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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - April 26, 2012

Car Insurance Savings
Call your car insurance company and ask for paperless billing. It can save $5 a month. ~Mark A.

Handy Window Insulation
Although our home is fairly new, the upstairs floor has vaulted ceilings and large windows that get a lot of sun, making it very hot in summer and cold in winter. Using the thinnest gauge of rigid insulation sheets and a knife from the kitchen drawer, we cut panels to fit the windows for those extra hot or cold days. Our house is now much more comfortable, and we save on heating. The panels are white and look like lined curtains from the street. On the inside, we already had existing window dressings to cover them. ~K.

Dusting Lampshades
I use a lint roller for dusting lampshades and removing pet hair from upholstery. However, if the area is very large, I use a "press and seal" type plastic wrap. I spread a large piece over the area, and the hair, etc. sticks to it and comes up easily. This is a much faster way to cover more territory! ~ DG

Hair Conditioner
I have been recently using a homemade hair conditioner and am surprised and pleased with the results. I mix 1/4- to 1/2-cup apple cider vinegar with a little bit of lemon juice and a quart of water and rinse my hair with it after shampooing. After waiting a few minutes, I then rinse with clear water. My hair is so easy to comb and soft. It's amazing. The smell of vinegar is gone by the time my hair is dry, and it's not really that bad anyway. R.

Another Way It Pays to Shop Around
I got a prescription for a generic antibiotic from my dentist. I took it to my chain pharmacy and asked them if perhaps it would be cheaper than my copay if I didn't use my insurance. They told me that it was over $16 either way. That seemed high to me, so I didn't fill the prescription. After that, I had to go to the grocery store. Out of curiosity, I asked the pharmacist in the grocery store's pharmacy about the price for my prescription. Imagine my delight when she said that it was "free." Wow! I was surprised! ~DMR

For Lack of a Button...
Buttons have become quite expensive. I recently needed a 5/8-inch button for a jacket and didn't have one. The least expensive at the discount store was about $3.48 for two buttons. When going to garage and yard sales, now I check the "free" box. The clothing may have stains or be torn, but the buttons can be removed and stored until needed for sewing or crafting. We have a thrift store that has $1 bag day. If I can't find clothing in my size to fill a bag, I look for specific sizes and colors of buttons. Children's outfits often have cute buttons that can be used for craft projects. ~Ronda H.

Frizzy Hair Control
When I try on clothing or during dry conditions, my hair takes on a new look with frizz and static. By accident, I found this solution. I put some hand lotion on while getting my self back together. Then I combed my hair with my fingers, and the frizz went away. Most of the lotion soaked into my skin so my hair didn't get greasy. No matter where I am, I don't get caught with the frizzies anymore. ~Judy in New York

Removing Stickers
Here is an easy way to remove those annoying price stickers from glass. Pour enough dish soap over the sticker to lightly cover it. Leave the item until morning and then gently scrape the area with a razor blade. Wipe off the sticker and soap with a rag, using a squirt or two of window cleaner or vinegar/water solution on the rag. Your frame is now ready to hang. ~Christine

Pregnancy Tip
During pregnancy, we have to buy so many things to get ready for baby. Save a little by purchasing a sports bra instead of a maternity or nursing bra. I bought one nursing bra for $20 to wear out and about. I bought three sports bras for $10 (yes, all 3 for $10!) and I wear them around the house. After delivery, moms take quite a few weeks to heal and are mostly at home with baby, so it pays to be comfortable. The sports bras are much more comfortable because the wide straps provide great support (eases back pain, too!). They work just as well as a nursing bra with the fancy openings, and they cost much less! ~Susan D.

Auto Insurance Settlements
A couple weeks ago, a kid pulled out in front of my brother who was driving my car. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but my dependable, 210,000 mile, completely paid for, great gas mileage Honda was deemed a total loss by the other insurance company's adjuster. They originally offered me something that was much lower than any sort of replacement cost. I called the junkyard that had towed it, explained that I was out of town, and asked if she could fax his insurance company the receipts for the tires and brakes I had in the glove box. She did, and the insurance company then offered me 44% more than the original offer, all for just a little bit of extra effort. I would suggest to readers that if they are offered a settlement for an insurance claim, they should see if there are improvements or other things with receipts that they could use to increase their compensation. ~David M.

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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