Pop Culture

19 super practical life hacks people swear by to save money, time and aggravation

“Life hacks” may be cliché, but all these deliver.

life hacks, reddit tricks, saving money

Happy woman in blue long sleeve blouse holding money.

There isn't a person on the planet who doesn't have some trouble with the basics in life, whether it's time management, focus, money, health, children, waking up, staying organized, getting enough exercise, or making sure they can find their car keys.

Some of us do better than others, but we could all help with the basics. The good thing is that we have each other to help us along the way. One of the great things about the internet is that it allows us to crowd-source great advice on conquering life’s struggles from strangers.

Now, imagine how extraordinary our lives would be if we could only put them into practice.

A Reddit user called angelicasibs asked people on the LifeProTips forum to share their “favorite” life hack that has “saved you money, time, or made your day-to-day activities easier.” They received over 3,300 responses, and many were super practical but not necessarily obvious, life hacks they swear by.

Many of the hacks are for developing the focus and dedication it takes to handle small tasks before they get out of hand. A lot of times, it’s not the big things in life that cause us stress, but a dozen small things that add up to a big headache.

People also shared their tips on how to save money, keep their kids on task and stay hydrated. So, here are 19 of the best life hacks to give you money and time or make your day-to-day activities easier.


"When my kids started school, I set an alarm on my phone for about 10 minutes before we had to leave. That way, it was only the clock/alarm telling them to hurry up, not their mother. They’re in their final years of schooling now, I still have the alarm and in those 13 years, I’ve only had to yell to get ready maybe 5 times and my kids have only been late for real reasons (car trouble etc). It really helped us." — Technical-General-27


"I keep a $2 Great Value feather duster in the glove box of my car. At the first sign of dust accumulation on my dash, vvvt vvvt my dashboard and vents are pristine again. Learned this LPT from the most awful woman I've ever had the displeasure of dating, which just goes to show you can learn something from everyone, folks." — NeverEnoughCharacter


"When the butter is cold use a potato peeler to get a nice thin slice that spreads easier." — ldawg413


"'Just 10 minutes': Put on a timer, and start doing what needs to be done in the house. Folding the laundry, washing dishes, putting away clutter, etc. When the timer goes off, you can stop. But far more often I'll just keep going until everything is done." — feestfrietje


"Mine is 'Might as Well' when walking past laundry on the floor, might as well take it to the bin if I am heading that way. Walking past trash on the floor, I Might as Well pick it up and put it in the bin. Going downstairs Might as Well take a cup and put it in the sink. Trying to compress multiple activities into one when it is convenient." — w13szczus


"Batch cook lunches. It takes an hour out of your Sunday but is so much cheaper and ensures you don't just eat junk food because it's easier." — looj87


"Stop caring if things go well or not. Literally revolutionized my life and how I enjoy the world. Being frustrated by circumstances out of your control will drive you insane. And if you look closely, basically everything in your life is out of your control. It’s just raining circumstances on you every day." — unnameableway


"For dealing with emails: The Four Fs - Finish it (read and reply), Forward it, File it, F… it (delete it)." — knownuthinatall


"When my 3 kids were little, and there were lots of taco Tuesdays and spaghetti dinners, I would buy hamburger meat in bulk and go ahead and cook it and then freeze the cooked burger crumbles in 1-2 cups freezer bags. Easy to pull out, defrost and reheat." — srchd4


"Don’t drink your calories. A small glass of orange juice is 130 calories. A can of soda is 140. A bottle of beer is 160. Swap those out for water/tea/black coffee and that’s 430 calories you didn’t consume each day." — ernurse748


"Weekly menu planning combined with meal prep. Once a week, my fiance and I go through our pantry and freezer, and plan out a menu for our evening meal. This allows us to grocery shop once a week for only the items we need for said meals that we don't already have in the house. When we make those meals, we make enough to have a couple leftover containers for the next day's lunch, or put in the freezer for a future meal." — 306ughmyknees


"Lifting weights. It literally makes every aspect of my life better." — marshall_chaka


"At stores or anywhere that has a membership connected to a phone number, I always use whatever area code I’m in + 867-5309, usually someone has it set up to that number and you get the discount." — UhOh_its_Rambo


"Floss. Get some floss picks and use them after every meal. It doesn't have to be a crazy process. I'm in my late 40s and still have all of my teeth, and when I go to the dentist, they always say, 'Whatever you're doing, keep doing it.' There is a lot of evidence that poor gum health can lead to heart disease and other issues. Lazily using a floss pick after meals can make a huge difference." —LostMyKarmainElSegundo


"Minimalism and going low waste. Both saves a ton of money, minimalism saves a lot of time as well (managing and cleaning a household becomes way easier and faster)." — SquirrelTail13


"Always put your keys, wallet, phone, or any other everyday important item in the same place every time. Don't put it down anywhere else, but its designated place. This will save you 5-10 minutes searching for any one of these items on a regular basis. This time adds up and helps prevent you from being late to things. It very well might save you from losing your job." — ShiverMeTimberz


"Deleted all social media. Do not regret it at all. Have so much more time, concentration has improved drastically, and mental health has improved." — jmffett


"Home automation definitely; robot vacuum and turning on ACs before I come back home." — Legitimate-Station45


"The quicker you do it, the quicker it's over with. You still have to do it if you put it off, but now instead of sitting there dreading doing the thing you can be glad it's already done. Exercising is a good example. Do it in the morning and the rest of the day you don't have to think about how much you don't want to." — ThatVaultGirl101


4 simple hacks to help you meet your healthy eating goals

Trying to eat healthier? Try these 4 totally doable tricks.

Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Most of us want to eat healthier but need some help to make it happen.


When it comes to choosing what to eat, we live in a uniquely challenging era. Never before have humans known more about nutrition and how to eat for optimal health, and yet we’ve never been more surrounded by distractions and temptations that derail us from making healthy choices.

Some people might be able to decide “I’m going to eat healthier!” and do so without any problem, but those folks are unicorns. Most of us know what we should do, but need a little help making it happen—like some simple hacks, tips and tricks for avoiding pitfalls on the road to healthier eating.

While recognizing that what works for one person may not work for another, here are some helpful habits and approaches that might help you move closer to your healthy eating goals.

man pulling chip out of a chip bagOur mouths loves chips. Our bodies not so much.Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Goal: Snack on less junk food

Tip: Focus your willpower on the grocery store, not your home

Willpower is a limited commodity for most of us, and it is no match for a bag of potato chips sitting on top of the fridge. It’s just a fact. Channeling your willpower at the grocery store can save you from having to fight that battle at home. If you don’t bring chips into your house in the first place, you’ll find it a lot easier to reach for something healthier.

The key to successful shopping trips is to always go to the store with a specific list and a full stomach—you’ll feel much less tempted to buy the junky snack foods if you’re already satiated. Also, finding healthier alternatives that will still satisfy your cravings for salty or crunchy, or fatty foods helps. Sugar snap peas have a surprisingly satisfying crunch, apples and nut butter hit that sweet-and-salty craving, etc.

slice of cakeYou can eat well without giving up sweets completely.Photo by Caitlyn de Wild on Unsplash

Goal: Eat less sugar

Tip: Instead of “deprive,” think “delay” or “decrease and delight”

Sugar is a tricky one. Some people find it easier to cut out added sugars altogether, but that can create an all-or-nothing mindset that all too often results in “all.” Eating more whole foods and less processed foods can help us cut out a lot of ancillary sugar, but we still live in a world with birthday cakes and dessert courses.

One approach to dessert temptation is to delay instead of deprive. Tell yourself you can have any sweet you want…tomorrow. This mental trick flips the “I’ll just indulge today and start eating healthier tomorrow” idea on its head. It’s a lot easier to resist something you know you can have tomorrow than to say no to something you think you’ll never get to have again.

Another approach when you really want to enjoy a dessert at that moment is to decrease the amount and really truly savor it. Eat each bite slowly, delighting in the full taste and satisfaction of it. As soon as that delight starts to diminish, even a little, stop eating. You’ve gotten what you wanted out of it. You don’t have to finish it. (After all, you can always have more tomorrow!)

colorful fresh food on a plateA naturally colorful meal is a healthy meal.Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Goal: Eat healthier meals

Tip: Focus on fresh foods and plan meals ahead of time

Meal planning is easier than ever before. The internet is filled with countless tools—everything from recipes to shopping lists to meal planning apps—and it’s as awesome as it is overwhelming.

Planning ahead takes the guesswork and decision fatigue out of cooking, preventing the inevitable “Let’s just order a pizza.” You can have a repeating 3-week or 4-week menu of your favorite meals so you never have to think about what you’re going to eat, or you can meal plan once a week to try new recipes and keep things fresh.

It might help to designate one day a week to “shop and chop”—getting and prepping the ingredients for the week’s meals so they’re ready to go in your fridge or freezer.

woman holding blueberries in her handsOrganic foods are better for the Earth and for us.Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

Goal: Eat more organic/humanely raised food

Tip: Utilize the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” lists to prioritize

Many people choose organic because they want to avoid pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. Organic food is also better for the planet, and according to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that organic produce is higher in certain nutrients.

Most people don’t buy everything organic, but there are some foods that should take priority over others. Each year, researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyze thousands of samples of dozens of fruits and vegetables. From this data, they create a list of the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” fruits and vegetables, indicating what produce has the most and least pesticide residue. These lists give people a good place to start focusing their transition to more organic foods.

To make organic eating even simpler, you can shop O Organics® at your local Albertsons or Safeway stores. The O Organics brand offers a wide range of affordable USDA-certified organic products in every aisle. If you’re focusing on fresh foods, O Organics produce is always grown without synthetic pesticides, is farmed to conserve biodiversity, and is always non-GMO. All animal-based O Organics products are certified humane as well. Even switching part of your grocery list to organic can make a positive impact on the planet and the people you feed.

Healthy eating habits don’t have to be all or nothing, and they don’t have to be complicated. A few simple mindset changes at home and habit changes at the grocery store can make a big difference.

Around 1 a.m. on April 24, semi-truck drivers in the Oak Park area of Michigan received a distress call from area police: An unidentified man was standing on the edge of a local bridge, apparently ready to jump onto the freeway below.

Those drivers then did something amazing. They raced to the scene to help — and lined up their trucks under the bridge, providing a relatively safe landing space should the man jump.

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All images provided by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Collins after being selected by Prudential Emerging Visionaries


A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.

And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.

This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.

For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.

Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.

Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”

That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.

Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.

Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.

“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.

If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.

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