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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - May 24, 2012

Bug Away
I wanted to enjoy sitting outside, but the bugs kept me from doing so. The solution was using an oscillating fan on my patio table. The bugs can't compete with the breeze from the fan! ~Patrice in Raymond, Maine

Saving Nail Polish
Want to keep your nail polish fresh longer? Just keep the nail polish in the door of the refrigerator. I keep mine in the butter compartment, since I use tub butter anyway. I don't know why this works. I learned about it decades ago in high school from a friend. The nail polish never thickens and clumps if it's refrigerated. ~Joan R. in Claremore, OK

Today's Treasures
Take care of everything you have today. You may not have it or be able to replace it in the future. That goes for relationships, "stuff," your home, and everything you have in your possession right now. ~Karen K.

Getting Rid of Stuff
Why pay money when free is better? I got an estimate to haul away some old boards and landscape ties, which was almost $100 due to labor, high gas prices, and dump "recycle" fees. Instead, I put a notice on a free forum stating "must take all." I had over 20 responses in four hours, and someone came within an hour of my call to take it all, for free. Now that's recycling. ~Damsel

Building a Casual Wardrobe
To build up my casual wardrobe, I "window shop" at home via catalogs. I circle the clothes that I like and set the catalogs aside until the end of the season. I sign up for that company's email notifications of sales, and at the end of the season, I can usually get anywhere from 50-75% off the original sale price in the catalog doing things this way. Occasionally, I can even find free shipping. ~Regina

A Mild Abrasive
I like to use baking soda. If I'm trying to scrub off a price tag and dish soap alone won't do it, baking soda provides the extra abrasive and will usually get all of the sticky tag residue off. This is especially useful on kitchen items bought from thrift stores, because those tags generally don't come off easily. It's also helpful any time I need a little more grit while scrubbing in the kitchen or bath. ~Rose

Brighten Your Decor
I don't like to spend money on florist bouquets. Instead, I collect small vases from yard sales and thrift shops in colors that match the decor of the rooms I spend time in. I fill them with blossoms that grow in my yard, friends' blooms like daisies or Queen Anne's lace, and/or leaves with attractive shapes or colors. I set them on a table that I sit next to when I read, on a nightstand, on the kitchen windowsill, in the bathroom, etc. They don't take up much space, cost nothing, and allow me to use my own creativity in a fun way. ~Sally of Fairfax, VA

Natural Beauty Lotion
Instead of buying expensive creams for face and body, use extra-virgin olive oil! One bottle goes a long way for the price, and after using it, you will not want to go back to other creams. It absorbs into the skin and moisturizes better than anything else. Also, it is absolutely full of the kinds of vitamins, minerals, and emollients that the most expensive petroleum-based moisturizers contain. Italian women swear buy it and so will you! What you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, and there is no harm in absorbing olive oil. If you shake it up in a spray bottle with a few drops of essential oils for a nice fragrance, you just made applying it both easy and pleasant! ~Brooke L.

A Doctor Suggested...
I have an infant that is teething. I kept buying the pain medicine at the store but was tired of the prices for a little bottle that was for eight uses. I called the doctor's office and asked if they could write a prescription for the pain medicine. They did this for me, and I got a huge bottle for half the price I would pay for the small bottles they sell in the store. ~Cathy L. in Copake, NY

Avoiding Car Trouble
When my husband and I change the oil in our trucks, we always clean the battery posts to free them of all corrosion. Then we use the little bit of oil in the bottle to coat the battery posts. We rub the oil in really well, and this keeps the posts from corroding so quickly. ~Ruthmary in Mansfield, LA

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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