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Helpful Hints

By Heloise

This article was published August 22, 2014 at 2:32 a.m.

DEAR READERS: Want to save food money by using what you probably throw away? Here's how I use the stems of broccoli (why toss edible food out?), and it's tasty too. I use a vegetable peeler to strip off the thick skin, then cut up the now-softer stems into small slivers. I add them to salads, soup or other veggies that I'm cooking. You even can add them to tuna salad, etc., for a little crunch.

DEAR HELOISE: I just moved into a house with a big backyard and want to try composting. Do you have any helpful hints?

-- S.L. in San Antonio

DEAR READER: First thing is to designate the right space. Pick a sunny area, and make the enclosure large enough for the amount of "waste product" you think will be generated. Then start saving things. Vegetable peelings, eggshells, coffee grounds, grass clippings and the like are good. You also can add dead leaves, twigs, etc. Having equal parts of brown material (coffee grounds, twigs, etc.) and green material (grass clippings, vegetable bits, etc.) is what is best to use. Mix in several shovelfuls of soil. The pile should be damp, so add water as needed and turn at least once a week.

Composting can make rich soil and mulch for your yard and flower beds. It also is great to put around new saplings to keep weeds away.

P.S.: What not to add? Meat, fish or dairy products. Too many wild critters will be looking for dinner.

DEAR HELOISE: When I was younger, I did a lot of international travel. In European countries, many hotels do not supply washcloths, which is something most Americans are accustomed to. I would take a well-used towel and cut it into washcloth-size squares, and pack a generous supply. After use, they can be discarded. It was nice to not have to use the corner of a big towel.

-- Karen in

Colorado Springs, Colo.

DEAR HELOISE: We decided to paint the stairs in our house. We weren't sure how to go about it, because we still needed to use them while we were painting. It took us a while, but we painted one step at a time. We easily could skip the step that was wet, and still were able to use them while painting.

-- Cheryl M., via email

DEAR READER: Great idea! Another way is to paint every other step, leaving the others unpainted. Wait for the painted steps to dry, and then paint the other ones.

DEAR HELOISE: My glove compartment was always a mess, and it was difficult to find anything in it. I found a small mail sorter at the store with six areas for mail. It fit in the glove compartment just so. Now I can easily find what I need.

-- A.R. in Oklahoma

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

MovieStyle on 08/22/2014

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