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The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

StorkNet.com > Columns > The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher Tips - October 30, 2014

Sweeter Smelling Trash
Like most, we have a trash can in the kitchen, and occasionally something stinky gets tossed into it. I hate to have these odors in my kitchen, so I put used dryer sheets into my kitchen trash. That pretty much neutralizes any offending odors. ~Chanile

Shower Door Cleaner
I don't like cleaning shower doors, so I apply Rain-X(r) to them. I use the same product that I use on my car's windshield. The water and soap scum runs right off, and it saves me a bunch of cleaning time. I reapply it every four months or so. ~Lucinda

Time to Buy Fruits & Veggies
I always stock up on canned goods in the fall. I don't can myself, so I go to local flea markets and fruit stands to buy locally canned produce. I stock up on tomatoes, green and yellow beans, etc. I buy anything I think that I'll use in the next year. It saves a bunch on my grocery bill all year long. ~Patty

Easy Last Minute Costume
Last Halloween, my husband and I were so busy that we didn't have time to shop for a costume party we were attending. A few days before the party, I was talking to another couple that was going, and they had the same problem. We decided to all go dressed in our pajamas and call ourselves a pajama party! Not only did our friends enjoy our costumes, but we also didn't have to buy anything and went in some of the most comfortable clothes in our closet. No awkward or hot costumes for us! ~Sherrie

Storing Out-of-Season Clothes
For several years, I have been storing my out-of-season clothing without mothballs. I simply use an unpainted piece of cedar siding that I got from a carpenter and put it in the storage container in an open plastic bag (this keeps the rough cedar from touching any delicate clothing). Cedar balls would also work. They should be sanded lightly from year to year to make sure they are potent. I have absolutely no problems at all and the clothing is fresh and ready to wear when I move it to my dresser or closet. ~Barbara

Cheaper Flights
Did you know that about 2/3 of all plane fares will drop within the 24 hours after you've booked your flight, and by law, if the flight is more than seven days from departure, you can cancel or change your booking? Therefore, it's a good idea to check the prices on your flight on the day after you made your reservation. You could save some money that can be used to buy holiday presents! ~Lou

Repair/Remodel Before Home Sale
I just read a tip from a reader on the improvements they are making to their home before listing it. Before you do anything, please have a realtor (or several) come to your home and advise you on what to do. They have a different eye than you do. A lot of sellers are surprised by my suggestions on what to do or not to do, but I know what buyers are looking for. ~Betsy W.

Autopay Is Great, But . . .
I am now the caregiver for my 87-year-old mother and pay her bills. Three years ago, it seemed so easy to get her cable/phone, electricity, garbage, water, and credit card bill auto paid monthly. Well, that worked wonderfully, but I developed a very bad habit of not looking at the statements to make sure everything was correct. I just happened to look at her water bill earlier this year, and it was $254. I nearly fell over. She had a leak in an unused sprinkler system from freezing and water ran for two months! Hubby looked for the leak, and it was very hard to find. We didn't know where the sprinkler heads or connections were located. Upon personally going to the water company, they offered a "once in a lifetime" adjustment down to $100. The lesson is that you shouldn't just throw the bill in a folder unopened assuming everything is fine. Open it up and check it out! ~Twila

Old Car Headlights
My car is nearly ten years old. I plan on driving it as long as I can, but one thing bothered me. I do a lot of night driving on the highway. The cloudy lenses on my headlights cut down on how much I could see at night. I priced the kits that are available in the auto parts store, but figured I could do it just as well with what I had around the house. I started by using a kitchen scouring pad and cleanser. After a little rubbing, most of the imperfections were gone. After rinsing off the cleanser, I sprayed it with cooking spray and rubbed it in. The results were impressive. Now my car looks better and I'm safer at night! ~Butch

Buy Less Hamburger
I have been stretching my hamburger with things like bread and oatmeal, but it's easy to go too far and lose the meat taste of the meal. I've found that in some recipes, I can use other ingredients. For instance, in my meatloaf recipe, I mix a half of a cup of bulgur with one pound of hamburger. The rest of the recipe is just like normal. No one seems to notice the difference. Or when making something like tacos or burritos, I add some mashed kidney beans to the recipe. The spice masks the mild flavor of the beans, and the beans add bulk to the taco or burrito filling. It's a healthy, tasty, and money-saving substitute! ~April

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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