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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - November 1, 2012

Repurposing Microwave Turntables
When your microwave goes out, put the glass turntable under your coffee pot to catch spills and drips. You can easily wash the turntable and put back under the coffee pot. ~Rose K. in North Little Rock, AR

Ready for Winter
While raking up my yard this season, I realized that the fallen pinecones would make great fire starters for the wood stove. I played a game with my granddaughter to see who could fill the bag first! Of course, she won, but now I have a quick start to a fire. ~K.

Ready Biscuits
In an effort to save money, I have started making biscuit mix biscuits in very large batches. I cut them out and place them on cookie sheets to freeze them. When I need biscuits, I take the needed amount out of the freezer and bake. ~Caye H.

Winterizing an Apartment
One thing I have found to make my condo warmer and more comfortable in the winter months is to run a vaporizer. With the moisture in the air, I can turn down my thermostat five to eight degrees and still feel warm. It also cuts down on carpet shocks from static electricity. ~Kathy

Slow Cooker Meals
The best slow cooker meal I ever made was so easy that it didn't require a recipe. I put a thawed pork roast in the slow cooker, covered it 2/3 with water, and added one jar of BBQ sauce and one large sliced white onion. Then I added some seasoning and let it cook all day. It was great with potatoes and a vegetable side dish, but the leftovers made some incredible sandwiches! Try it! ~Jen T.

Cat Clawing?
This is my method of deterring and training cats to leave my furniture alone. I buy thick, clear plastic off a bolt at the hardware or fabric store. I tape it (with clear tape) or attach it with upholstery pins to the sides and corners of the piece. It is not horribly noticeable and spoils all the fun for the cats until they finally give up and find an appropriate place to claw like outside on a tree, a scratching post, etc. I no longer have to cover anything, as my cats just ignore the furniture. ~Robin

Eliminating Odors from Wood Furniture
Scorched coffee grounds will eliminate just about any foul odor. Simply put some coffee grounds in a pan, moisten, and then heat enough to slightly scorch. Remove the pan from the heat immediately when the grounds begin to scorch to avoid creating a lot of smoke. Place inside the items for awhile. Set the pan on a trivet or pad so the bottom of the pan does not burn or mar the wood. In general, even plain coffee grounds placed in a confined space will absorb most odors. ~Bruce

Longer Lasting Razors
I keep a bottle of alcohol (medicinal, not drinking) in the bathroom. After using my razor, I clean it under running water and then I simply pour a small amount of alcohol over the blade. It dries almost instantly, keeps the blade as clean as possible (almost sterile), and helps extend the razor blade's life almost four fold. Like most any other metal, when exposed to moisture and air, your razor blades begin to rust. It's rust that forms on the edge of the blade and hastens the "dulling" of your blade. ~Phyllis

The Rewards System
My husband and I have been trying to pay off a large debt (approx. $15,000) for over a year and have made little progress. I've recently found a great way to motivate us. After a certain amount is paid off, we are rewarding ourselves with something special. We just celebrated the $3000 mark with a special dinner out. My husband commented that he couldn't believe we'd paid off that much, and it made him want to pay off even more. ~M.

The Bulk Food Group
I get together with friends to bulk order food from different places. It is like a food co-op of friends. We purchase spices from an online company. We order bulk food from another company. It really helps the budget to purchase items in bulk, and when ordering with friends once a year, we save by shipping it freight. The shipping cost is very small compared to UPS or regular mail. We've saved so much by buying items like powdered milk in bulk bags. The same thing applies to bulk oatmeal, grains, TVP, and beans. Bulk baking cocoa is also very inexpensive when purchased in 50-pound bags compared to buying it in small bags. We often do this as a group with the ladies from church and the neighborhood. ~M.

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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