Helpful Hints

Posted: November 10, 2017 at 1:44 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: I bought a new large-capacity washing machine. I was disappointed to find that I cannot reach small items at the bottom of the washer. I went to a pet store and bought a "pooper-scooper" for dogs. It is a one-handed spring-action claw and works great to reach those items at the bottom of the washer. This has made my life so much easier.

-- Debbie H., Missouri

DEAR HELOISE: So many companies now use those little air-filled pillows for packing, and while they can be reused for packing, I found that they can be used to wrap a wrist, elbow or ankle to protect an injured area and cushion.

-- Maddie G.,

Lawton, Okla.

DEAR MADDIE: Do any of my readers have any other suggestions?

DEAR HELOISE: My husband and I got married three weeks ago. After pricing weddings, gowns, reception expenses, flowers and more, we decided to elope. We married in Houston, and that afternoon we flew to Maui, Hawaii, for a honeymoon. When we got back, we had a party to let everyone know we'd gotten married, and sent out notices to relatives to inform them of our marriage. Unless someone really needs a big wedding, it's less expensive and more romantic to elope. By eloping, we saved $20,000.

-- Meg and Brian R., Houston.

DEAR HELOISE: I spent an exorbitant amount of money on a wedding dress for my wedding last fall. We spent thousands on flowers, and the reception cost a fortune. Now I wish I had eloped. The cost of this wedding has prevented us from taking a vacation or buying a house. My parents helped us, but we took the responsibility of most of the debt. My expensive dream wedding is now a nightmare.

-- Julie in Michigan

DEAR HELOISE: I read your column and liked the tea-light idea for traveling. But it occurred to me that if you always kept your night light in your toiletry kit when you travel, you'd probably never lose it.

Night lights are now available with LED lights, which would eliminate the possibility of the bulb breaking in transit.

-- Matthew A.,

Locust Grove, Va.

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

MovieStyle on 11/10/2017