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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - April 5, 2012

Better Vacations
I have discovered that once I reach my travel destination, a great place to find out more about the flavor of the city I'm in is the local library. I can get local information from the librarian and many times the locals will give me advice (tips) on where to go, such as accommodations, dining, and activities. ~Cynthia H.

Just a Bit of...
When I purchase oranges and take off the rind, I put them into a food processor and process them until fine. Then I place them either in a zipper freezer bag or a container and freeze them until needed in a recipe. I also do this with lemons and limes. It's a great savings, and it is potent. A little goes a long way! ~Lilly P. in Bentleyville, PA

Longer Lasting
Once the carton is open, store sour cream, yogurt, and cottage cheese upside down in the fridge. If you do this, it won't go bad. I keep them in a cereal bowl in case they leak a little bit, but otherwise this is an great way to use up every bit of these foods. ~Nancy in Santee

Bigger Dog Beds
I have an Irish wolfhound and couldn't find a large dog bed that I could afford. I went to the local thrift store and bought a used crib mattress for $10. It's perfect. It wipes clean and uses crib sheets. And she loves it! ~DeeAnn F.

Why I Like "Deals"
Whenever shopping on a new website, always sign up for deals to be sent to your inbox. Then get off the site and wait for 24 hours. The company will always send you a coupon code to your inbox just to get you to come back to the site if you are a first-time buyer. Sometimes it's a percentage off or a free shipping offer. Then go back and buy what you picked out the day before, using your coupon code. ~Jenny K

A Bakery Outlet Fan
Reduce the amount of money you spend on bread and bakery products by shopping at your local bread outlet store. I shop at the local bakery outlet and save 60-90% off the retail price. Not only do I get the name brand bread items that my family loves, but I also get more nutritional items, made from 100% whole wheat, for less than you would pay for the generic brand of a lesser quality bread. The bread outlet also sends "buy one get one free" coupons through the mail, offers a punch card system for more free products, and gives a free bread/bakery product for purchasing over a certain amount during each visit. There are certainly not enough good things to say about shopping for your bread products at a bakery outlet. ~K.

Cleaning Mini-Blinds
To clean mini-blinds with no elbow grease at all, take them outside and hang them on the clothesline. Make sure that the blinds hang level. Spray them with Scrubbing Bubbles® on both sides, wait about three minutes, and spray off with a hose. They will be sparkling clean. I have 14 blinds in my house, and I can clean and hang them all in about an hour and a half. When I am done with one, I hang it across the clothesline to dry while I spray the next one. Then I take the dry one in to hang. It's very easy! ~Brenda W.

Quick Homemade Gravy
I'm often in a hurry when I cook, but I also like good gravy. I spray canola no-stick cooking spray in the skillet and add two cups of flour. After I let it brown nicely, I put it in a jar in the refrigerator. When I want to make gravy, all I have to do is add the browned flour to the skillet with water and seasoning. I don't have to worry about it browning because it's already done. Now I have quick gravy for my meal. ~Katherine G.

Eliminating Squirrels
My brother had squirrels in his attic and tried luring them out with food (didn't work), flushing them out with water (didn't work), waiting until they were out and filling the hole (they came back), and many other things. What finally worked was spraying fox urine (bought at a hunting supply store) into the hole. Since foxes are higher on the food chain than squirrels, they left promptly! ~Sarah McD. in Toronto

The Point Patrol
I have a Kroger's Visa card. I get twice the gas points when I buy a gift card from Kroger. They have tons of choices. Whenever we need to make a major purchase like a washer, lawn furniture, mower, etc., we go to Kroger first to purchase a Home Depot or Lowe's gift card for the amount we need. I go online first to find the cheapest price. Then we go to the store where we will make our purchase and pay for it with the gift card. Not only do we get twice the gas points, but we also receive a 5% discount at Home Depot, Lowe's, and many other stores by showing the cashier our military ID. I also use this method for restaurants. Before we go out to eat, we decide where we are going. Then we go by Kroger to buy a gift card to the restaurant we need. We use the gift card to pay for our meal and get twice the gas points. It's a win-win for us. ~Janice S. in Knoxville, TN

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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