Flip-flops are worn often during the summer, but they get dirty easily and then can look too ugly to wear. To clean them, you can soak them in a tub of water and powdered laundry detergent. Use a toothbrush and a soap bar to scrub them clean. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers or Clorox wipes work well, too.
The first reader has a couple more ideas:

Wash flip-flops:

They can be tossed right into the washing machine or dishwasher and they come out nice and clean. I air-dry them. -- Candace, California

Using oxygen bleach:

When you bleach with oxygen bleach, the hotter the water, the less time it takes for the bleach to work its magic. If the water temperature is below 130 degrees F, you need to allow soaking time for the bleach to work. If using liquid bleach, put a few drops directly onto an inside seam to see if there is any color change. For dry oxygen bleach, mix a teaspoon to 1 cup of hot water and test the same way. Oxygen bleach is a good choice to remove mildew. If your clothes have visible mold or a mildew smell, soak them in oxygen bleach and hot water before washing as usual. -- H.M., Pennsylvania

Gift card saving:

Week 1: Buy a $10 gift card.
Week 2: When you pay for your groceries, use the $10 gift card, then purchase another gift card with $20 on it.
Week 3: When you pay for your groceries, use the $20 gift card, then purchase another gift card with $30 on it.
And so on. The end result is you will have a gift card in your purse come Christmastime with about $400 on it, and you can use this card for your Christmas groceries. -- Brilly, email

Crockpot Mac and Cheese:

8 ounces dry elbow macaroni, cooked
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
13-ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 finely chopped onion

Combine all ingredients, except 1 cup of cheese, in a greased slow cooker. Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese over top. Cover. Cook on low 3-4 hours. Don't remove lid or stir until the mixture has finished cooking. Serves 4. -- Polly, Idaho

Saving kids' schoolwork:

I had a big problem with saving too many things my kids made in school, so I bought storage containers that hold hanging file folders and made a folder for each grade. This helps me to save only what will fit. I have a safe place for their extra school pictures, awards, artwork, etc. -- Pauline, Florida

Camping tip:

I took a small army of kids camping last summer and made tacos and goulash. I precooked my hamburger, seasoned it and froze it in a zip-close bag. I then put it in a larger zip-close bag and filled with a little water, creating an ice block around it. (Do not use slide zippers -- they leak.) I am weird about super-cold food while camping, and this worked out beautifully. Everything stayed really cold, and it cut down the amount of ice I needed in my cooler. It was also so easy to throw the meals together, and a welcome change from the typical hot dogs and hamburgers. I just do as much prep work at home as possible. -- P. Kelly, Connecticut

photo by thesingingsailor