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Hints from Heloise: Coupons needn't slow checkout

Dear Heloise: At the grocery store, I love to use coupons. I genuinely get excited to see how much I saved, but sometimes, at the end of scanning everything, my coupon, for whatever reason, will not scan, and we have to search every bag for that item(s) to make sure of the correct item, size, weight, brand name, etc.

If you use more than one coupon, the search for these items in already-packed bags stuffed in the cart is very aggravating.

My solution: I leave all the items I have coupons for until the very end, and I make a point of showing the cashier my coupon with the corresponding product. — Paloma Vasquez, San Antonio

Using coupons can help you save grocery dollars, and yours is a great idea for saving time, too. — Heloise

Dear Readers: What is the best way to keep coupons organized? Here are several suggestions:

• File by expiration date.

• File by store aisles.

• File by categories, like canned goods, dairy, etc.

Do you have a unique way of storing and using coupons? Drop us a line and you just might get a set of Heloise pamphlets. Send your hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; e-mail; or fax to 210-6473). — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I am a busy working mother and wanted to share something I have been doing for years to savor the wonderful fresh corn we are now eating. Every time I serve corn on the cob during the corn season, I prepare an extra dozen ears. It takes very little time to prepare them and cut the kernels off the cob, and in the end, I have a few bags of corn in the freezer to enjoy later. I have enough corn to last us all winter without very much effort. — Becky, via e-mail

Dear Heloise: When I use Mom's heirloom recipes that are on 3-by-5-inch file cards, I put the one I'm using in a plastic snack-size bag to protect it from spills and splatters.

Also, after washing my wood or bamboo cutting board in hot suds, rinsing it in hot water and drying, I spray it with white vinegar from my handy spray bottle at the sink to help disinfect the board. I blot it, so it doesn't run, and hang it up damp. — Dianne Goeller, Texarkana, Texas

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