The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman
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Dollar Stretcher Tips - December 9, 2010
The Password Reminder
With all the passwords that each of us enters daily, one of the easiest ways to keep our goals in the forefront of our mind is to make all of our passwords goal oriented. They can include financial goals like "Mortgage2012" or "2KEmrgncyFnd." It's a simple and effective tool. ~Shirley B.
Winter Flyaway Hair
Add a couple of drops of fabric softener to the rinse water after you wash your hairbrush and then let it dry without further rinsing. It helps control the static electricity in your hair caused by winter dryness. ~M.
Christmas Tree Skirt Idea
We put up three Christmas trees, and we also have cats. Using the very cute but expensive tree skirts is not an option at our house. I found a three pack of fleece throws for $9.99 in holiday colors and themes. If you fold the corner back, they make very nice tree skirts that can be washed. If you only have one tree, you can use the other two as gifts or keep them to wrap up in on a cold night. ~Deb
I got tired of my cookbooks getting splattered in the kitchen, but didn't want to pay for one of those acrylic book cover stands, so I took a plastic document cover and cut off the edge. It fit right across the book! No more messed up pages, and it is easy to wipe up. ~Catherine
In the winter, I hate going out to get into a cold car. Unfortunately, I do not have one of the newer cars with heated seats. So, I warm one of those fantastic fabric covered bags in the microwave (some are filled with rice and some are filled with field corn). I warm it up for one minute and 40 seconds while I'm getting ready for work, and out to the cold I go with the warmer under my arm. Most importantly, I stay nice and warm until my car warms up. ~GL in AR
The Christmas Envelope
Every year, around October (or whenever I start my shopping), I take a large manila envelope and label it "Christmas Gift Receipts." Then as I purchase items to use as gifts, I place the receipts in the envelope. I also include the confirmation pages for items I have ordered online. This serves several purposes. First, it gives me a comprehensive total of what I spend on gifts, and it shows me exactly what I bought each person. Second, it saves me from having to search everywhere for that one receipt for my grandson's sweater that I bought two sizes too small (they grow so quickly!). Third, I can check off online orders as they arrive. It's a simple, but handy trick. ~Mary Alice
Just Ask Around
My mini-refrigerator at work died at the end of the last school year. I am a teacher at a large high school. I sent an email to teachers in my department, asking if anyone had a refrigerator that they no longer needed. One teacher replied and gladly gave a refrigerator to me. He said that his daughter had just graduated from college. By simply making a request, I got what I needed with no expense to me. In addition, the other teacher had a reason to bring in a refrigerator that was cluttering up his home. It was a win/win situation! Try asking. You may be surprised at the answer. ~Carol W.
Cheaper Auto Financing
Here's a tip to save on automobile financing. Talk to your bank's loan person, get their phone number, and program it into your cell phone. Go to a credit union, talk to the loan person, and do the same. Possibly get a third name and number. Now, once you have the price of the car nailed down and the papers signed, it will be time to talk financing. Every time the finance person says, "This is the best deal I can get you," call one of your people and get a counter offer. I have placed four to five calls and shaved 3% off the interest rate. The finance man at the dealer just keeps reaching deeper in his file cabinet for better and better deals. Most of them get a kickback for getting you to accept a higher interest rate than you qualify for, so you need to be careful. ~Deborah Z.
I read somewhere that the "Microfiber" cleaning cloths were fantastic to clean with and available at BJ's in the auto department. I totally agree. I found some at Wal-Mart and bought eight for $5. I just tried one today (dry) and it worked like magic. It cleaned my stove top, inside/outside my microwave with just a couple of swipes, and all around my cupboard doors that always have greasy prints on them. That is one gift all my family will get for Christmas. You can use them over and over, either wet or dry, and wash them and re-use them. They look like face cloths and have some for glass and some for auto cleaning. I am definitely going to buy some for my glass doors on my next trip. ~Lori in Port St. Lucie, FL
My Special Detergent Mix
Try this for getting the most out of that high dollar laundry detergent. I love the scents on several of the more expensive laundry detergents but hate the price. I love the price of the cheap stuff but don't love the scent, so I figured out how to combine the two to get the best of both worlds. My local dollar store frequently has a coupon dispenser in the laundry section with dollar off coupons for one of the cheaper detergents they sell. You can use the coupons on any size, so I buy the smallest bottle and pay only $1.50 per bottle after the coupon. Next I buy a small bottle of the expensive stuff. I mix 1/3 of it in the cap with the cheap stuff. I still get that same awesome scent that I love and nice clean clothes, but my bottle last three times as long. ~J.
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