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Life Hacks. Are any of them good?

Lifehacks are all the rage- and have been for quite awhile. Are any of them useful?

Mom came from a poor family that lived way out in the boonies. Growing up poor, they found ways to reuse things and not have to spend money. So, those habits of hers carried on.

All of my life she was reusing and repurposing things. Elastic from old sweatpants would be cut off and used to hold our trash bags firmly against the can so they didn't slide. Lots of things she did would be "hacks" now... and I didn't really think much of trying to find alternative uses for things. That was just a way of life for us.

But, some hacks are less than useful...

My grandfather got an email with a lifehack that showed how to stem a strawberry with a straw... he sat there for thirty minutes trying to impress us. I just bit into mine, discarded the top. Done. That "hack," not useful. Maybe if you were trying to make them pretty for something... I don't know. I just eat them ^_^

silvereyes 8 Jan 18

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Chemical free toothpaste. I have been doing this for years. I always have compliments on my bright smile. This works for me.
Organic coconut oil
Organic peppermint oil-just a drop
A capsule of activated charcoal
Mix together


I re-use my diesel oil as fuel additive. I make my own hickory salt. I rebuild everything. I have a 10 year old zero turn lawnmower. I have 3 lawn mowers that are over 15 years old.


I re-use my diesel oil as fuel additive. I make my own hickory salt. I rebuild everything. I have a 10 year old zero turn lawnmower. I have 3 lawn mowers that are over 15 years old.


It's a throwaway world with not enough to go round for anything. that is crazy.


During world war 2 my grandfather was a conscientious objector, instead of fighting he worked the land to help feed the British at home and those fighting abroad. During this time strict rationing was in place, foods, clothes, metals, just about everything was rationed. my grandparents gave up meat so as to donate their rations to other families, this is the back story behind some serious life hacks I witnessed as a child. my grandfather in the 80's and 90's would still re purpose everything he could to help him grow fruit and veg. he had jars of crushed egg shells for keeping the snails and slugs away and pots and pots of pots, yogurt pots to be exact, for germinating seeds in. Broken electrical items and their wires would be stripped of copper and other metals (he had boxes filled with plugs) anything wooden would either be built into planters, spice racks, bird houses or even new handles for tools. what couldn't be re used was burnt to heat the home. this is just a few examples. That generation are the ones that mastered life hacks as we call them today, not through wanting but by needing to in order to survive comfortably during hard times.

Dav87 Level 6 Jan 18, 2018

Growing up our house was a disaster; disorganized, full of junk, dirty, moldy (we lived in a humid area), lots of cockroaches and on (but it was probably good to help build up our immune system). I swore I would never live like that. I signed on the a voluntary simplicity program and learned lots of interesting things. Here, on an island everything has to be dealt with so we have a 4 R program (re-purpose, re-cycle, re-use, re-gift).. There are lots of books out to help people with this. I reuse cereal inserts. They are good waxed paper storage bags. I have a well and don't put chemicals in the septic; I use vinegar and soak small towels to make dryer sheets. I bought a razor sharpener, I compost everything, and donate things to the local thrift shop/our take-it-or-leave-it facility.The biggest thing is hoarding. If something is not used it should and does go.


Blend sugar on high for powdered sugar; add molasses for brown sugar. I began making my own detergent because some family members had sensitive skin. I $.06/gallon, I never stopped. If a hack saves time, money, or pleases the eye (your strawberries), go for it. Most people don't want to take the time and prefer to spend the money.


i reuse my fivebucks coffee cup til it threatens to leak.


My parents have been divorced since I was 1. My dad lives in eastern Pennsylvania and my mom in California. I spent time in both places. In Pennsylvania there are a ton of Dutch people. I had gotten to be friends with many of them, they are a world of common sense. They reuse and save just about every thing to repurpose.


If it works even if is or not a family tradition... what is wrong? I am trying to find something like that in my life but nothing come to find. I knew an artist that painted with coffee grounds.


I don't know about "life hacks" but I am frugal. I make my own soap, lip balms, lotions, deodorant, and toothpaste. I cook from scratch and eat as close to natural as possible. I reuse, reduce, recycle. I avoid plastics, I have stainless steel water bottles and straws. I shop at estate sales for stuff I can reuse. I also grow some of my own foods. Tomatoes fresh from the garden are so much better than grocery store varieties. They taste like sunshine.

@JWDiaz That is kinda my plan B. I want to be able to live self sustaining as much as possible.


My mom and dad taught us to never use tooth paste. I have always used baking soda and peroxide misture. I still use it and i have never used tooth paste.

Brings to mind: I've always wondered why on the one hand we're told to cut down sweets to preserve our dental health, and on the other, why most brand name oral dentifrices are so sugary!


I make my own biodegradable washing soap.

I'd also like this formulation. Perhaps we should send WG a msg. here directly.


My mother repurposed so many things. That’s what got her through tough times. I remember I never had “barbie furniture.” It was all made by repurposing tissue boxes. Winter time came and the best way to keep your feet dry and warm was to slip on empty plastic bread bags before putting on your boots. Halloween was her favorite. Creativity for homemade costumes was absolutely awesome! Even as a young adult, her creative costume made from household stuff for me one year, won me hockey tickets and $75! She was quite the crafty woman!

I remember the bread bags in the boots. I was just thinking about that the other day when I was putting my boots on.

Remember these?

I actually had "dem boots with the fur" --just like the pic but with a fur collar top. LOL


My family was a lot like yours. We reused everything. I have a hard time throwing things in the trash. Especially if I think there might be a use for it. I would never have thought to call it a hack though. I laugh at a lot of those " life hacks".


Dipping the strawberry in chocolate might be less messy using the straw. There is a franchise business called "Edible Arrangements" which does this to simulate a flower in it fruit gift arrangements. Panty hose for filtering paint, cut of bottles used as funnels and repurposing food containers for storage. There was an old Pupular Mechanics project to make a rotating fastener rack using baby food jars that I have seen in many workshops. Repurposing and reuse are two of the best tools for recycling. Little or no additional energy or material is required to implement these two strategies.

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