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Thompson: Nifty tabs keep your foil on the roll

POSTED: June 12, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Here's something that I bet you never knew. (And when I tell you about it, you'll have to go verify it for yourself). If you look at the ends of most aluminum foil and plastic wrap boxes, there are push-in tabs that help keep the roll from flying out of the box. These "locking tabs" as they're referred to have been around for years, but most people don't know about them. Check it out. (Contributed by Jere Randall).

Last week I had a tip on a product called the Banana Guard. This nifty little item protects your bananas from getting smashed and bruised when you take them to work or school. John Morrow liked the tip and gave me another one. He said that he takes a knife and cuts a small slit at the base of the banana stem before he takes it to work. He does this because it makes it much easier to peel the banana when he's getting ready to eat it. Without the slit, peeling the banana can sometimes cause the top of it to get messed up and mushed.

A woman recently shared with me something that she did for her co-workers. She brought in a can of WD-40 and sprayed the underside of everybody's office chair. Everybody's chairs had been squeaking for some time, but nobody did anything about it. She became the office hero thanks to WD-40!

I'm not a big fan of gift cards. They have expiration dates and they‘re difficult to "exchange" if you don‘t like the gift. Cash is much better as a gift, but can seem impersonal. Here's the tip: Let's say that you want to get your mother a gift card to a spa. Instead of the gift card, consider getting her a pamphlet on the spa and include cash in the pamphlet. The beauty of this is that you're showing you put some effort and thought into the gift but you're giving your mom the flexibility of spending the money any way she wants - and there's no expiration date on cash!

The next time you're planning a complicated, off-the-beaten-path vacation, check out Zicasso. You simply type in the kind of trip you want to have and within three business days you'll receive at least three travel itineraries that you can choose from. Zicasso doesn't put the itineraries together, but rather has pre-screened travel agents and tour operators bid on your business. The Web site can also give you some ideas on exotic vacations to consider.

Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. E-mail Tim your ideas for tips, tools or tricks.



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