Want to live better on the money you already make? Visit to find hundreds of articles to help you stretch your day and your dollar! Copyright 2011 Dollar Stretcher, Inc.
Iron clothes as they come out of the washer, and then hang on a hanger to dry. You'll save electricity. They'll come out beautifully. By doing them as I wash clothes, they don't pile up and turn into a dreaded task.
I use boxes as drawer organizers. Sure, I could buy plastic boxes, but the ones I collect from gifts, etc. are free. Every drawer that holds "stuff" has at least one box in it.
I have recently been using a homemade hair conditioner and am surprised and pleased with the results. Mix 1/4 to 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar with a little bit of lemon juice and a quart of water and rinse your hair with it after shampooing. Wait a few minutes and then rinse with clear water. Your hair will be so easy to comb and soft. It's amazing. The smell of vinegar is gone by the time your hair is dry, and it's not really that bad anyway.
Cleaning Silk Flowers
The very best way that I have found to clean silk and even dried arrangements is by putting them in a plastic bag with a few tablespoons of salt and giving them a shake. The dried arrangements do better if they have been gently sprayed with an acrylic coating previously (before they began accumulating dust) so that they are more durable during this cleaning method. A little bit of salt does often stay even after shaking them out later, but it shows up a lot less than the dust. Do be careful so as not to shake them right out of the setting!
We've all heard it before, but I have to say it again. Invest in a basic, inexpensive battery tester, especially if you have young children! Many of their toys drain batteries irregularly. One drained battery will cause the toy to stop working, but the other batteries may have plenty of juice. Always check before you throw a battery out. Your battery tester will pay for itself in no time.
I live in a rural setting, so when I go to the "city," I make sure that I have a list and enough errands to justify the trip. The same is true when I go shopping in the next town. Quite often, I forget something on the list, and instead of going back or out of my way, I tell myself, "Another day, Another trip!" This alone has kept me from overspending since by the time the next trip rolls around, I either don't need that item or I don't want it anymore.
The $2 Gift Idea
I pick up terrific brand new hardcover books at different buck or bargain stores. I went online after purchasing a book and saw the list price was $38. I only spent $2. Hardcover books make a good impression when given as gifts. People do not need much space to store a book. It can last forever, and it does not clash with decor. Books make wonderful presents. Just know what the person loves to read or his/her interests in life. You can personalize by adding a message on the front. And for wrapping, use rustic brown paper, strings, etc. for a nice look.
Removing Plastic Scratches
I bought a brand new clock to hang in my living room. It fell off the wall and got some scuff marks on its face. I considered going to a hardware store to buy bottles of plastic cleaner and scratch remover. The cost would have been half the cost of the clock.
My sister recommended using toothpaste instead. So I used an old cloth and a generous amount of toothpaste. It worked! Apparently, toothpaste has enough abrasives to remove scratches in soft plastic. It may not work on all plastics, but it kept my clock looking brand new.
When our children were younger, we constantly were looking for ways to reinforce good financial decisions and help them learn. We came up with a way to do both and combine it with something that we did each week.
We usually went out to eat once or twice a week at a restaurant. As you know, restaurants are full of choices, and most kids let their parents do all the ordering. We gave our kids the power to choose on one particular item, their beverage. It sounds simple, but it was effective. We explained that they could choose a soda or something else. If they chose water, we paid them a dollar. That dollar was what it would have cost us to purchase a soda or other beverage, so we were essentially redirecting that spending to the kids versus the restaurant.
After awhile and still to this day, our kids tend to order water, and for years, they have been able to bank that one dollar based on a decision that they made and owned. This may not be for everyone, but it sure worked for us.