The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman
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Dollar Stretcher Tips - November 25, 2010
Many big box stores currently give military members a 10% discount on purchases by showing an ~JS
Take an old sweatshirt and use the sleeve for a sweater for your pet. Just cut off the arm at the shoulder. Cut off the cuff. With the seam down under the tummy, make two slits for the legs. Then roll the top back for a nice cozy sweater. I have four dogs, so two old sweatshirts worked out perfectly. ~Linda D.
Personalized Christmas Gift
For Christmas gifts for my son's friends and our family, I bought corkboards at a local store for about $6 each. Then I used acrylic paint that I already had at home and painted things like flowers for the girls and sports for the boys. You don't have to be an artist to do this. I just went online and downloaded free stencils and traced them with a pencil. Then I painted their names and everyone loved them. People actually wanted me to start making them to sell! It was fun, easy, and cheap! ~Micah in Alabama
Recently, I came upon the idea to put any clothing with stains that need pre-treating on a hanger before putting it in the clothes hamper. When I do laundry, it reminds me to check that item and pre-treat before washing, which saves me accidentally forgetting and ruining clothing. ~Kristi L.
For the Love of Animals
Our quilting group has started collecting all the selvage edges of materials and cut off pieces of material and quilt batting that cannot be used in our quilts. They are stuffed into pillowcase type pads, stitched closed, and then delivered to the nearest SPCA. These beds are re-usable as they can be washed and dried and used for the comfort of the next animal. ~Maren
In many parts of the country, for the next several months, some of us will find ourselves needing to scrape the frost or ice off of our windshields. For years, I would run to my car, turn on the heater and defroster, run back inside, let the car idle for several minutes, and then come back to the car after the frost had vanished. I realized the other day that if I would merely park my car so that it is facing the opposite direction, the sun could do most of that work for me. ~Rebecca H.
Homemade Snuggle Blanket
I have some advice for anyone thinking of purchasing a Snuggie®. You can buy fleece or any other type of fabric you'd like on sale this time of year from most fabric shops. There are tons of free patterns online if you do a Google search. Some are specifically made for kids and some are made for those who are not very adept at sewing. For a full-sized adult version, you only need three yards of 60-inch fabric, which on sale is usually around $10 or less. Plus, you can customize it to fit the person's special likes. For example, use horse printed fleece for the horse lover or baby animals or characters for smaller children. The pattern is so easy that my Dad made one for his newest granddaughter. We had a couple bought as gifts for us, and I personally would prefer the fleece you get at the fabric store. It's warmer and softer. ~S in CO
Just 5 Minutes
Instead of drying a whole dryer full of clothes, I put the load in for five minutes. I set a timer so I don't forget. After five minutes, I take the clothes out and hang them either on hangers or a drying rack. This saves money on electricity. The five minutes is plenty of time to take the wrinkles out, so I'm not spending money on heating an iron, either. (I do add a touch of fabric softener in the washing machine.) ~Lucia F. in Woodruff, SC
Do you like to attend theatre but don't like the hefty ticket prices or parking fees? Check out your local high school and college productions. They are amazingly good, and the price is right! Our local high school put on the play "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" for only $3 per student/child and $5 per adult. One local college put on the productions "Phantom of the Opera" for only $10 per student/child and $15 per adult. I felt like I attended a Broadway show with the quality of the performance and the set. At these prices, it's a great way to introduce your child to live theatre. As a bonus, you don't typically pay parking either. These prices can be better than going to the movies, and you also support your local school and students! ~WCD
Before You Call for Repairs
When something's wrong or doesn't work, don't call a repairman first! Go online and type the problem in Google. Chances are that you'll find someone else had the same problem. There may be a cheap solution. The icemaker on my fridge door stopped giving cubes of ice. No matter how hard I pushed the "cube" button, I only got crushed ice. When I typed that into Google, I found a simple solution listed. It said that sometimes an ice chip or cube gets stuck in the mechanism of the ice drawer. All I had to do is take out the ice drawer and let it completely thaw out! Problem solved! And it didn't cost a thing! ~Debbie C.
The Save Before Spending Plan
In the last few years, I have really looked at my spending habits. When I want to buy something now, I question whether or not it is something I "want" or "need." Whichever the case, I open up a new savings account (very easily done) within my Internet only bank and name the account the item I wanted to purchase. I steadfastly save for the item until I have enough to buy it. Then I either buy the item, or if I determine I really don't need or want the item I opened the account for, I rename the account something else and repeat the scenario. This was also great way for me to avoid buying anything on impulse or using a credit card! I eventually trained my brain into knowing I could only afford something if I saved for it! ~Natalie B.
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