Dollar Stretcher: Introducing appetizer night

Marco Eagle

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The after-Easter egg hunt

If your family likes eggs, check out your grocery store on the day after Easter. I buy a bunch. They last about a month in the fridge and up to a year in the freezer.


Evening dress recycling

I rarely wear dresses, including evening dresses. I decided to buy one at a high-end used clothing store. When I was done with it, I had it cleaned and sold it back to the store. It was less expensive this way, and I did not have to give up space in my closet.


Part-time work

I wanted to work part-time but not be tied to a schedule, so I started doing focus groups. I also teach guitar lessons. If you think about it, you can find ways to make some money. It's just a matter of thinking about what you know and who might want to take advantage of that knowledge.


It costs you

You might not think about it, but every time you get in your car and go somewhere, it costs money. Even if you're not heading to the store, you're still burning gas. Even if you have a hybrid, you're still using electricity. I don't know how much it saves me each month, but I try to always be aware of where I'm spending.


Rental car warning

Twice now, while traveling with a rental car, we have received a charge on our credit card for tolls we paid with cash. The device for tolls auto-added to our bill on the windshield was not turned on. Since this had happened before, we now save our receipts. We had to send the receipt in and were refunded the $1.25 toll plus $20 surcharge! Always save those receipts!


It's show time

Here's a cheap outing. Most counties have a center that's used for various shows like home shows, craft shows, health shows, etc. I watch my local calendar to see what's coming up. Most are free. If possible, we like to go the first day of the show. The vendors have all kinds of stuff that they're giving away. Most of it is cheap stuff that we pass on to the grandkids, but some is worth keeping. It's rare that we see anything that we want to buy or have done to our home, but just seeing different things gives us something to talk about that we've never discussed before. It's not bad for a free outing.


Why I love estate sales

Most of my friends have quit going to estate and garage sales. They do almost all of their shopping online. I'm glad. That means that there's more good stuff for me! I used to get out real early to get the best deals. Now I often find really good stuff no matter when I go. It takes a little more effort than scanning online for the things I want, but to me, it's a lot more fun hunting for the best deals!


Reducing the cost of lunches

My husband and I are empty nesters, but we're still working. That's made cooking for dinner tricky. We don't like leftovers, but we've come up with a solution that works for us. I find ways to repackage the main meat course for our lunches. For instance, if I buy a beef or pork roast, the leftover meat is sliced for sandwiches. If I buy a whole chicken, the extra chicken is cubed and made into chicken salad. Now I can buy commonly packaged meats, not waste any food, and lower the cost of our lunches all at the
same time.


Cheesy Creole Shrimp Toast


Appetizer night

When my daughter was growing up, we developed appetizer night instead of a regular meal on occasion. The "meal" consisted of healthy finger foods that required little prep on my part. Two things that both of us still love are meatballs and nachos. I would put them in her lunch on a regular basis, and she loved it. On weekends, we cooked and prepared boiled eggs, meatballs and red sauce, sliced veggies and fruits, as well as different flavored popcorns. I was able to incorporate healthy items like zucchini into the meatballs. We also made little pies out of a snack maker. We made pizza pops and used chicken instead of pepperoni and also made sweet pies for dessert. She still comes home with her children and almost immediately asks for an appetizer night, and her kids get appetizer lunches for school.

Karen K.

Dry skin

If your skin gets dry in the winter, try mixing glycerin and water in equal proportions. Just spray a little onto your skin each day and rub it in. It's just as good as those expensive moisturizing creams that you can buy.


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