Dear Heloise: Here are some of MY FAVORITE HINTS:

* When freezing bagels, always cut them in half horizontally and place them front to back in a plastic bag. Makes it much easier to remove one piece at a time.

* The cabinet or shelf over the refrigerator is so hard to access. Remove the doors and use it as a display space for special knickknacks.

* Our gift for our grandson’s 16th birthday was to underwrite his driver-education course and the fee for a passport. Lasts much longer than another CD or a check.

* Use rubber sink mats (usually under $10) under your feet in the car instead of spending $20 or $30 for the “real” thing.

-- Harriet Platt, Rockville, Md.


Dear Readers: Shawn in Fredericksburg, Tex., sent a photo of his feral cat, Susie, while she was snuggling with her litter of four kittens. To see Susie and the kitties, visit my Web site,, and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Since we are retired and on a strict budget, I felt our ideas may help some other people who are on a limited income. Each month, we give 10 percent to our church and put 10 percent in a savings account. We live on 80 percent of our income. I budget for groceries and gasoline. We watch what we buy in the grocery store, and try to do all of our errands at the same time we go to the grocery store.

I keep a record in my checkbook on a separate page for groceries and gasoline. It helps me not to overspend during the month. I have a Christmas Club account, so I know how much money I have to spend on the first of November. Thanks for the wonderful, practical advice you give each day. -- A Contented Grandmother in Louisiana


Dear Heloise: My mother is really hard to buy for. So, I came up with the following gift basket, and best of all, she loved it!

A basket filled with bath salts, scented bath oil and soap, body lotion, a favorite perfume, pretty washcloths (rolled), gel eye mask, inflatable bath pillow and a candle with a pretty holder — add to it or put in whatever things you can. -- Meryl Ann in Utah


Dear Heloise: I have those popcorn (not asbestos) ceilings. I’ve found that a stiff, clean broom sweeps off the dust and dirt better than anything else I’ve tried. -- Helen Burke, Elk Grove, Calif.

I tested your hint in the office, and it does a good job. One note: Don’t brush too hard, or you may knock off some of the little bumps. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: It’s wise to count the undies that go into the washer and dryer. I put on a white fleece jacket and wondered why I found a handkerchief on the floor in the hallway later — it could have been a pair of undies that fell on the driveway! -- A Mom in Ohio

Send a 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.

2012, King Features Syndicate