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This article was published November 23, 2012 at 2:50 a.m.

— DEAR READERS: So many of you wrote in about reusing cat-litter tubs. Here are a few things you do with them:

Diane in New Jersey wrote: “Use them to store sand/salt for icy driveways and walkways. They are much easier to carry than the awkward bags that sand and salt come in.”

Kathleen in Arkansas wrote, “I use them on my deck to store hand tools.”

Eileen, via e-mail, wrote: “We get our cat litter at a pet and feed store here in California that sells by the pound. We take in our own containers to refill, and it costs a fraction of buying the already-filled tubs.”

Sharon, via e-mail, wrote: “I use mine to collect rainwater.”

Edie in Illinois wrote: “We use them in our greenhouse as supports for shelving. We also use them outdoors as support for our potting-bench shelving.”

Thank you for all the letters and great hints!

DEAR HELOISE: I often forget to charge my cell phone, and it will lose power in the middle of my day. I had an extra cell phone charger at home. I brought it to work and leave it in my desk. That way, if my phone is dying, I can charge it at work and get through the day.

  • Sandy in Utah

DEAR HELOISE: In response to the tip sent in about night lights at motels/hotels: Another idea for a night light would be a “glow stick” that children usually have during Halloween. Glow sticks come in packets, are very inexpensive and the light lasts for many hours. They have a variety of colors, so you could choose a colored one for a “soft” light, or a clear or yellow one for a brighter light. They can be hung by the string that is included, or just laid on a countertop. They also are excellent to have on hand for power outages. They are safer than candles.

  • Becky in Louisiana

DEAR HELOISE: I have found a system for paying bills that has helped me to never miss a payment. I get paid every other Friday. On paydays, I sit down and pay all the bills that need to be paid in the next two weeks. I utilize online banking, so everything is paid on that Friday, and then for the next two weeks, I am not stressing about whether I have to make a payment. I know everything has been paid.

  • A Reader, via e-mail

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or e-mail

MovieStyle, Pages 33 on 11/23/2012

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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