Posted: July 18, 2013 at 2:28 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: I always want to get the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube. After I have used as much as I can by squeezing the tube, I cut it off just below the shoulder, which gives me a little cup with a surprising amount of toothpaste in it. I then dip my brush in the cup and have a few more days’ use before I need a new tube.

  • Amanda S., Durham, N.C.

DEAR HELOISE: Here is my favorite photography hint: Don’t be afraid to get close up (or use your zoom) when taking a photo of one person - when you don’t care about the surroundings. So many people just “aim and shoot,” ending up with a 6-by-4-inch picture, thus chopping the person in half and including all that extra space on each side.

Either move close up to get a chest/shoulder/head shot, or turn your camera a quarter turn for the photo to come out truly 4 by 6 inches. You will end up with your subject as the central focus of the picture and not have the wasted space and half a person. I have spent quite a bit of time (and a few pennies) taking a picture to a photo department and cropping and/or rotating a photo to end up having a really super-special close-up.

I am by no means a professional photographer; just an amateur who has had a camera in hand for many years.

  • Lyn T., Piqua, Ohio

DEAR HELOISE: A friend adopted a beautiful, white, blue-eyed cat. It is obvious that it once had a home, but then was dumped, probably because it is deaf. A tiny bell attached to her collar alerts the guardian of her location in the household.

  • M.M. in Texas

DEAR HELOISE: For years, small items would get trapped in the corners of fitted bedsheets in the dryer.

A reader suggested gathering the corners as you would a parachute before tossing the sheets in the dryer. I don’t know why, but it miraculously works, and every time. No more disappearing hankies, socks or panties.

  • Vickie Greene Urban, Colorado Springs, Colo.

DEAR HELOISE: When packing my son’s lunch, I always throw in an antibacterial wipe placed in a zippered plastic bag. He doesn’t use it every day, but he occasionally needs to wipe the table or his lunch bag. It comes in handy if something spills or the table is dirty, etc.

  • Catherine in Cleveland

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

Weekend, Pages 34 on 07/18/2013