Dear Heloise: I read your column in The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash. This morning you wrote about how to get refunds from companies. The advice you gave about saving receipts, etc., and contacting the Better Business Bureau was good, but it left out some important information.
Our job as consumers is to ask a company about its return/exchange policy BEFORE we make a purchase. It doesn't matter how many receipts you have — if the company has an exchange-only policy, you won't get your money back.
You share great hints with readers every day. — Sandra Blackwell, Spokane, Wash.
Sandra, thanks for the important reminder! — Heloise
Dear Heloise: To further enhance the use of shoulder pads one removes from clothing, pad plastic or wire hangers with the pads, which prevents hanger bumps.
Take a roll of double-stick adhesive tape and wrap the ends of the hanger. Fold the shoulder pads over that and finish fastening the pads either with self-gripping fabric tape or sew them in place.
I enjoy reading your articles, and I learn something every time. — Ida Kubica, Camarillo, Calif.
Dear Heloise:As a tinkerer and fisherman, I make popping bugs (lures) from wine-bottle corks. All you need is a sharp knife, some sandpaper, glue, paint and an appropriately sized hook. Be creative with colors, sizes and attachments, such as feathers, rubber-band legs and small buttons for eyes, etc. You will have lures for actual use or display. It's fun! — R. Garrison, Bentonville, Ark.
Dear Heloise: When I would put a vase of flowers on my mother and father's grave, I had trouble keeping the vase sitting upright. Wind would have it blown over in a day. This year, I bought clay pots, put plaster of Paris in the pots and, as it began to dry, placed flowers in the pots. When dry, it held the flowers upright and in place, and the plaster was so heavy that the pots did not blow over. — Nelda Marcum, San Angelo, Texas
Dear Heloise: Instead of those small, unstable three-legged decorator tables, use a new galvanized trash can and a precut (or cut your own) round wooden top. You would not believe how much stuff you can store in these cans. Cover with beautiful tablecloths or toppers, etc. They look great, and no one would ever guess what it is. They are especially great for holiday decorations and out-of-season clothes. — Chris Cain, Enola, Pa.
P.S. The precut rounds can be found at large home-improvement stores.
Dear Heloise: When I paint rooms, I paint the color on a small, white paper plate and keep it in my car. When shopping for accessories, there is no second-guessing for a match.
I also keep the lids from the paint cans for the coded color mixture printed on top. — Jean Behnke, Toms River, N.J.
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-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column. © King Features Syndicate Inc.