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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - August 16, 2012

Natural Deodorant
Another use for inexpensive rubbing alcohol is as a deodorant. Just pour it into a spray bottle, and it works great! We have been using it for years with no dry skin problems. Elaine

Protect Your Spices
Remember that things near the stove get hot. Spices are best kept dry and at a constant cool temperature. If the shelving area near your stove gets warm, it will deteriorate your spices and you will need to replace them sooner. It's not economical if you have to buy new ones all the time or use twice as much to get the desired flavor enhancement. Karyn

College Textbooks for Less
Know what ISBN your college textbook has; each number is unique to the book and its edition. The same text will have a different ISBN for paperback and hardcover. The number should be available from the college bookstore or bookstore website. It is also found on the verso (front page) of the textbook where you see copyright, publication year and company, and other information. Once you know the ISBN, you can shop where you like for the lowest price and be sure you are purchasing the correct text for your class. Clare (former librarian)

Organizing Your Pantry
I use the 12-pack Coke packages to sort my canned goods. I also have deep pantry shelves. After drinking the sodas, I use the empty carton for my pantry. I have one carton for my soups, another for beans, and another for canned tomatoes, etc. I can see pretty quickly when I am running low on anything, and I do not have to hunt all over the pantry to find that one last can of corn. Jackie

While You're in High School
For college-bound students (any age), look into taking CLEP and DSST exams. Many colleges accept these exams. If you pass, you can receive credit for courses without having to spend the tuition money to take them. Taking the tests is far less expensive than the actual college course. An additional bonus is that one does not have to sit in on a semester of a class, which frees up time for work or to take other classes in one's academic major. A.

Ready Bacon
Whenever bacon is on sale, I buy several pounds. I cook them up all at once, and keep the slices in zipper plastic bags in the fridge or freezer. Each time I need bacon (for breakfast, salads, etc.), I use the pre-cooked strips. Pre-cooking saves time and electricity by my not having to heat up the stove and skillet each time I need a few slices. Pre-cooked bacon sold in the grocery store can run up to $4 for four ounces. That's $16 a pound! Heating the pre-cooked bacon slices in the microwave for a few seconds is so much easier and cheaper than frying the raw slices each time. If you are RV campers, as are we, this is a great saver of both propane and time. When you are "on the road" and enjoying your tent, trailer or RV, the last thing you want to do is spend time in the kitchen frying up bacon! Ruby H. in Cocoa, FL

Creative Window Treatments
We recently moved into a new home with the pretty arched windows in our front living room and upstairs bedrooms. We decided to pay extra for custom blinds in all the windows (got a discount for cash) but did decide against the pretty "fan" for the top of each arched window. They wanted way too much money! I also looked into the ones at Home Depot, etc., and they were still too much money in my opinion. The other evening I decided something had to be done because the afternoon sun was heating up the front room. I took white poster board, measured it in two-inch increments, scored with scissors, and then fan folded. By taping two together, I made perfect giant fans. My windows looked great! So for just a few dollars, I made custom arched window treatments. R.

Teachers' School Supplies
One great supply source for teachers or parents can be a company that's moving. When my husband's company relocated recently, he noticed boxes of binders that were being discarded. I begin my first year as a teacher in a couple of weeks, and I have about a hundred binders to use in my classroom. Our newspaper's business section, especially the weekly edition, offers easy-to-find information about companies relocating in the area. If there's no receptionist to speak to, you might call the company and ask to speak to the custodial or maintenance department to ask if you can come by and collect any supplies that are being discarded. You might find any number of supplies this way. Cheryl from Texas

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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