Dear Heloise: After reading your hints to readers about double-checking prescriptions, I'd like to add one more: Count your pills, especially if you get your prescriptions through a mail-order pharmacy in 90-day supplies. I do this on a regular basis now after once discovering that an order was eight pills short. That can add up to lots of $$, or worse, you can lose track of the number of pills you have taken. — Sue, San Clemente, Calif.

We have gotten several letters from readers stating the importance of counting pills. So give them a count to make sure you get the right amount every time. —Heloise

Dear Heloise: Since we seem to have to make our dollars stretch more and more, I would like to offer some good hints for savings. Shop at thrift stores. I volunteer at one, and all of the items for sale have been donated. The profit on the sales goes to the local hospital. The bargains on good clothing are unbelievable.

There are also other items donated that are in almost perfect condition. It is fun talking with the shoppers and seeing how much they enjoy shopping there. Grandmothers come in and buy lots of clothing for their grandchildren. Even teenagers enjoy coming in and buying great clothes at rock-bottom prices. Check out the ones in your area, and you will be delightfully surprised. — Carolyn in Virginia

Dear Heloise: In this wonderful world of technology, so many people are thoughtful about passing on their old computers to others so they can enjoy computers also.

Could you please remind your readers that when they do this, they should remove their accounts and passwords? Too many times there are problems because people have neglected to do this, and the receivers of the computers can't really use them. — Shirley from Colorado Springs, Colo.

Dear Heloise: When going on a shopping trip with friends, I give everyone different bright, neon-colored self-adhesive labels to put on their shopping bags and packages. When we return and unload the vehicle, everyone gets bags with his or her color label. The little round-dot neon labels work great! If you have more friends than colors, just write their names on the label. This really saves time, and everyone gets home with his or her packages. — Peggy Sue Butler, Star City, Ark.

Peggy Sue, I love this hint. It would make separating packages a snap! Thanks for sharing. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I have a plastic, swing-lid garbage container in my kitchen, and it has a textured top. The top was beginning to look really dirty. I tried some cleaning products on it, but it didn't get the dirt from the small cracks in the texture. So, I mixed up some baking soda and water, scrubbed just a little bit, and all the dirt came off easily. Now the can looks brand-new. — Shirley Kangas, Philip, S.D.

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 210-435-6473 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.