Dollar Stretcher Tips content
Lawn Tool Storage
Here's a really cheap way to keep rakes, shovels, and brooms organized.
Just put three cement blocks on top of each other with the openings facing
up. Now drop your tool handle down into the openings!
My solution for storing excess stuff? It isn't to rent one of those storage
lockers. It's to get rid of some stuff! It might just cost $80 a month, but
that's nearly $1,000 a year! For that much, I can replace a lot of the
stuff that I would be storing.
My Higher Interest Rates
Nobody likes paying high interest rates on credit card balances, but I've
found a way to make a higher rate help me save money. Each month, I see how
much interest I've been charged. Then I make sure I add that much to the
minimum payment I make. It forces me to pay a higher interest rate, but it
also helps me reduce the balance.
Back to School Buses
Every school bus driver will tell you that they find and turn in lunch
boxes, backpacks, sneakers, and all kinds of stuff each week. Now is the
time to make sure that you include your child's name in any item that you'd
want returned. Do not include phone numbers. The school already has your
number. Bad guys who might pick up the backpack don't.
A friend who installs carpet gave me this advice when we bought new carpet
for our living room. He said that I should have a few pieces bound and use
them as runners in front of the door. He said that it would save the carpet
under the runner. Also, the runner piece would be a good patch if I ever
needed to do a repair somewhere in the room.
Before You Buy: Cleansers
Before you buy any household cleansers, you should read the labels. For
instance, OxiClean(tm) does a good job of cleaning, but the main ingredient
is dry bleach, which is super cheap. Why pay for the advertising? Most
cleaners contain only a few chemicals that are readily available. I save a
lot just by reading labels and buying the active ingredients.
Before You Buy: Appliances
My washer was on its last legs. We priced new ones at Lowe's and online and
didn't like the prices we were seeing. Therefore, I started watching for
used sales. I found a washer and dryer combination that was just one year
old for half of what a new set would have cost. The couple was moving and
didn't want to pay to move them. Next time I need any expensive thing, I'll
check used before buying new.
Before You Buy: Clothes
Unless you're really well organized, you probably have a corner of your
closet with clothes that you haven't worn in forever. I needed to make room
for the new selections, so I cleared out some stuff from the back. I found
that there were a few things that I hadn't worn in awhile but I still
liked. I gave away the things that I wouldn't wear, but added my old
favorites to my regular choices. I didn't need to spend nearly as much as I
thought on new clothes!
In Case of Emergency
We all know to put our "in case of emergency" numbers in our phone, but
that's not enough. My daughter-in-law gave me a little thumb drive that I
have on my keychain. On the outside, it's marked "ICE." It has my vital
information with all my current meds, allergies, and doctors listed. Also,
I included my current insurance information and who to contact if something
should happen. It's in a text file, so anyone can read it. It's also easy
to update. I haven't had a need for it yet, but I'm glad it's there if I
Doing It Backwards
Sometimes starting at the end is the best way to save money. At least
that's what we do in our house. We already were saving by sticking to a
shopping list when we went grocery shopping. Then we decided to try
something new. We created an "unshopping list," which is a list of things
that we would NOT buy! Initially it was things like the Big Gulp and a
treat at Starbucks, but we've expanded the list. The money we save has been
going towards our credit card balance. It's coming down! We can't wait to
get it paid off!
We're getting a bumper crop of tomatoes this year. I'm freezing all that I
can get my hands on. I put them on a cookie sheet where they're not
touching and freeze overnight. From there, they go into a freezer bag for
storage. When I have some time, I'll run them under hot water for a minute
and then pull off the skin. After doing this, I will be able to easily make
some tomato sauce.
We keep our chest freezer organized with plastic storage containers. I have
one for beef, one for pork, and one for veggies. The containers make it
easy to find anything without a lot of searching. Before I had the
containers, it was impossible to keep organized. Every time I looked for
something, I'd end up with everything once again disorganized. It got so I
didn't even want to use my freezer. Now it's easy to find what I need and
put everything back in its place.