The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman
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Dollar Stretcher Tips - September 16, 2010
Cheaper Airline Tickets
When some airlines have "sales," I'm never sure when to purchase for an upcoming trip. Sometimes a better "sale" comes out later. It's not a guarantee, but this time I went ahead to booking and looked how full the particular airplane was. This gave me an idea if I should jump on the current sale or not. ~S.
Free Hair Detangler
I used to buy the expensive store bought detangler for my daughter's curly hair. Now, when I have used the last of my conditioner, I add water to the bottle and shake to mix the water and any of the remaining conditioner. I then pour it into a spray bottle and use it as my daughter's hair detangler. It works great! I just shake the bottle well before each use. ~Becky
Ready for the Week
I have two boys. They are two months old and 20 months old. To keep mornings going as fast and organized as possible, I bought two hanging sweater organizers to keep in their closets. Each sweater organizer has six compartments. Each Sunday, I pick out their outfits for the whole week. I put in their socks, a bib, and clothes. On the days they go to daycare, I just get everything from the organizers the night before and throw it in the bag, so we're ready to go in the morning. On mornings we're home, I don't have to waste my time trying to get two outfits ready. I just do it all on Sunday when my husband is here to entertain them! ~Erin C.
Repairing Enamel Sinks
Our kitchen sink is in good condition except for an unsightly chip near the rim. It was chipped down to the dark metal below. I got a shade of matching nail polish. Over the weekend, I dabbed nail polish on the chip letting it dry each time. It took about 10-12 "coats," but now you cannot see the chip at all! It looks great. Doing small maintenance work and keeping up with small touch up jobs and repairs make your house look so much better. It's depressing to live in a place that looks tired and worn. ~Laurie
Time for Closet Organization
I waited until after the college students got all their organizer stuff for their dorms, and when the clearance went on sale, that's when I struck. I bought the cubes and bins and put them on my top shelf in the closet. They hold my off-season clothing, and on top of that, I keep our blankets/sheets for our bed. Often, the space above the hanging rack never gets used. Well, no more! I also bought sweater/shoe holders that attach to the bar. I've gotten so much more put away and organized this way. I also purchased the hangers that can attach and hang below each other to increase closet hanging space. I also bought the bed risers to add more space to under the beds in the house. Space saving is not just for college students. ~Laura D.
Check on Change
About 10 months ago, our son left home to take a job in another state. While he was at home, we had him on our automobile insurance as a designated driver, which, due to his age (20), made our insurance a little more expensive. Last week, I decided to call the insurance company and have him taken off the policy altogether as he never drives our vehicles any more. To my shock and pleasant surprise, the agent told me that by removing him from the policy, we were going to save $375 every six months. The disappointing thing was to think that we could have saved $62 per month for the past 10 months since he's been gone. It pays to review your policy with every driver change. ~Bob
Stove Hood Update
We had just bought our first home and the appliances were all gold. The stove hood (fan over the stove) was also gold. It was working just fine, so my husband took it out and we used a can of black car engine spray paint to change the color. The paint sticks to metal and can withstand higher temperatures. After it was dry, he put it back. We sold the house seven years later and the fan was still working great. And it was still black. ~Michelle
Local colleges have grants available to students listed in their libraries. Students need to write a paper for the grants. With a little bit of effort, a grant is given, and this helps with book fees and other costs. Also, buy used books through the school or Amazon. Used may have notes in them that will be valuable, and the books can be resold when the class is over. My grandson just got a grant that will help him to purchase a laptop for college. ~Proud Grandma
Stop and Smell the Produce
At almost every display in the produce department, I stop and smell the goods before I buy. To check cantaloupe, I look for a firm melon with just a little give, and then I smell the stem end. This should smell like a tasty, ripe melon. Tomatoes should smell fresh and lightly like tomatoes. Peaches and pears should smell like you'd want to eat it on the spot. This works on apples and bananas, too. I got this tip from a TV chef years ago, and it works every time. I get strange looks sometimes, but I get the pick of the crop. ~April G.
Another Swap Idea
I have read articles on Dollar Stretcher and elsewhere that suggest clothing swaps. Recently, I started feeling that my decor was a bit tired, but I didn't have money to replace all the accessories, flower arrangements, art, etc. I decided to have a "decorating swap." I invited several friends to bring over any decorating items they no longer wanted, including linens, lamps, artwork, candle holders, dried/silk flower arrangements, picture frames, etc. I put out some munchies and wine. We had a few laughs over some of the items, but everyone found something they could use. I found some ceramic vases that I'm going to spray paint for an updated look. I was able to exchange silk flower arrangements for others. All the leftovers went to the thrift store. The nice thing about decor swaps is that size really doesn't matter! ~Evelyn
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