Dear Heloise:

I think I read somewhere that you shouldn't store potatoes in the refrigerator. Am I right, and if so, what is the reason?

Paula P., Denver

You read right! The National Potato Council says not to store potatoes in the refrigerator. The starch in the potatoes changes to sugars if stored in the fridge, and this gives the potatoes a sweet taste. The best place for potatoes is a cool, dark pantry or storage location with good air circulation, and use paper bags or open bins, not plastic bags.

Hint: Don't wash potatoes before storing, since the excess water can cause the potatoes to rot.

Dear Heloise:

For years, I had trouble saving receipts for income-tax deductibles until a kind lady at my bank showed me the perfect solution: get two different credit cards. I use one to charge items that are deductible -- doctor's fees, etc. I use the other card for everything else. I save the statements.

At the end of the year, I have proof of paying for the deductibles, because the credit-card statement does it for me.

Granny in California

And here's another tax helper from Alice Lyons in Takoma Park: "I write and subtract all debit purchases in my checkbook with a red pen. Donations are written in black ink, and all other checks are written in blue. This makes tax preparation easy."

Dear Heloise:

To celebrate my grandson's first birthday, my daughter held a charity book drive. She asked family and friends to bring a children's book in lieu of a gift.

Because of the overwhelming generosity, my grandson was able to donate more than 200 books to the San Antonio Children's Shelter.

Next year, she plans to have an art-supply donation drive.

My daughter hopes to instill in Noah generosity and compassion for those in need.

Tammy McVicker

San Antonio

How wonderful, and I hope this hint will inspire others to do the same or something similar for worthy causes.

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 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)2005, King Features Syndicate