Ten home and kitchen hacks leaving you more time for life!

Work around the house can go on forever, but these simple hacks make them a breeze. 

Are you busy at work all the time or at home every day looking after the kids? It’s essential to make time in our lives to take a break and make more time for yourself. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy list to get things done more easily.

1. A super quick and delicious cake using olive oil!

Efforts to bake a quick cake can be thwarted when you have the added step to melt butter. Instead of using butter, use some olive oil! Olive oil is healthy for the heart, and has antioxidants, and is great for making dairy-free treats. For a quick cake, try this simple recipe using the juice and zest of a lemon, 4 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 cup flour, and 1/2 tsp baking powder. All you need to do is mix and bake!

2. Peel and crush garlic quickly and easily.

Garlic is great in curry or pasta dishes, but it is fiddly to peel and chop—this method is the quickest and best way to add garlic to your favorite meal. Get one clove of garlic, unpeeled, and place it on your chopping board. Carefully put the flat side of your chef’s knife on top of the clove, with blade facing away from your body, and use the heel of your hand to crush the garlic clove. After crushing, the garlic peel will come off easily and you will have a crushed garlic clove that can be loosely chopped even finer, or you may use it as is.

3. Getting rid of a sore throat.

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This tried and tested way to get rid of a sore throat is truly amazing.  Mix a little apple cider vinegar, raw honey, cinnamon and half a cup of hot water and enjoy this warming drink that will not only take away your aching sore throat but help reduce cold and flu symptoms.

4. Boiling beans and pulses faster.

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Did you forget to soak the beans or peas overnight? To speed up the process, boil them in unsalted water, adding a tablespoon of cold water every 7-10 minutes. That way they’ll be ready in no time at all. If you have a few spare hours, you can still soak them, but use the hottest tap water, and replace the water every hour with fresh hot water.

5. Lavender oil to stop that itch.


Being driven crazy by an itchy mosquito bite? Pure lavender essential oil will stop it almost instantly! The natural properties of the oil are antiseptic as well and will stop any infection. In fact, any kind of cut or scrape will benefit from lavender oil and won’t sting like regular antiseptic creams.

6. The best DIY kitchen benchtop spray

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Using simple vinegar as a cleaning spray is the perfect option for those on a budget and who want a quick and easy cleaning solution for their homes. Simply put the 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle and spray and wipe to disinfect and clean those dirty surfaces in no time.  Not keen on the vinegar smell? Try mixing in a couple of drops of orange essential oil. This spray will kill germs, clean surfaces and also eliminate bad cooking odors in you kitchen or bathroom—and best of all it’s free of nasty toxins that may harm your health.

7. Keep tomatoes fresh for longer.

Buy tomatoes with their stems on, if you have a choice, as this helps seal in their freshness for longer.  If they don’t have their stem still on, store them stem side down.  Don’t store tomatoes in the fridge, as they lose their juicy flavor—instead lay them out in a cool, dry place.

8. Revive old and dried-out fruits and vegetables

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Food wastage is a serious problem nowadays, and with busy schedules unfortunately it’s all too common to find stale vegetables in the fridge that have lost their crispiness.  The magical solution to this is water.  Simply take carrots and put them in a glass of water for a couple of hours; soak lettuce in some cool water or cut the celery into sticks and dip it in water like you would a bunch of flowers. Similarly, citrus fruits which are starting to dry out can be restored by soaking them in a bowl of water.

9. Breaking in a new pair of shoes.

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The best way to break in shoes is definitely not to just wear them all day and grin and bear it! Speed up the process in just 10 minutes by using a hairdryer and socks.  This method works best not only for leather shoes, but also works on other types of synthetic shoes.  Put on a pair of socks, then put on your new pair of shoes or boots.  Get a hairdryer and put it on the highest heat setting.  Blow the shoes with the hairdryer for a few minutes. Keep your feet inside the shoes as they cool down.  Repeat as necessary. If your shoes are too tight around the toe area, use the same method, but move your toes and feet around in the shoes while heating them with the hairdryer as well. The result? Perfectly fitting new shoes.

10. Picking up bits of broken glass.

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You can gather up even the smallest bits of broken glass by using a piece of plasticine or playdough. Simply get a round ball of plasticine and dab around on the floor until every little bit has been picked up.  Then put it all in the trash.  If you don’t have any plasticine, try using adhesive tape to collect all the small shards of glass.