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April 2011 - Posts - The Dollar Stretcher Review
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The Dollar Stretcher Review

My take on articles and ideas presented on Dollar Stretcher.

April 2011 - Posts

  • Solutions for Tough Times

    My favorite section of The Dollar Stretcher is "Frugal Living in Tough Times." I suspect it's because the articles closely align with my way of living frugally. Most of them are a little more "hardcore" than the general run of material and many of them are pertinent to those who feel they've gone beyond that and need some new challenges or at least a few new thoughts.

    The economy is still not so great and most of us feel the strain, so finding new ways or revisiting old ways to keep expenses down can be critical. Instead of thinking of the process in a negative way, look at it as a challenge to make your life as good as you can, regardless of the circumstances. 

    Keep your eye on that spot (upper right hand corner of the home page) and just see what you can learn or what inspires you to live even better on the money you have - or less than the money you have. That's an inspiration in itself!

  • Perceived Value

    Here's perfect proof that prices and values are all in the mind. Read "The Price Was Right!" and tell me you've never been persuaded of the value of something when it might not have been there.

    Antiques that are nothing but old furniture? Designer clothing that makes you look fat or old or wierd? "Quality" handbags and shoes that your don't dare get wet (as in getting caught in the rain)?

    We'd do well to look a little closer at items that seem overpriced for what they actually are. A table is a table unless it's truly one of a few survivors of the ages. Designer clothing is nothing but fabric and notions put together and if it doesn't look good on you, it doesn't look good on you. Handbags and shoes that can't stand a little wear are pointless and a waste of money.

    And, yes, a big piece of glass that you have no use for is not a bargain at any price. 

  • Creatively Frugal

    I've always said that frugalites are the most creative people there are and I still believe that it's true. This article, Waste Not, Want Not, proves that the mindset is alive and well. Using what you have for what you need or want is as American as apple pie and ice cream... it's the "can do" attitude that made America strong. And on and on...

    Anyway, making do is the mark of a creative mind. You have to think past your nose. You have to see things as they really are and not what they're perceived to be. If you need to practice that a little, you might have to "psych yourself out" until you can see an object properly. Look at a table. Look at the shape of it. Consider the weight bearing properties it has. Think about the usefulness of a smooth, unbroken surface. Think about how the color contrasts or complements the room it's in. How tall is it? Do the legs come off easily? 

    That's the way we need to learn to look at our worlds. Everything is made up of a number of properties and those properties can be useful in a lot of different situations. 

    Again, the table: It can hold several hundred pounds... of TVs, of automobile parts, of baby baths, of potted vegetables or flowers, of baked ham and turkey. The same table can present a surface ideal for a child's artistic efforts, for little cars and trucks to travel on, for adult paperwork, to hold a rag rug level while it's being sewed together, for.... whatever your creativity demands. 

    Don't stop at tables, either! Buckets (carrying things, planting things, sitting upon), baskets (carrying laundry, holding toys, holding an arrangement of large wild flowers or winter bouquets) and pencils (writing, pointing, lubricating tiny areas, holding a wick while a candle sets) - go ahead. Look at your world. 

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