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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - June 5, 2014

More Kitchen Storage
An easy way to make more space is to hang a towel rack high on your kitchen wall. Attach s-hooks to it. Hang lightweight pots, pans, and utensils on them. ~Monique

Making Laundry Easier
I line my clothes hampers (one for whites and one for colors) with a large green trash bag. When it is time to go to the laundromat, I just pull out the bag and off I go. I also leave the bottle with my liquid soap in the hamper. Everything is in one bag! ~Monique

Natural Rinse Agent
Your dishwasher has a place to put rinse agents. I put plain vinegar in the dispenser. My dishes come out squeaky clean. This saves money on the expensive commercial rinse agents and it's natural. This also helps to keep the dishwasher free from detergent build up. ~Meredith

Can't Afford Gas
With gas nearing $4, my boyfriend and I needed to cut our gas expenses dramatically. We purchased used mopeds. Not only are they fun to drive, but they also get up to and often over 100 miles to the gallon. License plates and insurance are pretty cheap. On nice days, we can take them to work. It even makes the commute fun! Just be sure to learn how to ride them properly and watch out for cars! ~Zina

Shoo Fly
I was visiting my friend in the country. The day I got there we were continually swatting at flies. Then my friend hung some gallon-sized, resealable bags filled with water from the porch overhang. No chemicals were used. She used just plain water. I thought she was crazy, but the flies stayed away after that. When I got home, I looked it up and found out that people were hanging clear glass bowls filled with water as far back as the 1700s to get rid of flies! ~Robert

Picture This
Recently I've been taking a quick photo of all the food we throw away. I took a picture of milk that went bad before it was used, the leftovers from a few nights ago, half eaten bananas, etc. We try to be a responsible family, but I'm horrified at what I've been seeing. Once three or four weeks have passed, I'm going to share them with my family and have a talk about wasting food. I hope they're as concerned as I am. ~Francine

Organizing Supplies for Less
Many people get the organizing bug, especially if they watch some of the home and reality TV shows. But, it seems like many of them lose interest before they complete the project. The reason I believe that is because every weekend when I go to garage sales, I find brand new organizing stuff for pennies. I keep my eyes out for the things that can help me get better organized! ~LaDonna

Handy Snacks
With two young boys at home, I am constantly on the go with various activities. I keep a basket in the back of our minivan labeled "snacks in the back." I frequent the discount grocery outlets on a regular basis and stock up on low-cost boxed juices, water bottles, crackers, pretzels, apple sauce, gummy treats, nuts, and beef jerky. (Be careful to avoid items that melt like chocolate and snacks that need to be refrigerated.) I keep the box hidden from the boys so they never know what kind of treat they'll get when we are out-and-about during snack times. It saves me a lot of money on unhealthy drive-thru snacking or impulse buys. And the boys are constantly delighted by the surprises from their snacks in the back! ~Brooke K.

Removing Gasoline Odors
About a year ago, my husband thought his dad put the cap on the gas can and was driving around when it spilled. After many useless remedies, we finally resorted to putting clay kitty litter over the area of the gas spill. After a day, we vacuumed it and covered it with the litter again. I think we did this two or three times with great results. There was no more gas odor. Be careful not to allow any moisture near the cat litter or it could turn into "mud" on your carpet, and be sure to clean with a vacuum with very strong suction to get all the litter out. ~Karen

Natural Roach Remedies
This is the cheapest, simplest, least toxic, and most effective roach treatment ever, and it has worked for over a year now in my house. Stir together equal parts of sugar and baking soda. Roaches gobble up the sugar and the baking soda gives them gas, which messes up their stomachs and ultimately kills them. It only takes a cup or so of the mixture to treat a house, placing dabs in strategic spots like behind or beneath appliances, in closets, or near wastebaskets. If you have pets, limit the mixture to places or containers your pets can't get into because it might make them sick if they eat it. I found that empty pill bottles wedged horizontally into tight spots and plates underneath furniture work well to keep things tidy. ~L

Cheaper and Healthier
Look up the recipe to your favorite salad dressing. It's much cheaper than buying dressings at the store. Making your own salad dressing is healthier for your body as you are using fresh ingredients and no preservatives or extra sugar. And once you are comfortable with the recipe, you can easily change it up by adding fresh herbs or spices or experimenting with different vinegars. Lastly, making your own dressing is much faster and cheaper than spending the time and gas to make a trip to the grocery store! ~Brigitte

Inexpensive Homemade Stain Remover
With three active boys, I find that most items have at least one area that needs a prewash stain remover. I found a mix that is cheap and works on dirt, grass, ink, and food stains.

Mix the following in an old spray bottle:
     1/3rd rubbing alcohol
     1/3rd hydrogen peroxide
     1/6th Dawn dish liquid
     1/6th water
I spray the stains and brush the mixture in with an old toothbrush before washing. I really like the results. Just remember to mark the bottle that you use and always make sure you know what chemicals you're mixing. Some mixes can be harmful. ~Gail

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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