Dollar Stretcher Tips content
Here's a cheap update for vertical blinds. You can either spray paint them
or cover them with wallpaper. Spraying them is easier and works well on
fabric covered blinds. Wallpaper takes more time but can be really
dramatic. Since you're only buying a few yard of wallpaper, it's not
expensive. Your only other cost is some spray adhesive.
Creative Foot Warmers
My feet were always cold, so I used one of those reflector things for a car
window that was just lying around. I took the liner out of my boots, traced
it onto the reflector, cut out the traced pieces, and then slipped it and
the liner into my boots. I no longer have cold feet. I made them for my
whole family. They often can be found at thrift stores.
Reduce Your Heating Bill
Here's a way to make your house feel warmer this winter. Buy a small warm
air humidifier. You can find cheap ones for $35. It'll save at least that
much in lower fuel bills. I move mine from room to room, but I'm thinking
of buying more. Not only can I turn down the thermostat, but it also feels
better when the air inside our house isn't so dry.
Truly Custom Framing
When we repainted our living room, the matting on our pictures clashed with
the new color. I solved the problem by getting a pint of paint from the
same paint chip two shades darker than the room. I disassembled the
pictures and painted the existing mats. Now the pictures look like we had
them matted specifically for our living room for the cost of a little paint!
A Less Expensive Christmas Tree
Here's an idea that many people can use. We love a Christmas tree, but it
always dominated our family room. Last year, when we were tree shopping, we
asked if they had any trees that were bare on one side. They had one that
had lost some branches in shipment that they sold us for about half price.
We put that side against the wall. Not only did we save some money, but our
family room wasn't as crowded. I hope that we can find a one-sided tree
Prepping for Retirement
My wife and I loved raising our family in our two-story home, but now that
we're nearing retirement, we've decided to move. We are moving not so much
to downsize (we'll still have plenty of space) but instead to have
everything on one level. It's not important now, but we've read that many
people end up waiting too long and make bad decisions about where they want
to live. We figure that we'll take our time now, so we can choose to live
how we want.
Pretty Gift Wrap
To me, the way a gift is presented is as important as the gift itself.
Therefore, I like my gifts to be neatly wrapped. Fancy colored paper can
get expensive, so I buy a lot of red and green tissue paper. To keep the
gifts from looking boring, I use all kinds of ribbons to make festive bows.
Using YouTube videos, I have learned how to make many different bows. My
family has started saving my bows to use on their gifts for friends.
Be Prepared for Power Outages
A generator is a big blessing no matter what the climate. My friend keeps
his in good working order by running it monthly for 20 to 30 minutes and by
checking the gasoline and oil monthly. Whether your climate threatens you
with ice and snow or warm weather storms, it's good to know you can depend
on your generator when you devote a few minutes to its monthly upkeep.
Grocery Saving Secret
The secret to saving on groceries is to take the time to read labels. I
used to rush through the grocery store. I figured less time meant less
temptation to buy things not on my list. Now I read labels. I have learned
a lot by comparing the ingredients on items that look similar. Some store
brands have the exact same ingredients as the more expensive brand names.
On some processed foods, once I read the label, I saw ingredients that
caused me to stop buying them and go more natural. I saved money in the
process. I was also surprised at how often the bigger package was more
expensive on a per unit basis than the smaller package. I guess we're all
supposed to think that family sized means least expensive. I may take 30
minutes more to shop, but I'm feeding my family better and saving money as
I am a schoolteacher. I am also on a diet. I dread students bringing me
goodies for Christmas. I think most teachers would say the same thing.
Some inexpensive items I would love to receive are number 2 pencils (my
student are forever forgetting their pencils), binder clips (to hold stacks
of papers together), notebook paper, and file folders. All kinds of
inexpensive office supplies would be most welcome!
Our school stocks every classroom with electric pencil sharpeners and
facial tissue, but if your child's doesn't, those would also be welcomed
and used. I would also love a gift card to Walmart (school supplies), a
teacher supply store, a bookstore, or an office supply store.
Often these items cost less than the prefabricated gift baskets,
toiletries, "World's Best Teacher" trinkets, and coffee cups that people
think we want.