Dear Heloise: If this year has taught me anything, toilet paper, wipes, bathroom cleaner and facial tissue are all important to keep on hand.

— Brian B., via email

Brian B.: It’s so important to keep a well-stocked pantry and linen closet. Some stores may be limiting quantities of these items — mind their limits.

Dear Heloise: A standard pillowcase makes a good cover for a large standing mixer. I got one to match my kitchen decor.

— Mrs. G., via email

Dear Heloise: Laundry experts agree that ladies should wear a bra two to three times before laundering it, but not on consecutive days.

Since I don't like putting unwashed clothing back into my dresser drawers, I devised a way to keep track of how often a bra has been worn so I know when to launder it.

I have two S-hooks hanging from the rod in my closet. After a bra is worn once, it goes on the first hook. After the second time, it goes on the second hook. One more wearing, and washed it gets! At times, I have three or four bras hanging on the S-hooks ready to be worn.

— P. A., via email

Dear Heloise: This isn't my original idea, and I'm not sure where I heard it, but I have repurposed a hand soap dispenser to use it as a toothpaste dispenser. I find it to be very convenient and better than a tube. I used a little water to begin with for the right consistency to be able to dispense. It's a winner.

— A Reader, via email

Dear Heloise: My family and I like to share and experiment with jams, jellies, flavored cream cheeses and other bread spreads.

We slice bagels into ½ -inch slices vertically instead of slicing the bagel once horizontally. This gives us a small section of bread to use to sample our toppings.

— Caroline H. in Pennsylvania

Dear Heloise: I've always heard the adage: Marriage is 50-50. It's not. Marriage is 100-100. Each person has to give their all to the marriage every day.

— J.W. in California

Dear Heloise: I'd advise folks to make sure their house numbers are visible from the street. The numbers, whether attached to the house or painted on the curb, can fade, chip, fall off, be covered in snow or dirt — not good. They must be legible.

There are companies out there that will paint numbers on your curb, or check with a neighborhood kid. Make sure all paint jobs correspond with your homeowner's association's rules and regulations.

— James W. in Massachusetts

Dear Readers: When a recipe calls for veggies to be chopped, diced or minced, do you know the difference? Let’s take a look:

Chop: Large, rough, uneven pieces

Dice: More uniform, “prettier” pieces, to sprinkle on top of dish, perhaps

Mince: Small, fine pieces — flavors are more easily released from minced foods, such as garlic!

Dear Heloise: A reminder to your readers: Wash cloth masks frequently. And be sure to cover both nose and mouth.

— Maria B., via email

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to

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