Dear Heloise: To save money, I wait to WASH CLOTHES until I have a full load, and I usually use cold to warm water. This saves energy, and at the end of the year adds up to a nice chunk of change. One note: Don’t overload the machine, because then the clothes won’t get clean and you will have to rewash, wasting money and laundry additives. -- Shirley, via e-mail
Thanks for your laundry hints, Shirley. And speaking of laundry, don’t know how to treat a stain? Don’t worry, I have the answer. I have put together Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing, which covers many common stains. To receive a copy, just send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Stain, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. The most important thing to remember is: Do not put a stained garment in the dryer. High heat may set the stain or make it harder to get out. -- Heloise
HANDY TRAVEL HINT
Dear Heloise: I read your hints daily in The (Youngstown, Ohio) Vindicator. My husband and I feel that a day without reading your hints is just not complete.
I have a hint that helped our family on a recent trip to Cancun, Mexico. We were traveling with our three small children. Their ages are 7, 5 and 3. Before the trip, I was worried about international travel, security lines and customs. What if I lost a passport, an immigration form or a customs declaration? As I am sure you have experienced, it is so difficult to keep all important travel documents together.
Then I thought of a large binder clip. It worked perfectly! I used the clip to hold all five passports (and any luggage IDs and customs paperwork) together so that when it was our turn to show our information, I only had to find one thing. It made traveling a lot more relaxing! -- Melissa Padgett, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: I wanted to add a little to the wonderful advice from Joan in Niles, Ohio, about reusing boxes. In my family, we reuse them slightly differently. We save boxes and use them for wrapping gifts at Christmas, birthdays or other gift-giving holidays. When we have visitors to our home, we simply salvage the boxes during cleanup and use them again next time. We’ve got a few boxes that have been recycled in our home for more than five years! This saves on wrapping materials for the holidays and gives the boxes several uses before recycling. -- April in Florida
Dear Heloise: My mom and I were peeling a lot of vegetables. She didn’t want a clogged disposal (as potato skins will do that), and I hate cleaning up starchy counters or cutting boards. So my mom put down newspaper on the counter instead. Easy cleanup! Just fold the paper around the skins and toss — or compost! Simple as that. -- Emily Dotson, Gaithersburg, Md.
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