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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - September 30, 2010

Disposable... Not, Yet!
My tip to keep a disposable razor sharp for months is to store the razor with the blade down in a small cup of olive oil. The oil will keep the razor blade sharp for months. ~Helen G. in Rock Hill, S.C

Non-Stick Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill the cup with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry the cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out. ~Lewis

Cracked Heels?
Instead of shopping for those expensive cremes and moisturizers that guarantee to fix your cracked heels, simply use some petroleum jelly. Slather it on any spots with cracks or just areas that you'd like to moisturize and then put on some socks. I do this at nighttime while sleeping. You'll notice a difference within one to two days. ~Anna C.

Easy Clean for Paintbrushes
The next time you decide to wash out your paintbrushes and rollers, mix one gallon of water with one cup of any fabric softener. Any water-based paint will come out instantly. This will save you a ton of time and also it saves you money by keep you from throwing out those dirty brushes and rollers. ~Anna C. in Austin, TX

Rejuvenating a Bulletin Board
I had a bulletin board that was looking really battered after almost seven years of use. I recovered it with a piece of material that I loved (salvaged from a past outfit), and it looked so great that my husband thought it was a painting! ~LS

Removing Pet Hair
A friend of mine was very interested in getting those fancy rolling pet hair removers or one of the ones with rubber fingers that you have to replace regularly, but at a cost of $15 plus, they were pricey. Since I assist with a dog rescue, where we often have pet hair on all the furniture, I let her know that we accomplish the same thing for about $4 by using a large rubber curry comb that you can get from any farm or large pet supply. It will not pick up all of the hair, but if you have enough that you have to take it off of your furniture, you're going to have to vacuum afterwards anyway. And we haven't had to replace the curry comb for over three years. ~Kamia T.

Online Timeout
When I shop online, I often leave items I have selected in the "shopping cart" at a website for a day or two while I decide if I really want them. Often, the company I am shopping with will email me to remind me that I have items in the cart. Many of them will send an incentive, such as a code for an additional discount or free shipping, in that email. If I decide to purchase the items, I have a little sweeter deal. ~Carol in Manorville, NY

The Auto Aversion
My mother-in-law, who is 77, taught me this phrase not long after my husband and I were first married. Her landlord said it to her when she was a struggling newlywed. It is "every time you get in the car, you spend money." When we drive somewhere and even if we don't purchase anything, we still spend money on gas! I think if we would quote that phrase when we are thinking about going somewhere, it might make us rethink a frivolous trip into town, especially with gas prices near $3 per gallon. ~Melissa

Start Next Year's Garden Now!
I love to garden! I have a couple five-gallon buckets that I put my coffee grounds, eggshells and organic matter (after I have made stock) in. I keep it outside all winter and then use it as compost in the spring. I also save toilet paper, paper towel, gift wrapping rolls and cardboard egg cartons for biodegradable seedling trays. Just cut rolls into two- to three-inch pieces and then make four slits on the bottom. Fold up like a cardboard box to make the bottom of the cup. They work like a charm and you don't have to uproot tender plants. ~Tracy from PA

Making Social Networks Pay
Have you gotten sucked into social networking constantly? It's easy to do. Why not make it work for you financially? Tell your frugal friends in town to post updates about sales/freebies/good deals locally. Recently, on Facebook, a friend of mine posted about a coupon for bottled water at Home Depot that ended up making the water free. It was only in our city, so it's not something I could have learned about without a local heads up. Consider updating your status about clearance sales, like $1 Kashi frozen meals or $4 large throw rugs, both of which I came across recently in my city. Also, it's worth posting about free flu shots, buy one get one items, lunch specials, bag sales at thrift shops, and free samples. If you have a few local thrifty friends on Facebook, you could actually save some money, not just advance in Mafia Wars and Farmville. ~Heidi in New Orleans

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 2010 Dollar Stretcher, Inc.


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