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DEAR READERS: Now that we're well into fall and the busy holiday season is almost upon us, let's get that refrigerator cleaned out and working efficiently. This is a process; plan for at least an hour.

Take out everything from the fridge: all foods and condiments, bins, shelves, trays and wire racks. Use a good antibacterial cleaner on the bins and racks, and also wipe the rubber gasket seal on the door. Use a cotton swab to get into the folds of the gasket.

Vacuum under the refrigerator; remove the grill on the front, if possible. This is important if you have pets; stray hair and dander can collect under there. Keeping it clean will help your energy bill.

Finally, check your foods before you put them back. Make sure all foods are fresh and in good condition.

DEAR HELOISE: My son went out of the house and walked onto the driveway. Then I needed him back inside. My keys were in sight, so I pushed the "panic" button. That got his attention, and he came inside to see what I needed. I'm 98 years old, so he figured that it might be important.

-- Nelda M., Pekin, Ill.

DEAR HELOISE: Some of us live in an "internet desert": We can't afford the equipment or the coverage. "We the People" who helped companies succeed for decades (pre-online) are getting treated terribly. Any company that no longer has a human answering the phone no longer gets my business.

-- Joy E., Ohio

DEAR READER: You're not alone. Read on:

DEAR HELOISE: I do a lot of writing to companies. Would you please ask companies to put their street address on the package?

-- A Reader in Ohio

DEAR HELOISE: What do you think of texting while walking?

-- Camilla G., age 12, Grand Rapids, Mich.

DEAR READER: Walking while looking down at your cellphone can be dangerous and lead to serious accidents.

Fact is, we're not wired to focus on a phone and the road at the same time. A study shows that people looking down at their phones are more likely to do something careless.

Always think "safety first." If you need to text your friend or your mom, stop, sit on a bench, send your text and then put your phone away.

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

Heloise@Heloise.com

Weekend on 10/10/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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