Students use shoes as collateral for borrowed pencils

Dear Heloise: As a schoolteacher, I can’t tell you how many pencils I purchased and gave out to use, never to see them again. Toward the end of my last year, I refused to purchase yet another pack, so I told the borrower to leave a SHOE under the table where the box of pencils was. They got the shoe back when the pencil was returned. — Renee P. in California

Certainly an ingenious way to get the pencil returned! While on the subject, I’ll ask my readers to help out. Readers, Renee is like many teachers who end up buying supplies with their own money. If you know a teacher, ask if you could buy some simple supplies for him or her. Or call the school nearest you and ask what it might need. Pick up supplies when they are on sale, and pass them on to a teacher. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: If you do not or cannot get a newspaper daily, I wonder how many people are aware that you can search the weekly circulars of big-box stores online. Many stores upload their weekly circulars, which you can view page by page, exactly as if you had gotten the hard copy delivered to your home. I thought it is a hint worth sharing, as I already have with many of my friends. — Eileen D., via email

Dear Heloise: I found a new use for wreath holders. I needed to find a way to store my purse that wasn’t on the bedroom doorknob, bed or top of the dresser. I had a wreath holder not in use and hung it from my bedroom door, then hung my purse on it. Perfect! It’s out of the way, but still handy to grab when going out! — Berta C. in San Antonio

Dear Heloise: I bring my own bags to the grocery store to do my part to help the environment. But sometimes, I forget to bring them into the store!

Some shopping centers, but not all, post signs in parking lots reminding customers to take in those reusable bags.

I tied a piece of ribbon onto my steering wheel. Now, every time I see it, I think of my bags, even if I’m not headed off to the grocery store. I’ve not forgotten my bags since! — Tracy S., Austin, Texas

Oh my, how many times have I done the same, and at the counter fussed at myself for forgetting them. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: When I travel, I take lots of single dollar bills. It’s so important to reward great service with cash tips ($5 bills come in handy for this purpose, too!).

I also can feed the change machine for quarters for laundry, snack and drink machines. — Perry Y.

in Pennsylvania