Dear Heloise: I am surprised at the number of people who think nothing of leaving CREDIT-CARD RECEIPTS, with their names, signatures and credit-card numbers, behind in restaurants. I always check the receipt and have found that every restaurant is different. Some still may have the entire number on the receipt, while others have only the last four digits. It only takes a second to check and scratch out all the numbers. Better safe than sorry! -- D.W. in New York
Very good point, and one to keep in mind. The Federal Trade Commission passed a law back in 2006 requiring merchants that ELECTRONICALLY process credit cards to leave no more than the last five digits of the number on the receipt. The expiration date cannot show at all. This law does NOT apply to HANDWRITTEN OR IMPRINTED receipts, though, only electronic.
Here’s the Heloise hint: Always take the time to check if the entire credit-card number is on ANY receipt. You may want to cross out the number ON YOUR COPY, particularly if the entire number is on there. This way, if you lose your receipt, you don’t have to worry. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I like my shirts folded like you see in stores, where the arms are tucked evenly behind and the shirt is neatly folded in half. I watched a salesperson one day using a flat, plastic, folding guide tool to quickly and easily fold multiple shirts. It got me thinking.
I went home and pulled out one of my cutting boards from the kitchen. Now I have my own folding tool that helps fold my shirts perfectly every time! -- Chad R. in Nevada
Yes, those little boards can zip along the folding process, and a clipboard works, too. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I take about a dozen net bags of various sizes to the grocery store and reuse them in place of the plastic produce bags. I fill them with onions, potatoes, fruits, green beans, mushrooms and nearly everything else in the produce department. They are very sturdy and last forever. As you know, lightweight plastic bags have collected in massive concentrations in the oceans; the fewer that are in use, the fewer end up there. -- Judith G. in Maryland
Dear Heloise: I’m bad about trying new face creams. One day, I realized that I had four or five partly empty jars that I’d quit using. Now I take them out, one at a time, to use on my hands and body. They are better than regular hand cream, and this way, they won’t go to waste. -- Mary in Arkansas
Dear Readers: Artificial flowers are time-consuming to clean, so here’s my hint: Place the flowers in a brown bag with half a cup of table salt. Close the bag and shake it vigorously. The salt acts as a scrubber and removes the dirt, dust and grime. -- Heloise