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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - August 29, 2013

Fresh Tortilla Chips
To keep tortilla chips fresh, I put the opened bag in the freezer, secured with a clothespin. They are always fresh when you need them! ~Carla

Cleaning Shower Doors
Instead of taking a pick axe to the shower doors, trying to get soap scum off the glass, simply use "used" Bounce® dryer sheets! They work perfectly with almost no effort! ~B.

Save on Cooking Sprays
Instead of purchasing expensive cooking sprays, I purchased an inexpensive spray bottle. I fill it with either canola or olive oil with wonderful results. This is a savings both on cost and in calories. ~GP

Vacation Security
Whenever I leave my home for the weekend or a vacation, I stop by my hometown police department and put my home on house watch. It's free. I can either complete an information sheet online or at the police department. My home is checked by a police officer every shift. Doing this eases my mind while I'm away. ~Percitia G.

The Garden Swap
Are you good at growing one type of fruit or vegetable? Trade your harvest with another green thumb and save on chemical-laden store bought stuff. In this way, I am able to trade excess cherry and heirloom tomatoes for organic cucumbers and berries. ~Penny

Earrings
Often women misplace the small rubber backs that hold earrings in place. These are not only hard to buy, but often extremely overpriced. As only one pair of earring backs are needed at a time, a helpful idea is to remove the backs of all earrings and keep them in a separate container. You will soon realize how many earring backs you have and don't need to buy extras. After all, the only earrings that need backs are those that are currently being worn, not the ones sitting in a jewelry box. ~Sunita

Handy Magnifying Glass
Forgot your glasses and need to read small print? If you have an Android or smart phone with the camera, simply go to the apps and download one of the free magnifying sites. It uses your camera to make the print much larger, using your screen to view the print! ~Shirley M.

Odor Eliminators
Charcoal briquettes are amazing for eliminating odors in refrigerators and coolers. Just place a few inside and leave overnight. If a stinky item is going to be stored for any length of time, put them in prior to storing. Just make sure you don't use the ones saturated with lighter fluid. ~S.

Safe Bulk Food Storage
Our local bakery receives many items like icing and cookie dough in five-gallon buckets with lids. There is no need to worry what the buckets contained. They give them an initial rinse, but it is also necessary to give them a good wash before using them. The bakery sells the buckets and lids for around $2 each. The cost at my local chain store is at least $8 each. ~Ruth

The Dinner Addition
I make a salad almost every night with dinner. This is a very inexpensive way of having our vegetable serving and a side dish at the same time. Lettuce is relatively inexpensive. I pick up a couple of cucumbers and any other veggie that is on sale. I can make a big salad for very little. We prefer the taste of oil and red wine vinegar rather than pricey bottled dressings. Add some oregano and maybe some salt and pepper if you like and you're done. It's inexpensive, fresh, homemade, and healthy! ~C.

Natural Flavored Waters
I love gently-flavored waters like those found at expensive day spas, but I hate spending money on bottled drinks. I came upon a cheap, easy, and delicious solution. I find my favorite fruit on sale at the grocery store (or farmer's market), cut it into small chunks, and add it to a quart canning jar. I fill the jar with water and put it in the fridge overnight. The next day I have wonderfully flavored water with no chemicals or artificial additives, and it costs pennies! (Toss the fruit because it's not very good to eat after sitting in water.) I tried watermelon-basil, peach, strawberry-mint, orange, etc. The flavor varieties are endless, and mixing in fresh herbs gives even more options. Using a glass canning jar means no waste to throw away. I even compost the fruit to use on my garden the next year. So far the only fruit that doesn't work is bananas; everything else has been fantastic! ~Karen, Seattle, WA

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.

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