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1/13/17 Dollar Stretcher Tips content

on Friday, 13 January 2017. Posted in Dollar Stretcher


Time for Thrift...Shops

January is a great time to visit your local thrift stores. Many people make 
year-end donations to either get the tax deduction or to clear out before 
holiday guests arrive. There are also some who donate unwanted Christmas 

I'm a Pepper

Who knew? Pepper has uses outside the kitchen. When sprinkled in trash, 
it'll keep out rodents. Sprayed in a garden, it will prevent insects from 
damaging tender plants. I even sprinkle some in my socks before I go out 
skiing. It helps to keep my feet warm.

My Olive Oil

If you cook with olive oil, you know that it can go rancid if it sits long 
enough. I found a solution. It's air that causes the problem. Therefore, 
after you've used some, fill the bottle to the top with water. The water 
takes up space, so there's less air in the bottle. The water settles to the 
bottom and doesn't mix with the olive oil. It's a perfect solution!

Rental Deposits

Whether it's an apartment or a car, it's important to have proof of any 
damage that happened before you rented it. I always do a walk around with 
the landlord or leasing agent. I take pictures of any damage. My phone 
camera dates the pictures, so there is proof that I didn't do the damage. 
I've heard of horror stories of people who were charged for scratches to a 
rental car that they didn't do. I don't want that to happen to me!

Emergency Warmth

My wife gave me a very practical gift for Christmas. She gave me Mylar 
thermal blankets. There were ten in the pack, and my wife said that the 
pack cost less than $10. It's not unusual for us to lose power in the 
winter or to get stuck in the snow. Therefore, I put a few blankets in each 
car and kept a few in the house in case of an emergency. It's hard enough 
waiting for help to arrive without freezing while you're waiting.

Easy Bacon

I learned this trick while cooking for a crowd. We wanted to make bacon, 
but we didn't have space on the stovetop or enough fry pans. It was 
suggested that we bake the bacon. We took out cookie sheets and covered 
them with aluminum foil. We spread the bacon on the foil and baked it at 
350 degrees for about 15 minutes, flipping the bacon half way through. 
There was no grease spatter or smoke. I'll never cook bacon on the stovetop 

Wooden Kitchen Utensil Care

I enjoy using wooden spoons, cutting boards, and serving bowls in my 
kitchen. Each year around this time, I give them a little tender loving 
care to keep them in top notch shape. Frequent washing tends to dry them 
out, so I give them a coat of vegetable oil. I moisten a paper towel with 
oil and wipe each item. After they dry, I repeat the process. You can 
actually see the wood change color as it soaks up the oil. I keep repeating 
until everything is good as new!

Bedroom Chills

Most of us focus on blankets and space heaters when we think about keeping 
warm at night. Here's something that you can do once that will help keep 
you warm all winter. Check your bedroom for outside drafts. Look around 
windows and any place that could allow outside air to enter the room. You 
can use a candle. Hold it near the window to see if the flame moves away. 
If so, you have a cold draft entering your room. You can seal most with 
caulk or insulation. There are a lot of videos showing how to do this. If 
that's not possible, hang heavy drapes or even a blanket over the opening 
to block the cold air.

Dryer Sheets - Not!

Here is another dryer sheet money-saver! I reuse the socks that get massive 
holes from my kids to make dryer balls. I bunch a few up, stuff them into 
another sock, roll them up, flip a side of the sock over the rolled ball, 
and sew the ends shut. Then I dip them in a solution of water and white 
distilled vinegar and toss them into the dryer. The water stops the static, 
and the vinegar (which does not leave the smell behind) eliminates odors 
and softens. They last forever!

Affording a Healthier Diet

I want my family to eat more fruits and veggies this year. I mentioned this 
to the produce manager at my local market. He told me that they often have 
slightly damaged items that they sell cheap. I might have to cut out a 
small section, but the rest of the fruit or veggie is fine for any recipe 
that I have. He told me to just ask when I visit the store, and he'll let 
me know what he has available. I plan on talking with him weekly.

Annual Insurance Update

Once a year, I do an insurance update. Last year, I was able to increase 
the deductible on my auto insurance, which saved me big time. I also make 
sure that we have pictures of any new big ticket items that we buy. In case 
we get robbed, I want to have proof of what was stolen, so I can collect on 
the claim. It took less than an hour and now I know that my insurance is up 
to date.

Before You Book International Travel

I love to travel internationally, and I usually base my trips on flight and 
hotel bargains. This strategy can work out very well if you're open to 
multiple regions for your travel destination. It also helps to be able to 
travel at different times of the year and sometimes at the last minute. 
This information isn't anything new to bargain travelers, but the unplanned 
extras can really impact your bottom line. For example, when I went to 
Russia, I found out after I booked my flight that the Visa fee was almost 
$200. When I traveled to Africa, the recommended vaccinations cost me 
almost $300. These were costs I did not anticipate. Before you book and pay 
for your bargain international trip, do some research to find out what 
could end up making your trip less of a bargain. If that changes your cost 
too dramatically, think about going somewhere else.
Heidi in FL

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