Dollar Stretcher: Tips to save time and money
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The day after St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to score some corned beef on sale. When sliced, it makes great sandwiches for my family for lunch. I’ll even buy an extra one to freeze for later this year.
Here’s a handy way to get the stink off your hands after you cut up an onion. Just rub your hands in used coffee grounds and then wash them. Coffee grounds are an excellent odor eater. The gentle scrubbing of the grounds will soften your hands, too.
Souvenirs for less
I enjoy souvenirs from the special events in my life. I like things like music CDs from plays that I’ve seen or t-shirts from museums or theme parks. However, I’ve found that usually the best place to buy a souvenir isn’t at the play or the museum gift shop. I can usually do better on Amazon, eBay, or a local shop after the event.
Junk mail revenge
I’ve found a way to get off of junk mail lists. I take their pitch, tear it up, and return it in the envelope they provide. I make sure to put a return address stamp on the envelope, so they know who sent it back to them. Since the return envelope is prepaid, they get stuck for the cost of their junk mail. I’ve been doing this for two years, and I rarely get junk mail now.
New home construction
We just moved into a new home. We checked out the builder before we signed the contract, but to make sure we got his best effort, we let him know that we intended to have an inspector check it out before we had the final closing. We had heard horror stories from friends and didn’t want any
problems. The inspection cost $350, but it was worth it. Our home is well built and we love it.
Taking in housemates
When we were in college, we thought nothing of having two, three, or more housemates. That was common back then. Now that we’re empty nesters, it’s a perfect time to revive the practice. My wife and I have a four-bedroom house that we love, but the kids are all grown and it’s too big (2700 sq.
ft.) for just the two of us. It’s also too expensive (taxes and mortgage) if we’re going to save for our retirement in a few years, so we took in two housemates. They’re boomers like us. We were careful in deciding who we would be willing to live with and it’s worked out fine. We’ve become friends. We even share dinners most nights. The rent we collect makes our mortgage payment much easier to handle. Plus, it’s a little like being 20 again.
End of the month test
I knew that my online shopping was becoming a problem when I got my monthly Visa bill and couldn’t pay all of it. Therefore, I decided to try something new. I don’t make any purchases until I get my credit card bill. Then I see how much I could add to it and still pay off the entire bill. I allow myself to spend half that amount. The other half I put into a savings account that I just started. I still get to buy some of the things I want, but I don't have that sinking feeling when the credit card bill comes each month.
The benefits of clutter control
We had a collection of unused and half used samples in our linen closet. Between our dentist (small toothpaste tubes) and my husband's travel (half used small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, etc.), we had a huge collection. I decided that instead of buying big bottles, we’d use up what we had. It’s been about four months now, and I haven’t had to buy anything. I’m reducing the clutter and saving at the same time.
Why I have groceries delivered
I have recently been using a grocery delivery service and find that I am actually saving money. I am retired, and when my car gave out, I had been relying on family and friends to get me out to the store. I tried the service and found a few very good things. Yes, items are expensive, but I don’t throw junk food into my cart. I can take my time and compare sizes and prices at my leisure. I can shop in the early morning in my nightie. I’m not bothering anyone or using up their gas. For the most part, quality
is excellent. I shop every two or three weeks, and I don’t worry about running out of stuff. Mostly, it gives me back a little bit of independence that went away with my car.
Buying used furniture
This is for the person who posted about finding furniture at rental stores. My husband works as a furniture repair tech at a rental store, and he says that he will never buy sofas or beds from there. The reason is he often finds bed bugs or roaches in them. Therefore, if you do buy from them, please check very carefully that there are no bed bugs. An infestation could cost a lot more in the long run.
I have begun to sew doll clothes for my granddaughter's 18” doll. That particular doll fetches price tags of $25-$50 per garment. I even ran into a yard sale with identical clothing, but they wanted a minimum of $15 per item, which was too much for too little. We are talking about dresses no larger than the size of my hand! As a solution, I now purchase clothing in a thrift clearance center where you pay 49 cents per pound for soft goods. A nice man's shirt or an adult woman's cotton dress yields more than enough fabric for a doll’s wardrobe.
Carol in Ventura
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