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