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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - January 23, 2014

Toasty Tonight
I live in the north where the temperature can drop to -40 degrees F during the coldest months. In the winter, I use fleece blankets instead of sheets. They are always toasty. ~SA

Complexion Aid
I have used peroxide as an astringent for years, and I swear by it. Every time I stop using it, my skin breaks out again. I have oily, acne-prone skin! I have found it to be very kind to my skin, yet extremely effective. ~S.

Preventing Frozen Car Doors
Spray the seals around your car door with Pam® cooking spray or WD-40®. This will keep the doors from freezing shut in cold weather. This also keeps you from tearing the gasket when you force open a frozen door. And, don't forget to spray the door locks if you don't have a key fob. ~H.

'Strange' Savings
One of the strangest money saving tips I have found is to avoid searching online shopping sites when I am bored. I used to think I was just "window shopping," but more often than not, I would find a sale or deal too irresistible to pass up. Then it felt like not buying it would be passing up a good opportunity to save money! So now whenever I am tempted to just browse, I play spider solitaire or shut the computer off and read a book. ~Julie S.

Matted Pet Fur
I am a cat lover but don't love trying to detangle the matting in a cat's fur. I have found that olive oil rubbed into the fur will soften any tangles, so they can be brushed out gently. The first day simply apply a little olive oil. Then the next day, apply again and try to brush gently. If you have trouble, simply wait one more day, dab on more olive oil, and try again. ~Donna W. in Ashburn, VA

Easier Snow Shoveling
To keep "wet snow" from clinging to your snow shovel while shoveling, spray your shovel first with a non-stick vegetable spray, such as PamŽ. It enables the snow to slide off the shovel instead of packing on! It makes it a lot easier to clear those walkways and driveways without having to constantly tap the snow off the shovel! And it's much easier on the back! ~Michele in MO

Space Heater Warning
We got a small box style heater for an elderly parent, and it was working very well. However, the front grill started bowing out. The heater back side started feeling very warm to the hand, so we got the owner's manual out to read it again. We discovered the heater has a filter on the back and that it had become completely clogged with dust, allowing no air flow. This caused it to be warm to the touch. Our heater has several screws to undo to get to the filter. I think this is an excellent lesson. Always keep the owner's manual to refer to at a later date if needed. The product was functioning fine, but it was our error in that we forgot it even had a filter that needs checking and cleaning. We certainly avoided a house fire. ~Saga

Longer Lasting Razors
Keep your disposable razors in a glass cup with some mineral oil. Cover just the blade with mineral oil. This keeps the moisture from destroying the edges of the blade. The blade will last much longer. The mineral oil acts as a protective coating. Wash the razor thoroughly before putting it in the mineral oil. Especially on dual or triple blades, you should wash between the blades. You can even use an old toothbrush to clean the head of the disposable razor. ~T.

Easy Savings
I set a goal at the beginning of the school year (I work in a school). I used to buy lunch every day in the cafeteria or run out to get a quick bite. In addition, I would stop to get coffee and a pastry from a gas station several times a week. I got a cute new lunch tote. Now, I buy whole grain breads, lunch meat, and Dijon or stoneground mustard to make my own sandwiches. I add chips from a bigger bag, baby carrots and dip, and a pudding or yogurt cup for dessert. In addition, I make my lunch after cleaning up the dinner dishes and before I sit down. I also make a real effort to make the coffee for breakfast and keep homemade muffins or bread on hand for a quick morning snack. I've noticed an average drop of $300/month in my cash flow since August! I didn't realize the money was trickling away a few dollars at a time. As an added bonus, I've lost 15 pounds with no exercise and no change in the amount I eat! ~Deb C.

Storing Plastic Kitchen Containers
Finding a way to store plastic containers has always been a tough one. The first thing you need to do is actually take the time to match up the lids with the containers. Throw any extras away! The easiest and cheapest way to organize plastic lids for containers is to find a box that fits on the shelf of your cabinet. It can be any size you need for the space you have. You can neatly arrange lids in the box (you may have to cut down the sides to fit). This way, they are together in one place, making it very convenient. If you want to get creative, you can make it pretty or match your decor with shelf paper, wallpaper, or even material. Another thing I have found is a wire rack that slides under your shelf. These hold lids very nicely and take up very little space. You can usually find these racks in the housewares department of most department or thrift stores. I found mine at a dollar store for a buck. As far as the containers themselves, all you can do is pick out the ones you use most and use the "puzzle" method. After several tries, you can usually find the most suitable way to fit them into the space you have. Happy stacking! ~Doris in DeSoto, MO

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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