Dear Heloise: I collect single dollar bills from our change and stash these bills in a jar until June, the beginning of hurricane season. I usually try to have about $200 in singles. When we receive a hurricane warning, everyone fills up with gas and raids the grocery store shelves and, of course, the ATM.
If hurricane season ends without a disaster at the end of November, we have extra money for Christmas. Also, before the holidays, we check our pantry and give extra canned goods and staples to the food banks. Then in January, we start all over. -- Lois D. in Houston
Last hurricane season was pretty rough -- let's hope this one is milder! -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: My rules of shopping carts and aisles are:
1. Push the cart on your right side of the aisle ONLY -- like you drive on the right side of the road.
2. Push past needed items on that right side and then select items.
3. Park the cart on the right side and shop across the aisle. Never park the cart crosswise in the aisle.
4. Never try to go down aisles two or three carts abreast, or two or three people abreast. It disrupts shoppers.
5. Never meet acquaintances and stop to visit while blocking aisles.
6. Turn off your phone and mind your children. Don't try three or more tasks while shopping.
If shoppers would follow these rules, shopping would be much less stressful. -- Bob in Waco, Texas
Pod cast ... Into recycling
Dear Heloise: My husband and I are seniors, and we enjoy the convenience of single-serve coffee pods.
I hate seeing all those little plastic cups going into the landfill, though, so I recycle them. I rinse out the very fine coffee grounds and toss the cups into my recycling bin. -- Rae M., Lake Wylie, S.C.
Dear Heloise: You can purchase an inexpensive no-contract phone to keep in your vehicle in case you have mechanical trouble or anything else and need to call for assistance.
It's not always safe to wait at the side of the road for a passerby. This also is good if your landline goes out for whatever reason. -- Rachel M., via email
Read the fine print on these phones carefully. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: MY ALL-CAPS TEXTING IS NOT YELLING! It's because it's easier to read and I don't have time to switch back between caps, noncaps, etc.
A longer message to me needs to be a phone call or email. -- Marietta H., via email
And then there was light
Dear Heloise: During a recent power outage, I discovered something that should have been obvious all along: Maybe it was the newer LED flashlights that have a flat bottom that inspired me to position the flashlight on its base with the light pointed to the ceiling.
Voila! The light was reflected all around the room. -- M. Busse, Mount Vernon, 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)Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.