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HELPFUL HINTS

Posted: December 10, 2013 at 1:43 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: I am writing about your article stating that one should mail damaged money to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for a replacement and insure it through the post office.

I was sending my brother a gift card and wanted to insure it. I was told that the post office did not insure money or gift cards, because people could say, for instance, that they sent $100when they actually sent $10.

Did the clerk at the post office give me the wrong information, or was she correct? - Sherry, via email

DEAR READER: The postal worker was correct. However, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing recommends mailing the damaged money via registered mail, return receipt requested, if you can’t hand-deliver it to the bureau in Washington.

But the U.S. Postal Service tells customers never to mail money. If you must mail money to someone, it suggests buying a postal money order for the dollar amount and using registered mail for maximum security.

The possibility of a registered letter being “lost, stolen or destroyed” is pretty small.

Here are hints if you must mail a gift card: Keep the receipts. Use registered mail, return receipt requested. Or use a private delivery service.

DEAR HELOISE: If I need a small amount of cash and can’t find an ATM, I go into the closest market, drugstore or convenience store. I buy a pack of gum or mints using my debit card and ask for cash back.

Some stores set a limit for the amount you can get back, which will be lower than an ATM’s limit.

  • Michelle L., Washington

DEAR READER: This is a good hint when in a pinch.But do the merchant a favor and buy more than gum!

DEAR HELOISE: When my mother retired, I gave her a sewing machine and quilting lessons. Her whole life, she had talked about wanting to learn how to make a quilt but never had the time. I thought retirement was the perfect time to let her enjoy what she didn’t have time to do before. - Linda

DEAR HELOISE: To keep clothes from being damaged in the washing machine, fasten the hooks on bras. This keeps them from hooking onto other garments. Better yet, place them in a lingerie bag, but keep the hooks fastened.

  • Sue M. in Ohio 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 Heloise@Heloise.com

Style, Pages 32 on 12/10/2013

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