Can you please help me with the following, regarding punctuation?:
(these are just short examples to contextualize a little bit)
"Here are a few tips on how to be sociable: Talk to strangers. Smile and say, "Hello! how are you?". Is it correct to use a comma or colon after the verb "say"?
Also, on lists of items or adjectives, should I use a comma before "and"? Because I've already found both forms and I'm confuse:
I need to buy apples, bananas, meat and rice.
I need to buy apples, bananas, meat, and rice.
There are three beautiful, and nice children playing at the yard.
She's friendly, outgoing, talented and honest.
She's friendly, outgoing, talented, and honest.
To conclude, when is it advisable to use a comma before the word "because" when stating the reason of something? Since I've already seen contexts with and without a comma before because, and it's so confusing to me.
Thank you SO much in advance.
I truly appreciate your attention and the time that you've devoted to helping me with these questions.
All the best!