Reusing plastic sandwich bags

Dear Heloise: Growing up on a farm in the 1960s, there weren’t a lot of reusable sandwich bag options on the market. My mother, who was Dutch and loved tulips, had a dowel cut into 9-inch pieces and drilled three holes into a wooden base to stick them inside. The tops of the dowels were three tulip shapes cut out of wood. Not having a dishwasher, we would turn plastic bags inside out, scrub them clean in the soapy water and hang them to dry on the “tulip rack.”

Fast forward 60 years, and my son and daughter-in-law gave me a baby-bottle-drying rack, which functions similarly. We haven’t bought plastic bags in years! — Laura G., via email


Dear Heloise: A helpful hint regarding rolling coins was recently published in my newspaper. My husband and I sorted and rolled coins for hours, then took them to our Firefighters Credit Union. Unfortunately, rolled coins are not accepted by our bank. We had to unroll all those coins and use the coin sorter. Luckily, we didn’t get charged the 10% fee that most bank and grocery store sorters charge. — Suzanne Ibers, via email


Dear Heloise: Be a helpful person! Next time you use a public restroom, leave a tail of toilet paper hanging from the dispenser so that the next occupant doesn’t have to search for the beginning of the roll. — E.T., in Arkansas


Dear Heloise: I saw a letter in the Orange County Register about a a man who smashed his thumb while trying to drive in a nail. Instead of using a tool to hold the nail, he could use a piece of paper to hold the nail in place. Just pierce the paper with the nail and tap the nail into place. Then pull the paper away to finish pounding the nail into place. — Paul Bartlomain, via email


Dear Heloise: I carry too many cards in my wallet. They make my trifold wallet flair out, making it extremely hard to pull the wallet out of my pocket at the checkout line. I solved the problem by learning to pinch my wallet closed while it is still in my pocket before I pull it out. — Dale, via email


Dear Heloise: I love making peanut butter cookies. My recipe calls for 1 cup of peanut butter and a 1/2 cup of solid shortening. I used to dread measuring these two ingredients, as the measuring cup was difficult to clean afterward.

One day, I used a nonstick spray inside the measuring cup first. The shortening and peanut butter were easy to scoop out, and the measuring cup was easy to clean. I no longer dread measuring solid shortening or peanut butter for my recipes.

Thanks for your column. I’ve been reading it in the Hamilton Ohio Journal-News for years. — T.V., in Ohio

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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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