Dollar Stretcher Tips for January 7, 2016


Here are your Dollar Stretcher Tips for January 7, 2016

Heated Towels

Our house has forced air heat with a vent in our master bath. I placed a towel rack and some clothing hooks above the vent. When I dry off after a shower or put on my pajamas, they’re nice and warm. It’s just like what I’d get at one of those fancy spas!

Too Many Cords!

Every year at Christmas, it seems like we get one or two things that have cords and power supplies. Some are universal like HDMI cables, but some are unique to the device. To those, I add a label that says which device the cord or power supply goes to. It only takes a minute and avoids confusion later on.

Wiping Away the Tears

Little ones often need comforting after scraping a knee or elbow. I take a washcloth, dampen it, and put it in the microwave for just a few seconds. I put it in just enough to warm it, being careful not to get it too hot. Then I place the warm cloth on the wound before I bandage it. My kids call it mom’s special cloth.

Creative Home Decor

I got this idea from watching a movie. They had taken those little cheap acrylic box frames and filled them with different things, including dried flowers and a collection of buttons. Just use your hot glue gun to arrange the items attractively. You can set the acrylic box on an end table or hang on the wall for instant decor.

Kitchen Charging Station

I like to charge my phone while I’m cooking dinner, but I was always afraid that I’d spill something on it. I took one drawer and set it up as a charging station. I drilled a hole in the back of the drawer and ran a power cord through it. The cord belongs to a power strip, so I can charge more than one thing at a time. Now when I get home, I pop my phone on the charger. If I happen to get a call, it’s easy to pull it from the drawer. I have no more worries about spilling something on it or taking up needed counter space.

DIY Workouts

One thing I didn’t like about gym workouts and classes was they became routine quickly. I hate boring! Now I look for different workouts on Some are good and some aren’t. I choose the best ones and do them for a week or two until I get bored. Then I look for a new one. Not only does it keep my enthusiasm up, but it also keeps me from overlooking any part of my body.

Affordable Fine Silver

When we got married, I wanted fancy silverware for special occasions, but we couldn’t afford to buy it new and no one gave us any as a wedding present. Then I happened to go to an estate sale that had some. I got a beautiful old set for a fraction of what it would have cost new at the store! When I used it the first time, one of my friends asked me how we could afford such fancy tableware!

Easy Clean Paintbrushes

Having a good quality paintbrush makes the job go much easier, and if you clean them thoroughly, they’ll last for years. But even with water-based paints, sometimes it’s hard to really get them clean. A professional painter told me his secret. After he washes his brushes, he rubs them with hair conditioner. Then he washes them a second time. The conditioner helps the brush shed the paint. Using this trick, I have brushes that I’ve used for many projects, and they’re still like new!

Making Really Great Coffee

I work in a coffee shop and this is a frequent complaint from our customers. They buy a bag of a coffee they had in the store and loved, only to find that it doesn’t taste the same at home. There are several possible reasons for this. First, we only use filtered water when making coffee at the shop. Tap water can ruin the flavor of good coffee. Second, we grind the coffee right before we brew it, so it maintains as much flavor as possible. The longer the time between grinding and brewing, the less flavor in the coffee. We also store our beans in opaque, tightly sealed bags with all the air forced out and in a dark, cool place. Light and air exposure can alter the taste of the beans (and you should never store coffee in the freezer). Also, if you buy your coffee from a coffee shop, I would suggest asking the baristas for any tips they might have. We’re very friendly and we usually know quite a bit.

Outrageous Vet Bills

I worked for a vet clinic for close to two years and I saw some unbelievable bills for sick animals. My suggestions may be common sense, but sometimes it’s hard to think about these things when your animal is sick. Make sure you know exactly what the vet is doing for your animal. Ask for an itemized statement if they don’t give you one automatically. Check to see if any medications the vet wants to send for your animal are available at your local pharmacy. Compare prices on the medications. Sometimes the pharmacy will be cheaper. Make sure to tell the vet when you go in you only want done to the animal what has to be done. Sometimes they will want to do a stool check or something that is unnecessary at the time. These items can end up costing a fortune. Finally, unless you really like your current vet, check around for prices at other clinics. You would be surprised at the difference in cost.


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