HELOISEL Back-to-school savings
Dear Readers: Can you believe that kids are heading back to school? Before spending money on supplies and clothing, consider these helpful hints:
• Shop at home first! Barely used school supplies from last year can still be used this year.
• Watch sales ads for the best deals!
• Your state may have a sales-tax holiday. Check dates, and plan to shop on those days.
• Buy in bulk! Paper, pens and pencils will be needed all year. Buy the larger amounts, when on sale, and keep them to use the whole school year.
• Stick to the list that your teacher or school provides.
• Have your child bring lunch instead of buying every day.
• Shop in the clothes closet before heading to the mall! Different-age children in the same house can swap clothes, or even best friends can have a clothing exchange. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: Thin plastic, known as "film plastic" (Heloise here: the thin plastic wrapping you find on DVDs, cases of water/soda or on electronics), is everywhere! I'm an avid recycler and save up quite a bit before taking it to be recycled at my grocery store. My hint? Use a large mesh bag with a drawstring (like the ones for onions) to store the plastic. I have to take it in only every few months. It's so convenient that my family recycles much more plastic than we would otherwise. -- Marion N., Ventura, Calif.
Recycling is always a great hint! Plastic film is the very thin plastic wrapping that is less than 10 mil thick. Most places that take plastic grocery bags accept this, too. Just make sure the film is clean and dry, and check with your retailer/recycling center before starting to save it up. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: When giving a gift, especially at a wedding where you leave the gifts on the table, be sure to put the card inside the box. This way, it won't get lost, and if cash or a check is inside, it will be sure to be found. Also, I always put my address sticker on the outside of the envelope. Why should they need to look it up for a thank-you note? -- L.H., San Clemente, Calif.
Dear Heloise: I use a napkin holder to keep outgoing mail in until I can get out and drop it in a mailbox. Because it is standing on edge and not lying flat, I can readily see the letters, and won't forget to take them with me when I go out. -- Mary C. in Pennsylvania
Dear Heloise: When going out to eat, I carry the wet, antibacterial hand wipes. I wipe off the table with them, and they are good to wipe your hands off with, too! They also are easy to carry in my pockets. -- P.H., Great Bend, Kan.