Don’t toy with Nana — Hints from Heloise


Dear Heloise: I’ve stopped caving to my grandchildren when we are in the store. I used to buy them little “cheapie” toys or a snack to pacify them, but no more! Buying CHEAP TOYS is a waste of money.

If the child needs a diversion at the store, I’ll give her my phone with an educational video playing. — Nana Gina in New York

Good advice from an expert in the field. Cheap toys bought at the spur of the moment or to placate a child usually don’t last very long anyway. Toys that are teeny or made of minute pieces could become a choking hazard.

It is hard to say “No,” but when you do, and keep it up, hopefully the child will “get the message” that you won’t give in! — Heloise


Dear Heloise: Your advice is great! However, there are lots of us who just do not look good in bland colors. (HELOISE HERE: The reader is referring to a previous column about building a wardrobe with basic colors — navy, black, beige, etc.)

An inexpensive scarf can give any outfit some much-needed color around the face, and at very little expense. — Judy G., via email

You are right! When I travel for work (speeches, etc.), I always tuck several scarves in my carry-on bag. A colorful scarf can change an outfit quicker than you can snap your fingers. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: We have two small rescue dogs that we adore. Our house is all on one level. Sometimes, if we are at one end, it’s a long way for them to go to the kitchen to get a drink of water. I keep a water bowl in the den, and one in our bedroom.

They get pretty cruddy after a while. I used your hint about cleaning them with vinegar. I fill the bowls with cheap apple-cider vinegar, let them sit overnight, then scrub with a brush. Clean and fresh, and ready for Fred and Ethel. — Jan in Texas

Vinegar is perfect to clean pet bowls. It’s cheap, safe and multiuse. We, too, have several water bowls throughout the house for Chammy. Would you like more of my best vinegar hints and recipes? Visit www. to order my handy pamphlet, or send a stamped (70 cents), long, self-addressed envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. UPDATE: Heat the vinegar, and it will work to remove that crud in less than a half-hour! Scrub with a brush, and that’s it! — Heloise


Dear Heloise: The grocery stores have their air conditioning on so low that we freeze! Right now, we all are wearing lightweight clothes, and when I go into the store, I buy only what I need and nothing else; I’m too cold to browse! — A Reader, Boardman, Ohio

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