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Check in and win?

Dear Heloise: I always "check in" on my social media sites when I'm at my favorite businesses. This lets my friends know where I am, but it also gives the company free advertising!

One company saw that I had mentioned it and gave me 10 percent off my bill just for the mention! Wow -- I wasn't expecting that! Pretty nice. -- Elizabeth L. in San Antonio

A basket in hand

Hi, Heloise: If I'm running in to the supermarket for just a few items, I pick up a handbasket instead of a shopping buggy. This will limit the amount of items I can pick up, and I'll avoid over-spending and buying things I don't need.

Going to the market on a full stomach is a true money-saver, too -- ha! -- Helen S. in Pittsburgh

Boiled-egg info

Dear Readers: Here are some hints about hard-boiled eggs:

• Older eggs will be easier to peel. Use eggs that you've had in the fridge for at least a week; this will allow some air to get inside the egg to loosen it from the shell.

• To remove the shell, lightly thump the egg on the countertop until the shell has visible cracking. Roll the egg between your hands to loosen the shell. Press down on the egg at the large end while holding the egg under cold water. This will release the shell.

• You can store hard-boiled eggs for one week in the refrigerator. Keep them in their original carton; this is so the eggs won't absorb odors from other foods, and the eggs are less liable to get jostled around and possibly cracked.

-- Heloise

P.S. According to the American Egg Board (www.aeb.org), keep that carton on the shelf of the refrigerator and not in the door. The temperature is more consistent on the shelf.

Lemon shaker

Dear Heloise: I keep fresh lemon juice in a clean glass saltshaker! I can shake as much as I need, and it makes cooking just a little bit easier! -- Frankie in Karnes City, Texas

Salty question

Dear Heloise: I read that on average, Americans eat over 3,000 mg daily of sodium (salt). What I need to know is whether or not that's a safe level to consume every day. Do we eat more salt now than ever before? -- Tiffany W., Bridgeport, Conn.

Tiffany, it's a fairly safe amount to take in daily, but the federal government still recommends that people eat a maximum of between 1,500 and 2,400 mg per day. It's a myth that we eat more salt now than ever before. Refrigeration means we no longer need to salt meats to preserve this food. According to military records from the 1800s to World War II, the average soldier was consuming between 6,000 and 6,800 mg of salt every day.

-- Heloise

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.