadable butter than regular butter, and you actually get less butter for the increased cost. Make your own and save. ~Laura in East Liverpool, Ohio

Want to live better on the money you already make? Visit www.stretcher.com/r/99.htm to find hundreds of articles to help you stretch your day and your dollar! Copyright 2010 Dollar Stretcher, Inc.

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