Dear Sara:

My mother-in-law recently gave me a pair of maternity shorts that were white. This was only the second pair of maternity shorts I have and summer is here. Well, I needed something red washed and without thinking, I threw these shorts in the same load. So, now they're pink.

Do you know of some "secret" to get the pink out? I know I can find dye in the grocery store, so I was thinking maybe I could dye them a darker color. I just hate to throw them away, and I don't want to cut them up for rags, either. I've never dyed anything before and I know that I can't do it in my washer (we rent, and there are signs all over the laundry room telling us not to dye clothing in the washers). -- Sarah, Massachusetts

Dear Sarah:

You can soak them overnight in OxiClean or Tide Stain Release, then launder as usual. If this doesn't work, Rit makes color remover dye. You can use Rit dye in a bucket to dye them a darker color, too.

Dear Sara:

We have an extra piano that has not been played in nearly 4 years. I would like to give it to someone, the only problem is that I am afraid whoever moves it will drop it on the Italian marble they would have to move it over. But I want it out of here. Any suggestions? -- F.D., email

Dear F.D.:

I would place an ad and state that you request the piano be professionally moved because of your expensive flooring and to avoid any other types of damage to your home (i.e. doorways, lawn, etc.). Assuming it's in good condition, I'm sure you'll find a good home for it, even with the added cost of moving it professionally. This helps the buyer protect against damages to the piano and their home, too. You can contact churches, schools, community centers or even used piano sellers to see if they might want it, if you don't have luck with your ad.

Dear Sara:

I am thinking of going to our local farmers' market for the first time this weekend. How often do you go? Is it worth it? Can you get items at a decent price? -- M.M., Minnesota

Dear M.M.:

I enjoy going to the farmers' market. I don't go as often as I used to, but I make a point of going at least once each year. Every market is different, so the prices might not beat your grocery store prices, and if they do, it might not be by much. Either way, I like supporting local growers, buying fresher, higher-quality items and finding items that aren't always available at my local grocery store. To increase your chances of getting a decent deal at the farmers' market, you can buy a higher quantity or become a regular customer, buy right before vendors pack up for the day or on a slow, rainy day, or simply ask for a deal. Most of all, know your grocery store prices so you can compare costs.

photo by madalena Pestana