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Thompson: Keep duct tape in first-aid box, too
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Duct tape has a number of medical uses - I'm serious. Here are two examples. First, when children get chicken pox, some parents put mittens on their children's hands to keep them from scratching. Wrap duct tape around the end of their mittens to keep them from pulling the mittens off. Second, use duct tape and plastic garbage bags to keep casts dry when you're taking a shower.

In the past, I've encouraged people to switch to compact fluorescents from regular incandescent bulbs. I'm still recommending this, but I have a couple of tips for you. First, if you want a warmer color bulb, get one with a rating of less than 3,000 kelvins. A higher kelvin rating, like 5,000, is a harsher blue-tinged light. Second, make sure that you don't just throw these bulbs away when they die. Make sure you recycle them since they have a small amount of mercury. Most of your larger home improvement stores are now accepting dead bulbs.

If you have an older oven, it's not a bad idea to buy an oven thermometer. You can get a quality one for less than $10. Why? Most oven internal thermometers go bad after a couple of years. You could be overcooking your food without realizing it.

This is one of those tips that is so simple, you'll wonder why you never thought of it: When you clip restaurant coupons, be sure to put them in an envelope in your car. Admit it. How many times have you pulled into a restaurant and realized that you left a $5 off coupon for it back at home?

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

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