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Helpful Hints

By Heloise

This article was published June 24, 2014 at 2:06 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: When checking into a hotel on a dream vacation to Hawaii, I was told that there was a $35 daily resort fee (to go along with the $20-a-day valet fee). When I asked what this fee included, I was told it was for the pool and spa, which I had no intention of using. As I am a rewards member of the hotel, the fee was waived for me, but I wonder how many people get stuck paying this fee without ever using the amenities?

-- Diana T., via email

DEAR READER: These fees are considered mandatory at the hotels that charge them, whether or not you use the amenities. You were lucky that the fee was waived, but for the most part, they must be paid, which adds a significant cost to the nightly room fee. Make sure to read the fine print or call the resort before booking so you are not surprised.

DEAR HELOISE: The other weekend, my husband and I were laying new flagstone pavers in our yard. I started getting frustrated with the spacing between the pavers, which caused my husband to go to the garage for a break. I then heard him shout "Aha!" and he came out carrying a bag of his old golf tees. He proceeded to use the tees as spacers! I thought this hint could help other do-it-yourself couples.

-- Lorraine W.

in New Mexico

DEAR HELOISE: I have a manual can opener that keeps getting rust on it after washing. How do I clean it and prevent it from getting rust in the future?

-- Sheila M. in Indiana

DEAR READER: The rust is forming because you are not getting the can opener completely dry after washing it. Soak the can opener in either apple-cider or white vinegar. Then take a toothbrush and scrub off the rust. Rinse thoroughly, and dry with a hair dryer (be careful, because the metal can get hot). Once dry, you can use mineral oil to lubricate all the parts. All you will have to do in the future is be sure to dry the opener completely before storing.

Vinegar is so useful. Soak rusty screws and bolts in vinegar overnight to make them sparkle like new.

DEAR HELOISE: If you pay bills through the mail and have misplaced the self-addressed return envelope the company sends, try this: Lightly moisten the adhesive tip of the envelope flap and fold it over the bill, sticking it to the back. When you are ready to pay the bill, the envelope can be quickly found, and it saves you the cost of another envelope, time to address it and sometimes a stamp.

-- Chris S. in Florida

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

Style on 06/24/2014

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