Stretching That Paycheck
By Cyndi Roberts
It happens to all of us. There are still a few days left till payday and somehow
that last paycheck just didn't last long enough! Or maybe there were some
expenses this week that really were not expected--new tires, school expenses,
These are the times to fall back on some really tight- wad
1. No money to put gas in the car? Walk to work--it's good exercise. If walking
is not an option, try to carpool with a co- worker who lives near. Or share a
ride with your spouse. It may mean getting to work earlier, so be prepared to
use extra time constructively. Start that book you've been wanting to read; take
your needlework and finish a project you've not found time for, etc.
2. Quench your thirst with good ol' water, not Cola, or anything else you have
to buy. Bring your water from home, if necessary. That goes for kids' lunches,
3. Of course, you know to carry your lunch and snacks. Make it a challenge, to
see how many days you can go without spending any money.
4. Bring out that "change jar" and roll all your coins. Most people have a spot
where they keep all that extra change that accumulates. What better time to use
it? If a trip to the bank is not feasible, just carry along a roll or two of
dimes. Quarters can get pretty heavy, but dimes or nickels can be toted pretty
easily in your bag.
5. Out of bread? Instead of making a run to the neighbor- hood convenience
store, why not make your own? It's cheap, some recipes don't even require
kneading, and it uses ingredients you probably have on hand.
If you keep baking mix on hand, you can just make biscuits. Biscuits are a great
addition to a meal and are very quick to make. They can even be toasted for
6. Out of milk? Keep a box of instant dry milk in your cupboard for just such
emergencies as this. If you don't like the taste of reconstituted dry milk, try
adding a quart of the dry milk to a quart of your regular milk. Chilling it
before drinking makes it a bit more tasty.
7. A low-cost supper that most everyone likes is simply an omelet. Pair it with
some canned or fresh fruit. Another easy idea is pasta and sauce. Most grocery
stores have their own brand of spaghetti sauce mix, usually for about 35 cents.
All you add is tomato sauce. Serve this with any kind of pasta--it doesn't have
to be spaghetti, use whatever you have on hand.
8. Our local radio station has a daily program that features people calling in
and telling about things they have for sale. If you're really strapped for cash,
find something that you don't use anymore and either check with your local radio
station for a program like this one or maybe put an ad in your local newspaper.
Maybe even an ad on the bulletin board where you work. Another option is selling
on online auctions. Even some clothes you don't wear anymore can bring in a
little bit of emergency cash. Or maybe there's a consignment shop in your area.