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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - January 12, 2012

Easy Car Detailing
When you're cleaning out your car and unable to get the hard-to-reach dirt and crumbs out of the cracks, just use an old makeup (blush) brush. It works like a charm! ~Linda

Avoid Ironing
I almost never have to iron our clothes. As soon as the hanging clothes come out of the dryer, they go on hangers and onto a hanging rack near the dryer. If I take them out of the dryer while they are slightly damp, it is even better. The wrinkles just "hang" out of them. It is certainly a time and energy saver to not have to iron! ~Gayle P.

Easy Organized Clothing
When a new season arrives, I hang all the items with the hangers facing backwards. When I wear and wash the item, I return it to the closet facing the proper way. At the end of the season, it's super easy to tell which of the items I never wore, and those are the ones I donate for someone else to enjoy. ~Suzziee

Homemade TV Dinners
I save the containers that cheap TV dinners come in and hand-wash them. I put leftovers in them for portion sizes, cover with foil, and freeze. After the food is frozen, I put the frozen portions into a FoodSaverŪ freezer bag and vacuum seal it with the date and contents listed. I have a home-cooked meal that's convenient. I can also bring a bag over for my widowed Grandfather to make sure he is eating well. ~Angie

Requesting Video Games
Instead of paying full price for the latest video games on my son's wish list, I found a much cheaper solution. I called our local video game store and put in a request. They called me two days later. The game was in! The discounted price for a used game was $50 ($10 off the new price), but I had a half-price coupon, so I only paid $25! It is in like-new condition, and the store guarantees it for 30 days. We've been doing this for years and have never been disappointed. ~Shaunna in ND

Replacing Juice Boxes
We all know how expensive boxes/pouches of juice can be and how many are not 100% juice. I purchase large multi-packs of eight-ounce water bottles and mix my own juice from generic concentrates to fill the bottles. They cost a lot less, hold more juice than the boxes/pouches, and can be washed and reused (though not a huge expense if lost or damaged on occasion). ~Elaine in NJ

Doggie Sweaters
I made my dog a sweater out of an old sweatpants leg. The ribbed cuff is the neck of the sweater. Then I measured the length from tip of cuff to the beginning of the tail and cut that section off the pant leg. Next I laid that section on the dog to get an estimate of where to cut the arm holes. Since I have a male dog, I had to cut a large upside down U-shape off the bottom of the sweater. You can also use sweatshirt arms. For tiny dogs, use baby sweatshirts or pants. You can buy them at thrift stores for next to nothing. You can ask your friends to give them to you rather than throw them away when they reach that state of wear that you would die if someone saw you in them. You can embellish them with all kinds of ribbons, sequins, and other things to make extra special for your doggy. I am a senior citizen, and I have no grandchildren, so it is lots of fun to do things for my dog and for my friends' dogs. ~Maria

Cleaning Vinyl Floors
I clean homes for a living. I have had clients that wanted me to clean their vinyl floors with what they had on hand. I did for them, but for my own place, I don't allow that junk in my home. I think what most people think is ground in dirt is really MOP & GLO® that has built up over time. I recommend using plain old sudsy ammonia. Pour on liberally and lightly move mop over the floor as ammonia breaks up the old wax. Moving the mop helps the wax to be removed more evenly. After your mop gets a dirty look to it, start rinsing in the sink with running water. After all the old wax is off, it is good to close the pores of the floor with a sealer. Put a coat or two of the sealer on and then a couple coats of wax. Be sure to let it dry thoroughly between coats. After your floor is waxed, don't use anything with ammonia in it again. I recommend plain old vinegar and water. I get my sealer and wax from a company called Hesco, but you might try Home Depot, Merlands, Home Base, etc. ~MB

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 2012 Dollar Stretcher, Inc.


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