Reader's Digest

5 Tricks to Improve Your Life*

- *From

1 Don’t Fall into the Wrong Airline Fare Bucket

Did you know that airlines subdivide tickets in each seating class into fare buckets? This means a finite number in each class sell at a lower price and the rest are set at a higher price. So, when buying multiple tickets, you might see a price hike for all of them. It means you’ve maxed out the cheaper fare bucket, so all the tickets in your virtual cart automatica­lly jumped to the pricier bucket. Avoid this by purchasing tickets one at a time. This way, if you see the price jump, you’re stuck paying the higher fare for only some of the seats.

2 Give Yourself an Early Holiday Present

home Cursing the fool who put away last year’s decoration­s (you) and swearing this time will be different as you slide hefty totes down the attic ladder? An easy way to stay organized is to use holiday-colored bins. Ornaments and mistletoe go in red and green tubs, skeletons and cobwebs in orange and black, baskets and plastic eggs in purple and pink, etc. This way, you’ll know at a glance which tub to grab.

3 Raise Your iphone’s Volume, Then the Roof

tech In need of a bit of musical ambiance with nary a speaker in sight? Instead of just putting your iphone’s internal speaker volume all the way up, go to Settings > Music > EQ > Late Night. It automatica­lly lowers the level of loud sounds and amps up quieter ones, making the volume about three times louder than usual—much better than the old phone-in-a-cup trick.

4 Two Recipes, One Dough

baking Cousin Nancy wants cookies; Aunt Lorraine wants pie. You want to minimize oven traffic and bake time. Here’s a sweet solution: Line your pie pan with a roll of cookie dough instead of pie crust, and bake as the roll instructs. Once the cookie crust cools, fill it with your favorite no-bake filling.

5 Clean Your Coffee Grinder with Cheerios

cleaning If you use your coffee grinder to crush spices as well as coffee beans, you might wind up taking your java with a dash of peppercorn. Or maybe you just don’t like mixing your arabica with your robusta. If flavors linger, process a handful of Cheerios for 30 seconds. It’s a total palate cleanser—with not even so much as a honey-nut aftertaste.

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