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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - September 6, 2012

Whole House Clean
The best way to get your whole house clean using one product is with a steam cleaner! My very good friend and professional house cleaner uses her steam cleaner to clean kitchen and bath counters, floors, beds, furniture, etc. Steam is the best disinfectant. It's faster and better than any household cleaner. Marie P. in New Canaan, CT

Cheaper Gourmet Coffees
I love the flavor of gourmet coffee but not the price, so I buy regular coffee on sale and then add inexpensive sample sizes of the gourmet flavors I like to the regular coffee. It goes a long way, and I still get my special flavored brew. Tina H.

Cloudy Glass
To get rid of the cloudy glaze in your flower vase or anything that gets cloudy from holding water, simply let it soak in vinegar. After a few hours, rinse it out and wipe it down with a cloth. Your piece will be good as new! Linda

The Traveling Coupon
Remember that coupons from tear-off pads found in higher-priced stores can be used at lower-priced discount stores as long as they are manufacturer's coupons. Also, the samples and food demo attendants usually pass out great coupons with a large percentage off the featured product! DS

Hard to Clean Toilets
Regarding tough to clean toilets, an environmentally-safe method is to scrub with borax (available in the detergent aisle and it's fairly inexpensive) on a regular basis and use a bit of well-moistened pumice stone to scrub away hard water stains at the water level. Brian

Carpet Cleaning Solution
I've discovered a great carpet cleaner. I use 1/2 cup of vinegar and 3 tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide and put it in a spray bottle. Then I fill the remainder of the bottle with hot tap water. I just spray on the stain in the carpet and scrub out with a brush or use a carpet cleaning machine with vinegar in the soap chamber. Haley

The Contemplative Grocery Shopper
I find that if I spend too much time in the grocery store, I seem to vanish into some sort of trance. I wander aimlessly, throwing stuff into my cart! To combat this, I shop at a less expensive grocery store that specializes in ethnic foods, so that I am forced to either translate roughly or compare products. I realize that it's a "head game" so to speak to keep myself focused, but it seems to work for me! Vicki L.

Lifetime Supply of Dryer Sheets
Some people cut their dryer sheets into two or four parts to save money. I cut my dryer sheets into 1/2-inch strips along the longer edge. The dryer sheets that I use are 9" x 6" so I get eighteen 6" strips out of each sheet. I learned this listening to a radio program from a manufacturer's rep who was on the program. The best part is I bought the 240 count box of dryer sheets with a $1 off coupon that was doubled! CM

Keeping Lettuce Fresh
Years ago, when I was complaining about lettuce going bad before I could use it, a friend told me to store it in a brown bag in the refrigerator. It worked! My lettuce lasted for weeks. Now, if the bag becomes damp, I simply dry it out in the microwave and go on using it. A head of lettuce has literally lasted me two months! I have used this method with both iceberg and romaine lettuce. Judy N.

Frozen Food Tester
If you have a vacation cabin or condo, perhaps you've had the bad experience of cooking meat from the freezer and realizing it is spoiled because unbeknownst to you there was a power outage and the meat thawed and then refroze while you were away. You can easily solve this problem by setting up a "detector" in your freezer. Simply freeze a cup of water and then place a quarter on top of the ice. When you return, if the quarter is in the middle or bottom of the glass, you'll know not to eat the meat in your freezer. Shannon W. in Notasulga, AL

Cleaning Lint Traps
I'd been hearing more and more about how important it is to clean out the lint trap in the dryer to prevent fire. I live in an apartment and the dryer is probably 20 years old, so I figured it must have a lot of accumulated lint. I wasn't going to call in a special technician for that and didn't want to spend the money on a gadget I could probably create myself. I straightened out a metal hanger, keeping a bit of the curved hook at the end. Then I twisted a dry piece of cloth around it, piercing it with the hanger a few times as I went around and went to work! I am so glad I did; there was a lot of old lint in there! Deborah W.

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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