Stories & Features

10 'life hacks' to save you time, energy and money

Image showing a makeshift lamp made from a water bottle and smart phone
Water bottles can do more than just keep you hydrated. They make a great last-minute lantern, too.

A few quick tips for your end-of-summer projects and plans

You may have seen lists of them pop up on Buzzfeed or dedicated sites such as Lifehacker. Life hacks are tips and tricks for making your daily routines a bit more efficient and seamless. Often they're clever ways to use everyday products to accomplish simple tasks.

We've compiled a list of 10 easy hacks to help you increase your productivity in and out of your home. They're perfect for that last summer camping trip, getting your home ready for fall, or just to have handy next time you have a project around the house.

  1. Fill water jugs and keep them in your freezer: they can keep your food cold longer in the event of a power outage, and if you're heading out for a summer picnic or barbecue, they make great instant ice packs and drinking water through the day as they melt.
  2. Empty your dryer vent to improve efficiency and use the lint to create fire starters for your long weekend camping trip. All you'll need is an egg carton (and to ensure your camping spot isn't under a fire ban.
  3. Placing a water bottle filled with stones or marbles in your toilet tank will save you water with every flush.
  4. Need a flathead screwdriver? Basic power plugs usually fit medium and large-sized screws.
  5. Use a cellphone light underneath a water bottle to make a great camping lantern that distributes light better than the direct beam from the phone.
  6. Use a spring from an old pen to keep your phone charger from bending and breaking at the point where it connects to your phone.
  7. Have an old refrigerator that you need to get rid of? Old fridges can be refurbished and used as large coolers for big outdoor events. A fun weekend project if you're looking to take a backyard bash to the next level.
  8. For safety, glue a magnet to the bottom of your hammer so you don't have to hold nails while working on a project in your home.
  9. A frozen, saturated sponge in a Ziploc or sandwich bag makes an icepack that won't drip all over you when it melts.
  10. No use for your old pool noodle? Cut it in half and mount it to the wall in your garage. No more hitting your car door against the wall when trying to get in and out.

Happy lifehacking!