Dollar Stretcher: Ready for grilling
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Extended warranty – not!
Before you buy an extended warranty, see if your credit card offers one free for using your card. Check with your card issuer to see if it’s part of your agreement.
The early bird discount
I work evenings. That means I can be the first in line at my grocery store on Monday morning. They mark down all the things that are “sell by” date overnight. I get first crack at all the savings. I bet that I save 20 percent or more on my total bill.
Ready for grilling
It's time to get my BBQ grill ready for spring. I’ve found an easy way to clean the grills. I put them in a plastic garbage bag with a cup of ammonia and seal it overnight. The next day I can just wipe any burned-on stuff off with a rag. Ready for some burgers, dogs and steaks.
I love my skylights. They make my kitchen much brighter, but in the summer, they also make it uncomfortably hot. Last year, I added solar blocking film. It’s clear and doesn’t block the light. It only blocks the heat. It made my time in the kitchen much more enjoyable last summer.
No more closet clutter
My husband and I have a rule. If we bring a new item of clothing home, something old has to go. Not only does that keep us (mostly me) from a cluttered closet, but it also causes us to think twice before buying anything. We donate old clothes to a thrift shop, which is a good thing too.
Last summer, I was at a garage sale and saw a VCR and a box of old tapes for $5. I offered $3, and she took it. Since then, I’ve been buying videos for almost nothing. I bought one whole box of movies for $1. I'm looking forward to garage sale season, so I can buy more. I’m cutting out my Netflix since I really don’t need it anymore. I may be watching old stuff, but I don’t care. If I want something new, I'll watch network TV, and if the timing isn’t right, my old VCR will record a show for me.
My two sisters and I came up with a plan for redecorating. We all live in the same town and like similar styles. At least once a year, we trade accent pieces from our living and family rooms. We exchange lamps, wall hangings, end tables, throw pillows, etc. We all like to entertain friends, and this keeps our homes looking new without spending anything. Our friends think that we have new stuff, but it's just new to us.
Most of my purchases are secondhand items. I've always loved garage sales, and I have always showed up at the end of the sale. Many times, I'd get some last-minute deals. I've started doing something similar with online sales. I watch Craigslist for things that I might be interested in, and then I wait until a few days after the posting to contact the seller. Most of the time, the item has been sold, but occasionally, it's still available and the seller just wants to get rid of it. That's when I get my best bargains! It only takes a few minutes to make a couple of phone calls. If you're not in a hurry, it's a great way to get what you want for less.
I go to the day old bread store once a month. I buy a few loaves and freeze all but one. They were always a little soggy when I defrosted them until I learned two tricks. First, I put the wrapped loaf into a gallon freezer bag and force out as much air as possible. This minimizes ice crystals. Then when I go to defrost it, I open the wrapper and put in a dry paper towel and reseal the package. The paper towel absorbs any moisture that's released as it defrosts. The loaf of bread comes out just like it was never frozen!
Dry mix convenience
I love the convenience of dry mixes, but I hate paying $1 or more for a packet of seasoning. I can do it cheaper myself, but who has the time when you don't get to start dinner until after work? That's when I decided to take some time on Saturday morning to make large batches of my favorite mixes. Now when I want to make sloppy joes, tacos, spaghetti or even muffins, I pull out the jar of premade mix and take as much as I need. Most mixes are good for months. I have the convenience of the store mixes and
save a bunch of money!
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