Dear Heloise:

I am a senior citizen on a fixed income, as so many others are. Your numerous hints in the newspaper are a tremendous help!

Would you please reprint the homemade biscuit mix recipe? I can make it at less cost than the commercial mix.

Charles K., Rogers, Ark.

I'd be glad to print this recipe, and you're right -- it's economical and keeps well in the pantry, and even longer if stored in the refrigerator. You can also use it to make pancakes.

BISCUIT MIX

8 cups of all-purpose flour

1/3 cup of baking powder

2 teaspoons of salt

8 teaspoons of sugar (optional)

Combine ingredients and mix well. Now cut in 1 cup of shortening, using a pastry blender, until the ingredients resemble coarse meal. Store the mixture in a self-sealing container until ready to use. Note: Use this baking mix as you would a store-bought brand.

To make biscuits: Use 1 cup of baking mix and add 1/3 cup of milk. Bake biscuits in a 450 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

To make pancakes: Use 1 cup of baking mix and add enough liquid to make the consistency of batter you like. Enjoy!

Dear Heloise:

To heat leftovers in a flash (for one person), I use a three-egg poacher. Put an ice-cream scoop's worth of food in each section!

Jean Bowman

Allison Park, Pa.

I like it! Thanks for sharing another use for an egg poacher.

Dear Heloise:

Here's an idea I came up with for removing the fat from homemade chicken broth (and I guess other soups as well). I had a store-bought item for that purpose, but it was simply a measuring cup with a spout toward the bottom for removing the clear broth from under the fat. It didn't work that well for me, because the spout also had fat set in it, so I had to get that out before I could get the clear broth.

Instead, it occurred to me to pour the broth into a big jar, tighten the lid very, very well, then put the jar upside-down in the refrigerator. When the fat had set, I simply poured the broth out, as it was on the top, and the fat stayed at the bottom. Of course, I scraped that out and washed and reused the jar. Simple and cheap.

Maria Garza, San Antonio

Dear Heloise:

Use a pizza cutter to cut fudge. It works great and does not stick to the cutter blade like fudge does to a knife.

Esther Parshley

Farmington, N.H.Dear Heloise:

I found my daughter's favorite shirt wadded up with a wet washcloth. The shirt now has mildew on it. Is there any way to remove the mildew stains?

Janet L., via e-mail

Yes, as long as the fabric is bleach-safe. If it is a dark color, bleach might damage it, but if it is white or very light, soak the blouse in a mild solution of 1 ounce chlorine bleach to 1 gallon cool water, then rinse well and launder as usual.

Hint: When using a spray-type laundry stain remover, turn the fabric inside out, then spray on the wrong side.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state when faxing or using e-mail. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.(c)2003, King Features Syndicate