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Dollar Stretchers

October 5, 2011
Dysart Reporter

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.

Removing Pet Hair

To get pet hair off carpet, clothes, etc., try using a rubber glove. It's a great pet hair and lint remover.


Free Shipping


I've been mailing a lot of books that I've sold on Amazon and When I pack them in a box, I use the plastic grocery bags I get as packing material. This works great, and it recycles the bags.


Thawing Frozen Breads

Living alone, I usually toss a lot of bread but not hot dog or hamburger buns. I wrap each one individually using plastic wrap, put all of them into a zipper freezer bag, and place into the freezer. Next time I want a bun, I just take one or more out of the freezer bag and place on a wire rack to thaw. The buns are always like I just bought it from the store. Placing on the wire rack ensures that the bottom will not be soggy.


Urine Odors

My mother knows many of the old remedies for cleaning up accidents of all kinds. When I had my children and one of them wet the bed and it went through to the mattress, she told me to sprinkle corn starch on the area and spray it with water to just dampen it. It is unbelievable how well this drew out the urine, and there was no lingering smell.


Helping Those Less Fortunate

I have discovered a wonderful way I can give to those less fortunate. I have begun donating any trial/travel size toiletries that I acquire to our local homeless shelter. The people living in the shelter love the products, and instead of being tossed aside in my drawer, I have the joy of knowing that I was able to help in a small way. Our church, in fact, sponsors a program on Mother's Day in which we assemble bags with the trial size items and give them to the moms living in the shelter. I have spoken with the shelter, and they told me that these items would be most welcome year-round.



The bags that potatoes come in already have holes to allow the potatoes to "breathe," but when I bring the bag home, I poke several more holes all over the bag so they get even more air circulation. You can just use your finger or a knife or scissors; just be careful not to spear the potatoes. I have found this really seems to help them last longer, and I don't find molding, rotting potatoes in the bags like I used to, as long as I use them up in a reasonable amount of time.


Hoping to Run Out

I intentionally go to the grocery store on the last day of a good sale to get rain checks for out-of-stock items. This is particularly useful for items that may spoil and I can't use right now. Sometimes I use the product I bought earlier in the week when it was in stock, and the rain check allows to me to hold off a until a later time to get more new, fresh product when I need it later and at the sale price.


Hate Calls from


If you hate getting calls from telemarketers, call (888) 382-1222. It's the Federal "Do Not Call" registry. You can sign up for it, and your phone number(s) will go on a list. Unless you have a business relationship with a company already, marketers cannot do any "cold calling" to solicit your business if you're on the "Do Not Call" list. If they do, you can make a complaint with the federal government. Getting on the list is free, and you can also sign up online at


Make-Up Secret

I apply everything (except eyeliner and mascara) with one high quality synthetic foundation brush. I apply moisturizer, eye primer, concealer, foundation, cream blush, and eye highlighter in that order without rinsing brush in between. Each product blends into the next using much less and not contaminating original containers with fingers. Rinse the brush in warm water each time when finished and then wash with mild soap once a week. This saves me a lot of money. The products last a lot longer. It also saves me time as my make-up goes on really fast. I learned this from a Hollywood expert.


Finally Frugal

When my mother and her brothers went to pre-plan my grandmother's funeral, they were surprised that the funeral director didn't pressure them to choose a more expensive casket. She basically told them that all of the caskets (both modestly priced and the more expensive ones) were constructed according to regulations. She told them the more modestly priced caskets sealed just as well as the expensive ones. She also told them if they chose a more expensive casket, they would just be "paying for pretty." I certainly appreciated her forthrightness.

When my mother recently passed away and we had to make arrangements, I remembered her words, and we were able to make an informed decision, so we could honor my mother's wishes for a modest funeral. Final arrangements can be taxing on a family, both emotionally and financially, so it is best to inform yourself before you are faced with this task.


Flavored Oatmeal Packets

Ok, I admit it. I took apart a pack of instant flavored oatmeal and measured. The flavor I liked had maple, walnuts, and chopped dates. The pack of oatmeal had approximately two teaspoons of chopped dates and one teaspoon of chopped walnuts. The oatmeal was less than a measured serving from the economical tall canister of oatmeal on my shelf.

So I measured out a week's worth of oatmeal servings into snack bags. To each bag, I added one teaspoon of chopped walnuts and two teaspoons of chopped dates. For the maple flavor, I added 1 1/2 teaspoons of brown sugar and a pinch of salt. In the summer, my job switches to four ten-hour shifts, so this is my morning coffee break breakfast. For me, the first day wasn't quite the same, but by the end of the week, my taste had adjusted, and this works fine for me. I am sure by looking at the ingredients anyone can make "instant oatmeal" bags, too.


(end Dollar Stretcher Tips)



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