Dollar Stretcher: The cost of a dishwasher load

Marco Eagle

Want to live better on the money you already make? Visit to find hundreds of articles to help you stretch your day and your dollar.

Ghostly make-up

If you want that strange skin color for your Halloween costume, try this. Add a couple of drops of green food coloring to a light shade of base make-up and mix them together. Apply it to any exposed skin. You'll make a realistic witch, vampire, or alien.


The subscriber club tango

I joined one of those monthly razor clubs. Getting deliveries every other month, I still had too many. Once I had a good back stock of razors, I cancelled my subscription. I figure I can always subscribe again when I run low. I also use cheap conditioner instead of shaving cream.

Kelly via Facebook

Stay out of stores

If you are having trouble keeping spending under control, you should stay out of stores unless you need something and cut back on TV because more ads mean more temptation. Make saving money and paying off debt a game of you against debt. Set up a budget, read, and study to learn how to win and be debt free.

Sue via Facebook

Turkey time

Many people take advantage of cheap turkeys in November and December, but I take it a step further. I have my butcher cut them in half. Then I freeze them. I've found that half a turkey is just about the same size as most roasting chickens. It is perfect for my family of four. With the after-holiday sales, I always get a great deal.


Power of attorney warning

Just because you have a power of attorney doesn't mean that your end-of-life planning is complete. Generally, a power of attorney is only good while you are still alive. After you die, it cannot be used to access any of your accounts. Therefore, you need to make sure that your executor or personal representative has a copy of your will, proving he/she can act for you. This can be critical for paying final expenses. If the will is stuck in a bank safe box, your executor will need to get legal approval for the bank to allow them to access the box. This is true even if your personal representative has a key.


Financial reviews

My wife and I do a quarterly financial review. We list all of our assets and debts to figure out how much we actually own. Hopefully, that number increases every three months. If it doesn't increase, we look to see why. Sometimes we need to watch our spending or take other corrective action. Twice a year, we take a look at our legal papers to make sure everything is 
up to date. Usually we don't have to do anything, but it doesn't cost anything to check. Plus, it gives us peace of mind to know that we have our finances under control.


Drastic cost cutting

My boyfriend and I can't find a place to live within our budget. Rents in the Frisco area are crazy high. Since I work from home online and he's a mechanic, we're looking at lower cost places to live. We figure we can live anywhere we like. There are places in Missouri or Illinois where $1,000 a month rents a whole house. Here it gets us a studio. If we stay here, our credit card balances are going to keep going up. Therefore, we're getting out while we can still scrape up first, last, and a deposit.


Shorter daylight hours

To help alleviate seasonal affective disorder, I would like to suggest getting a light therapy box. You just set it up where it can shine on your face (at an angle and not directly into your eyes) and sit there for 15 minutes to start. It is not a tanning light. I set mine up near my computer, so when I am going through email and social media, I am getting the light therapy I need. They cost $25-$60, depending on size and features. I got one for about $40 two years ago, and it has helped me tremendously. Be sure to read customer reviews to find one that suits your budget and situation.


The cost of a dishwasher load

I've read that it costs about 50 cents to run a dishwasher, and I've noticed that many things that get placed in the dishwasher really aren't that dirty. For instance, the spoon I used to stir the soup or the plastic cutting board that I used when chopping onions is not overly dirty. I filled a spray bottle with a mixture of dish soap and water.

Open dishwasher with clean utensils in it.

I take lightly used dishes and spray-wash them while I'm cooking. There's a dish rack sitting next to the sink. By the time we finish eating dinner, anything in the rack is dry and ready to be put away. I've found that I'm saving three or four loads each week. It's not a huge savings, but every dollar and gallon of water counts.


Neighborly gift cards

I have a deal with my sister. We're both familiar with each other's grocery lists and what size clothes our kids wear. We watch for specials that the other would like. If I find something good for her, I send her a text. If she likes it, I buy it for her, using a debit card she gave me. When the balance gets low, she recharges it. I gave her one that she uses when she buys for me. It's been working so well that I think I'm going to ask a good friend at work if she wants to do the same thing too.


Do you have a tip that you’d like to share? Just send your suggestion to