Dollar Stretcher Tips February 11, 2015


Nasty Showers?

We recently bought a foreclosed home with a really dirty shower. A friend suggested that I buy the cheapest shampoo I could find and coat the shower with it. I let it soak for a couple of hours and literally just wiped it clean with hardly any effort. I was amazed at how easy it was!

First Stop In The Grocery Store

When grocery shopping in any store, I always look for the discount carts or dented cans cart. Many times, I find items discounted 50% or more. Only the cans are dented. They are not expired and the seals are not broken. I’ve stocked up on these items for my pantry. It’s quite a savings!
Lilly P.

Stuck In the Snow

Here in Canada, we get a lot of snow. Since I drive in rural areas, there’s always the risk of getting stuck in a snowbank and not having help to get out. Therefore, I always keep some old boxes in my trunk. They fold flat and can be put under the wheels to get traction on ice or snow. It’s a cheap solution!

TSA Approved

I learned recently that there are two ways to bring water on a flight without having to buy an overpriced new bottle after security. First, you can bring an empty bottle through security and then fill in the terminal. Or you can bring a frozen bottle of water through security. The TSA agent confirmed for me both are possible.
Valerie Y.

Big Savings

Every year about this time, I find good clothing sales, but mostly what’s left is large or small sizes. Since I’m in the middle, I couldn’t take advantage of the sales until I had an idea. I do some basic sewing. I buy something I like in a too large size for me. When I get it home, I take it in to my size. Usually it only takes a few minutes and I have new clothes for not a lot of money.

Looking Forward to Spring

I love to garden. While the ground is still frozen, I enjoy looking at seed catalogs. I also visit garden websites that allow for seed swaps. I’ve gotten and grown many seeds for plants that I couldn’t have afforded if it weren’t for the seed swaps. Often the other person isn’t really interested in getting an equal return. They’re just happy to see their seeds going to a good home.

Working for Myself

Every time we had an unexpected expense, I swore that I would start an emergency fund. And, when the next unexpected expense came up, I made myself the same promise. Finally last spring, I came up with an idea. Each week, I put one hour’s pay into my emergency account. It doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up. I might not have all that I need to cover the next unexpected expense, but I will have a part of it covered!

Don’t Throw That Out Yet!

If you find a can or package of food in your cabinet that has recently passed the “best by” date, call the toll-free number on the product and ask the manufacturer’s representative if the food is still good to eat without any significant loss of quality or safety. I have found in such calls that many canned products maintain good quality for many months after the “best by” date. It pays to make a call before you toss out a product.

Reverse Engineering

As I understand it, reverse engineering means taking a completed product and working backwards to see how it was created. We do something similar at home. Everyone creates shopping lists. We create un-shopping lists. On the list are things that we can live without for a short or long time. For instance, we were running out of paper towels. We decided that we could live without them for a short time. We found the same thing with fabric softener sheets. Sometimes we even find that we like it better without the item or that we prefer the substitute that we were using. We’ve saved quite a bit with our “reverse engineering” game!

Pressure Cookers

If you pay attention to sale prices on eBay and Amazon, you can pick up one of the electric pressure cookers for less than $50 and many are shipped free. I’ve been using a “refurbished” model for years now and all that’s said about their efficiency and speed without a loss of flavor is absolutely true. Many nights, I’ve returned home from work, pulled something from the freezer, and put it on the table in 45 minutes or less. Pressure cookers are absolutely a “less is more” approach to a faster home-cooked meal. Just be careful with things like cabbage. It will go from a fresh head to an inedible mess in under 10 minutes!
James S.

Tired of Being Cooped Up?

A wintertime idleness cure is spring cleaning early. We definitely have the time to when the weather does not permit us to go out. I am a small farmer and a lot of times spring cleaning gets placed on the back burner because everything outside is calling. This year, I decided to get a jump on things and clean closets that need to be dealt with and other nagging chores that I don’t have to wait for spring to clean. This little bit of effort is freeing me from putting spring cleaning on the back burner for another year. I challenge you to start your spring cleaning early and enjoy the warm weather when it finally gets here.
Megan from VA

Super Clean Your Hair

Recently it seemed like my hair wasn’t as pretty as normal. When I went in for a haircut, I asked for some advice. The girl who cuts my hair thought that it might be a build-up of shampoo. I asked about something to remove it and she suggested that once a week, I take some baking soda in my hand and mix it with my shampoo. Then shampoo like normal.

What a difference! My hair has regained its luster and is soft as can be. Once again, I’m getting compliments on my hair (which I love!).


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