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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - November 4, 2010

Bread Heels
Since no one likes the heels of bread, I put them in a gallon freezer bag. When I am going to make stuffing for my chicken or turkey, I just take it out and start cooking! ~Sandra

College Application Fees
When talking to the college representative at "College Night" at your high school or on the phone, ask if the college waives the application fee for students with a high ACT score. Some colleges do. ~Nancy P.

Identifying Leftovers
I like to re-use plastic food containers with removable lids (from cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, etc.), but I don't like misplacing food because I cannot see what is stored inside. So when I wash these items, I cut away a portion of the middle of the lid, being careful to preserve the "integrity" of the edges. Then I place my leftovers or other items in the container, cover the opening with a piece of plastic wrap, and snap the lid in place, creating a sealed window through which I can still view the contents. ~Jenne in Missouri

Rejuvenated Lamp Shades
Regarding old lamp shades. I bought five lace placemats at a discount store. They fit perfectly on the shades that I had. I pinned them to the top of the shades with pearl-headed pins and let the scalloped edge hang a bit below the bottom edge of the shade. They look very expensive. My neighbor thought I had my lamp shades custom made. ~Dave K.

A Super Side Dish
I have an inexpensive cabbage side dish to share. Shred a small wedge of cabbage, place in a medium size fry pan, add 1/4 cup vegetable oil or olive oil, chop one small onion, and add to fry pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fry until the onions turn translucent in color and serve. It's inexpensive, easy, and very good. ~S.

Need Extra Cash?
Most communities have newspaper routes available for adults that are delivered by car. Of course, you must have a reliable vehicle, and it usually requires early morning delivery, although some are delivered in the afternoon. This could provide several hundred dollars of income per month. Weigh it carefully against the cost of fuel these days. Since you may not want to drive all over town early in the morning during a snowstorm, the type of weather where you live would also make a difference. ~L.T.

Making Dry Mixes
Instead of buying mixes for things like banana bread, I make my own. When I have some time and am making a batch of quick bread, I line up several zipper bags and put the dry ingredients in them as I put them in the bowl. I then label them and store them in my pantry. When I want to bake again, I just have to grab a mix and half the work is done! This saves me money and time, and it is much healthier for my family. ~Tammy D. in Germantown, WI

How to Freeze Bread
I stopped buying bread and placing into the freezer because when I defrosted the bread, it was always gummy at the bottom and not very appetizing to my family. However, I discovered if you put a frozen loaf of bread on a rack for cooling cookies, the air will circulate and the bread comes out just as fresh as the day you bought it. This also works well with hamburger and hot dog buns, and my family does not know I am now serving frozen bread from the freezer. Wish I had discovered this years ago. ~D.

Cheaper Paint Edging
I recently purchased a house but could not afford a painter to come paint, so I decided to do it myself. My concern was buying all that blue tape to trim the edges with to make a "clean" edge with the paint and then throwing it away. I searched for an alternative as the tape was expensive and the thought of throwing it away after I was done was appalling. I came across latex bathroom caulk. I adhered the caulk to the top of the baseboard. I put just a thin line down, and I didn't mash it with my finger like you would if you really need to caulk something. I just made a small bead line. And then I painted. After I finished painting, I used the little V shaped caulk tool to start the edge of the caulk and it all came off in one long line. The paint line was as perfectly straight as if I'd taped it off. Best of all, I reused the caulk in another area. I used it to caulk my daughter's window frames outside and mashed it in for actual use. The cost was minimal, it worked wonders, and there was no waste. ~Wendy B.

Junk Drawer Organizers
You know those pesky kitchen junk drawers that get filled up with stuff so quickly? Then, when you look for something, you almost have to dig through half of the drawer to find a certain item. I nipped this problem in the bud with plastic tool organizers available in any home appliance store. They are usually made of sturdy transparent plastic and are used to store nails, tacks, tools and other equipment. The containers are divided into sections of different sizes and have a plastic lid that fits tight to prevent the contents from spilling. Buy several of these (they're quite inexpensive) and use them to organize your junk drawer. You'll be glad you did. My junk drawer is so organized now that all I have to do is open the right container and grab the item I want without having to dig through the mess to get to it. ~Karolina

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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