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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - August 28, 2014

Cheaper Cooking Spray
Why pay for fancy aerosol cooking sprays? I bought an inexpensive spray bottle and filled it with olive oil. It does the same thing at a fraction of the price! ~Lauren

Outdoor Furniture Protection
My friend taught me this trick. To protect your outdoor furniture and decorations, paint them with flat, clear spray paint. It's great for everything from wrought iron furniture to small lawn ornaments. ~Maggie

Smelly Kitchen?
To remove cooking odors from your kitchen, in a pan, put three cups water, one cup vinegar, and bit of cinnamon. Let it boil for a few minutes. I do this after I cook food that smells up my home. Happy cooking! ~Judy

Odor Control
When I have an odor in my fridge or cooler, I head for my bag of charcoal briquettes. I just place a few inside and leave them overnight. They soak up all the bad smells. I just make sure to use the ones that have not been soaked in lighter fluid or I would have a different smell. ~Sommer

Pantry Organization
I use simple, inexpensive plastic dishpans to organize a pantry. I label each one with the contents and then they simply slide in and out of the shelves with ease. The plastic dishpans I buy are around $1 each and last forever. They're also good for keeping track of children's toys and many other items around a home. ~B.

Nasty Shower Stall
We have hard water and the combination of the water and soap makes our shower nasty in just a few days. I got tired of trying various products to clean the soap scum. Finally, out of desperation, I took an old dryer sheet and used it as a scrubbie. It worked! It took very little effort, and I got fantastic results! ~Bonnie

Dinner Addition
My wife and I are empty nesters. We've gotten into the habit of having a salad with dinner every night. The lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives, and other stuff help us eat additional veggies. It also helps us to fill up on a low-calorie salad rather than other things that would add weight to us. To top it all off, it's inexpensive, too! ~Sam

Paint Prep
My friend is a professional painter. He shared this tip when we were about to repaint our family room. I needed to repair some wall dings and the spackle was about the same color as the walls. He suggested that I add some food coloring to the spackle. That way it stood out and I could quickly know exactly where to sand. It worked like a charm! ~Russ

Flat Soda?
We like the price of the two-liter bottles of soda compared to the can price, but we never finish it before it goes flat. One day, I stumbled onto the answer. I poured the last of a two-liter bottle into my glass. It only filled it half way, so I filled the rest from a new bottle. It was just as fizzy as if the whole glass had been poured from the new bottle! Now, if I have flat soda, I mix it with some new fizzy pop! ~Cynthia

Handy Burgers
I watch for sales on ground beef. When I find a good one, I stock up. After I get home, I take a square pint-sized freezer container and put about a quarter of a pound into the bottom of the container. I flatten the ground beef with another container, which makes a perfect hamburger patty. I add a piece of wax paper and repeat the process again and again. I get four patties into one pint container. We can pull one or more out of the freezer whenever we want. It's perfect for a quick dinner! ~Rhoda

Refrigerator Caution
Most people take warm food and put it in a resealable bag and toss it into the fridge or freezer. That's not really a good idea. First, the closed bag tends to hold the heat in the bag. A better way is to let the food cool before you put it into the bag. Then squeeze all the air out of the bag before zipping it. That will help minimize both bacteria and freezer burn. ~Rochelle

Natural Tick Control
When we built our new house five years ago, I couldn't walk across the backyard without finding a half dozen ticks crawling all over my legs. I had heard that chickens were great for controlling the tick/insect population, but since we are inside the city limits, farm animals were not an option. As a desperate measure, I started throwing my birdseed all over my yard to lure the wild birds to eat on the ground and hopefully help with the tick problem. It worked! Since I did that, I have not picked up a single tick from our backyard. However, we did have several surprise sunflowers pop up in unexpected areas. We loved it, but if you wouldn't like the sunflowers, you could "bake" the birdseed in a 300-degree oven for about 30 minutes to stop the germination process. ~Dee

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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