Dollar Stretcher Tips

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Keeping Them Warm:

My three-year-old daughter likes to play out in the snow, but I hate to see  her mittens come up and the snow and wind get to her wrists. Today I cut  the ribbed cuffs off an old pair of my socks and pulled them on over her  mittens and up over the cuff of her snowsuit. It gave her a chance to play  without getting cold!

~ MM

Looking for Heat Loss:

After the first snowfall of the season, my father noticed that snow in one  spot on the roof of his house melted before the sun hit it. He asked me to  investigate. Crawling through the attic, I discovered an opening through  which I could see light and feel a warm draft from the basement. It was the  result of shoddy construction. For several years, Dad had been heating the  whole outdoors with heat from the basement. A couple of patches and a layer  of insulation later, Dad is looking forward to lower heating bills from now on.

~ L.

Flannel and Fleece Fan:

I have found that flannel sheets on our bed are great and polar fleece  blankets and clothing is very warm. I bought remnants of fleece fabric that  were blanket sized and didn’t have to hem them since fleece doesn’t  unravel. I got three nice sized blankets for just a few dollars this way.  We like to use these for covers while watching TV in the evenings. I found  a flannel duvet cover for our comforter, so we really feel snuggly even  without extra blankets.

~ Ann

Checking Deals:

I belong to several of the deal sites. One thing I am finding out is that these don’t always have the cheapest  price when it comes to their “Goods” section.  Now I always compare  something I am thinking of buying by checking the price of it on  websites that might also have the item. Several times I have found it to be less expensive by quite a bit on the other sites than on the deal sites.

~ Julie

Just Say “No”!:

Each year on January 1st, I begin a “no consuming” policy. Of course, I  still need non-negotiable items, such as gasoline, food, electricity, etc.  But I play a game with myself to see how far I can go into the new year  without buying one unnecessary item. I have turned it into a game I enjoy  and have added nicely to my savings over the years. This year, I intend to  add cleaning out the pantry and freezer by planning meals for the week  using what I have and only buying fresh fruit, dairy, etc.

~ Dr. Terry K.

Organizing Recipes

Pick one workable format for your recipes that works for you, whether it’s  all on computer, in a recipe box, or in a binder. I buy lined and unlined 3  x 5 index cards. When I find a recipe in a magazine, I cut it out and tape  it to the card, using the back if needed. On my word processing program, I  have an index card size template, so when I find a recipe online, I can  paste it onto the template and print it onto an index card. Or I rewrite it  by hand on a lined card, which only takes a few minutes. I buy tab dividers  to separate and label my own categories. I never found a recipe box big  enough to hold all of my recipe cards, so my husband put wood dividers into  a kitchen drawer. I now have quite a large “recipe box.” The recipes stay  clean, and I have easy access to them.

~ Jackie

Natural Facial Care:

1 egg white 1 teaspoon cornstarch Combine ingredients until stiff peaks form. Apply to a clean face and let  dry. Rinse. If you have a slant board, lie on this while your mask is  drying. It will look like you’ve had a mini-facelift when you’re done.

~ B.

Easy Clothes Softener:

A great way to soften and deodorize clothes is to pour one teaspoon of  baking soda into a liquid softener dispenser (the ball type that opens  during the rinse cycle) and then slowly pour vinegar up to the fill line.  It will bubble but not overflow if the vinegar isn’t poured too fast.  Clothes will soften and be free of odor without perfumes and chemicals.

If you really like the softener fragrance, store cut pieces of sponge in a  clean glass jar filled with liquid fabric softener. Squeeze out the excess  liquid, so that it doesn’t drip and throw the sponge into the dryer with  the wet clothes like a dryer sheet. When the clothes are dry, just drop it  back into the jar to use in the next load.

~ Lisa

Soup’s On!:

I find that making soup is so cheap. It tastes great, and the house smells  wonderful while I’m making it. I buy a chicken, cut off the legs to save  for a later meal, and then proceed to clean the inside out really well. I  fill up a large pot with cold water, immerse the cleaned chicken, and let  it come to a boil. Then I turn down the heat and skim off all the foam that  sets up on top. Once that is done, I add a sliced carrot or two, a whole  onion, sliced celery, a lot of parsley, and salt to taste. Then I let it  simmer for three to four hours!

I have a lot of soup to use up during the week in the refrigerator, or I  divide it up into containers and freeze for later use. My little ones do  not like too much chicken in their soup, so I use the cooked breast to make  another meal. I get a lot of meals out of a chicken.

~ Grammy Fran

Quick Bed:

Sometimes my 12-year-old daughter gives up her bedroom for guests and wants  to sleep in my bedroom. After considering fold-out chairs, sofa beds and  yoga mats, I came up with a no-cost solution.

First, I lay a bath towel on the floor next to the wall in my room. Next, I  remove the seat cushions from the two easy chairs in my living room. Then I  fold a thick blanket in thirds and lay it across the cushions. I cover all  this with a regular single bed sheet and add pillows and a blanket. I end  up with an extra bed for free, and my daughter loves this cozy bed. The  next morning, I take the “bed” apart and put everything back in its  original place. There is no extra storage space required for this freebie.

~ Debbie F.

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