Friday, February 22, 2008

Tidbits from Dollar Stretcher

My Allowance Card

I like the idea of the reloadable gift card for spending money. I have done that with my "clothing allowance." Being an avid clothes shopper, I budget for the clothing I may want with whatever percentage that works for my budget. I put that on the reloadable card. When the clothing allowance is gone, it's gone until next time. This way, I can get a garment anytime from almost anywhere on the Internet or at the store or a catalogue. It goes on this budgeted gift card. This works for me! I don't feel like I've overspent, and I'm not guilty of bringing something new home without thinking about it first. My wants" no longer interfere with my "needs." C in South Carolina
Note from Lucy: This sounds like a great idea. I carry around cash for my groceries but this sounds like a great way to do a clothes allowance or any other allowance for that matter.

Time for Forever

According to the United States Postal Service website, on May 12, 2008, postage is going up one cent on first class stamps. However, if you purchase stamps now at 41 cents with the "forever liberty bell" logo, you can send your mail after May 12 with them being honored for the 41 cents you already paid. It's time to stock up on stamps. A two-ounce letter will be 59 cents and postcards will be 27 cents. I don't believe there are forever stamps for anything but first class. Check with the post office or go to for more information. Those pennies add up as we all know! Skip the pretty picture stamps, get the forever stamps, and save! Jacque Z. in Iowa
Note from Lucy: I bought my forever stamps last week and I will be buying more before the May 12th deadline. That "forever" has a nice ring to it.

Whiter Teeth

For whiter teeth, swish hydrogen peroxide in your mouth twice a day before brushing. Before long, you will be wearing a whiter, brighter smile. The active ingredient in Crest strips is peroxide in a gel form. Not only will you get whiter teeth, but it can also help fight off gingivitis. B. H.
Note from Lucy: I like using good ole' fashioned peroxide and baking soda for a good tooth brushing. The more I read about all the uses for peroxide the more I like it.

Cash for Old Books

I've found a couple of websites that pay cash for used books. They are and Both are mainly for non-fiction books, old textbooks, technical manuals, etc. But I have also sold a few fiction books to
them. You look up the ISBN on their sites to see if they are buying it, and if so, they will tell you the price that they would pay. Check both sites, as sometimes one site will buy a book and the other isn't interested, or they will offer different prices. does not have a minimum order, and requires a minimum $10 order. It is completely free. You print off a packing list to include in the box, as well as prepaid mailing label, so you don't have to pay any shipping charges either. You get an email when they receive your books, and about a week after that, you get your check in the mail! Cash4books even adds an extra 3% to your payment amount if you choose to use PayPal instead of them cutting you a check! So far, I've made about $100 and have been able to declutter some of my older books from my bookcases. Marla B. in Holland, MI
Note from Lucy: This sounds like a terrific idea. I have also sold books that I didn't want at the half priced book store in our area. They don't pay much but I get more for them than I would at a garage sale.

Grime Spritzer

I keep a spray bottle of 2/3 white vinegar and 1/3 water next to the kitchen sink. When I have dishes or utensils that need extra scrubbing because of dried on grime, I simply spray with my spray bottle, wait a few minutes and wash as usual. No more elbow grease needed! Jacqueline K.
Note from Lucy: Vinegar is another one of those multi-useful items. I use it to clean my and for health reasons.

I'm a Member

I work for a medium-sized law firm. My buddy was heading to the Verizon store to pay his bill and I tagged along. While there, I decided to purchase a cell phone holster for my mother (she is on my cell phone plan for savings purposes and I had recently convinced her to upgrade her phone for free). When the sales clerk was ringing up my purchase, he asked if I had a workplace discount. I assured him that I didn't and he asked where I worked. When I told him, he said, "Oh, I set up their account. You have a 10% discount." He applied this to my purchase and to my monthly statement. The monthly savings will pay for a little more than one cell phone bill per year! Perhaps others out there work for mid- to large-sized firms and are also unaware of discounts they are eligible for through their workplace. My compliments to the Verizon clerk for taking the time to check!
Note from Lucy: My daughter gets a Sprint discount from the company she works for. I know that I can get a discount thru my Ameriplan business, I'll have to go check it out again.

I've been busy working to get our Ham radio "General" class set up as well as trying to get tax work done.... The grandkids are back home with mommy and daddy and it's a little quiter around here. We had a nice cool front push thru last night and it is down in the 50's here for today. We have clear blue skies and a hint of spring in the air........ Have a great week everyone!

Adding on: I got this in the email from my friend Richard Sutton a little bit ago and thought you might like it..HeHe...


At 11:29 AM, Blogger icanseeclearlynow said...

lucy, thanks for the hint about peroxide and the cash4books site. both will be useful to me. lucky you! no sign of spring in our neck of the woods. it's snowing now, five inches and counting!



At 1:49 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Hi Lucy -- I like your Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: guy. I will send him to a lot of my friends!
I like your hints.
I get an educator discount, a very nice one, from Sprint.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger CA said...

Lucy, I think I'll post one more story about my first trip to Odessa, Texas. It'll get me to Odessa and then I'd better change the subject for a while, before anyone gets tired of reading about my childhood! Thanks for your comments. CA

At 10:01 AM, Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Lucy ~ I work with almost nothing but attorneys. They never give discounts on ANYTHING! ~ jb///

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Granny Annie said...

I really like the allowance card idea. Is there a fee associated with one of those cards?

You sure come up with some helpful tips!

At 11:18 AM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Lots of GREAT Tips, Lucy...And that Video is funny, too....LOL!

I DO have predictions for the Oscars and they are in a few cases different from who I WANT to win...!(lol) I will wait till after to say what I think....!

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

Good tips as always. Most importantly, they remind us to always be frugal when possible.

On your last link there, I regularly get e-mails from people at work for this e-warning or that e-cause. I almost always check to see if it's a hoax--e.g. that Snopes website. And it more often than not is a hoax.

But here's one that almost got me this past week. My supervisor showed me an incredible you-tube video he just received by e-mail. The video showed this killer whale jumping out of the ocean and landing on this sea kayaker. Fortunately, when the seas calmed this kayaker popped up unharmed.

When I went to You-Tube to try to find the original video, I found not only one video, but TWO. The video my boss had was a composite of two videos--the killer whale jumping, and the sea kayaker turning over. Somebody merged the two together. So I guess don't trust anything you see on the internet. Uh, unless it comes from Lucy.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

Thanks for all the great hints. I've heard a lot of good about hydrogen peroxide and vinegar over the years. I've used vinegar for lots of things.
Thanks for the URL's for the books too. I will be looking into that.

I didn't know the price of postage was going up again. When will it ever stop?

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous paul maurice martin said...

The hydrogen peroxide also knocks out bad breath - of course I wouldn't know personally, it's only what I've been told...

At 9:13 PM, Blogger kenju said...

Lucy, thanks for the visit! Are you watching Forrest Gump tonight? I saw part of it.

At 10:21 AM, Blogger CA said...

I was thinking about what you said about your dad doing most of the cooking and remembered this. When we were traveling, from Texas or Arizona to California in the late 30s and early 40s or just from place to place, we slept on blankets and quilts made into pallets on the ground and ate our meals around a campfire. Dad used to make biscuits in what he called a "Dutch Oven." He always carried a piece of tin with him. He would dig a hole in the ground and put the piece if tin over it. Then he'd slide the pan of biscuits into the hole after he'd built his fire on top of the tin and it cooked the biscuits just like a real oven. Mom would boil water with sugar and a little vanilla extract in it until it was a little thick and make syrup for our biscuits. What days those were!

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I wasn't aware that stamps were going up again. I have a couple of sheets of those Liberty Bell stamps, and I had no idea there was such a thing as "forever stamps." I will get some more of those.

Swishing peroxide in your mouth before brushing makes sense because as you said, it is peroxide that is the main ingredient in many of those whitening gels.

You've got some great tips here, as usual.
Thanks, Lucy!

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Oh great One said...

Now I'm curious to see if I have any books they would want! Thanks for all your nifty tips!

At 7:41 PM, Blogger nora said...

I love the idea of giving myself a clothing allowance card. I always pay cash for clothes, but it is still easy to get in to trouble.
Especially when I have a hot pocket full of waitressing cash when I work at the clothing store. My clothing store shift is like an eight-hour shopping trip.

At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Jessica said...

Have u try the
Physics Bookstore online bookstore


I get all my textbooks for this semester from this bookstore. All are
brand new textbooks and half price and discount textbooks and cheap textbooks.

Good luck and wish some help.

hehe ^_^


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