Dollar Stretcher: Tips to save you money
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Unless you get your clothes very dirty (like mud, grease or ground in dirt), you can get them clean by washing them on the 'gentle' cycle. I know that my clothes will last longer because I find less lint in the lint trap!
Spray paint saver
Do you hate it when you want to use spray paint that you saved from an earlier job and the nozzle is plugged? I found a solution. I went to Amazon and bought a bag of 100 replacement nozzles for $15! When that happens now, I pull the old nozzle off, replace it, and get on with my project.
Tired of buying batteries?
If you have kids in the house or a bunch of remote controls, you are probably replacing batteries all the time and sometimes two, four, or six at a time. This Christmas, I got a $5 volt meter. I can easily check to see which battery is dead and which ones still have some life in them. Now, instead of replacing all the batteries, I just replace one!
When we recently had a loved one pass away who wanted brief calling hours for immediate family (but wanted cremation), we found out that caskets can be rented for the calling hours. The “insert” is brand new that stays with the person to the crematorium. It was also helpful to have known what he wanted. Ask your loved ones their wishes now.
I try to maintain my car to peak efficiency. I change oil and air filters on schedule. I check my tires once a month to keep them at factory specs. Then I noticed something. The owner's manual suggested tire pressure of 35 psi, but the tire manufacturer suggested 40 psi. I've found that I get much better gas mileage at 40 psi. The car rides a little rougher, but that's a trade-off I'm willing to make. Therefore, you might want to see what your tire manufacturer recommends. You might save a little gas money that way.
Why pay $20 or more for plastic storage bins? I get the same thing for free. Instead of going to Walmart to buy bins, I go to the copy room where I work. The boxes that computer paper comes in are a perfect size for storage. There are not too big or small, and they stack well. If I don't find one at work, I ask a friend of mine who works in a lawyer's office to bring an empty box to me. They go through stacks of paper!
Here's something that my realtor friend taught me. Before she shows a house for the first time, she takes multiple pictures of each room and the outside of the house. She says that the camera sees things that we might not notice with our eyes. She goes over these photos (actually digital pictures on her tablet) with the home owners. Often, they'll find clutter that needs to be cleaned up, paint that should be touched up, or other small fixes that make the house show much better. We're not going to sell our house now, but we do a lot of entertaining. I'm going to take pictures to see my house the way our visitors see it.
Although I've tried to opt out of getting mail order catalogs, they still come to our address. The best New Year's resolution I've ever made was the one I made this year. I have decided that they'll all go straight from the mailbox to the recycling bin without as much as a glance at the cover or a peek inside. It's easy to do and very effective. It's not even February and I have already saved money. I will no longer make impulse buys for items I didn't even know existed (prior to thumbing through the catalog's pages).
I've found that it is possible to make recipes special with very little effort. For instance, it's so easy to use prepared spaghetti sauce. Even with all the different flavors, I find them to be bland. Therefore, I add slices of hot sausage to the sauce. I buy hot links and cook them up. Then I slice and add them to the sauce. For meatloaf, I remove the skin before cooking and add the insides to my ground beef. It doesn't take much to turn a ho-hum recipe into something special.
Why I read labels
Sometimes just looking at the ingredients in a product you buy frequently can save you money! Recently, I bought a product that was almost completely apple cider vinegar plus a few preservatives. I was able to substitute just regular apple cider vinegar, which saved me a considerable amount of money.
In another instance, the product was mostly isopropyl alcohol, which is another very inexpensive product. Obviously, with medications or other health-related products, you should check with your health care provider, but with a little reading, you can save a lot.
Ready for gardening season
I love gardening, but I hate pulling weeds! Last year, I found a wonderful weed mat in an unusual place. My next door neighbor was roofing his house. I took some of the old shingles that they were throwing out and placed them in my garden. They look natural, are easy to cut, and keep the weeds to a minimum. I'm keeping my eyes open for someone in my neighborhood who's putting on a new roof this year. When I find them, I'll ask if I can have some of the old ones they're trashing. I'll have a weed free garden again this year.
My doctor suggested that I take vitamins. Normally I would have gone to my local drug store, but I read that if you have a prescription, the pharmacy will give them to you. Because you have a prescription, some insurance companies will even pay for the vitamins. In most states, you don't pay sales tax on prescription drugs. Therefore, at the very least, I'm saving seven percent. A final benefit is I can include it as a prescription drug in my medical expenses if I itemize my taxes.
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