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

Dollar Stretcher Tips - October 2, 2014

Removing Wallpaper
The best way to remove old wallpaper is to use fabric softener. Mix it with hot water about 50/50. Spray it onto the wallpaper and let it soak. It works great! ~Ruby

Just the Accents
About once a year, I give my guest bathroom a new look. I purchase a new rug and some new guest towels in a different color. I also have a couple of different soap and tissue dispensers that I put out. I keep the stuff that I take out. I'll bring it out again in a year or so when I'm ready for another change. ~Patti

Easy Halloween Costumes
We can't afford to buy new Halloween costumes every year, and I'm not handy enough to create them from things lying around the house. We do have a solution that allows our kids to get a new costume each year. That solution is the local thrift store. They carry costumes that have been turned in. Often they've only been worn once or twice. What a deal! And they sell them for a very reasonable price. ~Gianna

Homemade Stock Kicked Up a Notch
When I make stock, I go a little further. First, I make broth/stock from used chicken/turkey carcasses. Then I pour some of the broth into small plastic cups (like the ones kids drink from) and freeze. Once frozen, I pop the frozen broth out and put into a zipper baggie for storage. When I need broth for homemade gravy, I just use one of the frozen "broth-sicles." ~Jon F.

Protecting Pantyhose
I have a problem with my pantyhose running. One thing that I have tried is putting a new pair of panty hose (in the package) in the freezer for 24 hours after buying them. They last a little longer than usual and they do not freeze. Another "cure" is soaking a new pair of pantyhose in salt water (don't rinse them) for a day and then letting them dry. ~PW

Holiday Relief!
I am 55 and single. I have no children. A few years back, I talked to all my family about gift giving on holidays, birthdays, and other occasions. It was too costly to buy for everyone, and to be frank, some just didn't have the money. So at one of the family gatherings, I brought the subject up. We all agreed to stop buying for each other. Everyone was so happy to do it, but no one wanted to bring up the subject because they didn't want everyone to think they were cheap. We enjoy the family gatherings so much more when we eat, play games, and talk to each other. It's much more enjoyable with a lot less stress. ~Judy

Removing Urine Odors
I potty trained three children at once, so you can imagine the number of "accidents" that occurred. I found it best to create a baking soda and water paste. I rubbed it into the area and applied distilled white vinegar over it. I blotted this up with clean white towels and repeated it no more than two times. Then I followed it with a good rinsing of water, blotting up the moisture. It smelled like vinegar for a short time, but the urine smell did not come back. ~Becky

Just a Little Less
I always cheat a little on recipes, and it saves me money every time. For instance, if I'm making spaghetti and it calls for a pound of ground beef, I'll use 3/4 pound. That's especially important now that beef prices have gone through the roof! Not only do I find that I spend less, but we probably eat a little less, too. It's good for the budget and the waistline! ~Dawn

Secret Carpet Cleaner
At the flea market, I visited a booth that had a whole bunch of cleaners for sale. One promised to clean carpets. I checked the ingredients and found it was just hydrogen peroxide. So when I got home, I picked a spot in a closet and sprayed a little on a spot to make sure it wouldn't ruin the carpet. The carpet was fine, so I tried it on a spot that my dog had left. I rubbed it into the carpet and let it sit for a while. After it dried, I took some water and rinsed the area, sucking up the water with my shop vac. I got wonderful results. ~Chrissy

Healthy Snacks
I wanted a healthy snack when my kids come home from school. Fruit like grapes, apples, etc. make excellent snacks and the fiber in them makes the natural sugar release slower (decreasing the chances of hypoglycemia). My experience has been that little hands like smaller items. So I cut up an apple or any larger fruit. I also make cracker snacks. I put either a spoonful of peanut butter or some cheese between two crackers. ~Dody

Creative Storage Solutions
Finding proper storage has solved many problems for our family. We don't have a big basement or attic, so we need to be creative. I've found a number of simple ideas that have made a huge difference. For instance, we store a fold-up table behind the sofa in our living room. The end tables are really woven baskets and do double duty. Our winter blankets are stored inside one of them. In the other, we store Christmas decorations. Our laundry room is another area where we've gotten creative. I wanted a freezer but couldn't figure out where to put it. Then I realized that a chest freezer could replace the table that I used for folding laundry. Space saving might not seem like it affects our finances, but it does. We've raised three kids in the same small house that we've lived in for nearly 25 years, and by not moving to a bigger house, we have saved a lot of money! ~Beverly

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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