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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - June 7, 2012

Save Your Hair!
I found that drying my hair with the cool setting on the hair dryer prevents/tames frizzies, especially in this hot, humid weather. It works better than using all sorts of hair products that don't work. ~Lilly P.

Natural Fabric Softener
Vinegar is a natural fabric softener (1/2 cup a load usually works). We use this for our baby's cloth diapers because fabric softeners take away their absorbency, and it works great. The vinegar also helps to remove soap residue. ~Allison

Bottom Feeding
Pump dispenser tubing used for hand lotion, shampoos, and conditioners, etc. typically do not extend to the bottom of the container. This leaves some product at the bottom, which can be accessed again by extending a plastic straw inside the tube for another half of an inch to an inch to reclaim more of the product. ~Ron T. in Layton, UT

Leftover Hotdog Buns
I always have leftover hot dog buns, especially during BBQ season. Leftover hotdog buns make great French toast sticks for breakfast (use with your typical French toast recipe). They also make great garlic bread sticks. I butter and garlic them and sprinkle cheese on top. Then I bake them in a 375-degree oven for 15 minutes. My family loves it and can't tell they are old hot dog buns! ~Lydia

Repurposed Dinner Plates
I have several dinner plates that have cracked or gotten chipped edges over time. Instead of throwing them away, I use them to put a border fence around my garden. I dig a space and stand the plates up (space needs to be deep enough and long enough to hold the plates in place). They look beautiful and add charm to my garden! I hate to throw anything away and use ordinary household items to add beauty and whimsy to my yard. It saves a lot of money and gives new life to old household items. Lisa C.

Very Low Cost Weekend Outing
We purchased a used fifth wheel last year. For my birthday, I asked my hubby to take me camping. We left right after lunch one day and came back in about 24 hours. For the price of gas to tote the RV and drive 60 miles to a state lake with free camping, we had a cheap vacation. We took all the food from home. I even baked cupcakes at home to bring along and celebrate. It was inexpensive and fun! I really felt like we were on vacation. ~KB in Oberlin, KS

Low Cost Make-Up Remover
There are hundreds of make-up removers on the market that are costly and some are potentially harsh to the skin. Instead of throwing your money away, use everyday baby shampoo. Just apply a small amount on a cotton pad with a little water to safely and effectively remove your make-up. The best part is it even works great on eye make-up since baby shampoo does not irritate eyes. It is gentle to your skin, and you may already have it on hand. I keep a travel size in my medicine chest and that lasts about six months. For around $.99 a bottle, it can't be beat! ~ Jaimie L.

Free Fly Zone
I just returned from my friends' house that is out in the country. They had a bad case of flies on their front porch that they have successfully gotten "fly-free." They were told to hang closed zipper plastic baggies of plain water from the eaves of the porch roof. At first, they did not believe that this would work, but surprisingly, they found that it does! They tacked up four or five baggies along the inside eaves on the porch, and we weren't bothered by a fly at all. This doesn't help with the mosquitoes, however. If anyone knows how or why this works, we would all like to know. ~ Lisa S.

Lower AC Bills
Turns out a simple overhang made of metal or other material shading an air conditioner at least two feet over it can reduce AC costs up to 10%. You can also save water by channeling the AC condensation water to your plants or a container for watering. ~ Darrel R.

Summer Firestarters
Dryer lint makes great starter fuel for barbecues or for campfires. It is free for the collecting. Best of all, it doesn't leave a smell of chemicals in your food. I collect my dryer lint in a plastic bag starting on Mother's Day, and I form the flat sheets into cubes. Then I stack my briquettes or kindling above my dryer lint cubes and light with a match. Starts a great fire! ~G

Time to Buy Meat
My local grocery store always seems to cut too much fresh meat on Fridays for the upcoming weekend, and as a result, they have to reduce the price before the sell-by date expires. Knowing that this will happen, on Sunday mornings between 9-10am, I do my grocery shopping and take advantage of some great prices. The cuts of meat are still perfectly fine, and since I take them straight home and put them in my freezer, nothing spoils. I can easily buy enough meat in one grocery shopping trip to last my family of three for a whole month with a total bill of about $230 of which $50-$60 is meat. Plus, we get to try new things we normally wouldn't be able to afford at the full price. Another benefit is that my freezer is always full of options, so I never have to stop at the grocery store after work and pay full price on meat for that night's dinner! ~ JaRonn N.

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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