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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - August 5, 2010

Sticky!
Use lemon essential oil to remove a sticky substance like a label. Just add a drop of oil, rub it in, and then wipe off with a clean cloth. ~D.

Rewards Cards
Do you avoid those store reward programs because you think you'll end up having dozens of different cards that have to be swiped to get a discount, and you'll end up forgetting to bring them with you? Go ahead and sign up. Many will let you look up your card with your phone number if you forget the card, so you don't need to carry them with you. And many grocery stores have a store card that they'll swipe for you to get the sale items. In the past, when I've left my card in the car, I offered to go out to the car to get it, and they always offered to use the store's discount card instead, so as not to hold up the line. ~Judy M.

Getting Away from Home
My favorite little luxury is staying at a friend's or family member's home while they are going out of town. Even though my daughter lives nearby, she has a spa tub, an in-ground swimming pool, and satellite TV, which are all little extras that I do not have. I love going to her house and sleeping on her clean, cool sheets. I feel like I am at a luxurious hotel without the expense! I also enjoy swapping places with my brother. He is a city dweller, and I am a country girl! Somehow it just seems to feel like a mini-vacation at someone else's house! ~M.

Back-to-School Clothing
There are several reasons for not buying a complete new wardrobe for kids going back to school, such as not needing all the brand names, having good clothing on hand that will serve quite well, damaging new clothes on the playground, etc. Depending on where you live, another good reason is the weather. Where we live, warm weather clothing is needed at the beginning of the school year, but not for that long, at least not long enough to justify an entire new wardrobe. I would purchase necessary new items to "fill in the gaps" of what was on hand, then do the same when it was time to bring out the cold weather clothes. ~Kay

Why I Save Receipts
Here's another reminder to save important receipts in a place you can locate when necessary. I have a box with folders. When removing my pool cover this spring, I noticed the seams were separating. I took out my receipt and went to the store where I purchased it. They gave me a brand new pool cover. Also, they gave back the old pool cover when I asked. We will use that for a backyard "batting cage" for my son. We will just tie it up to the trees and he can hit into that. ~NY

Going Resorting
My friend and I go "resorting" for a little luxury. We live in the southwest so luxury resorts are many. We go to a resort's restaurant for a glass of soda or tea and perhaps a dessert and then just leisurely absorb the atmosphere. We walk around the grounds before we head home again. ~Janet in AZ

Day Old Treats
Shop the day-old bakery cart at your grocery store for half-price items. I found a big carton of croissants for $2 and a huge "happy birthday" cookie for $1! I put these in the freezer to use when I need them. As long as that's not months away, it should be fine! ~Rhonda

Small Appliances
Recently, the small spring in my coffee brewing basket broke. My husband wanted to order a new basket, but I decided to check out the local thrift stores first. As luck would have it, the second store I went to had the exact model coffee maker that I have. Since I wasn't interested in the coffee unit, I didn't care how it brewed coffee. For $4.99, I bought the coffee maker, and not only did I get a basket with the spring intact, but I now have an extra replacement pot just in case my pot gets cracked or broken. ~Carole

Backyard Staycation
Every once in a while, we do a staycation in the backyard if we don't have the time to go to the lake or camp somewhere. We plug in our camper to an electrical outlet from our house. We have a firepit to roast hotdogs and marshmallows at dusk. Then we go into the camper for a movie and popcorn if anyone is still hungry. We sleep with the windows open and enjoy the cool fresh air and birds singing in the morning. If we forget anything, we can run to the house and be back to camping in minutes. ~KB in Kansas

Cleaning Tight Spaces
I do not enjoy cleaning, but I do enjoy easy ways to do it. My pet peeve is the bathroom faucet. It's hard to clean and nothing fits in between the handles and faucet. Paper towels don't scrub and sponges aren't so great either. I went to throw out a glove my daughter uses to exfoliate. It's a rough texture nylon type glove from the dollar store. I wondered whether the glove would do the trick. I put it on and clean up was fast, super easy and perfect for those tiny spaces. I could scrub the handles all the way around and it did an especially wonderful job at the base of the faucet where gunk builds up. It was great on the tub faucet, and I will get one for the kitchen, too. ~Judy

Too Many Tomatoes?
I core my tomatoes, clean up any surface imperfections and pop them (unpeeled) right into my blender to liquefy them. I then pour my tomato puree into resealable bags and put the bags into the freezer. I love it that they lie flat and take up very little space. This is such a simple method of taking advantage of abundant summer tomatoes and it works just great to pull out when making chili, meat loaf, salsa, casseroles, etc. If you already have tomatoes in your garden this year, your only cost is in the freezer bags. (And no more wasting your tomato abundance or doing the time-consuming task of canning them.) ~Roma H.

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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