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DEAR READERS: When you pop into a gas station/convenience store, you might grab a hot dog, a bag of chips, a soda and a candy bar. But now, convenience store merchants are starting to offer fresh fruits and vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt and granola -- definitely healthier fare!

Kids benefit, too, if they visit the neighborhood store often (if it's right down the street), especially during summertime. Experts in the industry say a large percentage of convenience stores are now offering fresh foods, and customers are happy about it. So check out the fresh food options at the convenience store!

DEAR HELOISE: My shower is always sparkling-clean, and I hardly ever have to clean it. How is this possible? After I take my shower, I use a clean bath towel and dry the shower, paying special attention to fixtures, cracks and crevices, the floor and the wall.

A squeegee doesn't work, because it can't get the water out of the crevices where mold grows, nor does it polish the fixtures. Daily maintenance takes only a minute or two.

-- Sharon F., California

DEAR READER: Another quick fix is to spray down the shower once a week with a one-to-one mix of white vinegar and water; vinegar has anti-microbial properties.

In fact, vinegar is a workhorse around the house. Vinegar is cheap, nontoxic and readily available.

A perfect vinegar-based cleaner: 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 pint rubbing alcohol and 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid. Add enough water to make a gallon, and label a squirt bottle clearly.

DEAR HELOISE: I had to laugh at suggestions of what to wash in the dishwasher. I got home one day and my husband was looking very guilty. I caught him washing car parts in the dishwasher. It did an excellent job.

-- Maria K., via email

DEAR HELOISE: I find it impossible to open some containers: caps that squeeze open, flip-top containers, etc. Is there a solution?

-- Carol S., Ohio

DEAR READER: Carol, great point. Dexterity issues affect many people. Manufacturers, are you listening?

The pharmacy has taken strides to make easy-open bottles for homes with no children; maybe other groups can do so, too.

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

Weekend on 06/07/2018

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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