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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - December 5, 2013

Scrambled Eggs without Milk
I don't keep a lot of milk on hand, and my family likes scrambled eggs. I've found that dry milk works really well for this, because it doesn't separate during the cooking process and leave excess water in the pan! ~E

It's Santa
Several years ago, after our three kids were in bed, we made Santa's footprints. We cut two boot shapes out of lightweight cardboard and sprinkled baking soda around them. The footprints led to the Christmas tree. The kids were thrilled to find Santa's prints on Christmas morning! ~T.

Lower Electric Bills
I have lowered the cost of operating my refrigerator by almost $20 a month by doing one simple thing, and that's keeping it completely filled. Wherever there is an empty space, I fill it with a jug or mason jar of water. Water holds temperatures much better than many other things, and by keeping the refrigerator and freezer filled in this way, it takes much less work for the refrigerator to stay cold. If you're going to put mason jars in the freezer, remember to fill them only 80% full and don't tighten the lid until the water has completed frozen. ~Kamia

Leftover Noodles?
Here is a great way to use up leftover noodles whether they are lasagna, macaroni, or any other kind. Fry some onion in a pan with butter. Add all the leftover noodles and fry slightly. If they are lasagna noodles, cut them into smaller pieces. Add a can of mushrooms with its water, a can of mushroom soup, and a bit of water. Simmer together until smooth and mixed. Leftover vegetables and meat may also be added. Top with grated parmesan and cheddar cheese and broil until golden. This is a delicious, creamy dish. ~F.

Homemade Wrinkle Releaser
I use hair conditioner to make my own wrinkle releaser. I mix 1/2 cup to a quart of water. Then I place a white wash rag in my mixture, take out the rag, and squeeze it, leaving the rag wet but not dripping. I then put the rag in the dryer with the clothes and dry as usual. When done, I take the clothes out and immediately hang them. This works great and saves a lot of money. I keep my mixture and the rag in the laundry room, and I just wet the rag before I place it in dryer. ~T

Smokey Odor Removal
To absorb stale, smoky odors, place a bowl of apple cider vinegar in an out of the way place. To add a fragrance to the room and remove odors, put 1/2 cup of vinegar, two cloves, and one teaspoon of cinnamon into a small glass jar. Place it in the microwave for one minute and then place in the room. It will absorb odors instead of covering up the smell like commercial air fresheners do. ~Chris

Cheaper Kitty Litter
Ground corn works beautifully as kitty litter. It clumps well, has a soft texture, and is non-toxic. Adding a shake of baking soda after filling the litter pan increases odor absorption. After scooping out the waste, the remaining corn litter may be put into the compost or tossed around the yard for fertilization. Ground corn makes an excellent fertilizer with anti-fungal properties. It can also be mixed with water to make a soothing dip for pets with flea or skin allergies. Ground corn may be purchased at feed stores, farm and ranch supply stores, and many nurseries. Be sure to ask for ground corn, not corn meal. ~Kristie in Boerne, Texas

Shipping Christmas Presents?
Here's a tip for sending packages by mail without ending up with crushed bows. I wrap my packages as usual, including the bow. I save round boxes like the ones that oatmeal and cornmeal come in and use a knife to slice the necessary depth off to protect the bow. Then I use crumpled paper around the outside of the cylinder to hold it in place. ~C.

Homemade Dog Food
I make dog food patties to add to the dry food. I use canned salmon or cooked chicken, a dozen eggs, brown rice, veggies, and pumpkin or pineapple and mix together with some oatmeal. Then I scoop out into 1/4 cup patties and bake. My dogs won't eat their food unless they have this added. I also no longer buy the treats but make dog biscuits as well. My dogs seem to be healthier because of it. ~Melissa (via Facebook)

Just Enough
Don't let milk or buttermilk go bad. If you keep it for cooking, freeze measured recipe amounts in yogurt tubs. Then pop the frozen chunks into a resealable plastic bag. Remove a chunk to thaw as you plan your cooking. If you freeze both kinds of milk, keep in separately labeled bags. Try the same thing with fruits and vegetables purchased in economy-sized cans. Freeze 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple for quick-set gelatin salads. Freeze peas, corn, beans, etc. in serving-size blocks and combine a variety for soups and casseroles. It's an easy and economical way for singles or small families to enjoy variety and economy at the same time. ~R.

Out of Town Flowers
I am a florist. There are literally dozens of places online that look like a flower shop, but are nothing more than an order gathering business. Some of them are not even located in the US. They will tack on $12 to $15 to every order and call it a delivery or service fee. They will then send this order on to a real florist, who must take their own delivery fee from the amount they got from the order gatherer. We regularly get orders from these crooks that leave us just a few dollars for an arrangement. What's the best way to get your money's worth? Do a search for a florist in the town where you want the flowers delivered. ~A.

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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