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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - May 10, 2012

Leftover Wine
Freeze the wine left over after company (that bit in the bottle). Put it in zipper baggies to add to your sauces, etc. ~Judi

More Absorbent Towels
This may not save a bunch of money, but it does make a difference after a shower. When you wash a load of towels, do not put any fabric softener in the washer or the dryer. The towels will be much more absorbent. ~Linda N.

Natural Weed Removal
I use a kettle of boiling water to kill the weeds that grow in the cracks of our sidewalk. I just pour it on the weeds (especially at the root) every day until they die. This works pretty good and is safe for kids and pets after treatment. ~Melissa W.

Cheap Stress Reducer
I found a great way to reduce stress! I went to a local dollar store and bought a coloring book and crayons. It's unbelievable that just coloring can reduce stress. It's great and inexpensive! Plus, it gave me the chance to "be a kid again." ~Lilly

A Cleaner Microwave
Microwaving some foods, like baked beans or soup, can leave a mess in your microwave from all the splatters. Instead of wasting a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap to cover the food, use a plate instead. If a tight seal is not required, this also works when covering foods in the refrigerator. ~Kristin Z.

Handy Laundry Stain Treatment
I filled an empty hand soap dispenser with laundry detergent and put it in the bathroom. Naturally, I marked it so everyone knows it's detergent, not hand soap. Now when my preschooler undresses for a bath, I can hand scrub the stains out right away and watch her bathe at the same time. It also gets the stains out before they set in. ~B.

Cleaner Windshields
My windshield wipers didn't seem like they were doing a decent job, so I bought new ones and had my son replace them for me. I was disappointed to see the new ones seemed the same. My son told me to make a paste out of baking soda and to clean the entire windshield. It dissolved the road grime that windshield cleaner didn't touch and made it as good as new! ~Arlene W. in Olympia, WA

Deodorant Choices
As a female, I prefer unscented stick deodorant/antiperspirant because I don't like the scent to compete with my perfume. I have discovered that men's unscented stick deodorants/antiperspirants tend to be bigger and cheaper. As they have no scent, it doesn't matter. Now that I'm past the packaging, I am saving every day! Also, I have more options when using coupons. ~Deb

Summer Travels
My family travels a lot and often visits science centers. Last year, we went to one in Virginia, and the gentleman suggested that we consider a membership. We were not from that area. However, he mentioned that with our membership, we would also have free admission to over 200 other science centers around the US and in other countries. We signed up. Over the course of the year, we saved more than the cost of the membership by going to other science centers. This past weekend we went to a science center in New York, purchased a membership for $55, and got free admission to the local zoo and discovery center. If we had paid for admissions to the three places, it would have cost us $67. The membership paid for itself in one weekend. ~Deborah D.

Quick Breakfasts
As an alternative to cereal for quick breakfasts, I've been making frozen pancakes. Pancakes made from scratch cost very little compared to frozen waffles and other pre-made foods, and they taste better. I just make extra when I'm making pancakes on the weekend, let them cool, stack them in a bread bag, and freeze them. To reheat them, I just pop them in the toaster the same way I would with store-bought frozen waffles. ~Stacey

Snack Drawer
My tip is to have a snack drawer ready to go! We pack a snack and lunch every day for school. To cut down on time and save money, I have a drawer that is dedicated to my packing. I buy large bags of snacks (pretzels, cheese balls, etc.) and repack in snack and sandwich size bags. I then add other things to the drawer (fruit roll-ups, dried fruit, etc.). Now, it is so quick and easy to pack lunches and snacks every morning. It also comes in handy when my son wants a snack. He goes to the snack drawer, and it is already portioned out, which has helped with snacking and overeating. This is great for hubby and myself, too. ~Kelly in NC

Want to live better on the money you already make? Visit www.stretcher.com/index.cfm?TipsSyn to find hundreds of articles to help you stretch your day and your dollar! Copyright 2012 Dollar Stretcher, Inc.

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