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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - June 14, 2012

Better Vacation Dining
If you like to splurge on a good meal during your vacation, make it lunch. Most restaurants have nearly the same selections for lunch as for dinner, but lunch is usually less expensive. Smaller portions may be attractive too, since you may not have facilities for a doggy bag. ~A.

Fresher Peppers To keep bell peppers fresh for at least two to three weeks, when you first get them, cut out the core and seeds and wrap the pieces in paper towel. Place the pepper pieces in a zipper bag. This keeps them fresh so much longer! ~Sharon M.

Deer in Your Garden?
It is the time of the season that the deer are out to munch in gardens. I have found that human hair spread on/around plants deter deer, and they go elsewhere looking for food. This works especially for hostas, violets, and other perennials. Your local beauty salon or school can supply you with enough human hair for the season. ~ Elaine G.

Preventing Food Spoilage
Use zipper bags for all your dry and cold food. This method will save you tons of food waste throughout the year. More than 40% of all food produced in America is not eaten, according to research by former University of Arizona anthropologist Timothy Jones. Closer to home, the average four-person household wastes about $600 of food each year. Therefore, use zipper bags for all your dry and cold food and make $600 extra cash per year. ~H.

Facial Toners
The purpose of a facial toner is to establish the correct pH to the skin. Why allow most of your toner to go into a cotton ball or other applicator and then into the wastebasket? Your toner will last four times longer or more by shaking a small amount (two or three shakes from the bottle with a tiny opening) into the palm of your hand and applying it with the fingertips of your other hand. Assuming that you just washed your face, your hands should be clean. Then finish off the remainder by rubbing both hands over missed areas of the face. This is so much more refreshing than a cotton ball, too! ~ Melanie F.

Seedling Starters
I buy juice in the large cans. Then I cut out the top and bottom and save them all during the year. When spring comes and I plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplant etc., I plant the plants and then put one of these cans around the plant. I push the can into the ground a little. When I water the plant, the water stays in the can until it can soak down into the ground around the roots. I'm careful to only add enough water a little at a time while the plants are small. When the plants get taller than the can, I fill the can full. This is also good when I use a liquid fertilizer mixed in the water. I have done this for years, and it works. ~Patricia

Chasing Opossums
I've discovered an effective opossum remover. We found a mother and about four babies nested in our garage right next to our garden. I called animal control and found out it is illegal to move your pest to another's property. As I was sputtering about the problem, the officer told me to get a loud radio, tune into a heavy metal station, turn it on to blasting loud, and close the door. Then he told me to check back in an hour. The opossum was gone! Just like the officer said, she had taken the babies and found a nicer place. Wouldn't you? ~Fran

Preventing Fleas
We used to have a terrible time with fleas and ticks, but we have overcome the problem. The most effective solution we found was two-fold. The better quality of dog food our dogs eat, the fewer problems they have with fleas. Also, try brewer's yeast and garlic tablets. If you live anywhere near a feed store, I would recommend buying from them as their prices will generally be better than a pet store. Also, fleas do not like herbs like pennyroyal, lavender, mint, rosemary, fennel, and rue. If you could fit such plants in your yard, especially near where your animals hang out, it may repel fleas. Also, a mild shampoo with a few drops of eucalyptus or citrus oil and followed up by a pennyroyal rinse (steep leaves in boiling water and let the water cool) can rid your animal of fleas. Soap and water will kill fleas in a few minutes, so you don't have to buy special flea shampoo. Follow up with regular combings using a flea comb (dip the flea comb in soapy water after each pass of the coat). ~Leslie

Killing Weeds
This is my favorite weed killer. I use one gallon of white vinegar, one cup of kitchen salt (the cheaper the better), and six to eight drops of dish soap. I pour out two cups of the vinegar and save. Then I add the salt and dish soap to the vinegar and shake until I can see little or no salt remaining. I pour the mixture into a spray container and spray the weeded area, taking care not to spray any plant you do not want to kill. This mixture will kill 98% of anything it touches. It will take a little longer to work than commercial products, but it's safe for pets and humans to be around. Plus, it gets the job done. As a bonus cleaner, I pour the two cups of vinegar in a spray bottle, add one cup of water, and three to five drops of dish soap. Now, I have a surface cleaner that will clean windows, counters, and bathrooms. ~Faylee

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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