Friday, January 15, 2010

Ideas from Dollar Stretcher

Ice Proof Windows

Ice proof your windows with vinegar. Just fill a spray bottle with three parts vinegar to one part water and spritz it on all your car windows at night. In the morning, they'll be clear of icy mess. How does it work? Vinegar contains acetic acid, which raises the melting point of water, preventing water from freezing. Wake up to an already frozen car? Just spray the mixture on your windows and watch it melt.
Mary Jo in Alamo, TN

Holiday Tins

Those holiday popcorn tins are too nice to throw away or recycle. I plan to use mine as either a gift basket or a waste basket for the next holiday season.

Making Kids' Showers Fun

My kids are now of age to shower by themselves with little supervision, but always had difficulty with the pricey kid's shampoos and body washes that I used to purchase for them. They just didn't seem to be able to hold the bottle and squeeze into a washrag, and most of the bottle would end up running down the drain. In addition, they would spend too much time in the shower, wasting water and running up our bill.

To solve the time problem, we use music played on a CD player. When their two favorite songs are done, they are done. It makes something that feels like a chore to my boys into something more fun. For the soap issue, I buy the inexpensive shampoo and put it into a cleaned out plastic pump-style soap dispenser. A couple of pumps builds up a rich lather for both their hair and bodies, and even the cheapest shampoos come in a variety of nice smelling fragrances. The kids are happy and clean and we save a little money.
Amber P. in TX

Better Than Pantyhose

Ladies, if you wear pantyhose to work in the winter, stop wearing regular pantyhose and start wearing tights. I usually wear black or brown and that covers it all. Initially they cost a little more to buy, but three or four pairs will last the whole season!
Jean C.

Comment on Plastic Steamer Bags

If this person is using plastic bags in her microwave (and recommending that others do the same), she is obviously not yet aware that this is a serious health hazard. Please tell her and your other readers that when the plastic is heated, it releases a chemical into the food that is very bad for your health.

It's much better to buy some glass casserole dishes with lids and microwave your frozen veggies in them. They steam inside the casserole dish and come out delicious. There's a bit of clean up involved, but there's no worry about chemicals from plastics, or the repeated cost of buying bags. I have lidded casserole dishes in various sizes from small to very large, and I even founda few for less than a dollar at a resale shop.
D in Sun Prairie, WI
editor's note: D is referring to a tip from Tuesday's issue. She's right. You do need to be careful. We assumed that readers would check the package to see if the bags were microwave safe before using the idea. But, using glass dishes made for the microwave would certainly be safe and eliminate any chance of error.

Getting Fleeced!

We lived buying electric blankets every other year forever. They just never seemed to last.

I found my solution quite by accident. Having diabetic neuropathy, my feet have become very sensitive. I was on a quest for soft sheets when I found the ultimate in fleece sheets! I bought a good set and was excited to feel the softness. To my surprise, my husband and I about burned up that first night with the electric blanket on as usual. The next night and each night since we've used no electricity on the blanket and relied on the fleece sheets! Flannel sheets come nowhere close to the warmth and softness of fleece sheets. We live in Missouri where the wind chills have been 20 degrees below 0 and heat mostly with wood and propane.

Save buying electric blankets and electricity. Instead, enjoy the warmth and softness of fleece! Claudia H. in Pleasant Hill, Missouri
Note from Lucy: I can vouch for fleece blankets... My feet got cold easily and the fleece blankets are the only ones that keep my feet warm without me having to put on socks. With the very cold weather we have already had this winter, I keep my fleece

Have a great weekend everyone.