Hints from Heloise: A bowl of savings

Dear Heloise: My mother uses this simple but very helpful kitchen idea: She puts a large plastic bowl in her sink and fills it with warm, soapy water for cleaning her dishes or rinsing them before putting them in the dishwasher.

This uses less water than filling up the sink with soapy water because the bowl is smaller than the sink.

After washing/rinsing all her dishes, she dries the plastic bowl and stores it under her sink until the next cleanup after a meal.

I liked the idea, so I bought a plastic bowl for myself and have started using it. — Angela in Conroe, Texas

Simple water savings! Soak especially icky dishes and silverware in the bowl, too! Let the water do the work; saves time and scrubbing. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: It’s summertime, and time to change purses. I like to downsize and lighten up my bags. I just can’t lug around a heavy bag, and summer is the perfect excuse to lose weight (at least with my handbag — ha!).

So what’s left after I lighten up? In my summer bag, which is a small, canvas crossbody with a light-beige lining so I can easily see my things in there, I keep a compact wallet with my debit card, driver’s license (ID) and cash.

Also, a few tissues, a pocket mirror and my favorite lipstick go in the main compartment, along with my phone and keys. I clean out all shopping lists, receipts and other papers nightly.

Summer is a simple time, and I like to go small with my handbag; it’s less to worry about. I’m wondering what your readers carry in their bags? — Alice A. in Colorado

Yes, readers, join in the conversation! What do you carry in your bag? And carrying heavy handbags can be a pain in the neck! Seriously, lightening up your purse can positively affect your posture.

The average weight of a woman’s purse, according to one study, is just over 6 pounds! Picture a bag of sugar hanging off your shoulder. That’s heavy. Lighten up! — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I used to spray the whole pan when preparing it with cooking spray. But now I spray in just one spot, and use a piece of wax paper to spread it around.

This way, the cooking spray doesn’t go all over, and I use less. — A Reader in Ohio


Dear Heloise: I’m an organized person, and I like having things where I can find them. When I get a new appliance or electronic device, I read the manual thoroughly and then save it in my home office in my file cabinet.

If there’s a malfunction, it could be something simple, like a blown fuse, or the item may not be plugged in or charged! But if it’s something more serious, I’m glad I have the manual at my fingertips! — April H., Washington, D.C.


Dear Heloise: To save space in my closet, I purchased children’s hangers for hanging my trousers. They are narrower and don’t take up as much space as adult hangers. — Despina M., Weirton, W.Va.

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise(at) I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.