Dollar Stretcher Tips for August 4, 2015


Good Looking Fruit!

It’s common to use lemon juice to keep fruit from discoloring. I have switched to pineapple juice. It does a great job, and it doesn’t leave a taste like lemon sometimes can.

Musty Luggage?

Here’s a neat trick that costs nothing. When you come back from a trip, stick a used dryer sheet into your suitcase before you put it away. When you pull it out for your next trip, it won’t smell musty!

New Electronics?

When I got my new cell phone, I grabbed the tab and started to pull off the protector they had on the screen during shipping. Then I realized I would have to go online and buy another, so I smoothed it back in place and just cut the tab off. It’s been over two years and the screen is scratch free.

Renters’ Alert

We recently downsized and moved from our home into a rental apartment. In all the confusion, I forgot to get renter’s insurance. When a neighbor had a break-in, I realized that we had gone months without coverage. Fortunately, we didn’t need it. I called my agent and got covered. It’s not that expensive and gives us peace of mind.

What’s This Fee?

Today, I convinced a firm to rescind a $50 fee that was never disclosed to me, as far as I know. If you believe a fee is unreasonable, especially if you’ve been a good customer, it’s always worth calling the company. Be pleasant but firm and ask to “escalate” the call if the first representative says no. Beforehand, write down why you think you should get your money back and use this for talking points. You’d be surprised how many companies will rescind fees if you ask nicely and are persistent. Always take notes including the date, time, and person to whom you spoke. Always note that person’s direct phone number if you might need it again.
Barbara S.

Harvest Time

My gardening club always has a harvest time potluck dinner. Not only do we bring a prepared dish to share, but also extra fruit and veggies that we harvested and cannot use. Anyone is free to take anything that they’ll eat right away or prepare for later use. If anyone has extra canning jars, they’re asked to bring those, too. By the time I’m through canning, my pantry has a great selection to last me all year. What a great way to share with friends and save money, too!

Athlete’s Foot Cure

One of the best remedies for athlete’s foot is tea tree oil. It gets rid of and helps prevent athlete’s foot. Just put a bit on your finger and put on the affected parts of the foot. I was living in South East Asia for a few months in the wet season, and every time I got my feet wet when it rained, I had a huge problem with tinea (athlete’s foot). A bit of tea tree oil fixed it every time. Some people find it stings. If it does, just dilute it with any other oil like vegetable oil.
Winnie in Australia

DIY Kids

I like to do as many home repairs as I can, and I like to have my kids help me. Not only do we get to spend time together, but also they’re learning how-to tricks as we work. I like to think that each lesson they learn now will save them money in the future when they don’t need to call in a repair person or replace something instead of repairing it. It’s a little like putting money in the bank for them.

Not Afraid to Ask

I’m not afraid to ask. We belong to a community pool. At the end of the season, I always ask the lifeguards if I can have the things that they’ve been collecting in the lost and found all summer. Last year, I got beach towels, plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses, and other assorted stuff. I kept some, gave some away, and tossed other stuff. I’ve done the same thing at the kids’ summer camp and at the kids’ school each spring. Mostly they’re happy to find a home for everything instead of tossing it all in the trash. I’m happy that I don’t have to buy things like sunscreen or beach towels!

Selling Safely on Craigslist

A lot of my friends have been selling their old stuff on Craigslist. I am, too! I am turning overstuffed closets into some cash, but I worry about letting too much personal information get into the wrong hands. Therefore, I use an option that Craigslist has for a fake email address that forwards to me. When someone shows an interest in something I’m selling, I can decide whether I want to let them know my real email address.

Before Back to School

Before you succumb to the back-to-school sales at malls and big box stores, browse the aisles at your local thrift shops and second hand stores. Many have special racks of school uniforms, such as khaki pants and shorts and golf shirts. Often, these were donated because a child outgrew that size, not because it was worn out. Jeans, t-shirts, and other clothing can be had at bargain prices, so you can combine the items with what is already in a student’s closet for cool new looks at bargain prices.

Also look at their office/school supplies and books. I recently picked up a like new dictionary for 25 cents, and one store here regularly sells notebooks (binders) for under a dollar. If you are lucky, they may even have ink cartridges for your brand of computer printer.

Root through the paperbacks. Hiding among the romance novels may be some CliffsNotes, Shakespeare plays, Greek mythology books, or classic novels your teen will be studying this year. It’s certain that the secondhand store’s price will be much less than a regular or college bookstore’s price. If the charitable thrift store doesn’t have a good book selection, then head to a used book store. They will have scads of titles and their prices will be half the new cover price.


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