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Thompson: Dont toss worn out long-sleeved shirts; recycle them instead
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Men, here's something you may not have thought of. Instead of throwing out long-sleeved shirts that have frayed cuffs or soiled elbows, turn them into short-sleeve shirts. Most tailors can do the work and it's fairly inexpensive. (Contributed by Mark Mele).

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a new product called MagicJack. In case you don't remember, it's a device that allows you to have a phone line, with free long distance, for only $20 a year. You have to have high-speed Internet service for the device to work. Well, I've received a lot of questions about it. I've got one in my house and use it regularly. Let me give you the pros and cons. First the cons: You need to be somewhat computer literate. You have to pick a new phone number. If you lose power or Internet service, you can't dial out (or call 911); There's no human to call for customer service, (it's all done through their Web site) and finally, the voice quality can be mediocre at times. Now for the pros: It's $20 a year for local and long distance service! I hope this helps you decide if you want to give it a shot.

Have you cut your monkey grass back yet? You should have. If you haven't, here's an easy way to do it. Instead of clipping the old grass by hand and then manually tossing the clippings, get your lawn mower out. Make sure that you set the height on the lawn mower so that you won't cut any new grass that's sprouting. Hook up your grass-catcher to your lawn mower and mow that monkey grass! (Contributed by Danny Watts)

What is the easiest way to budget your money? The envelope method. For those who have never heard of it, you simply take a bunch of envelopes and label them with your different monthly expenses, like rent, insurance, food, gas, entertainment, etc. When you get paid, cash your check and divide the money up into the envelopes. The envelope method is frequently recommended by the Consumer Credit Counseling Service. Here's my tip ... when you're out and about, don't carry cumbersome envelopes for gas, entertainment, dry cleaning, etc. Use different colored paper clips. For example, use a blue paper clip on your money for gas, a pink paper clip on your money for entertainment, etc. It works, I know!

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