Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST / TELEVISION - HELOISE 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

DEAR HELOISE: I’m help­ing to buy sup­plies for my grand­chil­dren for the school year. Here are some hints I use to stay or­ga­nized and save money:

Tak­ing in­ven­tory of what they have and can still use was my first step. What can be re­cy­cled? What can be re­pur­posed?

Next, es­tab­lish­ing a bud­get is im­por­tant. Kids like and need bound­aries.

The school pro­vides a list of re­quired items. I stick to the list — noth­ing fancy.

I buy ne­ces­si­ties in bulk (pa­per, pen­cils, fold­ers, glue).

Some schools have pro­grams to help dis­ad­van­taged kids. We try to help.

These hints have helped us get ready for a suc­cess­ful and pro­duc­tive school year.

— Mary J., In­dioana DEAR READER: Mary, great way to help your grand­kids and others who need a hand.

DEAR HELOISE: When my bars of soap get very thin, I break them up and put them into a pump con­tainer and add wa­ter. When they dis­solve, I have a con­ve­nient con­tainer of soap.

— A Reader, Waco, Texas DEAR READER: Whether this will work de­pends on the makeup of the soap.

DEAR HELOISE: Liv­ing alone, I use very few dishes, so I hand-wash them. My dish­washer wasn’t be­ing used, so I turned it into a pantry.

I use the top rack for canned goods, the lower rack for pack­aged food and dry goods, and the sil­ver­ware rack for large cook­ing uten­sils.

The drawer that held the uten­sils now gives me space to store my spices. I lay the spices in the drawer la­bel-side up.

No more stand­ing on a step stool to find what I need in the tall cup­boards. This is con­ve­nient, and it lessens the chance of fall­ing.

Once a month or so, I re­move ev­ery­thing from the racks and run the dish­washer for clean­ing.

— Deb­bie C., Ohio DEAR READER: Great way to make the most of every inch of space.

DEAR HELOISE: I love to take a re­lax­ing bath while giv­ing my­self a healthy, nat­u­ral fa­cial. I finely mash an av­o­cado and mix in a few drops of witch hazel.

I swirl it on my face and re­lax in the bath for 30 min­utes, then rinse. My skin feels smooth. — Jan­ice D. in Ohio

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