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

Before your trip

Before you take a trip, visit the state's website. They'll have a tourism 
page with all kinds of information. You can find them by doing a search on 
the state name and tourism. You might find something that you'll want to 
see that you didn't know about. Most sites carry hours and any admission 
prices.

Alison

Summer cooling

I try to keep our electric bills down during the summer. I do this mostly 
by setting my air conditioning at 78 degrees, but my kids come in from 
playing and they turn it down to 70! Yesterday, I taped a note to the 
control that said, "If you turn this down, I'll need to turn it off!" Let's 
see if that changes them!

Melinda C.

An unexpected discount

I know to ask for discounts all the time, but this one surprised me. I was 
buying parts to do a brake job on my car. I mentioned that the price was 
higher than I expected and the salesman asked if I was a veteran. That 
discounted my purchase by 8%. I never would have thought to ask about a 
vet's discount when I was shopping for car parts!

George

Protecting Fido's teeth

Here's a tip for dog owners I got from a veterinarian friend of mine. If 
your dog has good teeth, one of the best treats for your dog is a raw baby 
carrot. It's the right size for most dogs. It's crunchy and juicy, and they 
can easily catch it if you toss it to them. Also, it helps clean teeth, 
provides fiber to their diet, and is a healthy snack! Check with your dog's 
veterinarian to make sure baby carrots are an acceptable treat for your dog(s).

Toby

Shop around

I live in New Mexico where food prices are really high. Therefore, every 
few months when I have to be in Albuquerque, I go to a grocery/produce 
store called Sprouts. I can find bacon for less than $5 a pound. It is 
organic, and I can get it in three different smoke flavors. I have to buy 
only Kosher or organic meats because of allergies to additives in animal 
foods and antibiotics. I also like the taste of the Kosher or organic 
meats. In addition, I buy organic sausage for about $2.99 a package there. 
I have found that if I look around, I find pork or other Kosher or organic 
meats at a more reasonable cost than going to many high-end stores.

Jackie S.

Do it now!

We've been thinking of buying our first home. My brother-in-law is a 
financial advisor and he suggests that we do it now. I know it's a seller's 
market, but he says that with interest rates rising, we'll only end up with 
bigger mortgage payments if we wait. He said that's true for any big 
purchase that is financed. We're starting to look now and hope to find 
something soon!

Laura

Making savings

We got tired of putting every unplanned expense (flat tire, medical bill, 
etc.) on our credit cards. We realized that we needed to save an emergency 
fund, but that's hard to do when there's no money left at the end of the 
month. Therefore, we each found a way to earn a little extra during the 
month that we could use for our emergency fund. He drives for Uber two 
evenings a week, and I do online surveys while watching my favorite shows. 
We only net about $100 a month, but we weren't saving anything before. We 
are seeing the balance creep up, and it encourages us to keep it up!

Clara

Kitchen storage solution

Our kitchen is small, so I use every available space. One area that's been 
especially useful is under the top cabinets. I put cup hooks under the 
cabinets. Not only do I hang cups, but I also hang my measuring spoons and 
cups and a few small cooking tools. On the wall behind my kitchen table, I 
have my pans arranged in a way that looks attractive. Because I hang all 
these things, I have extra space in the cabinets and drawers.

Ingrid E.

A taste of ...

I have another great tip regarding summer activities. At this time of year, 
there are a lot of festivals and carnivals. I'm a senior without a lot of 
extra money, and sometimes I am unable to travel to these events. I look 
online for the food that they have and usually can find the recipes. I 
invite friends over, and it's a lot less expensive than paying entrance 
fees. We avoid the noise and chaos that is hard on us now. When I can, I go 
on small day trips to an ethnic club like The Danish Club. I don't have to 
be a member, and for a small donation, I can have a few hours of fun and 
authentic food.

Karen K

More: Dollar Stretcher: Paying off student loans early

More: Dollar Stretcher: Knowledge is savings

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