DEAR HELOISE: I have a few hints for you. Here they are:
When discarding food that is too pungent, before putting it in the kitchen garbage can, I put it in a plastic bag and tie it tightly. This keeps the kitchen garbage from smelling until you take it to the outside can and reuses old plastic bags that might have been tossed out.
Dryer sheets make nice car deodorant. When dried, they are perfect for dusting the interior of the car.
When filling a sugar bowl, salt and pepper shakers, etc., I put the item I'm filling on a damp cloth (or paper towel), and if anything spills, this is an easy wipe and go with the damp cloth.
-- Nancy W., Annapolis, Md.
DEAR HELOISE: There is a fairly new scam going around from someone who claims the American postal service owes you money, or that you've been approved for some financial giveaway. The site looks very official, with pictures of postal workers, but it's nothing more than a clever ploy to steal your money. Like so many scams, this one tried to target the elderly. And if you click on the sites they tell you to, you could lose your savings. Remember: NEVER give out financial information to a total stranger over the phone, the internet or at your door.
-- Stephan H., New York City
DEAR HELOISE: Most people today have a cellphone. If someone has made an appointment and then is running late or unable to make it, why can't they be thoughtful enough to use that phone and give me (or anyone) a call? A no-show makes me very upset.
-- Linda E., Jacksonville, Ill.
DEAR READER: I agree. It's just good manners to let others know you can't come or that you are running late. If you have a cellphone, you should always call if you can't make it to an appointment.
DEAR HELOISE: Do you have a home remedy for getting rid of bed bugs?
-- Henry J. in Florida
DEAR READER: Bed bugs multiply at a rapid rate and can hide from many home remedies. Your best bet is to hire a professional service that can and will kill the bug, and the eggs as well. This may involve two trips by a professional. I know you wish there was some easy method, but this little pest will return if the eggs are not destroyed.
DEAR HELOISE: If you have to measure out lard or shortening and it sticks to the measuring cup, here's a hint for that problem. Spray the inside of the measuring cup with a cooking nonstick spray. Anything will slip out of the measuring cup after that one spray.
-- Donna B., Houston, Texas
DEAR HELOISE: I work at an animal shelter, and I see too much neglect of animals who wanted nothing more than love and food from their owner. A pet is a family member and needs to be kept indoors in the summer's heat. By "indoors," I don't mean a doghouse. Make sure they have plenty of water, too.
-- Shelly M., Anaheim, Calif.
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