Dear Readers: Many of you often write wondering why SOME HINTS ARE CHOSEN and printed in the column and others are not. For a hint to be printed in my column, it must work (yes, I do test them), it must be safe, appeal to most readers and not have been printed recently.

Here’s how the week generally breaks down, with each day having a special feature:

Monday -- Sound Off and Fast Facts

Tuesday -- Consumer Connection

Wednesday -- Heloise Kitcheneering and Food-Related Hints

Thursday -- Classic Heloise

Friday -- Travel Hint and Technology

Saturday -- Gardening, Home Improvement and Pet Pal. Saturdays used to be all-pet-related for many years. I asked my readers, “Do you want to keep it that way, or spread it throughout the week?” The response was that you love the pet hints but wanted them spread out.

Each newspaper may run the column differently. Some run it every day, while others run it only certain days of the week. I would love to see how it appears in your paper. Please send me the column (preferably the whole page) from your newspaper and include your name, address and the name of your paper. I will randomly pick 50 readers to receive a Heloise pamphlet. Can’t wait to hear from you! -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: Did you know that a glass or ceramic bowl can be used as an amplifier to listen to music on your smartphone? Place the phone in a clean bowl, and instantly you have a speaker. -- A Reader in Iowa


Dear Heloise: My family loves to take road trips. Sometimes the kids get a little antsy, and we often hear “Are we there yet?” I have come up with a way to keep them entertained in the car. Before we leave, I pack “surprises” in plain brown lunch sacks and staple them closed. Surprises can be anything from a new toy to a book or a candy treat. Each sack is then labeled with a time: “10:30,” “11:30” and so on. At that time, the kids can open their surprise. They get so excited with anticipation, they forget how long we have been in the car. -- A Reader in Alaska


Dear Heloise: For Halloween this year, my kids are making their own treat buckets instead of buying them. We saved plastic ice-cream buckets with handles. After they are washed, we decorate them with markers and stickers or whatever else we can find. They can be used over and over, or the kids can make new ones each year. -- Trina, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: I love to eat nuts as a snack. To reduce the salt on nuts, I empty them into a sieve and shake over the sink or trash can. The excess salt is shaken off, and I still have my perfect snack. -- Thelma in Nebraska

Or, you can buy no-salt and mix with salted. -- Heloise

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