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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - September 13, 2012

Save the Paper Towels
Hang your paper towels inside the cabinet that is under your sink. By doing this, you will use fewer paper towels and your kitchen will look tidier. M.

Cheaper Meats
Always check the meat, chicken, sausage, etc. mark-down bin. There are terrific buys there! Getting to know your butcher is always good advice. The butcher is all wise when it comes to his department and always willing to help. BJ

Travel Toiletries
When traveling, especially by plane, don't purchase those expensive small containers of shampoo and conditioner. Instead, put a small amount into a sandwich or snack zipper bag. Use one for each shower. The amount is perfect and takes up less space. BF

Freezer Burned Meats
Here's what I do with meat that has freezer burn. I boil it or cook it in my slow cooker. When it is done, I let it cool and then cut it up into bite-sized pieces and feed it to my dogs. They think they went to heaven. I add the broth to their dry dog food after I remove the fat. JVJA

Reusing Produce Bags
I save and reuse the thin plastic fruit/vegetable bags from the supermarket. These work nicely for taking sandwiches to work and packing shoes for traveling. There are lightweight, free, perfectly sized, and disposable! I store them inside of an empty tissue box (rolled up) for easy access. N.

Facial Cleanser
I keep a small amount of powdered milk in a jar in the bathroom to use as a facial cleanser at night. I just put a small amount in the palm of my hand, add enough water to get the consistency I want, and wash. My face feels so soft afterwards. Cathie

Vegetable Stand Closeouts
We live in an area with a lot of vegetable stands. They always have items that must be used soon. I shop there for $1 bags, never knowing what they will have. It saves us a fortune, and we eat much better with the fruit that can't be saved. Clare

Pizza "Plus"
We love pizza with loads of toppings, but each topping adds to the total price. Now we order pizza with sausage and cheese. And while waiting for our pizza delivery, we cut up and sauté onions, peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli (this can be done in the microwave). When the pizza arrives, we add these toppings, have a healthy meal, and save a bundle. I like to let them add the sausage since I can't see very significant savings by buying my own. I also feel the flavor of the pizza is better if the meat is cooked with it. If you prefer pepperoni, add it with the other toppings. Anita D.

Cheap Receiving Blankets
My sister-in-law sewed oversized receiving blankets for us when we had our first baby (most store-bought ones are much too small). I loved them so much that I have started making them for shower gifts as well. They are nice, extremely useful gifts and also inexpensive and easy to make. I simply buy a yard of nice flannel from a fabric store when they have good coupons (or look in the remnants), straighten any crooked edges with my rotary cutter, and make a two inch hem all the way around with neat, mitered corners. I usually give a set of three coordinating blankets based on the person's style and the gender of the baby. Nice flannels cost about $6.99 a yard. If you get each cut at 40 percent off, you can make a three blanket set for about $13. Krystle

Groundhogs in Your Garden?
As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator of over 25 years, I am always explaining natural, non-lethal methods of controlling various wildlife. Groundhogs are shy burrowers with multiple entrances to their dens. They dislike strange movement, which can indicate predators. If the area you want them out of is enclosed (fenced), place a few inflated beach balls in it. The wind will cause random movement of the balls. You can also tie two or three Mylar balloons on about a 3' long tether to a brick or other heavy object and place them near known den openings to create movement there. They won't necessarily leave the area, but will discontinue using that burrow opening. To keep them out of a garden, fencing must be placed both above and under the ground. Otherwise, they'll simply dig under a fence. The underground portion should be bent into the shape of a backwards "L" with the bent section down at least a foot deep. The above ground portion must be at least 3' high. Or you can use one strand of electric fence, placed 6" above ground to ensure contact. Trapping and relocating does not work. Other groundhogs will simply move into the empty burrows. Also, trapping may be illegal or can leave babies to starve to death if mom is removed. Linda

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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