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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - March 13, 2014

Eye Cream
I break a couple of Vitamin E capsules open and mix with a bit of coconut oil. It's the best eye cream in the world. With no chemicals, my skin is beautiful. ~Chris (via Facebook)

Ready Touch-Ups
To keep your walls looking new, try this trick. I have a small jar of paint in a baby food jar for every color we've used in our house. I also have a small, inexpensive paintbrush. I use this paint for minor touch-ups. Instead of being a major project, it's a simple 10-minute fix! ~Bre

Stained Plastic Food Containers
Tired of having all your plastic food storage containers stained after a few uses? Try this. Before you store any kind of sauce that's made with tomatoes or anything acidic, spray the container with PamŽ or other oil spray. The oil will coat the container and prevent the acid in the tomato from etching it. ~C.

Freezer Burned?
Sometimes large chunks of freezer burned meats can be salvaged. When the chunk of meat starts to thaw, I trim the freezer burned sections off with a sharp knife and then let it thaw and cook as usual. I was able to save some chicken breasts using this method, and I have also done this with other meats that are in chunks. ~Mary

The Wrong Color Lipstick
I buy cosmetics when there is a bonus involved. Sometimes I get lipstick in a color that I don't particularly like on my lips. Instead of throwing it out, I use it as blush. I rub a little on my finger and then I blend it on my cheeks. It looks so natural. It's so good that you'll never want to go back to blush. A tube of lipstick lasts for a long time and is much more cost effective. ~B.

Paid to Lose Weight
I pay myself for the number of calories I burn each day when I exercise. I usually use an elliptical walker and treadmill for about 30 minutes. The machines tell me how many calories I have burned. When I come home, I put that amount of money aside for a special treat. When I have enough money saved up, I buy whatever I've been saving to buy. It has been a great motivator to keep exercising and also keeps me from feeling guilty for spending money on something that might be unnecessary. ~Karoline

Easier Bird Clean-Up
I have four birds that make a lot of mess! I priced the poop remover/cage cleaner spray, and it was about $25 per bottle at pet stores. Whew! So I decided to try something. I mixed about half of a bottle of isopropyl alcohol, a teaspoon of dish detergent, and 1/4 cup of water together in a spray bottle. Then I sprayed it on the fecal matter and let it sit for about five to ten minutes. With a paper towel, I wiped it clean. This did not harm my birds, and it worked wonders on the dirty cages. The cost was only about a dollar! ~Connie in NC

Want Your Kids to Like Veggies?
My 18-month-old son helped in the garden last summer. He planted seeds, helped weed, hoed, dug with his little tools, and played. He found cool rocks, neat bugs and great food. As we started to harvest, my son ate a pepper a day for snack time, just like an apple, mixed with beans, tomatoes, basil and anything else that he could get his hands on. He loves his veggies, and I love the fun times that we have in the garden. I can't wait for this spring! ~G.

Reducing Spoiled Food
Tired of throwing away food? Try putting a paper towel in everything that you have opened and don't use totally. For instance, for lettuce, I do not wash it until I'm ready to eat it. I put it in a sealable bowl, lay paper towel on top, seal, and turn upside down in refrigerator for storing. I do something similar for cheese and other veggies. This method has saved me so much in wasted, spoiled foods. Try it! You will be able to keep your food twice as long before it starts to spoil. ~Analee

Why I Use Gift Cards
I have to renovate my bathroom due to mold issues. When I know that I am going to have a large expense in a certain store, like Home Depot or Lowes, I go online to eBay, CardCash and other sites to purchase gift cards for less than the face value. I earn points on my credit card as well. Needless to say, I do not buy anything unless I have the money and can pay it off immediately. Still every bit helps! Today I bought Home Depot gift cards at CardCash for 7.8% off face value, and I have found them to be quick. They send everything by mail, and I get a confirmation. Trust me that 7.8% off $2500 adds up. ~CS

Before You Spend Big Bucks on Repairs
The rear heater in our van recently stopped working, so we took it to the dealer where we always have repairs done. They charged us $70 to diagnose the problem and said that the rear blower motor needed to be replaced. They quoted the cost at nearly $300 to replace it. A guy in our church does some auto repair, so we asked him to look at it. In just a short time, he had it working. There was a connection problem and he fixed it for just a few dollars! Always get another opinion on car repairs, especially expensive ones. I found the guy just by asking around in church and then checked some references. ~ T.

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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