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By Heloise

This article was published March 25, 2014 at 2:30 a.m.

DEAR READER: If you are buying a car, be sure to look in the trunk or ask the salesperson, “Does this car come with a spare tire?” Many cars today are sold without a spare tire (or doughnut), used in case of a flat. Instead, there is a mobility kit that has a sealant and compressor for a temporary tire fix.

Why do away with the spare tire? Well, automobile manufacturers need to meet government fuel-economy standards, and eliminating the extra weight of the spare tire seems to be the solution at this point. Many newer vehicles (hybrids) have less trunk space, so there is no room for a spare tire.

Think about the last time you had to change a flat tire - many things probably have changed since you did this job. If a spare tire is important to you, make sure to ask about it before driving off the lot.

DEAR HELOISE: Every time I use my phone, my makeup gets all over it. Can you suggest a way to clean the makeup off without damaging the phone?

  • Shirley in Florida

DEAR READER: Take a soft cloth, like microfiber (my favorite), and gently wipe the screen and buttons. Wipe up and down, then right to left.If you want to get it cleaned a little better, add a drop of distilled or tap water to the microfiber cloth - again, gently wiping. By cleaning your phone regularly, you can prevent that pesky buildup.

DEAR HELOISE: While getting my flower cones (for the cemetery) ready, I realized I didn’t have the foam to put inside the cones. I didn’t want to travel 20 minutes to get them, as we live in a small town. So, I went to the dollar store and got the foam noodles kids play with in swimming pools. I got the ones with small holes in the top. I cut them the length of the cones, hot-glued moss on top and stuck in the flowers.Worked like a charm, and a lot cheaper than other foam inserts.

  • Nancy B. in Pennsylvania

DEAR HELOISE: I’ve discovered that flameless pillar candles make wonderful night lights. One pillar candle provides a soft light that is ample when it’s necessary to move around the house at night. Added plus: It’s portable.

  • Laverne S., via email

DEAR READER: I love these. I have one in my suitcase, and it’s perfect for dark hotel rooms.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Style, Pages 32 on 03/25/2014

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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