Looking for some new ways to save money? Check out the following tips below, compliments of The Dollar Stretcher.
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Wet the coffee filter before placing it in the basket, and you will never have grounds in your coffee again! The wet filter adheres to the basket.
Relaxing Oatmeal Bath
I make my own oatmeal bath! I buy the largest container of generic 100% oatmeal and put about two cups into my blender or food processor. Then I blend on pulse for about three minutes until very powdery, and pour into a zipper bag. This is great for diaper rash soaks or skin rashes, and I save about $6 doing it myself.
I always dump crumbs from the bottom of cereal boxes into a zipper bag and freeze. Once I have a good amount, I use them to make granola. I just use whatever standard granola recipe I like, using equal parts crumbs to oats when substituting. I usually end up with about an 60/40 oats to cereal crumb ratio. It's a great way to use something I'd normally toss!
I own a business that styles and sells wigs, falls, and other synthetic hairpieces. The best trick that I've learned for getting smells out of those fibers works just as well on other fibers and fabrics. I just mix water and vodka equally and spray it right on. This works as well as commercial products. It evaporates quickly, leaving no alcohol-scent behind.
What do you do with your leftover cooked oatmeal? I put it in a cylindrical container and refrigerate. The following morning, I run a knife around the edges and slide the lump out. Then I slice it to make circular cakes, fry them in butter on both sides until nicely browned, and serve them warm with pancake syrup. My mother did this and now I do. My sons love it!
Marie in Slanesville, WV
Really Cheap Baskets
This is the perfect time of the year to find baskets (leftover from the Easter holiday) marked down by as much as 90%. Don't worry about the color; they can easily be spray-painted any color you want! Buy them now to have on hand to make personalized Christmas baskets as presents! Who wouldn't enjoy a beautiful basket this Christmas, filled with homemade goodies and perhaps a homemade Christmas tree ornament? No one has to know that you spent pennies to prepare it!
Updating Vertical Blinds
We have vertical blinds in many rooms in our home. I have changed their look several times by purchasing fabric to recover the inserts in the verticals. I make a paper pattern and then cut the fabric. I use a hot glue gun to glue down on the insert and then put them back in the vertical casing. A decorator originally did this in our master bedroom and charged me $5 per vertical plus the cost of a designer fabric. I have changed the fabric in the verticals myself twice. It can be time consuming, and you need a large table or work surface to cut and glue the fabric panels, but it will only cost you the price of the fabric. I have also found large pieces of decorator fabrics on eBay that were being sold because they were at the end of the bolt. I remove the old fabric before replacing. Otherwise, the insert will become to thick to fit back into the casing.
Colleen in Santa Maria, CA
Storing Window Clings
I have a suggestion for those window clings that we all love and use. I especially love them and use them for every holiday we have. I used to get so upset because I had no place to store them after the holiday was over and usually they would end up lost or thrown away.
Many years ago, I started putting them in a huge photo album. I put them in order, according to the holiday that came up next. Now I have 37 years of holiday clings for each holiday. I enjoy going through my album and just looking at them and thinking about the memories of years back. I also share the ones that I get tired of with friends and family members, and they seem to enjoy them as much as I did. I also make it a habit of getting two new sheets of clings for each holiday.
I have found that by keeping lists in my planner of things that I want to buy, I am less likely to buy something out of impulse. I have one list for books that I want to read, and when I hear about a book that I am interested in reading, I add it to the list right away. This works great for trips to the library, because I have a list of all of the books I want to read. It also keeps me from purchasing them.
I also have a list of things I want to buy for the home and a list of things I want to buy for myself and family members. This way I can plan them into my budget, and when birthdays or Christmas rolls around, I have plenty of ideas. This is especially helpful to stop impulsively buying toys for my kids.
I have found that part of the reason for impulse spending is that I want to buy something now, when I see it, before I forget about it later. By writing it down immediately, I'm not thinking about the item all the time, and I know that I can always buy it later.