Dear Heloise: I have an idea that may help people when MAILING PACKAGES. The great boxes you get through purchases (coffeepots, etc.) are free and relatively easy to turn inside out.

If glued, use a knife and carefully open the seam. If put together by tabs and no glue, just reassemble using packing tape.

The inside of the boxes are blank, so there are no advertisements or UPCs to block out. Just address and mail. No wrapping necessary. Hope this idea saves the purchase of mailing boxes. -- Joan in Niles, Ohio

It will save money as well as help the environment with one or more uses before going into the recycle bin. -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Readers: Are you aware that your computer stores information, small text files called “cookies,” from Web sites you visit? These cookies can be helpful or can be bothersome. Cookies and the browser cache (the history of Web sites you have visited) can be useful by speeding up the process when revisiting a Web site. The site loads faster, and you don’t need to re-enter your information, but it also can slow down your computer. Here is how to delete those temporary files if you want:

Open an Internet window. On your upper task bar, there will be an option for “Tools.” Click on it, then select “Internet Options.” A window should pop up with an option to delete temporary files, cookies, etc.

Some systems have an option to “Delete Browsing History” on the Tools menu.

Just remember, when you delete these cookies, it will delete your saved login and password information from these sites, so you will have to re-enter them the next time. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Traveling with kids can be a struggle, but coloring kits can keep most kids occupied for a while. Paper, pencils and crayons are simple and fun; however, it’s no fun when a stray marker or pen slips between the seats. How about making a coloring kit that the kids can’t lose pieces of? You’ll need:

* A small cookie sheet

* Markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc. (whichever you prefer)

* A notebook or coloring book

* Magnetic tape (you can find this at most home-improvement or craft stores)

* Instant glue

* Scissors

Cut a few pieces of magnetic tape, and glue one to each crayon or marker. Cut a few larger strips to glue to the back of the notebook/coloring book. Attach to your cookie sheet, and voila! No matter how the kids set them in the tray, they will stay attached! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have a plastic zippered bag full of restaurant coupons that I keep in my purse. If my family decides to stop for lunch or dinner, I have them with me. No more saying “Oh, I forget it at home.” You also could leave the bag in your car if you don’t carry a purse. -- Ashley in Illinois

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

, King Features Syndicate