Dear Heloise:

To add to the hint about writing on children's birthday cards "I hope you enjoy (whatever the gift is)": I have done the exact thing on wedding gifts for more than 20 years.

I sent a present to a bride and wrote on the card "Hope you enjoy the creamer, sugar and small serving bowl in your registered china pattern." Two weeks later, I received a phone call from the bride's mother, saying the bride opened the gift and found the creamer and sugar but no serving bowl.

I immediately phoned the china department of the store. A representative said, "Yes, the shipping department had the bowl sitting there for a while but didn't know where it was supposed to go." Thank goodness I had written out exactly what the gift was to be; otherwise, I would have paid for three items and the bride would have received only two.

Judy Herman

Chevy Chase

Thanks so much for passing along your hint. I'm sure others will learn from your story.

Dear Heloise:

My daughter gave us her two black cats. I spent substantial money on sticky roller things to get the hair off the chairs and beds that they decided to lie on.

One day, I had my rubber gloves on from cleaning the bathroom and saw more hair on a chair. I just quick-brushed with my gloved hand and found that it worked better than those rollers. It is so much cheaper, and even a glove that has a cut in a finger and can't be used for its original purpose works just great!

Rita Dehmer, Houston

Dear Heloise:

When I work with raw onions, I turn on the exhaust fan over the stovetop and peel or chop the onions underneath the fan. That way, the onion astringency is sucked up away from my face and eyes and is blown harmlessly into the outdoors.

Jerry Jennings

Fairfax County

Dear Heloise:

My favorite hint is my grocery-bag holder. Because we like to recycle and they come in handy, we keep our grocery bags. Novelty holders can be expensive, so I use a 12-pack soda box.

Caity Byrne, Silver Spring

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state when faxing or using e-mail. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

(c)2004, King Features Syndicate