Posted: August 17, 2013 at 3:59 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: I recently went on a month-long trip and needed some way of taking a month’s supply of pills sorted by daily doses.

In the pharmacy, next to the weekly pillboxes, I found a package of 50 small ( 3-by-21/ 2 inches) zipper-top clear-plastic pill bags, each having a place on the outside where the date could be written with a pen. I then put the bags holding the pills into a quart-size zippered bag.

  • C.M. Stone in Houston

DEAR READER: Although this sounds like a good idea, keep in mind a few points. If you are flying, the Transportation Security Administration has specific guidelines regarding prescription medications. The rule states: “Passengers are allowed to bring medications in pill or other solid form through security screening checkpoints in unlimited amounts, as long as they are screened. TSA does not require passengers to have medications in prescription bottles, but states have individual laws regarding the labeling of prescription medication with which passengers need to comply. Passengers should inform officers of medications and separate them from other belongings before screening begins.”

So, plan to manage your medications, whatever your mode of transportation - plane, train, boat, bus or vehicle.

DEAR HELOISE: I discovered how important it is to clean out your car’s ashtrays regularly. I wasn’t aware that embers from a cigarette had not gone completely out, even though the ashtray was closed. I had a small, smoldering car fire, which I caught early. I remedied the situation by cleaning out the ashtray and filling it with baking soda to help extinguish cigarettes.It also helps freshen the car.

  • Kevin J., Ventura, Calif.

DEAR READER: Baking soda works wonders as a deodorizer and also to put out small fires. Baking soda is a great deodorizer for carpets, too. Simply put baking soda on your carpet, let sit for 15 minutes and then vacuum.

DEAR HELOISE: I read about the new mother who learned to keep her boughtin-bulk baby towelettes moist by storing them upside down. I thought I’d share my innovation of moistening by pouring a tiny bit of distilled water on them, then turning them upside down.

  • K.O., via email Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

HomeStyle, Pages 38 on 08/17/2013