The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman
StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher
Dollar Stretcher Tips - August 8, 2013
Natural Flea Prevention
Borax is great for fleas. It is not toxic, and you can sprinkle it on your carpet. Let it sit for a few days and then vacuum it up. You can sprinkle it around the fence of your yard too. ~PW
Removing Rust Spots
To remove rust spots from tubs and sinks, cover the rust spot with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide and sprinkle with cream of tartar. Let this sit for 30 minutes and wipe off with a sponge. ~C.
Easy Sticker Removal
An easy, free way of removing price tags, stickers, etc. is to just use your hair dryer. Aim it at the label for several seconds and the heat of the dryer dissolves the glue on the label. The label or tag will come off easily. If it doesn't come off with the first try, keep the hair dryer aimed at the label a little longer and try again. ~S.
For a great, safe deodorant, use some coconut oil and then dab a little baking soda on top. You can even make a paste of coconut oil, baking soda, and pure essential oil (like lavender) if you want a scent, but you should be sure to use a good brand and not a fragrance oil. ~Lori
After children leave home, an easy way to save on air conditioning bills is to install a window air conditioner in the master bedroom. At night, raise the temperature or turn off the whole house air, and use the bedroom window unit for the night. This has paid for the unit that we have in our bedroom many times over. ~T.
We save a lot on babysitting by belonging to a babysitting co-op. We have a group of families, and we exchange points instead of paying. It is a fairly easy system. We have a bookkeeper and a chairperson, which are "paid" in points each month that they hold their position. It really helps to know that I can just call on these people to watch my children and pay them points, which I can earn back by sitting with someone else's kids at another time. ~J.
We are planning for our daughter's wedding and have run across a few money-saving ideas. We have found that we can use photographers and caterers from a smaller community, about 25 miles outside our metropolitan area, for about 20 to 30 percent less. The business people that we have gotten estimates from are more than happy to make the trip into town and don't charge extra. ~Z.
Ssshh! Decorator's Secret
I just found out about a great decorators' secret, which is applying clear varnish over poster prints! I commented to my friend about her beautiful dining room painting and she confided that it's really a poster brushed with clear varnish to make brush marks. It had a beautiful ornate gold frame, which is an expense, but you might find one at an estate or yard sale. It really looked like an original work of art. Another idea is to frame pictures from art books. I bought a Currier and Ives book for $15 off eBay and in it were over 20 color and 40 black and white prints ready to be cut out and framed. Not bad for $15! ~BN
My First Stop at the Grocery Store
Shop the reduced price areas first in the supermarket! I save a lot of money buying the fresh veggie and fruit markdowns! In my city, the markdown price may be as low as $.99 when the original price was close to $4! I eat salads quite a bit. On Sunday, I make them "assembly line" fashion for the workweek. I put each salad in an airtight container and then put a plastic bag on each container before putting it in the refrigerator. Because I do this, they stay fresh for the week. ~E. in VT
Having a love affair with chips and salsa, I frequently buy the giant box of tortilla chips at Sam's Club to save money. It's a real bargain. However, once the bags are open, they tend to go stale quicker than I'd like. I was tossing away bag after bag of these stale chips before I figured out a wonderful way to "re-crisp" them. I spread stale tortilla chips in a cake pan or on a large cookie sheet. Then I set my oven to broil and broil the chips for about one minute. I check them after about 30 seconds (maybe stirring them around once or twice) and don't let them go too long. It takes only a minute or so, but my chips are no longer stale. In fact, they are actually crisper than they were when I first got them! Plus, as a bonus, they are nice and warm, which is great for dipping into a favorite salsa or nacho sauce. ~M.
I am always looking for ways to save money, but as a working mom, I often can't spare the time required for most money-saving tips. Instead of just "throwing away" a tip, I try to modify it, so I can still save some money but not cut into my time as much. For example, a very popular money-saving tip is to bring your lunch to work instead of buying it. I don't have time to make lunches, but I bring soda, fruit, and a yogurt from home. Money-saving tips are not one-size-fits-all. Adapt them to suit your situation and lifestyle. ~B.
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 2013 Dollar Stretcher, Inc.