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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - November 10, 2011

Dog Beds
I buy cheap pillows (from anywhere), and after I have used them quite awhile, I put a pillowcase on them and put them in the dog's kennel. These make great dog pillows! ~Pam M.

The Markdown Hour
Go to the supermarket about an hour or before they close. There are usually huge markdowns, particularly on fresh foods that can go into the freezer. I work in a supermarket. ~Gina

Last Minute Concert Tickets
A concert featuring a very well known cello player had been sold out for months. By arriving at the box office an hour before curtain time, we not only got tickets, but also they were free! Since then, we've found that concerts, theater, and other event tickets are usually available just before show time. They are often available free or at a greatly reduced ($5 or under) price. Plus, you usually get some of the best seats in the house. There are no guarantees. We take your chances on availability, but we've never been turned away. ~Jane D.

Watch the Returns
When you return merchandise or exchange it, always check your cash receipt to be sure they have not only refunded the price of your merchandise, but also the tax you paid. Twice lately, stores have failed to return tax paid while at the same time charging tax on the new merchandise. At one store, the cashier told me that it was store policy to retain the tax paid on returned merchandise. I asked to talk with the manager, who then gave me the refund for the tax. ~Bette

Winterizing Rental Homes
I have always used masking tape and put up plastic over the windows when in rentals. Masking tape comes off with no damage. In fact, you will probably have to re-tape it at least once during the year. It won't hurt wall coverings unless they are peeling off the wall already. You can also put pieces of white foam up over the glass. From outside, it just looks like the lining of curtains. I also use a small space heater (not the kind with the glowing wires) to supply spot heat for where I sit. `Debbie

Longer Lasting Razors
Want to make razors last longer? Dry them off! Either blot them with a towel or place them in front of a small fan in the bathroom. Like most any other metal, when exposed to moisture and air, your razor blades begin to rust. This is a microscopic sized rust that forms on the edge of the blade, thus hastening the "dulling" of your blade. Just because you can't see it with your naked eye doesn't mean it's not there! ~Ernie

The Daily Dripper
Our monthly water/sewer bill went from double digits to triple digits for three months before I tried one simple thing. I started reading the water meter every day. Knowing the amount of water I was using each day forced me to calculate the number of gallons I used per flush, per load of clothes washed, per bath, and per load of dirty dishes. A self-audit stopped me from pouring liquid gold down the drain each month. ~Cynthia S.

Snug in Bed
Here's a way to keep warmer at night that I discovered by accident. I bought a single flat flannel sheet on sale believing it was a set. Since I didn't open it until it got cold, I couldn't return it. I put it on the other day as a second flannel top sheet and I cannot believe how warm I stayed! All I have is the two flannel top sheets and a light blanket, and I am warm! ~Jenn

Cold Prevention
Here are a few more suggestions to keep viruses at bay: 1. Start a habit of everyone washing their hands when they come in from work and school. 2. Wipe things that are touched by multiple family members with a vinegar and water solution (such as doorknobs, computer keyboards, phones, and remotes). 3. Have everyone take a multivitamin daily. I found that when I added vitamin D as well as a multivitamin, I felt much better through the dark months of winter. ~A.

Time for Action
Drastic times call for drastic measures. I can recall sitting in the office of a bankruptcy lawyer years ago and him telling me and my husband to sell our home, move in with our parents, and get out of debt. There was no way I was going to listen to such gibberish. I sat there and cried instead. I did not want to do anything so drastic. I look back now and realize that he was right. We needed to do something drastic. A few years later, the day came when my husband left me with a baby and I had to make it on my own financially. I made it for almost a year with no child support, but I was sinking fast. Recalling the advice of my frugal lawyer, I put the house on the market and went to live with my parents. It was a huge sacrifice for everyone, but I can tell you that my daughter and I have a better life today because of that decision. I no longer have the worry of making ends meet all by myself. I have help taking care of my daughter, and we enjoy one another's company as well. Families need to pull together in tough times. It was a huge sacrifice for my daughter, my parents, and me, but we made it work. ~B.

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 2011 Dollar Stretcher, Inc.


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