Dollar Stretcher Tips
Dollar Stretcher Tips courtesy of TheDollarStretcher.com.
Email your time or money saving tip to [email protected].
Homemade Cleaning Erasers
I make most of the cleaners for my housecleaning. However, when my children suddenly became "wall artists," I tried the cleaning erasers in hopes of avoiding repainting. They worked great, but I hated not knowing what they contained.
I read the box and found a warning not to use with chlorine bleach. This is a sure sign of ammonia as an ingredient. So I tried warm water with some liquid dish soap and ammonia. I went after the crayon and marker drawings with a rag and my new mixture. The results were just as good and a lot cheaper.
Tired of Holey Jeans
Anyone who has a young son will know about how they get holes in the knees of jeans and pants. I have bought name brand jeans like Levis and Osh Kosh thinking they would last longer but they did not.
As I was putting away winter clothing this spring, I realized that all of my boy's thick cord corduroy pants are still in good condition. He wore them a lot in the fall, winter and spring. The jeans are full of holes, but the corduroys are in good shape. Thinking back, I have always passed on his corduroys when he outgrew them. Not so for jeans. I do believe the corduroy is much more durable than denim.
I am no longer wasting my money on jeans. It's cords all the way! We live in Canada so he wears them about nine months per year. In the summer, it's shorts.
Neighbors Night Out
Here's a great, inexpensive night out with the whole family. We have all the neighbors bring meat for their families and one dish to pass for a cookout. We have hours of fun and a big bonfire to top it all off. We stay up late and we all sleep in the next morning. It's cheap and a great way to entertain.
Juice Minus the Water
Read the label on a can of tomato juice. It says "made from concentrate." What is concentrate? Tomato paste!
I take a can of tomato paste, buzz it in the blender with 6 or 7 cans of water (depending on taste), add a dash of salt, and have tomato juice for a fraction of the cost of a big can. Why pay for all that water? Be sure to use tomato paste, not sauce.
A.C. in Vermont
You can go to your local Environmental Services office and get all the free paint stain, varnish, thinners, and often even general housecleaning supplies that you want. In our community, when you no longer need remaining touch-up paint or didn't like a product for whatever reason and you can't dispose of it in the normal fashions, you bring it to Environmental Services. They store it, in hopes that someone else can use it.
They have everything from pints to five-gallon pails of paint. I haven't bought spray paint in years! Check and see if this service is available in your community.
Radio Remotes & Promotions
For a free lunch for you and the kids, go to radio remotes! They always have free food to give away and they often have free prizes just for coming to the remote.
I work for five stations and usually one of the requirements of an advertiser is to do a promotion that gives away cash, tickets and trips on the radio. For most events going on in an area, the local stations will have free tickets to give away.
The smaller the station the better chance you have because you don't have as many listeners with which to compete. Also, make sure it's a local number to call. If it's a toll free number, you are competing with many stations all around the state, but they don't tell you that.
Time to Save!
Check with your local supermarket to find out if they reduce the butcher block meat after a certain hour. Our local grocery reduces the price of ground sirloin, extra lean ground beef, and lean ground beef to $1.29 per pound after 8 p.m. It's marked "reduced for quick sale," and it usually gets packaged in about four-pound packages. I repackage it upon arriving at home and I get a fantastic deal.
Grouping Saves Gas
One thing that I do to save on gas and time is to group my errands. If I know that I have several different errands to do, I will try to group them by location and will even put off one until I have another one nearby. Because I try to fill my gas tank only every other week, I don't do errands as they come up. Instead, I plan them. I go through gas much less quickly this way because I am not driving as many miles. Grouping errands saves a lot of time as well since I am not going to the same area twice or more times in a period of a few days.
Instant Garlic Bread
We always end up with leftover hot dog buns after a meal because my kids don't eat the bun. Instead of waiting until they go bad and then throwing them out, I've started to use them for garlic bread. I use leftover Papa John Pizza garlic sauce, put it on the bread and bake for about 5-7 minutes. Butter and garlic powder works, too. I've also added shredded cheese for an extra touch. Tastes great!
A couple of years ago, we bought a membership to our local zoo for $35. With that membership, we were able to visit numerous zoos for free. It cost us less for the year's membership than it would have cost us for our family of 5 to visit just one time at the larger zoos we visited. Plus, we could visit as many times as we wanted!
Shopping the "Clubs"
Our local garden club has a plant sale twice a year and it sells plants that club members have grown. All the plants are grown locally so they are already used to the climate. I've bought bearded iris for 50 cents, rose bushes for $2 and many others really inexpensively. They are also more than happy to talk about growing habits and care.
I also found out that all the area plant clubs do the same, so I can't wait until the cactus and succulent group has theirs. Check your paper and call the clubs to see when they hold local sales.
No Scrub Shower Solution
You can use hydrogen peroxide to clean the gunk out of the corners of shower door tracks, etc. Just pour it on, watch it bubble, and then it wipes right up.
I cut the mesh from onion bags (or any mesh bags of produce), fold it, secure it with a rubber band, and have a "free" scrubber to use for quite a long time!
My Mom Showed Me
My mom is rather handy with an iron and can freshen so many things with it. When my ironing board is up and the iron is cooling, I press whatever tissue paper I may have received with gifts. I have a small box that I then fold the freshened paper into and have it on hand for other gifts! It's great.
Lisa J in Wisconsin