Dear Heloise: My husband insists on putting all the canned goods in the bottom of the shopping cart but then gets aggravated when he has to move all of the fresh food and vegetables out of the way in order to load the cans onto the conveyor belt. We've been at this for 13 years, and it just dawned on us to use two carts — one for his cans and one for my lightweight products. Problem solved!

Also, I find it helps the clerks if I place my coupons on top of the items before they are scanned, which is especially good on "buy one, get one free" items.

When loading the groceries, we have a vehicle with a shallow trunk, and items inevitably would slide toward the front, making them difficult to retrieve. I put a large, plastic bin in the trunk and fill it with all the light stuff, then I just slide the bin out when it's time to unload. —Linda Murphy, Las Vegas

Some very good grocery-shopping hints indeed. I, too, try to put the "delicate" fruits and vegetables last so they won't get mashed, bashed and smashed by heavy items. —Heloise

Dear Heloise: A good hint is to keep a spiral notebook by your computer. When you jot things down from the Internet or e-mails, you will always be able to find it in the notebook versus scraps of loose paper. —Ursula Hinchey, Granite Bay, Calif.

Dear Heloise: I have a use for 2-pound plastic coffee cans. Cut the bottoms out, and when you plant small tomato plants, place a can over each and twist it into the soil firmly. Later on, as they grow, the water soaks in rather than running off. —Pat Patefield from Wisconsin

Dear Heloise: I have seen any number of accidents occur in parking lots. Before my wife and I back out of a parking space, we make sure our emergency flashers are activated.

Many times we'll see people come rushing through a parking lot and nearly bump someone else. However, when they see the hazard lights going, they tend to slow down greatly or actually stop. —John Encinio, Las Vegas

Dear Heloise: I believe there is almost as much lipstick in the bottom of a used-up tube as there was sticking out when first purchased.

I keep a used-up tube in the bathroom and use it in the morning with a cotton-tipped swab. —Marilyn Heintzelman, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Dear Heloise: I read your hints every day and enjoy them a lot. I like to crochet and knit. When I do a new pattern, my eyes don't focus as well as they used to, so I take a sticky note and put it under each line I am doing. I can write notes on them, and it saves me from writing notes in the margins on my patterns and my friend's patterns. —Alice Clancy, Sherburn, Minn.


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 e-mail it to [email protected]. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column. © King Features Syndicate Inc.