Dollar Stretcher Tips content
It is quite popular to make cleaning products. I like to use vinegar and
water to clean my kitchen countertops. I have found that spray bottles from
beauty supply stores are durable and available in a variety of sizes. They
are very inexpensive, and they won't break after a few months.
Everyone makes resolutions about things they're going to do in the new
year, and by now, they've probably forgotten about them. I do it backwards.
I decide something I'm not going to do or buy. I only do it for a month.
This year, I decided that we'd go without paper towels for the month of
January. We started using them again in February, but since we've found
other options, we probably won't use as many. Next month, I'll try to do
without my Starbucks fix. It can't be that hard to make some coffee to take
to work with me!
Don't Do It!
There is a statement that's saved me many dollars and sleepless nights. It
is "When in doubt, do nothing." It's kept me from making quick purchases
and investments. I've avoided timeshares, fancy cars, too big houses, and
many "can't miss investment opportunities" that turned out to be bogus. It
is important to me that my kids learn to step back when not sure about
I used to hate wedding gift registries. I'm a comparison shopper and didn't
like being trapped at one store. Then I found out you can buy whatever it
is somewhere else, call the registry, and they'll mark it purchased. Now I
do my online comparison shopping. I've saved nearly 20% on some gifts. The
couple doesn't know or care where I bought it. It looks like I'm going to
three weddings this spring, so I'll be comparison shopping again!
Learn to Save
I love YouTube. I've learned a lot of things that help me save. Recently, I
had a leak under the kitchen sink. In the past, I would have called a
plumber. I decided to see what I could find online. Between a quick search
and a video, I figured out what to do. I was so proud! Now when something
breaks or needs repair, I check it out to see if I can fix it myself. Even
if I can't fix it, I know more, so I don't get taken on the repair.
The Dining Out Do Over
We needed to spend less and decided that we had to cut back on eating out.
We knew that we would miss some of our favorite dishes, so we came up with
this idea. I look online for copycat recipes for our favorites, and I take
about half the money we would have spent at restaurants to buy the
ingredients to make those recipes. So far, I've imitated recipes from
Outback and Red Lobster. They're not quite perfect yet, but the savings are
important to us.
Spring Garden Prep
Soon it will be time to start seeds for spring. I save used plastic, sturdy
paper, and Styrofoam cups from restaurants to plant pepper, tomato, flower,
and other seeds. Clean tin cans work well, too. If the plants tend to grow
fast and tall (think tomato plants), I carefully transplant them into paper
milk or orange juice cartons with the tops of the cartons cut off. For
tomato plants, I keep adding soil to encourage more root growth. I've done
this for years, and my little "starter" garden in a sunny window gives me a
lift in the drab winter months.
Used Auto Warning
After all the hurricanes and flooding, everyone has heard to check that
used cars don't have salvage titles. Sites like Carfax have been mentioned.
They advertise that it is possible to tell if a car has been in an
accident, and that's true if the accident had been reported. Chances are
that a serious accident would be reported to the police, but minor fender
benders often are not reported. No service can tell you about an accident
that wasn't reported. That's one reason why you should have a mechanic
check out any used car you're thinking of buying.
Avoiding a Drug Bill
When I went to pick up a medication from the pharmacy, the cost was a lot
more than I thought it would be, even with insurance. This was because it
was a brand name with no generic available. My doctor had said it was a
combination of antibiotics and another medicine. I asked the pharmacist if
it was possible to get the medicines separately and still get the correct
dose and how much this would cost. The antibiotic was available in an
inexpensive generic form and the other medicine was available over the
counter, but I needed to call my doctor for a new prescription for just the
antibiotic. By doing this, I was able to save a good amount of money.
Lorraine in NH
Your Online Legacy
My best friend's husband died unexpectedly last summer. She's had a
terrible time. He had multiple online accounts for investments and banking
and also for online bill paying. That would have been good except she
didn't have any of the passwords and couldn't find them in his desk.
My husband and I share our financial accounts. We've made sure that not
only do we both know all the passwords, but our eldest son also knows them.
It's one thing to have a power of attorney and a will, but if your
caretaker or heir doesn't have access to your online accounts (including
Facebook and email), you could be creating a real problem.