Dear Heloise: I was upset by the fact that our bank does not return canceled checks, so I've been buying duplicate checks. There are quite a few companies that these can be ordered from, and even some banks have them -- but the banks' are usually more expensive.
Every time I write a check, I have a copy that I keep as well as the check register, which keeps my running balance information.
Anytime I've had someone question a check I write, I write a short note informing the recipient that my bank does not send canceled checks and does charge for copies, and I enclose a photocopy of my duplicate. -- Barb in Ventura, Calif.
It is definitely worth a try to send a copy of the duplicate check; most businesses will probably accept it. If you have to get a copy of the check from the bank, our research showed you might be charged $2-$3 a check. -- Heloise
P.S. Most companies have toll-free phone numbers that you can use to call first and explain the situation. I'll bet they say "yes" to accepting a duplicate check.
Here are two great hints from Adelle from Garrettsville, Ohio:
When taking a new nonprescription medication for the first time, keep a record of the date you start. This information might be useful if a possible side effect develops.
Over the years, the packaging of many foods has changed. A "small package" or "medium can" might not contain what it used to. Now when I use an old recipe, if it turns out well, I write in the quantity of each ingredient in ounces to eliminate the guesswork next time.
Dear Heloise: You ran a hint about making a printout of telephone numbers and laminating it for use in purses or wallets.
I have often been complimented on the small, dollar-sized, laminated printout that I carry. It also includes the addresses and telephone numbers of all family members and friends.
I also keep one of these near each of the telephones for quick reference. Since this is computer-printed, I can easily update and reprint it when the information is changed. -- Sue Clegg, Oakton, Va.
My father, Mike Cruse, carries a piece of paper with family birthdays listed. I think it's older than I am! -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: Recently, we had an emergency situation. I knew the hospital had been remodeled, but I didn't know the emergency room and its parking had been moved.
Hint: It wouldn't hurt to make a dry run to the emergency room -- so you know where to go! Fortunately, our emergency was not life-threatening. -- M.D. Moffenbier, Rapid City, S.D.
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