Dear Heloise: What is the STORAGE TIME in a refrigerator for common everyday foods? - Diane M., Madison, N.J.

Butter: In the refrigerator, one to two weeks; frozen, nine months.

Cheeses: Opened cream cheese, two weeks; cottage cheese, 10 to 30 days; opened Swiss, brick, processed cheese, three to four weeks.

Chicken: Refrigerate two to three days; freeze for nine to 12 months. Chicken livers will keep one to two days in the refrigerator, three months frozen.

Ketchup: Unopened, 12 months on the shelf; refrigerate after opening.

Mayonnaise: Salad dressing unopened on the shelf, two to three months; in the refrigerator after opening, six to eight weeks.

Pork: Fresh, three to five days in the refrigerator for chops, one to two days for ground; three to five days for roasts.

- Heloise

Will the computer pick you?

Dear Readers: In order to streamline the process of sorting through potentially HUNDREDS OF RESUMES for one job posting, companies can use artificial intelligence to pull out the best resumes. How can you be sure the computer picks yours? Here are some hints:

• Use succinct, straightforward language. List your skills and the years of experience you have.

• The computer likes to read that you've saved a previous employer money. If you streamlined a particular process within that company, or found a way to save time, the computer wants to read those results also. "Revenue," "income" and "money" are all good words.

• The computer also looks for the length of time you've spent at each previous job, job title flow (getting promoted) and your education.

- Heloise
P.S. Make sure your resume is stored so you can easily apply for jobs on the go or on your cellphone or tablet computer during your lunch break. Don't apply for a new job on your current employer's time.


Dear Heloise: It irks me when a receptionist "blind transfers" me to a person in the company. The correct business etiquette: Place me on hold, find out if that person is in, and if the person is not, come back on the line and ask me if I'd like to leave a message.
Calling a business can feel intimidating anyway, and then to be transferred to an answering machine? Not acceptable. - Deanna R. in San Antonio


Dear Readers: Some quick water-saving hints:

1. Showers use less water than baths.

2. Wash everything you can in cold water to save energy.

3. When brushing your teeth, turn the water on only to rinse.

4. Run the clothes washer and dishwasher only when full.

- Heloise


Dear Heloise: In The (East Liverpool, Ohio) Review, you recently discussed children's Social Security numbers being stolen and the major problems that can happen as a result.
I would put a freeze on my minor child's credit record permanently, and don't lose the username and password! To be on the vigilant side, I'd request a credit report every few years. - Rose M., via email


Dear Heloise: When we fly, I pack an insulated bag and a gallon-size freezer bag. The insulated bag makes a convenient cooler, and the freezer bag is for ice.
When we land, I buy a case of water and use the motel fridge to cool it. I fill the freezer bag with ice, pack up and have cold water for the day. If I have any water left when we fly home, I offer it to a fellow traveler. It's always appreciated. - Marilyn, via email


Dear Heloise: Here is a warning for your readers: Do NOT leave the house when your dishwasher is running. This is probably also true for your washer and dryer. I started a load of dishes in my dishwasher and then made a quick run to the deli down the street. When I got home a few minutes later, there was a fire in my kitchen, which had started with the dishwasher! Thankfully, the damage was limited to one area of the kitchen, but I shudder to think of all the times I've left home while the dishwasher was running. - Ellen R., Eugene, Ore.

Ellen, thanks for the warning. It's always risky to assume the house is safe when we leave an appliance running while we're gone. A household's memories and mementos can never be replaced if a fire destroys them. - Heloise


Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

(c)2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc.