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DEAR READERS: Are you interested in learning more about saving energy and money while keeping your home comfortable, well-lit and insulated? The answer may be as close as your utility company.

It may offer a special customer service exhibition, with experts, dioramas, videos and other displays to educate and inform you and your family on the newest technologies and practices in the industry, such as LED lighting and discounted weatherization programs.

Check out your utility's website, or call for more information.

DEAR HELOISE: I received a lovely leather handbag for Christmas, and in the packaging was a care tag. Here are some of the hints:

• Leather items should be kept away from water, grease, natural (sun) and artificial light, heat, humidity and cosmetics, including alcohol-laden perfumes.

• Carrying too many items inside the bag is not recommended; this can misshape the bag.

• A leather conditioner should be used regularly to keep the bag malleable, soft and strong.

• Dark fabrics, like denim jeans, can transfer their ink onto light-colored bags.

• When not in use, pack the bag fully but loosely with tissue paper, and store it in its dust bag.

These bags can cost a pretty penny, but proper care can prolong their life.

-- Julie W. in Dallas

DEAR READERS: Be aware: If you are using your vehicle in a ride-share program to earn extra money, you will need to make adjustments to your auto insurance. It may be called gap coverage or extended coverage -- call your insurance provider for more information.

DEAR HELOISE: Packages received nowadays have printed shipping labels showing the recipient's name, address and other information, including bar codes.

The labels are hard to remove. An easy way to remove all the information without trying to get the label off is to dab acetone nail-polish remover on the information you want erased.

-- Constance C.,

Bakersfield, Calif.

DEAR READER: The acetone will smear the ink, rendering it illegible.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Style on 02/12/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints


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