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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - June 21, 2012

Baby Shower Memory
Use wrapping paper from baby shower gifts to line the drawers of baby's dresser. I did this in 1975 and that paper still lines the drawers of the old dresser that now is where I store wrapping paper, gift bags, bows, and ribbons. Not only does it recycle the wrapping paper, but also it makes me smile whenever I see it and remember the "baby years." ~SC

Nasty Painting Odors
A nice way to make your house smell good when painting and afterwards is to add half of a small bottle of vanilla to the paint. It not only cuts down on the paint smell, but it's also ideal for getting rid of smoke smells and other odors. ~MM

More Lipstick
I invested in a good lipstick brush for $5 at my local beauty supply store. When my lipstick is too low to apply, I use the brush to get the stuff in the tube out. I get at least another month out of each lipstick. ~Deb

Just This Room
One easy way to save on air conditioning bills after children have left home is to install a window air conditioner in the master bedroom. At night, raise or turn off the whole house air, and use the bedroom window unit for the night. This has paid for the unit in our bedroom many times over. ~TFS

No Chemical Weed Removal
Boiling water that is poured on weeds leaves no unwanted residue. The weeds are generally dead in couple of days and are easily removed. By being absolutely determined about it, I completely removed onion grass/winter grass from my lawn one year. ~Elizabeth

Delaying Online Checkout
I am a registered purchaser on well-known online stores like Lands End, Old Navy, etc. I recently did some online "window shopping," clicking on several items that I was considering buying. Since I was logged in, my shopping cart was saved, even though I never completed the purchase. After about a week, I received an email with a 40% off coupon code if I wanted to complete my purchases. ~Rachel

Our 'Overdraft' Protection
I have come up with a very simple way to avoid paying for overdraft protection. We always keep $200 in our account that does not show on my check register. If I do any online banking, I need to remember not to count the last $200. By doing this, I avoid problems with minor errors or small forgotten transactions. This is a whole lot better than paying for overdraft protection or having checks bounce! ~Lynette

Wedding Renewal Ceremony
We renewed our vows on a budget. Our church let us use the hall for a very small fee. Instead of presents, we asked people to bring a covered dish. A few who don't cook brought paper plates, napkins, and plastic ware. My cousin likes to bake and did the cake for us. We brought some CDs for music. The whole event cost us almost nothing and was a wonderful time to share the love that we have for each other with our friends and family. ~Beth

An Extra Towel Rack
My bathroom doesn't have enough towel racks, and it lacks the wall space to install another one. I figured out an inexpensive quick fix when I hung a second shower curtain rod on the inside of the tub for the sole purpose of another towel rack. The spring-loaded kind works great, and I now have a place to hide my wet towels or wash clothes in the bathroom. They dry quicker this way than by lying on the side of the tub. I'm happy with a tidy bathroom. The additional rod now has my shower cleaner bottle hanging on it as well! ~Theresa R.

Stocking Your Home Office
I was putting together a home office in my house for a small freelance business that I've started. Instead of heading to the nearest office supply store for all my supplies, I hit garage sales in my neighborhood. I found plastic letter trays for 10 cents each, a printing desk calculator with two rolls of paper for $2, a large paper cutter for $2, and a stapler and box of staples for 50 cents. I was able to build a desk from a large piece of pressboard and a file cabinet I already owned. I spent less than $30 on everything, and my first freelance assignment more than covered the cost. I would never have thought about looking for office supplies at garage sales if a friend hadn't suggested it, but it worked out great! ~HDC

Storage for Smaller Homes
The best way to double (or triple) your kitchen storage space is to use the "dead space" that's already there. In the kitchen, I've added cup hooks to the undersides of the cabinets and those handy, expandable shelves to give myself two surfaces instead of one. All of my dish and pantry storage is double-decker. Another kitchen space saver is to buy drinking glasses that stack; IKEA sells them very inexpensively! Drawer dividers organize utensils most efficiently. If you have a broom closet somewhere (even if it isn't in the kitchen), consider adding shelves to it to make pantry storage. I keep overflow canned goods and staples in a plastic bin in my basement. A similar concept works in the bedroom closet. Double shelf space with expandable shelves. If your shelves are very deep, look into installing sliding drawers that you can pull out to gain access to the stuff way in back. If folded clothes storage is more important to you than hanging storage, buy the fabric "shelves" available almost anywhere. They work great for sweaters and other things that take up a lot of room. Shoes can be stored on one of those hanging racks available for the back of the bedroom door. Alternately, shoes (or even off-season clothing) might fit in a chest at the foot of the bed. Under-bed storage is also ideal for those purposes. Removing non-seasonal clothes to a basement or storage locker can instantly give you 50% more space! ~Glenda

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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