Home & Garden

Hints From Heloise: Protect wildlife by cutting plastic six-pack rings

DEAR HELOISE: I visited my sister in Destin, Fla. We saw a sea gull, and its neck was caught in a plastic six-pack ring for soft drinks.

My sister got it off the sea gull’s neck. It laid on the water’s edge for a day before it recovered.

From that time forward, I always cut the loops on those plastic rings.

Donna S., Spokane, Wash.

DEAR DONNA: Do all wildlife a lifesaving favor: Snip those plastic rings! Turtles, ducks, fish, hedgehogs and more are harmed or killed by them. A second to snip will save a life!

DEAR HELOISE: My flattop stove is 15 years old. I have always kept it clean with a commercial cleaner or baking soda. But there remained some spots that scrubbing would not make go away.

I soaked a paper towel with vinegar, let it sit on the spots awhile, then rinsed with cold water and dried. Amazingly, the spots disappeared!

Mary Ann in Wolcott, Conn.

DEAR MARY ANN: Your hint uses one of my all-time favorite products ever! Use to cook, clean, pickle, as a beauty product and even to kill weeds. Plus, it’s cheap and environmentally friendly.

DEAR HELOISE: Per your column on brand loyalty vs. using coupons to test new products, I thought I’d tell you about using coupons to try out new and different products.

When my husband and I were shopping, I tried to pick up a different brand of toilet tissue than we use, and he handed me a quarter and asked, “Now can we get our usual brand?”

I guess there are some products a man won’t let his wife mess with!

Joan in Boerne, Texas

DEAR JOAN: How right you are, and your husband, too! Thanks for the laugh!

Dear Heloise: My kids spent too much time on electronic or computer games. It cut down on family, homework and outside playing time.

Finally, I bought a tiny padlock and put it into one prong of the plug for the game. They can’t plug it in without me knowing, and I can monitor how much time is too much. Sounds drastic – they moan a little, then find something else to do.

Mom of Three Boys,

Baton Rouge, La.

DEAR READERS: Many drugstore cosmetics often are made by the same companies that manufacture high-end, department-store brands. They may be a “second” line with the same ingredients, or slightly different. Fewer bucks, so try one or two.

Send a money-saving hint to Heloise P.O. Box 795000 San Antonio, TX 78279-5000.