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By Heloise

This article was published February 10, 2014 at 1:02 a.m.

DEAR READER: Here is this week’s Sound Off:

DEAR HELOISE: Whenever I make a contribution to a charitable cause, I get a thank-you letter, plus a bunch of return-address labels. I now have enough labels to last me a lifetime. I don’t use many, as I only send cards to my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. These companies are wasting money by sending these out. With computers and other sources, people don’t have use for all of these labels anymore.

  • Jane in Cabot

DEAR READER: I’m with you, Jane. Yes, it’s a nice gesture, but they need to get up to date. How many of those can one person use?

DEAR HELOISE: Due to weather, house guests smoked inside the house, and the smell from that really got to me. Knowing the various things that baking soda can do, I poured it into three or four aluminum pie plates and spread them around the house. Voila! In a couple of days, the cigarette smell was gone.

  • Len in Gerrardstown, W.Va.

DEAR READER: Baking soda does absorb bad odors and does so many other handy tasks around the house. Baking soda also can be used to scrub the sink and even the bathtub. When wet, it won’t scratch, but it helps remove grime and gunk buildup.

DEAR HELOISE: I enjoy loose tea but didn’t like the tea leaves at the bottom of my mug. I started putting a coffee filter into my mug before I add the loose tea and boiling water. When my tea is brewed, I simply remove the filter, and all of the tea leaves come with it.

  • Christine in Punxsutawney, Pa.

DEAR READER: Another option is to put loose tea leaves in a teapot, stir and let steep for five minutes or so, then pour the tea into a cup or mug.

DEAR HELOISE: You offered a lot of good ideas in your column about reusing holiday gift wrap. It reminded me that when I was pregnant with my first child, someone at the baby shower suggested saving the gift wrap to line the drawers of the baby’s furniture. I still have that furniture 32 years later, and I smile whenever I open one of those drawers and see that gift wrap.

  • Debra G., Fairfax Station, Va. 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

ActiveStyle, Pages 26 on 02/10/2014

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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