Easing up on electricity
If you're tired of paying huge electrical bills, here's a product that might help.
It's called a GreenPlug. You plug this device into an electrical outlet and plug into it your refrigerator, freezer, unit air conditioner, electric washer or gas dryer. There's a GreenPlug for each appliance.
Inside the GreenPlug is kind of a minicomputer. It helps the appliance motor draw and use electricity more efficiently. Electric motors often waste up to 25 percent of the electricity they draw. GreenPlug's manufacturers estimate that it can save up to $35 a year if used with a refrigerator.
In addition, GreenPlug acts as a surge protector.
Most home centers, including Hechinger and Home Depot, sell GreenPlugs at a cost of about $30. They're usually a bit higher in other types of stores. Each GreenPlug comes with a 10-year warranty.
Perfect puzzle solution
Jigsaw puzzle fanatics should love this new product from Orvis, the Vermont catalogue company that's been in business since 1856.
Porta Puzzle is a non-slip board that lets you do puzzles in bed or in the car. Made in England, the board is lined with a suedelike surface that grips the puzzle pieces. It has "wings" that fold over the puzzle to cover the loose pieces and it closes like a book when you want to store the puzzle.
Porta Puzzle comes in two sizes: One will accommodate 500 pieces with a surface of 21 inches by 16 inches when closed ($29); the other will handle 1,000 pieces with a closed surface of 30 inches by 20 inches ($49).
To order, call Orvis, (800) 541-3541. Add $4.95 for shipping and handling.