By Shannon Sweeny
You may have heard people talk about life hacks – strategies put in place to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way. There’s probably a few that you’ve adopted over time, perhaps without even realizing it. I think I’ve mastered quite a few myself, so I’m sharing my three best life hacks used on a daily basis that make life a little more exciting and a whole lot cheaper.
Soggy Sandwiches: There is nothing worse than when you take the time to pack your lunch ahead, and then you get to your lunch break and your sandwich is a soggy mess. I have the answer: Use frozen bread. If you make your sandwich on frozen bread in the morning (this is especially good for PB&J) your sandwich will be slightly chilly but not at all soggy at lunch. Try it, I promise you it works.
Starbucks Addiction: I’m not proud to say it but I have a Starbucks addiction. Whether it’s just my ice coffee fix in the morning or my latte craving around 3 p.m., I have a hard time not going to Starbucks at least four times a week. This is a relatively expensive addiction; coffee can run you anywhere from $2-$5 per trip, and that’s if you can stay away from the treats in the pastry case. I have found some pretty sneaky ways to keep this habit to less than $20 a week: Instead of getting iced lattes, which can be anywhere between $4-$5, I get an iced coffee with one pump of vanilla and one pump of cinnamon dolce (it tastes like a cookie, seriously) and add skim milk. You still get that sweet taste of the latte for half the cost.
The best tip, however, is for all those pumpkin spice latte lovers. Instead of ordering a PSL for $4-$6 you can get a latte with one pump of pumpkin syrup for around $3! I think it is even better than the original; not quite as sweet, and definitely much cheaper.
CVS Coupons: I am obsessed with CVS because of the coupons, so let’s cut right to it. Step one, if you don’t have a CVS Extra Care Card, get one. Step two, before you even walk down one isle to purchase what you need, bee line it to the coupon machine (it looks like a price checker), scan your card and get your coupons. The more you buy the more coupons you get, and some are very random but you can definitely find some gems. If there are some that you think you will use, go and look at all the items that you could buy with them and see if there are any additional promotions. Sometimes you can get a buy one, get one free and $2 off $10. I have gotten $33 worth of stuff for $5 and I don’t consider myself an extreme couponer, just a girl who loves a good deal. The number one rule is don’t buy things you wouldn’t already buy just because you have a coupon, because then you just inherited stuff that you don’t need.
Shannon is a recent graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Political Communications with minors in Gender Studies and Dance. She has passion for the arts, human rights, non-profit work and progressive thinking. She now resides in New Hampshire and hopes to soon move back to the city she loves, Boston.