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Save your fingers from sharp can lids

Dear Heloise: Recently I required a couple of stitches in my finger after pushing something into the trash. The culprit was the lid from a can of vegetables, which sliced through my skin like a razor. So that this would never happen again, I decided to keep these lids separate from the trash by storing them in an empty potato chip cannister. They fit perfectly, and on trash day, off they safely go! — Debbie in Texas

FAST FACTS

New uses for common kitchen gadgets:

* Use a numbered cookie cutter on top of a birthday cake and fill with sprinkles.

* Use clean, empty glass jars as terrariums.

* Fashion parchment paper into individual cones, tape closed and use as a server for snacks.

* Use a potato peeler to make butter curls. — Heloise

LESS WATER, LESS MESS

Dear Heloise: I try hard to be conscious of how much water I use. So I finally stopped letting the water run while brushing my teeth. However, I then had to deal with washing away the toothpaste drips in the sink. So I now run a little water in the sink with the drain plug in. When I’m finished brushing, all I have to do is let out the water, and the drips go with it. This makes me feel better all around. — Joe in Arizona

WEDDING BELL BLUES

Dear Heloise: My fiancee and I are getting married in the spring. What is the biggest problem people face when planning a wedding, and how do we avoid it? — Kathy in Penn.

Kathy, of course, the first consideration is your budget. You need to allot a certain amount of money for food, flowers, dress, etc., and be disciplined enough to stick to your budget. Vendors will tempt you with exotic floral arrangements and beautiful but outrageously priced gowns; family may want you to invite extra people to your wedding. But it’s really up to the two of you what kind of food, flowers and formal wear you choose and who is at your wedding. Do not be led far from your budget. Sticking to the limits you have set for yourself will make your special day less stressful as you start your life together. Congratulations! — Heloise

CAR CATCHALL

Dear Heloise: I travel in my car a lot because of business. My passenger seat became a catchall for things like tissue boxes, hand sanitizer, pens, note pads, breath mints, etc., which all went flying into the floorboard with every sudden stop. I came up with an idea to keep things together and neat. A plastic dishpan can hold all of these objects, can be secured using the seatbelt and can be easily removed if I take on a passenger. — Ahmed in Virginia

Ahmed, I love your idea! Avoiding the mess in itself is a plus, but it’s also a way to help prevent an accident due to the distraction of grabbing for things. — Heloise

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.

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