The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman
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Dollar Stretcher Tips - August 22, 2013
No More Lost Buttons
I put a drop of super glue on the center of the buttons on my shirts to keep the thread from coming unraveled. It works great! ~W.
Cleaner Baseball Caps
I was looking for some plastic "cap" holders to keep my caps in shape while washing them. I couldn't find the holders so I put them in the dishwasher. I sprayed them with Shout® and used powder dishwasher soap. I washed them twice and laid them on a towel to dry overnight. They turned out great. ~B.
The most important thing that anyone putting up wallpaper can do is to start by sizing the walls. It's a clear coating that you put on the walls. If you don't and you get tired of the paper, it will be harder to take the paper off. I have been a contractor for over 25 years and have had to deal with it both ways. ~Tiger
About every few months, our local grocery store has whole chickens on sale. I buy several chickens. I cook the chicken in my pressure cooker at five minutes per pound and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, I take the chicken off the bone and freeze it in freezer bags. I can go to my freezer at any time and have cooked chicken to add to many recipes! ~C.
Have a Local Dairy?
My husband got a second job about a month ago at our local dairy. The dairy throws crates full of milk onto a pallet every night with milk dated within seven days of the expiration date. These pallets are placed outside for anyone to come and take as much as they want for free. The dairy gets to write it off as a charity loss, and a lot of us get free milk, cottage cheese, blocks of cheese, eggs, sour cream, chocolate milk, and strawberry milk. If people look hard enough, they'll find their local dairy and it could be quite profitable to ask about the items that will be expiring soon. ~W.
Your Kids & College Savings
Discuss your college savings with your children. I found that my kids stopped feeling as deprived when they understood that the iPads and trips they didn't get were offset by money we put aside for college, so they don't have to go into debt for college. This can lead into a discussion of how much college costs, how much public and private schools cost, and why it is cheaper to live at home. ~Tamara W.
My cousin came up with an excellent idea to keep mosquitos at bay. In a spray bottle, mix 1 cup water, 1 cup LEMON ammonia, and 1 cup lemon dish soap. Spray all over the yard or patio. For some reason, they don't like the lemon scent! And it works very nicely. ~Linda W. in Waverly, Iowa (via Facebook)
Saving for Appliances
Here's an idea for anyone who wants to purchase a washer and dryer after months of dragging baskets of dirty laundry back and forth to the laundromat. Unfortunately, it's hard to save, so it's tempting to use a charge card. Go ahead and buy it, but also get a piggy bank from the local thrift shop. Make sure it's one that can be opened. Every time you wash and dry a load of clothes, drop in the amount of money you used to spend at the laundromat. A similar strategy could be worked out for other appliances. Just set a few dollars aside every time you use it. At the end of each month, you'll have a good start toward the credit card payment without really missing the loose change. ~D.
Furnishing Your College Apartment
It's August! Summer's ending! Stores are blowing out patio furniture like crazy. This is great news for college students. If you're going to live in an unfurnished house, apartment or condo, consider snapping up a hugely-discounted set of patio furniture with cushions for your living room or a nice table and chair set for the dining area. This is attractive, well-made furniture, and the seating has comfortable cushions. Right now, such items are marked down really, really cheap at the big box discount stores. Depending on its style, you can repurpose all kinds of outdoor furniture for use inside. For example, use an occasional table designed for use with a chaise lounge as a lamp table or nightstand. Sometimes these deals are even better than buying used furniture at thrift stores, but always check your prices. Act quickly. This stuff is selling out really fast. If you wait too long, it'll be gone. As an added bonus, once your college days end, you (or your parents) can use the nice outdoor furniture on a deck or balcony. ~Lynn
Updating Vertical Blinds
I have vertical blinds in many rooms in our home. I have changed their look several times by purchasing fabric to recover the inserts. I make a paper pattern and then cut the fabric. I use a hot glue gun to glue down on the insert and then put them back in the vertical casing. A decorator originally did this in our master bedroom and charged me $5 per vertical plus the cost of a designer fabric. I have changed the fabric in the verticals myself twice. It can be time consuming and you need a large table or work surface to cut and glue the fabric panels, but it will only cost you the price of the fabric. I have also found large pieces of decorator fabrics on eBay that were being sold because they were at the end of the bolt. I remove the old fabric before replacing or the insert will become too thick to fit back into the casing. ~Colleen in Santa Maria, CA
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