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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - January 16, 2014

Frozen Windshield Wipers?
Save your windshield wipers in freezing weather. Lift your windshield wipers straight out from your windshield. This will prevent them from sticking to your windshield and breaking. ~Lilly P

More Efficient Snow Blowing
We often have wet packing snow, which clogs up my snow blower spout. So I make sure that I either spray the spout with cooking spray or WD-40 before snow blowing. It keeps the stuff from clogging up the spout, and I no longer have to clean out the spout. ~Seva in Port Huron, MI

Debt Payoff Strategy
I have a no fee checking account, so I made a plan to reduce my debt. A few months ago, I set up a schedule with the amount due for each credit card. I then determined to pay half of the amount due to each credit card company on the 6th and the 20th of the month. I have not reduced my original payment amounts even though my balances are going down. Whenever I can make an extra payment, it goes to the card with the highest interest rate. ~ Shannon V. in Regina, SK Canada

Used Moving Boxes
I know that people like to save by getting used moving boxes from moving companies. I think a caution about bedbugs would be in order. They are so hard to get rid of and it would be very easy to pick them up in used boxes. We have friends who are infested. The house they moved into had them and they didn't know it until their large family moved in. A year after they moved out, they are still having treatments to get rid of them. If the family that moved out of that house used a moving company, their belongings had to have been crawling with the pests. Before reusing any boxes, I'd either inspect them very carefully or put them in a closed space with a bug bomb. It's better to be safe than sorry! ~Rita

Preventing Freezer Burn
We process deer meat as well as buy in quantity when chicken, pork or any other meat is on sale. Freezer burn is caused by air. Freezer bags are great, but trying to get all the air out is hard. Now I buy gallon size zipper bags and plastic wrap. I wrap all items in serving size portions tightly with plastic wrap and then put several portions into a zipper gallon freezer bag. We save money by using less freezer bags and there is no freezer burn because the plastic wrap is protecting the food from the air. ~Ellen B.

Rough 'n Ready Towels
As a family with an active preschooler and two avid DIYers, we were going through more than our share of paper towels. No matter the sale price, it was wasted money and excess garbage going to the curb. We could have bought expensive cloth towels, but we made our own for free instead! We used old bath towels and outgrown receiving blankets. We cut squares from each and sewed them together. We had one absorbent side for scrubbing and one soft, lint-free side for polishing. ~Susan

Finer Oatmeal Facial Scrub
I use oatmeal as a facial cleanser. I have been doing this for several years now, but I first put it in my blender (about a cup or so) and grind it up until it is like cornmeal or a little finer. I then take about one tablespoon in my hand, add water until it is a little thinner than a paste, and wash my face with it. It makes my face feel wonderful and soft! ~Catherine H.

Dry Cracked Skin?
An effective treatment for dry, cracked heels or fingers is using apple cider vinegar. Soak feet/fingers daily in apple cider vinegar or apply apple cider vinegar to the dry skin. Organic apple cider vinegar is more effective than the regular apple cider vinegar. Skin feels smooth after a few treatments. Apple cider vinegar can also treat toenail and fingernail fungus infections if applied regularly. ~Qin T. in Woodbury, MN

End of Month Furniture Hunt
Apartment-dwellers should always check around the garbage dumpster the weekend before the first of each month. When residents move, they often discard perfectly usable items. Usually people just set the item(s) near the dumpster for someone else to take, so it isn't dirty at all. I've found, at various times, a floor lamp, a stereo, house plants, several chairs and other pieces of furniture, a carton of books, and a box of clothing. I passed on to others the things I couldn't use myself. ~N2W

Should We Elope?
My husband and I didn't want to spend a huge amount on our wedding, so we decided on a courthouse wedding. We both wanted a little spotlight though. After all, this was our big day. So we planned a very small, very intimate dinner party the night we were married. It was one of the most special days in my life. A couple of my friends got together while we were off getting married and made a delicious dinner of pot roast, potatoes, and carrots. I treasure the memories of that day and night! ~Laura

Fido Fun
As a dog owner, I'm always trying to find fun ways to keep my dogs from getting bored. I decided one day to use my leftover toilet paper rolls to hold dog treats. I simply fold in the ends and add one treat. My dogs will spend a good half hour trying to get the treats out. I'm not sure this saves money, but I suppose it is better than buying specific toys for this purpose. ~Lori

Creating Creativity
Our youngest grandson (he's six years old) loves to draw and color. Now that Christmas is over I've cut off the beautiful fronts of all of the Christmas cards we received. He is using the blank sides to recreate the artwork on the front or create original art. It's a great way to nurture his love of art and to get double use out of the beautiful cards. ~Sue in San Antonio, TX

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 2014 Dollar Stretcher, Inc.

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