Stretching Your Dollar

July 16, 2012

By Tom Hodges

If you make your dollars stretch, they will do more for you. Instead of coming up short before the next paycheck, you may have enough for your expenses as well as a bit to add to savings.

Making your money go farther means getting more from your material resources. For example by taking advantage of sales and applying coupons, you may get quality groceries at a fraction of the regular price – cereal for $1/box rather than $4/box.

Try these dollar stretching ideas:

  1. Many stores have areas where they locate items that they are discontinuing or trying to move quickly. These items are often discounted by 1/2 or more. We found Starbucks Christmas blends at Target for $0.85/bag right after New Years and applied $1 coupons to them.
  2. The Sunday paper often has coupon booklets with coupons for popular brand items.
  3.  Websites such as and describe deals where items can be purchased this week at specific stores (Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyers, etc.) at very low prices using coupons from the newspaper or with links to print coupons on your computer.
  4. Safeway, Albertsons, and Thriftway double some coupons.
  5. When buying an expensive item, always ask, ” Do I really need this? Would a less expensive item do just as well?”. Sometimes store brands may be much cheaper than highly advertised brands (although there are usually no coupons for them).
  6. If you can combine discontinued items with doubled coupons the items are often free or nearly so.

If we apply this concept of frugality throughout our lives, we will save a lot of money and maybe have a great time finding bargains. Instead of being poor with our credit card maxed out we will have a surplus of funds to save or spend on some special luxury. In addition, thinking before buying may save us from throwing so much away, and so the environment will benefit as well. Then, if our neighbors start doing this, our whole community would become more conscious of what we buy and we will positively affect the choices the sellers make in goods to offer.

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