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DEAR READERS: Welcome to a brand-new year! Full of hope, rebirth and promise, the new year also can bring with it the dreaded and often-times-broken resolutions.

Self-improvement is always a good objective, but baby steps are usually the best way to enact change in your life.

Cut out sweets gradually, drink more water and take a brisk walk each evening. You should begin to notice a more toned and healthy body.

Spend money more deliberately and less randomly. Your bank account should grow.

And make more appointments to be with the family and without the TV, computer or cellphone. These relationships should strengthen.

DEAR HELOISE: When cleaning my cupboard, I found many pasta products with dates that had expired. I tossed them in the trash.

A few didn't have any expiration dates, and many were hard to read. I had to use a magnifying glass on those. I wish the expiration dates would be printed in plain sight on the products. Manufacturers need to take notice.

-- Annie, via email

DEAR HELOISE: I pull the toast out of the toaster with a wooden clothespin to save burning my fingers. I store it clipped to the cord.

-- Julie W. in Texas

DEAR READERS: Whenever you are using something to remove your toast, make sure the toaster is unplugged.

DEAR HELOISE: Pulverized flavored salad croutons make a wonderful coating when baking chicken.

-- Pat in Massillon, Ohio

DEAR HELOISE: My wife loves garlic cooked in foods but hates the lingering smell of raw garlic. I put a paper towel down and slice the garlic on that. It soaks up the oils and moisture that carry the smell, and also makes it easy to gather up and throw into the pan without getting the smell on my fingers.

-- Jud D., Columbus, Ohio

DEAR HELOISE: I know my neighbors are out of town when they do not put out their trash/recycle cans on trash day and their vehicles don't move. When you go out of town, have a neighbor put your cans in front of your house on trash day and park their vehicle in front of your house occasionally.

-- Mary, via email

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

[email protected]

Weekend on 01/02/2020

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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