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This weeks Dollar Stretcher Tips

October 14, 2009
Dysart Reporter

A Simple Check Saves Money

I recently checked some information on my auto insurance policy and found out I was listed as renting my house instead of owning it. I changed the information to owning my house and saved a little over $60 a year. I could have been saving that for the past three years! I guess it helps to spend five minutes checking out your information.

Chris G.

The Luxury of Scented Powder

I make my own scented powder. I just mix equal parts of baby powder and baking soda in gallon size resealable bag. Then I spray my favorite perfume on a cotton ball and put the cotton ball in the bag with baby powder and baking soda. After closing the zipper tightly, I shake it to mix thoroughly. After two or three days, I transfer the powder into my old powder container.


Once a Month Canning

I spend one day every month at a friend's house canning. We make pasta sauce, pizza sauce, jams, and soups. We buy the ingredients at the warehouse club and use fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible. When we are done, there is enough to last the month and it costs us about half of what we would normally spend on the pre-made items. The best part is spending the day with a good friend.

Nancy K. in Evergreen Park, IL

The Family Tree

The holidays are not far away and I have a suggestion for all those newsletters that you receive from family and friends. My husband does genealogy and I suggested to him that those "wonderful" newsletters that come in and contain information on births, marriages, graduations, etc. would be useful in his genealogy work. So now we put them with all the other family information that we accumulate.

Lorraine S.

Basic Land Line


Today I called our phone provider to turn off our landline. I explained we no longer needed it because we have cell phones. The representative indicated she could offer me a limited call plan of 50 calls a month for $5.95. This price needed to be added to the list of taxes that totaled $10.49, so the total monthly charge would be dropped to $16.44 compared to our previous $36.31. I decided to take the limited plan since we have small children that know to call 911 for emergencies. The call took about seven minutes.

Theresa in Richmond, VA

Better Than Office Christmas Gifts

Our office decided several years ago to give up purchasing Christmas gifts for each other. Instead, we all contribute what we can afford to a fund and use that money to purchase for children on our community "angel" tree. We are a small group and the managers agree to cover the office for a day while the rest of us get a day to do the "angel" shopping and have lunch together. Everyone pitches in to wrap the gifts. We are able to purchase much more (and nicer) items for the "angels" than we could have done individually. It's fun, low cost and definitely creates a happier holiday for someone who isn't as fortunate!

S. K.

Oh, Yeah???

We have a 250-gallon buried propane tank, and were recently quoted a price of $3.29 per gallon. After calling around and finding lower quotes at $1.99 per gallon, we called the supplier back, and they agreed to lower it "just this one time only."

So we will be switching providers when the next fill up comes around, but in the meantime, we saved several hundred on this fill. Outrageous that this industry can get away with ripping off unsuspecting people! Marcia T.

Say "No" to Storage Containers

I was in the process of changing out my seasonal household items, going from summer to fall, and was on my way to the store to purchase those big plastic bins with lids. I got to looking at them and the cheapest ones were still between $8-$9 each! I considered what I had at home and it occurred to me that I have many pieces of large luggage that are just sitting there empty.

So I put all of my summer items inside one and slid it under the bed. I will then use another when fall is over to store those decorative items in. Since I have four good-sized pieces, I figure I can use each one for the different seasons plus save about $40 from not purchasing those bins!

Dawn C.

Simple Winter Window Insulation

For extra window insulation in the wintertime, we use bubble wrap. It can be purchased at your office supply or at Sam's Club. A box that costs $20 will cover four to five windows. We even covered French Doors with it.

All you need to do is spray the inside of the window with water (we used glass cleaner). Then place the cut-to-fit bubble wrap pieces on the inside of your window. Friction holds everything in place. We did this for a house in the mountains two years ago and the pieces are still holding. The great thing about this is that light still comes through the window and it adds privacy. If you need to peek out, just pull a corner up. Then it's easy to put back!

Pat in NE TN

Cheap and Easy Paint Brush Storage

Washing or replacing paintbrushes gets expensive when jobs are multi-coat or on stop-and-start schedules. Save paint thinner, brushes, and your money by recycling a plastic bottle. For a full-sized paint brush, cut a two-liter jug at the centerline; for trim brushes, use a water bottle.

Put a couple of inches of paint thinner, for oil paints and stains or water for latex paints, in the bottom section. Re-cut the top section so that the neck just supports the brush handle when the sections are recombined. Place your brush handle in the neck, the brush in the bottom, then refit the two sections just securely enough to hold the brush upright. Wicking will keep your brush moistened and soft.

When you are ready to resume the job, pull the brush out, beat the excess thinner out against a rock, and start painting with your nice soft brush. The same thinner can be used for many days, as long as you are using the same paint or stain color.

Margaret T.



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