Antelope Valley Press

How to keep bugs out of the pantry and your food


Dear Heloise: Every year, I’ve had to clean out my rather large pantry at least four or five times a year. We live out in the country, so we always buy groceries in bulk. As clean as I tried to keep my pantry, weevils and other creepy-crawlies got into packages of food. In the end, I’d have to toss out all my flour, sugar, coffee and more. How they got in was a mystery, but no matter what I did to try and stop them, bugs still managed to invade our food.

Finally, I realized that there was nothing else I could do except invest in plastic and glass containers. Boxes of muffin mixes, cake mixes and other foods in boxes were stored in large bins. I bought large plastic containers online and kept all cereals, sugar, oatmeal, flour and similar things in containers that make it impossible for bugs to get inside.

I wish I’d done this years ago. Now I’m saving a bundle by not replacing the foods that we eat because insects are no longer ruining our food. New containers may be a little expensive upfront, but in the long run, they’re a wise investment for food safety.

— Nancy S. Amarillo, Texas Nancy, I also use plastic containers that I found online. Not only does it save me money, but it organizes my pantry and makes it easier for me to see what needs to be shopped for during my next trip to the grocery store. — Heloise

Hide and seek

Dear Heloise: You never know when an emergency will occur, which is why you should always have enough cash on hand and stashed away in a place that is easily accessible when it’s needed.

If you have a hidden safe, such as a floor safe somewhere in your home, that’s great, but if you don’t, here are some things to think about:

You should have one or two months worth of living expenses set aside. However, never tell anyone, except your spouse, about how much you’ve tucked away or where it’s hidden. Just make certain you remember where it is and the amount. This is just for emergencie­s, not as a replacemen­t for a savings account at a local bank or investment­s with a broker or financial planner.

Break up the denominati­ons instead of keeping it in a roll of $100 bills. It’s often tempting to keep it all in one place, but don’t. There are places that sell various common items designed to hide cash inside; they can usually be found online at home safety sites or places that sell spyware. Sometimes hardware stores have lockboxes that you can hide in your attic or basement. Get creative.

— Jordan A. Renton, Wash.

Remember your doggos

Dear Heloise: Please remind your readers to put a sweater on their dogs if they take them outside on these cold and windy winter days. And when they get home, remove the sweater so that the dog doesn’t overheat while it’s inside.

If it’s snowing outside or the temperatur­e drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, owners must bring their pets inside.

— Violet F. Royal Oak, Mich.

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