Dear Heloise: While serving a mission for my church in Bolivia, my purse was taken one evening in a restaurant. Since I rarely carried it, I didn't have anything of value to a thief in it. I only had it that evening because I needed my glasses to read the menu! I wasn't terribly upset when he took it, as I knew that I hadn't lost anything that I couldn't replace — my glasses being the most inconvenient item for me to replace, and the $11 it contained!

I never felt panic when it occurred, and decided at that moment to never carry credit cards that I didn't need on a particular trip and to just put my small coin purse in my pocket, which holds enough necessary cards for any time. The peace I felt upon being a victim taught me the importance of never carrying more than you need, and it is a great freedom to not have a handbag or purse with me all the time.

I also always put my car keys inside a pocket rather than in my purse so that just in case the purse is taken, I can at least keep my car and have a way home! — Gail, via e-mail

Gail, loved this — it will definitely give you peace of mind. With identity theft on the rise, this is a good reminder to our readers to take inventory of what they carry, just in case something is taken. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: For quite a while, I have been tearing off paper-towel sheets, cutting them in half and folding them to use that way. I can't believe I never thought of cutting the whole roll. But after experimenting, I found that by using a large, sharp regular knife (the serrated left so many scraps) and cutting the entire roll, even through the cardboard core, I ended up with nice, neat small rolls that are just right for so many kitchen chores. Just wanted to share my idea to add to yours (cutting the roll in half — Heloise) about the smaller paper towels. — J.F., via e-mail

Dear Heloise: I live in a community that is hilly and wooded. A neighbor called 911, and the ambulance went right by her house. I think it's a good idea to open your garage door and turn on your car's emergency flashers. This would help the driver find the house.

Also, some time back, you gave this hint: "Cut the end of the toothpaste tube off and squeeze to get the rest of what's in the tube." I take the back of a hairbrush and flatten the tube from the bottom to the opening. — Tony, via e-mail

Dear Heloise: Can't get candles straight in the candleholder? Wrap a narrow strip of clear plastic wrap around the bottom of the candle and insert. A nice, snug fit, and almost invisible. — Gerry Craig, Bakersfield, Calif.

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 210-435-6473 or e-mail it to [email protected]. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column. © King Features Syndicate Inc.