Dollar Stretcher Tips for May 21, 2015

Save on Healthy Foods

Free Landscaping

I’ve been busy trading plants with my friends and neighbors. Many plants need to be divided or propagated, so we all swap what we don’t need. It’s a great way to bring variety to a yard or garden without spending any money!
Terri

My Hot Water Is On Vacation

Our water heater has a “vacation” setting. Each day after my family has taken their morning showers and I’ve run the dishwasher, I change the setting on the water heater to vacation and leave it there until bedtime. The savings have been surprising!
Laura

Moldy Cheese

Tired of throwing away cheese because it got moldy? Store it in the fridge with the cheese wrapped tightly with a sugar cube. That’ll increase the shelf life dramatically. And, if you do get mold, you can wipe it off with a paper towel soaked in vinegar. It’s safe and won’t change the flavor.
Zach

Discounted Groceries

I make a habit of asking questions at my grocery store. I try to talk with the different department managers to find out when they drop prices to move inventory that’s nearing its sell by date. Now I shop to take advantage of the marked down meats, veggies, and dairy products. My family is eating a lot better for less!
Maggie

Natural Bath and Kitchen Scrub

My daughter is sensitive to chemicals and allergens, so I avoid most of the cleaning products you can buy at the store. Instead, I make my own. For the kitchen and bath, I make a 50/50 mix of borax and baking soda. It’s cheap, non-toxic, and works well in the tub, sinks, and toilets. I just lightly scrub with a brush or cloth.
Kitty

Great Grad Gift

I know exactly what I’m going to give my niece for her graduation. I bought one of those picture frames that has multiple openings in them for a variety of pictures. I’ll take my niece’s graduation invitation and place it in one opening. In the others, I’ll place some pictures of her as she was growing up. It’ll be a nice keepsake for her.
Rachel

Water Waster

Everyone is aware of the water shortage in California. We don’t have a shortage where I live, but water is expensive, especially since I have a nice garden each summer. I found that a drip irrigation system in my garden works just as well as more traditional sprinklers, but uses just a fraction of the water. My garden is happy, and I’m happy with the lower water bills!
Leon

Handy Herbs

I like to use herbs and spices in my cooking. I like to always have some herbs ready, so I chop them up and put a teaspoon into each spot in an ice cube tray. Then I add a little water and freeze them. Once frozen, I put them in a baggie that’s marked with which herb the cube contains. When I want the herb, I just toss a cube into my soup, sauce, or recipe. It melts as it’s cooking. It’s easy and tasty!
Luci

Not Driving Today

As a work-at-home mom, it seemed like I had an errand or two to run every day. Not only was this taking an hour or so out of my day, but it also required me to gas up the car more often. So I decided that Tuesday and Thursday would be “no drive days” at our house. Unless there’s some type of emergency, I do everything I can to avoid running any errands on those days. I’ve found that I’m saving both time and gasoline. You should try it!
Shannon

Free Entertainment

My city’s public library has a startlingly enormous collection of DVDs for classic and contemporary movies. They also have a website from which I can find any item in their collection and have it sent to my nearest branch library and held for me. This is all a free service! I had used it for years for books, but just recently realized that almost every movie I would want to see, except for the most recent ones, is in their collection already! I had a Netflix queue of 150 movies I had found to be interested in, and I spent some time going down the queue. Almost every movie on that list was also in the library’s collection. That means I can easily get any of them without Netflix for free! So I printed out that queue, cancelled my Netflix subscription, and will borrow them from the library! Another monthly cost eliminated, and those monthly costs do add up quickly!
Anne in Austin

Saving Leftover Paint

Whether I’m painting a room or doing trim, I like to save the extra paint for future touch-ups. But, I found that no matter how tightly I sealed the can, the paint only seemed to last for a few years before it went bad. Then I had an idea. Figuring that the air left in the paint can was the enemy, I wanted to remove it. I began to put clean, empty baby food jars into the partially empty paint can to take up space. When I had added enough so that the paint was near the top, I sealed the can. Now my leftover paint is good for many years!
Nick

Saving on Healthy Foods

I find a lot of healthy foods at ethnic grocery stores. There is a store is our area featuring European foods, and they have a lot of fresh produce, bulk foods, ethnic bakery goods, and ethnic prepared foods. These stores are very reasonable and have wonderful deals on fresh produce. They have a lot of whole wheat products, many different kinds of cheese, whole grain breads from ethnic bakeries, and all kinds of Mexican, Greek and Asian foods. I still shop at Whole Foods once in a while, but I go to the ethnic grocery store first. They have the best selection of olive oil I’ve ever seen. They also carry types of dried beans that I never even heard of. There are all kinds of beans sold in bulk. They have unusual foods just like at Whole Foods but at a fraction of the price. Look in the yellow pages to find some ethnic stores and check them out.
Marilynn T.

nable and have wonderful deals on fresh produce. They have a lot of whole wheat products, many different kinds of cheese, whole grain breads from ethnic bakeries, and all kinds of Mexican, Greek and Asian foods. I still shop at Whole Foods once in a while, but I go to the ethnic grocery store first. They have the best selection of olive oil I’ve ever seen. They also carry types of dried beans that I never even heard of. There are all kinds of beans sold in bulk. They have unusual foods just like at Whole Foods but at a fraction of the price. Look in the yellow pages to find some ethnic stores and check them out.
Marilynn T.

 

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