Dear Heloise: I realize that more and more people pay bills online, but I still like writing checks for most things. Can I ORDER CHECKS from places other than my bank and be certain that my information is safe? This seems like a popular thing to do, but I am hesitant. -- Mary W. in Pennsylvania
Yes, it's safe to buy checks from companies other than the one your bank uses, and an added plus is that it can save you money. If you are concerned, research a company's ratings with the Better Business Bureau, or order checks at big, bulk warehouse stores, which have many members using the service.
Your bank already has all of your personal information for ordering your checks.
When you go anywhere else, be prepared to provide all of your information, along with your bank's information. If there is a mistake in that information after the checks are printed, you will still owe for them, so pay close attention to all the information and spellings you provide. -- Heloise
Heloise: When I finish painting a room, I always have some paint left in the can. I make it a habit to put the paint can in storage, in case I need to make touch-up repairs. Through the years, I've learned that the extra space in the sealed paint can contains moisture, and this moisture causes rust, which will get into the paint and make removing the lid difficult.
I now save a small amount of paint in a large-mouth quart jar. This makes it easy to find the color I need. It takes up less space and does not cause rust to get into the paint. -- Darrell B. in Nebraska
Dear Heloise: I am responding with a suggestion to the lady who had her chain necklaces tangle when she packed them to travel. I place each of my chains and each of my bead necklaces carefully in a snack-size, reclosable bag before I pack them in the pouch that I place in my suitcase. This seems to have solved the problem for me. It also cushions them, so they aren't scratched as they rub against each other. -- Gala M. in Missouri
Dear Heloise: Living near my mother, there are many times when I have to drop something off at her house or pick something up when she is not there. In order to identify which house key is hers on my key ring, I took a bright nail polish and painted the top of her house key. Now, I can quickly separate her key out from all of mine. -- Abigail W. in New York
Dear Heloise: For folks who have difficulty with buttons, unfold a paper clip (Heloise here: until it looks like an "S" sideways). Slip one end through the buttonhole, hook it around the button, and pull back through the buttonhole. I love this hint for the buttons at the neck of my husband's dress shirts. -- Millie F. in Ohio
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise(at)Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.