Dollar Stretcher Tips for September 24, 2105



If you get a splinter and don’t have a tweezers available, here’s a hack to get it out. Put a little Elmer’s® glue on it. Let the glue dry and then pull the glue off. The splinter will come off with the glue.

Weed Kill

I use a kettle of boiling water to kill the weeds that grow in the cracks of our sidewalk. I just pour it on the weeds (especially at the root) every day until they die. It works pretty well, and it is safe for kids and pets after treatment.
Melissa W.

Making Cleaning Easy

Cleaning house isn’t my favorite chore. To make it easier, I keep a set of cleansers in the kitchen and each bathroom. That way, it takes just a minute to clean that space. There’s no need to gather my supplies. I’ve found that by keeping up with it on a regular basis, I don’t end up with a big cleanup on my hands.

Updating Outdoor Light Fixtures

The brass light fixtures outside our front door were beginning to look nasty, so I decided to give them a little attention. I took them down and hit them with some sandpaper. Then I sprayed them using a rust proofing paint. The color matched our house’s trim. After washing and replacing the glass globe, they looked sharp!

Extra Peppers?

During this time of year, we can buy green peppers for cheap at local farmers’ markets. I like to stock up. I rinse them off, crush them, and place them in a zipper bag in the freezer. During winter when I want a bit of pepper, I pull off a piece and add it to whatever recipe I’m cooking. They freeze well and don’t stick together.

Home Projects

We just finished a kitchen remodel. I love my new kitchen, but I remembered something about half way through the project that we learned earlier. When you figure your initial budget for a project, add an extra 20% for surprises. It seems like there’s always an upgrade that you want or something nasty behind the drywall that will add to the cost. There’s nothing worse than getting part way through a project and finding out that you don’t have enough money to finish it.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Do you love birthdays? I do! Ever since I was a little girl, birthdays have been my favorite. I sign up for any birthday freebies I can find. Also, I sign up at any sites (especially restaurants) that ask for my birthday. To protect myself from hackers, I use a date that’s one week after my actual birthday. I get all kinds of neat coupons, freebies, and discount offers. If I get any gift cards from my family, it’s a perfect time to take advantage of the discounts.

Rewards System

I’ve read about people who reward themselves for achieving their goals. Someone I work with rewards herself with Starbucks every time she goes to the gym. I liked the idea (because I dislike the gym), but I decided to take it a step farther. Each time I go, I add $2 to an account that I use for special purchases. If I don’t go for a scheduled workout (three times per week), I add $2 to my mortgage payment. It’s not a lot, but it helps keep me motivated. And even if I don’t go, I’m still really rewarded because I’ve done a little extra to pay off the mortgage.

Liked it! Not!

I had trouble with a kitchen appliance. I went to the company’s website and couldn’t find a place to ask for help or file a complaint. I did find that they had a Facebook page, so I posted my problem there. Instead of replying, they deleted it! That made me mad, so I did some more checking. I found that they also had a Twitter account, so I tweeted my problem with the company name hashtagged. They couldn’t delete my tweet! The next day, they were asking what they could do to help. It took a bit of hassle, but they finally replaced it.

A/C Maintenance

I recently had my A/C go out. Luckily, it was two fuses but it still cost $283. The tech told me the unit was dirty, and it would work better if I hosed it off during the summer and before frost in fall. I was always afraid I would “do something wrong.” He pointed out it gets rained on and snowed on and is built to get wet. He said that I can do it while the unit is running. I use a hose with a spray nozzle and turn the water all the way up. Then I spray slowly from the top to bottom moving around the unit. Then I spray right to left around the base and under the unit. The water runs off. It is easy and A/C units run $3,500 in my area. I will do this religiously.

Birthday Sleepover

My 10-year-old daughter wanted a birthday party. I didn’t want to disappoint her, but we didn’t have much to spend. I suggested a sleepover for her friends. We saved a couple of “girlie” movies to our Netflix queue. To add some fun, I bought each girl a new white pillowcase. We brought out our fabric markers and let each girl decorate her own pillowcase! With a discount code for pizza and some popcorn, we were all set! The girls had a great time, and each had a keepsake to take home with them.

Beginning to Barter

As a bookkeeper/accountant, I have bartered with a great deal of people! I eat Chinese food for free, fill up my car with gas and get it repaired, get groceries at our small local grocer, and get haircuts and tans! Over the years, I have also had rooms remodeled and building projects completed.

The best way to find people to barter with is to just ask! Many small businesses would love to have someone do a task they dislike in exchange for whatever service or product they provide. Many small business owners are short on cash, but can easily provide their skill to you! There are also barter networks on the internet, and I think some large towns have barter networks in place. Just keep an open mind and ask around, and you will be bartering before you know it!

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