Dollar Stretcher Tips for October 22, 2015
Just a Touch-Up
I hated buying a whole box of hair dye just to touch up the roots. Now I buy Just for Men® (mustache and beard) hair dye. I use just a small amount and the box lasts for about five touch-ups!
Reducing ATM Fees
Every time I turn around, I’m paying an ATM fee. I hate paying $5 to get $40 or $50. I just discovered an app called Allpoint. It can point me to surcharge-free ATMs. I’m told that it also works in some grocery stores, but I haven’t tried that yet.
Are You Killing Your Hairdryer?
After replacing several hair dryers that just stopped working, I realized that by cleaning the screen on the back of the dryer with an old toothbrush, it helped the air flow, which kept the dryer from burning out. Now I’ve had the same hair dryer for years, and it’s still going strong.
Bacon Times 2
When the cost of bacon climbed high, I began buying packages of the very thick cut bacon. I sliced each piece into two, which made an adequate serving (two slices made four nice pieces of bacon). The whole package lasted twice as long. I still do this even though bacon prices have decreased. This saves money for sure!
Stinky Trash Can?
Do you have a stinky kitchen trashcan? Our trashcan was nasty, and soap and water didn’t remove the smell. Then I picked up a trick that uses plain white vinegar. I poured some onto a piece of bread and put the bread in the bottom of the unlined trashcan. After letting it sit overnight, our trashcan didn’t smell like something died in it!
Free October Family Fun
For free family fun in October, I do a web search for church fall festivals or trunk or treats in my area. Some of these will occur weeks before Halloween, but the kids get to dress up and get free candy. Usually there will be free games, bouncy houses, and sometimes even free food. Some churches will also give away stuffed animals or toys instead of candy. Some even have a fireworks show at the end. This is the time, so look around in your area.
The Little Big Reward
We’re paying off our debt and sometimes it seems like it’ll take forever! I’m not sure I can keep this up for years. I wanted to reward myself each time the debt was reduced by $1k. Since I love good bread and jams, each time I reach that mark, I go to my favorite bakery and buy a loaf of fancy bread and some jam to go with it. Normally I wouldn’t spend the money, but it’s not that expensive and it helps to keep me motivated. Now I just need to find something to keep my husband motivated!
Rice is cheap and should be on everyone’s grocery list. To keep my family from getting bored with the same plain rice, I spice it up. Sometimes I’ll add some leftover soup after I’ve cooked the rice. Other times I’ll cook the rice using water that I boiled vegetables in the night before. Other times I’ll add some of the leftover veggies to the rice or just some garlic. There’s no end to the possible combinations. And leftovers that would probably get thrown out anyway will be used up!
Removing Gasoline Odors
About a year ago, we had a problem with a gas spill in our car. My husband thought his dad put the cap on the gas can and was driving around when it spilled. After many useless remedies, we finally resorted to putting clay kitty litter over the area of the gas spill. After a day, we vacuumed it and covered it with the litter again. I think we did this two or three times with great results. There was no more gas odor. Be careful not to allow any moisture near the cat litter or it could turn into “mud” on your carpet, and be sure to clean with a vacuum with very strong suction to get all the litter out.
Winter Lawn Tool Storage (great tip!)
About this time of year, most of my summer lawn and garden tools get put away for the winter. We have a tool shed, but they still tend to rust if I don’t prevent it now. I have a wooden box that’s big enough for my shovels, etc. to fit in. It’s filled with sand. I wipe my tools with used motor oil and bury them in the sand. Next spring, they’ll be just as good as when I put them away this fall.
DIY Dog Grooming
I own a small poodle who is now 14 years old, and I have only had her professionally groomed about six times in her life. People have always admired the way she is groomed, and I learned to do it myself.
Grooming even a small dog can be at least $45 in our area. I started by going to a beauty supply warehouse and bought the smallest “Peanut” clipper on sale. It was about $30. Then I learned to trim the feet and face. For a scissors, I use about a 6″ shears. I bought combs and poodle type brushes at a local pet supply store.
I found many good YouTube videos about dog grooming. I also found poodle grooming books at the library.
I have also found using a dremel tool frequently on dog toenails works great. I do just a nail or two at one time. It has saved many vet or groomer costs for this one thing. Our PetSmart charges $10 just for a toenail trim.
Anyone can do this, and it does help to have my therapy dog clean and well-groomed for visits. I have saved hundreds of dollars and can now afford a good cordless electric clipper. I also attend dog shows when possible and watch groomers, asking for tips when they have free time. Most of the time, they are so proud of their dogs and flattered to be asked how they make their dogs look so good.
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