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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - July 19, 2012

Scented Soaps
I buy cheap neutral liquid soap and add almond oil (olive oil is also good, but the smell of the almond oil is better). That's how I get moisturizing soap at minimum cost! Michelle R.

Pesky Fruit Flies!
I worked at a bar where fruit flies were a problem. We put a small amount of red wine into a shallow dish, covered it with plastic wrap, and then poked a hole into it. This "fly trap" worked so good that it had to be changed every couple of days. Arturo

Big Outdoor Pots
When planting in pots for your deck or patio, use less soil by putting aluminum cans in the bottom of the pot or container. Then add your soil. This is good for drainage, you use less soil, and the container is lighter to move around. L.

Auto Air Freshener
I put a sheet of fabric softener under each seat in my car. The smell is magnificent and much cheaper than the Christmas tree shaped strong smelling ones. Plus, I usually have a coupon when I buy the dryer sheets. What a bargain! Lisa P.

Insect Bite Relief
We use vinegar for ant (fire ants especially), mosquito, and bug bites. We have tried all the other home remedies, but vinegar works the best for my money. We pour the vinegar (white or apple cider) on a paper towel or wash cloth and hold on the bite. The swelling and burning or itching completely disappear after a few minutes. The smell disappears soon afterwards. Tammy R from Lakeland, FL

Cleaning Jewelry
Instead of buying expensive jewelry cleaning solution and other cleaning supplies for my jewelry collection, I use denture cleaning tablets from the dollar store, along with rubber gloves, toothpaste, alcohol, and cotton swabs from the same place. You need to be careful when cleaning jewelry with stones, but with a little online research on which stones need special care and how to handle them, dollar store supplies can save you a lot of money. Betty W. in Bowling Green, OH

Cheaper Bird Feed
We like to feed the birds at our house, but the birdseed was getting very expensive. At my local farm feed store, I found that I can buy chicken scratch in 50-pound bags at half the cost of regular birdseed. It contains almost the same type of seed as birdseed mixes. We throw in a handful of sunflower seeds, and we can keep up our hobby at a "cheeper" price! Karen in New Haven

Hair Conditioner
I always used a conditioning creme on my hair after I would towel dry it. Without it, I couldn't even get a comb through my hair because it is very thick and curly. One day I realized I was out of conditioner, so I used a few drops of baby oil. It worked great! That's all I use now. I can't believe how much money this has saved me. Also, I dilute all my shampoo 50% with water and only shampoo once. Donna L.

Gift Basket Ideas
One of the best gift basket ideas I've ever come across was an "Ice Cream Sundae" gift basket. You can make this very frugally or extravagantly. Just place sundae or ice cream bowls (can easily be found at dollar stores), some spoons, an ice cream scoop, sprinkles, ice cream sauces (homemade or store bought) and napkins (paper or cloth) in a basket and bring to a shower, birthday party or housewarming. I plan on giving this to my brother for a wedding present along with an ice cream maker and an ice cream cookbook. Thea

Asking for Coupons
I have saved so much by just "asking" for coupons for services that I regularly use. The chain salon that cuts my hair does not have coupons on display, etc. Simply by asking, I received two coupons for future use. Over a year, this really adds up! Every dollar saved through coupon use for items that we really need/use makes a big difference over time! D.

Fun Fruit!
For the kids who don't like fruit, this is a great way to change their minds. Wash some red grapes and dry them the best you can. Then put them on a cookie sheet or tray and place in the freezer until thoroughly frozen. Empty into a freezer bag and keep in the freezer. They're so good this way! They taste like candy. Donna from North Carolina

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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