Dear Héloïse: To my great surprise, my last electricity bill increased by $100 per month. As a result, I found as many cost-cutting measures as possible. Here is what I have found so far:
We now use paper plates for all of our meals. Although it may seem expensive at first, the savings we have made by only running the dishwasher once or twice a week will more than offset the cost of paper.
I wash all pots and pans by hand. Utensils too. Again, less use of the dishwasher. When I rinse a cup or a glass, I don’t run the hot water all the way through. Halfway does the job.
Also saves fuel.
I turn off all unnecessary devices. The ones I use, I use less power. For example, use three-way bulbs on the second setting instead of the highest setting.
I continue to look for sensible ways to reduce my electricity consumption. It’s amazing how many ways I’ve found to save even a little energy. –Peter H., via email
Peter, there’s a debate about which is cheaper: washing your hands or using a dishwasher. But hand washing certainly uses more water than a dishwasher. However, you are right that electricity bills seem to be going up everywhere. Readers, send me your tips on how to save on your electric bills so I can share them in my column. — Heloise
ICE CREAM TIP
Dear Héloïse: I just read today’s clues, as I do every day. This made me write to you!
The suggestion was to make cutting the ice cream easier by leaving it in the fridge for an hour before serving. It’s something I learned as a teenager, when I worked at Carvel! This is a great hint for ice cream cakes. But when you want a bowl of ice cream, you tend not to know you want it an hour before you have it.
Here’s my tip for getting ice cream when you feel like it! When you buy the ice cream, put it in a plastic bag from your grocery store. Simply fold the bag around the ice cream and place it in the freezer. It’s pretty amazing how easy it is to pick up this way! Thank you for your and your mother’s years of helpful advice!. —Ellen, Toms River, New Jersey
Dear Héloïse: When I travel for several weeks and am not sure about the availability of laundry facilities, I take a salad spinner with me. It acts a bit like a spin agitator in a washing machine. My items dry much faster, with less wrinkles than hand wringing, and are more quickly packable. Granted, the spinner takes up space in my suitcase, but I store items like rolled up underwear, stockings, or sundries in it, so its interior becomes a packable space. In fact, I now carry fewer of these items with me, leaving room for more shoes or travel clothes. I even used my spinning top to bring home fragile gifts. I am now the proud owner of a travel spinner and a kitchen spinner. —Karen G. Duffy, Geneseo, New York
STORAGE OF LEMONS AND LIME
Dear Héloïse: To keep lemons and limes fresh longer, add the lemons to a large bowl with 4 liters of water and 1 cup of white vinegar. Soak for 30 minutes. Dry well and store in a degassed freezer bag (use a straw). Close after opening. Lemons and limes will keep for a month or more in the bottom of the fridge. — Georgiana, Kerrville, TX
Dear Readers: Tena Elkins sent in a photo of her three dogs and her cat. From left to right: Buck the dog, Lily the dog, Smokey the cat and Wily the dog with his blanket.
To view Tena’s pets and our other Pet Pals, go to www.Heloise.com and click “Pet of the Week.” — Heloise
(c)2022 by King Features Syndicate Inc.