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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - April 10, 2014

Weed Killer
Here's a spot weed killer. Mix 1 part dish soap, 2 parts vinegar, and 2 parts water. The dish soap makes the vinegar stick to the weed longer. And the vinegar burns the weed. ~Brad

Doggie Mats
I have memory foam bath mats for my dogs around the house. My dogs like them. I can easily vacuum them, and they are machine wash and dryable. They were inexpensive compared to pet store dog mats. ~Lorraine in NH

End of Term Finds
I live in a college town. Every year in May, the streets of my town are full of useable furniture, lamps, appliances, etc. If you live in or near a college town, watch the streets in May. You'll be surprised at what you find! ~Jerry

Mushrooms
I hate to see fresh mushrooms turn slimy in the fridge. Here's a great way to keep them fresh up to a month! Take fresh, unwashed mushrooms out of the cellophane covered package and place them loose in a paper bag. Just fold the top of the bag but don't close tightly. Place the bag in your fridge. No more slime! ~Kaleigh

Don't Like Microwaves?
A great alternative to heating up food in a microwave is using a steamer. I have a large stainless steel cooking pot with a strainer insert. Many foods can be reheated by steam. If food is too small, place parchment paper in bottom of strainer. Some foods may not work if they tend to get too moist with the steaming process. You just have to experiment a bit. It's worth it. ~Judi

Spring Car Care
It's important to wash your car to prevent rust. I used to think that you washed your car just to make it look good. Since I didn't want to spend money, I rarely washed my car. Big mistake! After a few snowy winters with road salt and dirt, I had a major rust problem. Eventually, the car was more holes than metal! A few extra car washes could have lengthened the life of my ride! ~Sue

Water Bottles
I was so puzzled about how to get the straws clean from our water bottles. I soaked them and ran water through them, but they just wouldn't come clean! Then I was crafting one day with pipe cleaners and the light bulb went off! I put the pipe cleaner in the straw and wiggled it all around. Now we have clean straws in all our water bottles! ~Faith N. in Sauk Village, IL

Looking for Landscaping
We recently moved to the country and bought a home that was built on what used to be a farm. So there was minimal landscaping and no trees. Nursery trees and shrubs are either very small or very expensive, so we couldn't go that route. I spread the word at work that we were looking for anyone who was hoping to do some spring cleanup around their homes and might be looking to remove some "mature" trees and bushes. You guessed it. I found someone who had some trees that he was going to cut and chop. They gave them to us for the taking. They were full size, healthy, and free! ~Robert

Fancy Body Lotion
I use a lot of body lotion. I love the expensive scented lotions, but they are so costly. I used to just use the expensive stuff for special occasions. Then I learned how to make my own. I now buy a generic body lotion and put it in a pretty lotion dispenser. As I add the lotion to the dispenser, I add drops of lavender essential oil. I mix it as I go. I add 15 to 20 drops of the oil. There are many essential oil scents from which to choose. I now use wonderfully scented lotion every day for a fraction of the cost. ~Lila

Rusty Tools?
My hubby is an auto mechanic. He buys tools, and they aren't cheap! A co-worker told my husband that dryer sheets keep tools from rusting. Since we live in a humid climate, rust has been a problem, so he tried it. He put dryer sheets into his toolboxes at work, on his truck, and at home. No rust! It does work! We don't know why, but as long as it works, he doesn't care. He goes to the dollar store monthly and buys replacement sheets. ~Cathy

What's Old Is New Again
One way to stretch the clothing budget is to update the past season's clothes. For instance, I have a two-piece dress/suit. I dislike the top, so I'll get rid of it. I still like the skirt. I'll find another top to go with the skirt. Another change that will alter the look is to shorten a long skirt or long sleeves, or change the buttons. Sometimes it's as simple as adding a scarf. ~Sophia

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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