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DEAR HELOISE: After graduation from college, my two girlfriends and I want to backpack through Europe. The problem is that we need to stay in some very cheap places (other than park benches). Any suggestions?

-- Ashley H., Colorado

DEAR READER: The first thing to check on are hostels. Many of them are clean, modern and cheap accommodations. A unique option is monasteries, which usually have reasonable rates, but they have curfews. There are a number of other possibilities, so check them out thoroughly.

DEAR HELOISE: To keep my earrings together and in one place, I bought a nuts-and-bolts box with lots of small drawers and hung it in my closet. Now it's easy to find what I want.

-- Kaysene M., California

DEAR HELOISE: My husband likes his steaks pan-fried, but frying makes them so tough. Any help would be appreciated.

-- A Reader in Ohio

DEAR READER: First, do you use a cast iron pan? It's the best for frying steak. Next, let your steak warm up a little before frying. Take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit for a few minutes. Blot with a paper towel to get moisture out (too much moisture boils the meat). Next, make sure your pan is very hot when you drop the steak in, and sear it on both sides, after which you can turn the heat down to medium. Don't overcook it or it'll be dry and tough. When you're done cooking the steak, let it sit on a plate for a few minutes so that all the juices flow back into the center.

DEAR HELOISE: Most break-ins occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. through ground-level windows and doors, so check both window and door locks, and add window bars for extra security. You can also add security cameras or motion detectors. If you can afford a security monitoring system, all the better. If you are home while a burglar is trying to get in, go to a neighbor's house or a store nearby and call the police.

-- Janet S., Waco, Texas

DEAR HELOISE: A freezer bag will have white space on it for writing about the contents of the bag (use-by date, cooking instructions, etc.). A nonfreezer bag will not have any white space, so you can tell the difference.

-- Mary, via email

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

MovieStyle on 05/17/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints


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