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DEAR READERS: This month is a great time to shop for bargains. What's on sale right now? Let's take a look:

January is famous for white sales: linens, sheets, curtains, towels and even luggage and housewares. Christmas merchandise, such as decorations and gift wrap, are marked way down. Also, stores are beginning to clear out winter clothes and boots.

Look for specials online, too -- maybe free shipping!

P.S. For anyone with romance on the mind, January kicks off wedding shopping season; your best values may be right now!

DEAR HELOISE: To take care of icy concrete steps in the winter without using damaging, salty ice melt, I cut to size rubber door mats that have a brush-like texture and place them on the steps. A large one at the top and bottom of the steps; narrower ones on the steps themselves.

The snow and ice will cause them to stick hard on the steps, and the brushy texture gives traction to prevent slips. I pick them up after the spring thaw and reuse next year.

Also, I developed a text group of close friends to whom I can send pictures and updates throughout my vacation. I offer opt-outs to anyone who doesn't want the frequent texts. I safely share my experiences with others who are interested.

-- Jan, via email

DEAR HELOISE: When I receive cards in the mail (birthday, Christmas, etc.), I write the name and address on the back of the card.

That way, when I store them, I'll have the address for next year.

-- Randall E., Cortez, Colo.

DEAR READER: You also can cut out the return label and tape it to the back. No chance for typos!

DEAR HELOISE: My dog likes radishes! Are they OK for him to eat?

-- Luke B., via email

DEAR READER: Luke, radishes are OK for your dog as a treat; some dogs may not like the spicy zip of a radish. Other veggies that are fine for the dog as a special snack: cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, asparagus, green beans and potatoes, all either raw or cooked. They are a good source of vitamins. But no onions. And don't be confused: Wild radish is a wildflower that is poisonous.

DEAR HELOISE: I had such a problem with handbags and tote bags in my closet. When they are empty, they won't stand up straight, and the handles get tangled with the other bags.

I have discovered that if I fold the handles inside each individual bag, they stand up better and make it easier to store them on the shelf. They are easier to see and to remove the bag that I want to use.

-- Judy H., Sherwood, Ark.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Heloise@Heloise.com

HomeStyle on 01/05/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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