Wedding gown price is not so nice

Dear Readers: Today’s sound off is about costly wedding gowns:

“Dear Heloise: Why are so many wedding gowns so expensive? I went with my daughter to shop for her gown and was completely shocked. The average gown we looked at was between $3,000 and $6,000! While the dresses were beautiful, they will only be worn one time. These prices are way out of our budget.” — Mother of the Bride, via email

Dear Mother of the Bride: Wedding gowns can be very expensive! It all depends on the designer, the material, how much beading, etc. There are, however, ways to reduce your outlay and hopefully stay within budget. Do visit several stores or check their websites. Many stores have sales on gowns, especially if the dress is considered last season’s fashion. A dressmaker can add embellishments or make a slight adjustment to make the gown more personal.

Don’t discount (pun intended) a previously worn dress! There are a multitude of websites that specialize in wedding gowns. Check out resale shops in more affluent areas.

From a bride who wore her friend Judy’s dress. — Heloise

FAST FACTS

Dear Readers: Uses for 3- to 4-ounce plastic food containers:

* Quick measure for ingredients.

* Glue several together to hold jewelry or safety pins.

* A snacking cup for small children.

* A starter cup for seeds.

* As a scoop for pet food, birdseed, etc.

— Heloise

IRS PHONE SCAM

Dear Heloise: There have been phone scams going on from people who claim to be with the IRS. They give you a phone number to call or demand that you pay money right then. Please let your readers know that it’s a scam. — Janie S., Royal Oak, Mich.

You are right, and I’m happy to pass along this valuable and important warning.

Readers, the Internal Revenue Service DOES NOT CALL YOU! The first contact is a letter via the U.S. Postal Service. However, the exception might be if you are involved in an ongoing criminal proceeding.

DON’T get scammed. DO be smart and savvy! — Heloise

DON’T USE VINEGAR

ON THIS

Dear Readers: My beloved vinegar is a NO-NO for:

* Granite and marble countertops.

* Natural stone tiles.

* Cleaning the inside of an iron.

However, there are a kazillion other great uses for vinegar — too many to print in this column, but I’ve put as many as possible in my vinegar pamphlet. Visit www.Heloise.com to order one, or send a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope, along with $5, to Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Remember, vinegar is a wonderful cleaning and cooking agent, but as noted above, there are some NO-NOs. — Heloise

CUT YOUR SPONGE

Dear Heloise: My favorite hint I’d like to share is to cut your kitchen sponge in half. We have a center island with a sink that is seldom used. So, the sponge I keep on the side does not need to be full size. I cut one in half and place it there. It does just what needs to be done. Saves money, too. — Sammie in Birmingham, Ala.

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.

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