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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - May 22, 2014

Winter Clothes Storage
When I'm storing my winter clothes, I put a dryer sheet in with them. They smell fresh and clean when I take them out of storage in the fall. ~Penny

Cleaner Showers
I've found an easy way to clean those nasty corners on shower door tracks. Just pour some hydrogen peroxide on, let it bubble for a few moments, and wipe it up. It's easy as can be! ~Deana

Smelly Car?
My husband works at a car dealership. When they're prepping a used car for sale, they tuck a few fabric softener sheets under the front seats. It removes many smells from the cars, including smoke. It's easy and cheap! ~Kelly

Natural Weed Killers
We have found that boiling water will kill the weeds just as effectively as those expensive weed killers. Every time you boil the kettle for a coffee, walk outside and pour the remaining hot water onto a weed or two. In a few days, they will have shriveled up and died! ~Michael C. in Australia

The Sock Solution
Everyone in my family wears white socks. It's such a pain to sort them after drying! I bought white mesh bags for delicates and gave everyone a bag. I told them to put their dirty socks in the bag. Each bag has a name on it. When I wash whites, I just throw the whole bag in the washer and then the dryer. No more sorting socks for me! ~Celeste

Swim Diapers
My little one loves to spend time in the pool with me. Naturally I use swim diapers, but the cost is a bit much. Then I realized that the swim diaper could be washed in the washing machine. I throw out soiled diapers, but if they're just wet, they go in the washer. I let them drip dry and reuse them a number of times before tossing them. ~Deanna

Need Paint?
Have a small paint job? See if your town has an Environmental Services office. If so, call to see if they take old paint and household cleaners that can't be tossed because of environmental concerns. Some will give you all you want for free. I've gotten stains, thinners, and varnish. I have even received spray paints! ~Victoria

Hidden Storage
Do you know how easy it is to buy little wheels and add them to dresser drawers for additional storage under beds? I know so many people with storage problems who buy cardboard boxes that cost a fortune for under bed storage. Why not use old dresser drawers? By adding wheels, they're easy to pull out to vacuum under your bed. This is great for storing can food or other items bought at loss leader prices. ~B.

Kids Laundry Tip
For a while, my kids' clothes always were inside out when they put them in the hamper. I got tired of it. I finally decided that if they were old enough to put their clothes on the right way, they were old enough to give them to me that way. So if I get clothes inside out, that's the way they're washed and returned to them. It's surprising how quickly the problem was solved! ~Caty

Unexpected Guests
Sometimes the best get-togethers are the ones that are spur-of-the-moment and unplanned. When faced with a houseful of people, I've been known to do frozen pizzas from the freezer to the grill and then cut them up into bite sized diamond shaped pieces for appetizers. Or take a London broil and turn it into shish kebabs with a red onion and a green pepper. You don't need to spend a lot of money. Just look for ways to stretch what you have. Your guests will never notice and are always happy with whatever you serve. I've even put a half pack of cookies in the blender and sprinkled it on top of a "plain" half gallon of ice cream to make it extra special! Just relax and enjoy yourself and your guests will too! ~Annie

Looking for Plants?
Look no further than your local garden club. Many clubs have a plant sale once or twice a year. They sell plants that members have grown at very reasonable prices. Since the plants are locally grown, you know they'll do well in your climate. And, since you're buying directly from the gardener, you can get advice on how to care for the plant. Do a search for a local club and ask them if they have a sale. You'll find some great plants and might even decide to join the club! ~Jo

Caring for Leather Boots
I have had a lot of luck caring for boots by carefully brushing dirt from the area where the sole meets the upper and then applying leather cream generously. I then stuff the toes with crumpled newsprint. I recently read that a great way to store winter socks is to jam them into the toes of boots/winter shoes. The boots or shoes keep their shape, and another place to store the socks is not needed. If the calves of the boots are long enough to need support, I roll a piece of cardboard to the shape needed and insert it into the leg of the boot. Then I store them lying down. If I put the soles on the floor, wrinkles can develop in the leg/ankle of the boots as gravity pulls the leather down. ~Marcie

Want to live better on the money you already make? Visit to find hundreds of articles to help you stretch your day and your dollar! Copyright 2014 Dollar Stretcher, Inc.


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