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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - October 11, 2012

Shopping for Friends
I often shop for a senior neighbor who wants to remain independent and stay in her own home. We have found a gift card is the best solution. She buys a gift card from the local store, and if I am out, I just call and ask if she needs anything. I use her gift card to pay for her items, and she has a receipt to keep track of her spending. Mary P.

Beautiful Skin
To really clean and exfoliate your face, add a couple teaspoons of baking soda to a squirt of your favorite liquid facial cleanser and rub this into your face. Start gently until you get a sense of what pressure works best. Rinse with lots of warm water. I do this in the shower. You don't need to use an expensive cleanser either. You will be amazed at how clean and glowing your skin will look. Also, your pores will appear smaller. Lyn

Halloween Teeth
My granddaughter and I were eating blueberries one evening when suddenly she said, "Grandma, how come your teeth are all blue?" I looked at her teeth, and they were blue also. We decided this would make a very scary no-cost addition to a Halloween outfit (monster or zombie). Try it yourself. You might make somebody shiver! Sally S. in Fairfax, VA

Handy Shelf Liners
Update all your inside shelves with 12x12 vinyl square tiles from Home Depot or Lowe's. First remove the old shelf paper with a blow dryer. Heat it and peel it off. Next, find the vinyl peel and stick tiles at the store. A box of 45 tiles cost me $18. You will also need a ruler, pencil, and scissors. Always place the tile in front first and then go back. Measure twice and cut once. They look great and are so easy to wipe and clean. Judy L. in Portland, OR

Laundry Odors
I typically use white vinegar as a fabric softener. It normally eliminates odors. However, I do occasionally have loads that have a strong odor. I've found the only way to totally eliminate these smells is to add a small amount of rubbing alcohol in the wash. I usually put it in the bleach dispenser. It always works, and I use a normal dryer sheet to remove the alcohol smell. I use a couple of tablespoons. I find cheap rubbing alcohol at a dollar store. Mary A. in Marana, AZ

Designer Water
I try to drink a lot of water to stay healthy, but I find it boring in taste. To "jazz" things up a bit, I pour fruit juice or Gatorade in an ice cube tray and freeze it. I then add the cubes to my water, which gives it a burst of flavor with very little calories. To use the fruit cubes for water bottles, I use the mini ice cube trays that I find in dollar stores. Now, I drink a lot more fluids with very little calories. Linda R.

Yellowed Headlight Lenses
The headlights on my 2000 Dodge truck were very yellowed, making it hard to see at night. I had seen restoration kits advertised, but they were expensive and some seemed complicated. My husband was at the auto parts store and asked for the price of replacements. Of course, that was very expensive! The auto parts guy told my husband to buy Soft Scrub® to clean the headlights. Of course, I went to a local dollar store and bought the off brand for a buck! It was amazing! After very little scrubbing with a soft rag, my headlights look great, and they work much better! Vi

It's Under Review
When I find myself tempted by an unplanned-for (and usually pricey!) item online or on TV, I go to the reviews and sort them with the lowest rating first! I wish I'd kept track of how much money I didn't spend because of bad reviews. It's interesting how consistent the complaints usually are. This has been so helpful that I now routinely read bad reviews even for things I intend to buy. Cici

Save the Milk
If you're going out of town for awhile, and haven't finished drinking the milk in your fridge, just put it in the freezer. It will keep for a month, and then you won't waste money by throwing it out! It will take one to two days to thaw out, depending on its size. Rhonda C. in Spring Hill, KS

Avoiding Marital Financial Disagreements
My husband and I put a set 10% of our net income into our individual savings accounts. It probably won't surprise you that having individual savings accounts reduces money matter disputes, which is often said to be the number one dispute in marriages. When either of us wants something the other considers frivolous, it doesn't matter. He saves up for computers and games, etc. and I just save. I feel more secure, and he is happy. Debbie in Silverado, CA

Removing Stains
As a motel housekeeper and laundress, I encounter many challenges trying to keep sheets white. Recently, a set had bloodstains so bad that my usual 20% peroxide treatment did not complete the job. The sheets came out of an overnight bleach soak and cold wash still stained. In total desperation, I reached for some denture cleaning tablets, which had been left behind in a room, and dissolved two in a little water. I scrubbed the mix into the stains and left them overnight. The next day's wash had the sheets back to their usual pristine whiteness. I intend to try this cure on BBQ and Buffalo wing stains next. Margaret T.

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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