Dollar Stretcher Tips for September 3, 2015


Cat Hair Problem?

Ever try brushing your cat with a lint brush? It is soothing to them and collects all the falling cat hair.
Shirley M.

Natural Bug Bite Protection

I enjoy gardening, but I hate getting bit by bugs. And I don’t enjoy spraying myself with pesticides to keep them away. I discovered that if I use a spray bottle and mist myself with vinegar, the bugs leave me alone.

$5 Date Night

Last night, my guy surprised me. Just after dark he invited me out on our deck. He had set up two small jar candles and two ice cream sundaes! Pandora on a phone provided the mood music. We counted the stars and held hands. It was paradise!

Packing for Trips

This is a vacation tip for women. Don’t pack a lot of clothes in different colors. Try and stick to one/two basic colors for your wardrobe and then bring jewelry, scarves, etc. to change the look every day and even recycle an item or two during your trip, which means less packing overall.

College Cash

If you want a side hustle while you’re in school, offer to tutor other students. You can set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want. Just pick a subject that you aced. If you can, get the prof or grad assistant to write you a letter saying you’re good in the subject. Beats working for minimum wage at a burger joint!

Cleaning Cast Iron

I love to use my cast iron skillet. Since I won’t put it in the dishwasher, I have to wash it by hand. Here’s what I do. I sprinkle some salt into the dirty pan. I add a little bit of olive or vegetable oil. Then I rub the salt all over the pan. If the pan is properly seasoned, all the gunk will come right off. Then I finish with a quick rinse of plain water.

Moving Day!

No matter how you plan, moving day is always stressful and confusing. I’ve learned one way to make it go easier is to have something I call “Box 1.” We mark one box, and we put a roll of toilet paper, two rolls of paper toweling, a bar of soap, some energy bars, and a few light bulbs in it. This box goes into my car, not in the moving van!

A/C Efficiency

When our A/C unit seemed to be running more than usual, we called to have it checked. The technician looked at the outside unit and said that it was working too hard because of all the bushes that had grown up around it. He said to make sure that there was at least one foot of clear space around the unit. We did that and our unit is running much better now.

Travel Warning

I learned the hard way not to pack valuables in my suitcase. During our vacation, my jewelry box was in our suitcase. With all the anti-terror rules, the suitcase was unlocked. When we got to our hotel, I realized that my jewelry box was missing. The airline blamed the NTSB. They blamed the airline. I was left without my jewelry. Fortunately, I didn’t bring anything that was too valuable or irreplaceable. During my next trip, I’ll put any jewelry into my carry-on bag. If you’re flying, I’d suggest that you do the same.

Getting Dripped Wax Out of Your Carpet

If you love candles, you’ve probably dropped hot wax onto your carpet at some point. I found an easy way to remove the wax. First, I get all that I can without damaging the carpet by scraping it away. Next, I cut a section out of a brown grocery bag that’s larger than the drip. I put the brown paper over the drip. I heat my clothes iron to warm and circle it on the brown paper. The heat softens the wax and the paper soaks it up. Sometimes it’s necessary to move the paper a few times to get a fresh spot to soak up wax, but in a few minutes, the carpet is saved!

Potato Chip Hack

I recently learned that I have high cholesterol and am working hard to change my eating habits. I know my love affair with jalapeno potato chips should really come to an end, but I crave their salty, spicy crunch!

I created a “diet hack” for myself. I slice red radishes thinly (or thicker for more crunch), pat each slice dry, and then sprinkle them lightly with a dry jalapeno seasoning I found in the spice aisle. I get my spicy, salty crunch with virtually zero calories, zero cholesterol, no MSG, and zero fat!

Even better, a big bunch of radishes are only 99 cents and the $3.99 I spent on the seasoning will last a long time since only a pinch is used each time. Dry seasonings are sold in a myriad of flavors, including Cajun and barbecue. Dipping in vinegar and a tiny bit of salt is also very good! Slicing jicama instead of radishes will reduce their “bite” and works best for sweeter seasoning flavors.

Now I can reduce my cholesterol and grocery bill all at once while still enjoying my favorite “chips!”

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