Please help me! I need a way to keep my spices and salt from turning into one big hard ball when it gets humid out. I have tried putting grains of rice in the salt and other spices because I heard that would take the moisture out of them but have yet to find anything that works. I hope you can help me save my spices. Thanks so much. -- Aaron D., e-mail


You can try a food-safe desiccant such as silica gel packets. Visit www.silicagelpackets.com or www.dryspice.com.
It's nontoxic, but if you'd rather not place it inside containers, you can set it near where you store your spices. Some humidity can enter the spice container if you shake the spice container directly over the food while it's cooking because of the steam. Try to avoid storing spices near the stove and aim for a cool, dry, dark place. You said you tried rice and it didn't work. You can try dry beans. Add two or three dry beans to each container. You can also slip a small piece of plastic wrap over the top and then put the lid on tightly.


What's the best inexpensive contact lens solution? I finally broke down and got contacts again. With my need for bifocals and wanting no-line bifocal glasses, I realized I could get contacts for the same amount. I do not have any eye care insurance. So now I am looking at all the different types of contact lens solutions out there. I have soft contact lenses. What type of solution do you use? I realize I need to use coupons and match with sales. -- Shoiji, New Jersey


I haven't worn contacts in awhile, but when I did, I used Wal-Mart, Target and pharmacy store-brand solutions when I didn't have coupons for name brand. Keep checking for sales and coupons in inserts, store fliers, on or inside actual packages of lens solution or check online. You'll have to try different solutions and find out what works best for you. Go to websites and sign up for their newsletter or rewards clubs. For example, www.renu.com/coupons.html and www.opti-free.com/contact-solution-coupon.aspx offer coupons, as well as most pharmacies.


I enjoy reading your tips from my daily newspaper. Can you please tell me how to make my own Febreze? The refill bottles cost too much. Any tips would be truly appreciated. Thanks! -- Joe A., e-mail


Here are a few recipes that community members have posted to my forums.
Directions: Place ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well to mix. Test a small area first before using to make sure no discoloration occurs. Use as needed, shaking well each time before use.

Recipe 1

1 cup fabric softener
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups water

Recipe 2

2 cups water
1 cup fabric softener

Recipe 3

2 cups water (warm)
1/4 cup fabric softener
1 tablespoon baking soda

For air freshener or linen spray, use the following.

Room Freshener

1/2 cup distilled water
2 teaspoons of your favorite essential oil

Pour into a mister. Shake and mist the air in your home.

Linen Spray

20 ounces distilled water
1-1/2 ounces 100-proof vodka
100 drops lavender essential oil

Find a large container with a lid. Mix the vodka and water, then add your essential oil. Shake thoroughly. Place into a mister. You can substitute other scents.

photo geishaboy500