Here are your Dollar Stretcher Tips for Thursday February 4, 2016
My family loves my cookies, so I bake often. I realized that I could reuse the parchment paper on my cookie sheets. I just roll the parchment paper up and put it into an empty paper towel roll to keep it neat.
Health Savings Accounts
I was talking with our HR representative when she reminded me that I hadn't listed a beneficiary on my Health Savings Account. I didn't know that if I died, my wife (who is my beneficiary) doesn't get taxed if she assumes ownership of the account.
Scratch and Dent Savings
We recently purchased our first home. We needed to buy appliances but didn't want to run up our credit card balance. So we visited a local scratch and dent store. We found a fridge and stove that had dents on the side that's hidden in our kitchen. We did have to pay full price for the dishwasher, but still scored a big savings!
Teething Puppy Chews
My puppy was teething and chewing on everything. My vet suggested that I take an old kitchen towel, wet it thoroughly, wring it out, and put it in a zipper baggie in the freezer. When frozen, it's hard enough for puppy to chew on and the cold helps sooth any teething pain. It won't stay frozen long, so it needs to be rotated with two or three others.
Too Much Info
As a Facebook junkie, I love it when people comment on my posts or poke me, but after a friend had her identity stolen, I started wondering about all that personal information I post online. I decided it was wise to remove my address and birthdate from the profile. It's nice getting birthday wishes, but not if it helps someone trying to steal my identity.
Your electric clothes dryer can be very expensive to operate. Recently, I had to call a repairman for my washer. While he was working, he gave me some tips. He said that not only was it important to make sure that the dryer vent was clear, but also that I shouldn't overload the dryer. It seems that clothes dry quicker if they can tumble around in the dryer.
When You Donate…
I have an idea when giving clothes and household items. Don't just give the items to Goodwill all the time. There are women's (and men's) shelters that need items as well. When the ladies and men come in, they barely have anything. All kinds of items are needed, including clothes, household goods, and various items. Call your local women's shelter in your town and give to these people. Don't let them be the forgotten ones!
Connie in NC
You wouldn't know it, but detergent doesn't actually clean your clothes. Its main purpose is to lower the surface tension of the water, which allows the water to do the cleaning. That's why the hardness of your water is so important. The harder the water the more detergent you'll need to use. Most detergents estimate the amount needed based on fairly hard water. So, in most cases, you can experiment and use less. Very soft water will use about half of what's recommended. Dianna
The ‘Walk Away Price'
I'm convinced that the way to get the best price on a car (new or used) is to walk away from the dealership. If you're close to a price they can do, they'll call you and either encourage you to come back or offer you a better deal. I take a test drive and talk to the salesperson. But after they take their second trip to the manager's office, I tell them that I want to think about it and leave. They'll try to talk me out of it, but I insist. Last time, I didn't even get home before my phone was ringing!
It's hard being a mom who works. My husband helps with the housework, but we're always behind. There's never enough time to do everything. Then it dawned on me that part of raising kids was teaching them basic skills, so I tied their allowances to chores around the house. Each week they get a basic allowance, but by doing various clean-ups around the house, they can earn additional allowance. Not only are they learning how to clean their home, but they're also learning money skills. It's a two-fer in my book!
Kids' Birthday Parties
Our 10-year-old son wanted a birthday party. I didn't want to put a Chucky Cheese party on my credit card, so I needed an idea for an at-home party. He's into airplanes and rockets. We decided to have an airplane party! I found some patterns for paper airplanes online. I printed off enough copies for all the kids that were attending. For each type of paper plane, we had a contest to see whose plane could fly the best or farthest. I had small prizes for each winner. The boys loved it! Instead of goody bags, I found an inexpensive book with plane designs and gave each of them a copy. I figured that would encourage them to read (an extra bonus!). After adding a homemade cake, we had a very cheap and very fun birthday party. Next I'm thinking of doing something with sewing for our 12-year-old daughter's party.
Owner Occupied Duplex
My husband and I own a duplex unit that has an additional 400-square-foot studio apartment at the rear of the two-car detached garage. It is located in one of the “older” parts of town, is surrounded by lovely historic houses, and is considered to be a very “family friendly” neighborhood. If we have any two of the three units rented out, it pays for our mortgage. Living on the property allows the owner to be immediately responsive to maintenance issues and potential tenant difficulties. An added bonus is that if you inform prospective tenants that the owner/landlord lives onsite, the irresponsible folks will tend to avoid that type of situation. We have been delighted with our tenants and it has become a very compatible “neighborhood” for all of us. We take care of the lawn maintenance (raking, mowing, watering, shoveling snow, etc.), but in the past, we have offered rent rebate/reduction to tenants who offered to take over these duties when we went on vacation, etc.
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