Dollar Stretcher: Savings for the Summer
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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
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!
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!
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).
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.
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
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!
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.
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
Do you have a tip that you’d like to share? Just send your suggestion to Tips@stretcher.com.