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Our most popular life hacks of 2023

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Posted at 1:05 PM, Dec 27, 2023

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At Simplemost, we spend our entire year looking for the best ways to help our readers save time, money and stress by making things easier. We’re all busier than ever, and we understand that practical tips can go a long way toward making the most out of tight budgets and packed schedules.

Viral recipes, cleaning hacks, travel tips and money-saving strategies can help make life just a little bit simpler for everyone. We aim to weed through all the noise and point you toward best options we can find throughout the year.

Happy black woman, phone and communication at office with smile in networking or social media. African female person or employee enjoying online browsing or chat on mobile smartphone app at workplace.

As 2023 comes to a close, we’re sharing a handful of the hundreds of stories we produced for our readers this year — the top 10 life hacks that truly clicked with you. As we prepare to turn the calendar to 2024 in a few days, here’s a look back at 2023’s most popular life hack stories. We have a feeling you’ll find something helpful here as you plan those New Year’s goals and resolutions!

1. How to Thaw Frozen Fish Safely

photo of frozen vacuum-sealed fish

Using a vacuum sealer to keep food fresh longer is a great way to save money, because you can stock up when pricey items go on sale at the grocery store. (Need one? We like this compact vacuum sealer machine starter kit, which is affordable, stores easily and has more than 18,000 five-star reviews.) However, whether you do the sealing yourself or buy fish pre-sealed at the store, you must ensure you handle it carefully to avoid food-borne illnesses. One of our writers got an important tip at the grocery store about safely defrosting vacuum-sealed fish to avoid getting botulism. You’ll want to read these guidelines before you take out your next piece of fish to defrost!

2. How to Find Out if Your Old $2 Bills Are Worth Big Bucks

photo of man holding out a $2 bills with a stack of $100 bills in his other hand

If your grandparents like giving you $2 bills as gifts, you may not want to roll your eyes just yet. It turns out that some may be worth a lot more than their face value. Find out if your cash stash is larger than you think by checking out our story about the true value of your $2 bills.

3. How to Clean a Glass Oven Door

Photo of person cleaning a dirty glass oven door

MORE: The 16 Best Life Hacks of All Time That Will Make Your Life Easier

Even if you have a self-cleaning oven, getting the glass door to sparkle is a major hassle. It’s no wonder that one of our most popular stories this year was about how to clean a glass oven door.

As a bonus tip to make cleaning your oven more manageable, consider picking up oven liners for the bottom of the oven to catch spills. (We like these heavy duty oven liners from Linda’s Essentials.) It’ll save you some scrubbing!

4. How to Get Up-Close Photos and Videos of Hummingbirds

A photo of a smart hummingbird feeder with hummingbirds fllying around it
Kickstarter/Bird Buddy

Who says technology and nature don’t go well together? Our readers couldn’t get enough of this article featuring a smart bird feeder specifically designed to give you an up-close view of hummingbirds.

These hummingbird feeders take photos and videos and even use AI technology to help identify specific species. Just fill it up with hummingbird nectar and watch the birds flock to your yard.

5. Whether Shopping with Temu Is Worth It—Or Not

Photo of a person holding up a smartphone with Temu app open in front of a computer screen also with Temu website open

When e-commerce site Temu stormed onto the scene in 2023, our writer Jennifer Graham Kizer decided to test the service to see if its rock-bottom prices were too good to be true. Her closer look at what you really get when you shop on Temu was one of our most popular stories of the year.

6. How to Make a Delicious 1-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

photo of chocolate mousse served in glass cup with mint garnish

MORE: Double your closet space with this clever soda can trick

Viral recipes are always popular with our readers. And whether we see them on TikTok or elsewhere, we love sharing dishes with minimal ingredients. Our story on how to make one-ingredient chocolate mousse was one of this year’s top stories because the process seems like magic.

Once you make this decadent dessert, you can serve it up in beautiful mini trifle glass cups for absolute elegance.

7. How to Travel Across the U.S. by Train for Less Than $500

Amtrak Train travels past green trees

So you want to travel across the U.S. in 2024, but don’t have the money or desire to fly into multiple airports. Why not try going by train? Our readers learned how to travel across the country for less than $500 in 30 days with one of the year’s most-viewed stories on vacation savings.

Don’t forget to bring the right luggage! It should be able to hold everything you need to keep yourself entertained and comfortable. We like this simple carry-on backpack that comes in nine pleasing colors and converts to a duffle in a snap. With the current discounts, the bag is $45 or less in every color.

8. How to Use Vaseline as Your Go-To Eye Beauty Hack

woman applying petroleum jelly to her face.

Consumers spend billions of dollars on beauty products to keep our skin looking soft and youthful. The under-eye area is particularly challenging, because that delicate skin is prone to wrinkling.

Our story about using Vaseline petroleum jelly as an inexpensive eye moisturizer explains how this affordable option helps with under-eye dryness overnight. At less than $5, the classic Vaseline Blueseal Petroleum Jelly is worth a try!

9. Find Out the Secrets of Car Detailers

car detailer wiping down a car with a microfiber rag

MORE: 8 Practical Life Hacks That Take 5 Minutes or Less

Have you ever picked up your car from a professional detailer and wondered what magic he or she possesses? In our story about how car detailers get your car squeaky clean, we get down and dirty with their trade secrets.

Based on these tips, one of our top product picks is the Bissel Little Green Portable Carpet Cleaner. If you have pets or kids, this handy little machine will give your car that professional-level clean.

10. How a Gnat-Eating Plant Can Keep Your Home Pest-Free

photo of a collection of carnivorous mini pitcher plants

It turns out, some flowering plants can be useful for controlling common household pests like gnats. And if you know what kinds of plants to look for, you can pick up a gnat-eating plant to keep your home practically free of these pests.

Prefer to grow your own rather than picking up a houseplant? You can actually buy mini pitcher plant seeds at Walmart in preparation for the upcoming growing season.

Our most popular life hacks of 2023 originally appeared on, helping make the most out of life.

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