20 Amazing Life Hacks That You'll Actually Use (We Promise)

SEPTEMBER 20, 2016  —  By Madeline Distasio  
Madeline Distasio

Madeline Distasio

Writer and editor holding it down in Philadelphia. Interests include drawing, exclusively wearing black, having too many books to fit in my tiny apartment, and choosing my dachshund over people.

If you spend any time online, you probably trudge through about 36,000 bogus life hacks a day.

Half the time, these tips and tricks end up taking longer to carry out and master than it would to just organize your house or fight your common cold the old-fashioned way. The onslaught has gotten so bad that if I read something like "Clean Your Kitchen With Raw Pork And A Box Cutter," I wouldn't be shocked in the least. Filled with disdain for all of mankind, but not shocked.

That being said, there are a few life hacks floating around out there in the digital ether that really are useful. To help you avoid countless cases of trial and abysmal DIY error, here are a few little tricks that you will want to add to your arsenal.

1. Embarrassed about buying something? Pick up a card and/or gift bag to go with it. Let the cashier believe that you'll be handing that little bundle of mortification off to someone else.

Embarrassed about buying something? Pick up a card and/or gift bag to go with it. Let the cashier believe that you'll be handing that little bundle of mortification off to someone else.

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2. If you buy something on Amazon and you find it listed for a cheaper price within 30 days, let customer service know. They'll credit the difference to your account!

If you buy something on Amazon and you find it listed for a cheaper price within 30 days, let customer service know. They'll credit the difference to your account!

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3. If the handle is broken on the gas pump you're using, wedge your gas cap in there for hands-free pumping.

If the handle is broken on the gas pump you're using, wedge your gas cap in there for hands-free pumping.

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4. Having trouble opening a stubborn jar? Stick some duct tape on the lid, leave off a bit of excess, and pull.

Having trouble opening a stubborn jar? Stick some duct tape on the lid, leave off a bit of excess, and pull.

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5. If you're going to make up a story, include a detail that makes you look like a moron. No one will assume you're lying if you admit to embarrassing yourself.

If you're going to make up a story, include a detail that makes you look like a moron. No one will assume you're lying if you admit to embarrassing yourself.

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6. The length of a yellow light is 10 percent of the speed limit. To figure out how much time you have, keep that in mind. If the speed limit is 40 miles per hour, you have four seconds until it turns red.

The length of a yellow light is 10 percent of the speed limit. To figure out how much time you have, keep that in mind. If the speed limit is 40 miles per hour, you have four seconds until it turns red.

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7. Next time you have to make a tough decision, flip a coin. If you feel disappointed with the outcome, then you'll know what you really want.

Next time you have to make a tough decision, flip a coin. If you feel disappointed with the outcome, then you'll know what you really want.

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8. Make the password for an account you use regularly remind you of a goal you want to reach. If it's always on your mind, you're more likely to achieve it!

Make the password for an account you use regularly remind you of a goal you want to reach. If it's always on your mind, you're more likely to achieve it!

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9. Run a metal spoon under warm water. Once it's heated up, place it over a bug bite to stop it from itching.

Run a metal spoon under warm water. Once it's heated up, place it over a bug bite to stop it from itching.

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10. The best places to find free WiFi in a pinch are the Apple Store, McDonald's, and Office Depot.

The best places to find free WiFi in a pinch are the Apple Store, McDonald's, and Office Depot.

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11. Planning on having a big night out? Tip the bartender $20 (or more if you're really about to wreak havoc on your liver) after your first drink instead of at the end to get great service the whole time.

Planning on having a big night out? Tip the bartender $20 (or more if you're really about to wreak havoc on your liver) after your first drink instead of at the end to get great service the whole time.

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12. Save your emergency contact's information in your phone under "Owner" so that if a Good Samaritan finds it after you've left it at Starbucks for the fifth time, they can contact them and get the phone back to you.

Save your emergency contact's information in your phone under "Owner" so that if a Good Samaritan finds it after you've left it at Starbucks for the fifth time, they can contact them and get the phone back to you.

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13. Paint essentials like your car keys with glow-in-the-dark paint so if you lose them, all you have to do is shut the blinds and turn off the light!

Paint essentials like your car keys with glow-in-the-dark paint so if you lose them, all you have to do is shut the blinds and turn off the light!

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14. Use the seat warmers in your car to keep takeout nice and toasty on the way home when it's cold out.

Use the seat warmers in your car to keep takeout nice and toasty on the way home when it's cold out.

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15. Love sending the kiddos to school with apple wedges? Before packing them up, place the wedges back together in the shape of a whole apple and use a rubber band to hold them together. That'll ensure that they don't turn brown by lunchtime.

Love sending the kiddos to school with apple wedges? Before packing them up, place the wedges back together in the shape of a whole apple and use a rubber band to hold them together. That'll ensure that they don't turn brown by lunchtime.

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16. Ctrl + shift + T will reopen your last tab.

Ctrl + shift + T will reopen your last tab.

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17. When you order iced coffee, ask the barista to put the ice in a separate cup. That way, you'll get more coffee for your dollar.

When you order iced coffee, ask the barista to put the ice in a separate cup. That way, you'll get more coffee for your dollar.

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18. If you're an unfortunate soul and you ever find yourself trapped in a car underwater, use the metal spokes on your headrest to break the windshield.

If you're an unfortunate soul and you ever find yourself trapped in a car underwater, use the metal spokes on your headrest to break the windshield.

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19. Don't interrupt your friend when they're venting to you. Staying silent while they speak will make them feel heard, which is probably all they need.

Don't interrupt your friend when they're venting to you. Staying silent while they speak will make them feel heard, which is probably all they need.

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20. Put sugar on your burnt tongue to stop the pain.

Put sugar on your burnt tongue to stop the pain.

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See? Just because the internet is a cesspool full of garbage doesn't mean that there aren't a few useful hacks to be had!

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