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Dollar Stretchers

July 19, 2013
Northern-Sun Print
Better Baked Potatoes When I bake potatoes in the microwave, I spray them with cooking spray instead of greasing them with oil. The shells are soft and easy to remove. C.

Bug Splattered Car? Put some baking soda on a wet sponge and gently scrub your car's windshield, lights, and chrome (if you have an oldie with chrome!) to remove bugs. Just wipe it off with another wet sponge or some damp paper towel. This works well, and it's very inexpensive. Donna from NC Non-Toxic Insect Repellent My husband came in with a dryer sheet in the inside of his hat, and being curious, I asked him why. He said that if you wipe your face, arms and legs down with it and then place it in your hat for a bug repellent, it works! So you have a DEET-free bug repellent for just a few cents! Connie in North Carolina

Food Container Odors This tip is wonderful for plastics that have picked up an odor from food. Place a piece of crumpled newspaper inside, close the lid, and let it sit for a couple of days. Coolers that may not have been left open after use can benefit from this tip also. Nancy

Relief from Stretch Marks Shea butter is a great moisturizer to minimize the appearance of stretch marks. It softens the skin. You can find it at a health food store or an ethnic market in your area. I've used it for years, and my stretch marks are barely visible. Just remember that you have to faithfully use it every day over a period of time before you really start to see results. Andrea

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork I do pulled pork every year for our annual BBQ, and this year, instead of a Boston Butt, my husband grabbed seven rib pork roasts. I stuck them in a slow cooker on low for about 10 hours with about a cup of water on the bottom and they shredded easier than any before. It was free from bones and fatty gristle, and everyone raved about the pork this year (they do every year, but especially this year). Lisa (via Facebook)

Kiddie Clothes Hangers I was having such a problem with clothes hangers for my kids. The infant sized ones were too small. My kids' (ages 4 and 6) clothes would just fall right off of them and end up in a pile on the closet floor. However, the adult hangers were way too big. The kids had a hard time hanging their clothing and would end up stretching out the neck of their shirts. So I looked for kids' hangers, but they were really expensive. We got a tip that a local dry cleaner would give away hangers if we picked them up. I got two grocery bags full of hangers, and the best part was that these hangers were medium sized. Some of them must have been used for smaller women's clothing or something. They fit my kids' clothes perfect, and they were free! The lady at the dry cleaners was very excited to give them away. Amanda

Reinforced Shower Curtains Being frugal, I have always bought the most economical shower curtains available. I found that they ripped at the first hole because of the continued pressure on that point as the curtain was opened or closed. I realized that I was replacing the curtain more than I could afford. As a solution, I put four staples around each hole on the curtain before attaching the shower curtain hooks. The staples are almost invisible and give a strong edge around each hole. Now, my cheap shower curtain just lasts and lasts. L

Liquid Compost I love to garden and have a spinning compost tumbler. The problem in the past was that sometimes I had more compost scraps to add to the bin than I had space in the compost tumbler. I didn't want to spend money on another large capacity tumbling compost bin because they can get very expensive. I started grinding up my leftover food scraps, a couple of used napkins or paper towels, egg shells, etc. and adding water to come to the eight cup measure mark on my Vitamix® blender. I then put the ground up mixture into a five-gallon pail and add water up to the top of the pail. I water around my fruit trees or other plants and bushes with this solution. I'm composting instantly, and food scraps aren't left whole to entice raccoons and other animals. Plus, I manage fine without purchasing an additional compost bin. As a word of caution, I don't grind up corn cobs or animal bones in my blender. Zoe (via iPhone)

Frugal Fitness I was not willing to invest any more in expensive exercise equipment that would sit unused in a corner of the room after a few weeks of use. Since I am not a fan of exercise, this has happened with equipment I've purchased in the past. A few months ago, I started to take the bus to work. The nearest bus stop is a mile away from my house. It provides me with two 20-minute walks a day. I don't get sweaty because I don't run, and because the exercise is divided into smaller chunks, I hardly know I'm doing it. I use the time to wake up in the morning and to relax in the evening before I come home to my family. I am now looking at taking a (shorter) bus ride from a bus stop that is two miles away, providing me with four miles of distance to cover each day. The only time I didn't take the bus was in the dead of winter when temperatures reached below zero. I've started to look forward to my walks and am enjoying my "alternative treadmill" very much. Margaret



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