Dear Readers: Saving money is on everyone’s mind these days. Here are some hints to improve GAS MILEAGE:

* Have your car tuned up on a regular basis. Fix any major problems as soon as possible. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy Information, fixing a maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve gas mileage up to 40 percent.

* Make sure tires are properly inflated.

* Reduce time spent idling, if possible.

* Use the air conditioner only if needed.

* Reduce wind resistance. Carry luggage and loads inside the vehicle instead of on the roof.

Use these helpful hints to help reduce your fuel costs and save money. -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: I totally agree with carrying the cellphone charger in my carry-on luggage. Just to add one additional suggestion: I carry my car charger as well. If we have flight issues, or upon arrival we rent a car or ride in someone else’s car, it is handy to charge my phone or laptop in transit. -- Lisa in Florida

Love it! I thought I was the only one who did this. I don’t rent cars often, but it’s nice to have a backup. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I read your column asking for hints about using a carabiner. I have attached a large carabiner to my porch and hung my hummingbird feeder from it. This makes it very easy to put on and take off to clean and refill. I hope this will help someone else. -- Bernice S. in New Hampshire

It does -- me! I have to stand on my tiptoes to reach the hook in the eave, but not anymore. See the following for another hint about hummingbirds. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I noticed that bees and ants clog the feeding vents in hummingbird feeders. Also, the nectar gets very hot in the sun. I suggest that the feeders be filled only a half or a third of the way. Then, once a week, dump the feeder, clean it and refill it. One time in late summer, my feeder was packed with baby yellow jackets that had drowned around the openings. -- Rose B. in Kentucky


Dear Heloise: During a recent terrible wind- and rainstorm, I lost all the electrical power to my home. I started checking the flashlights and lanterns. I thought, Why not use the solar lights out by the walk? They’ll furnish light all night for the bathrooms and stairs. I brought four in, wrapped their stakes with paper towels and stood them up in tall drinking glasses. The lights shined brightly all night. -- E.K. in Statesville, N.C.


Dear Heloise: Whenever serving hot dishes, I first fill the serving bowls with hot water to warm them up so that the hot food doesn’t cool down in a cold bowl. -- A Reader, via e-mail

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to

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