Guess what I got in my mailbox yesterday? The February issue of Real Simple. Guess what I’m blogging about today? The January issue of Real Simple. Whoopsie. I’m going to pull out my holiday card and say that the holidays kept me so busy that I neglected my beloved Real Simple. Oh, the shame! Looks like you’ll be having a double dose of RS roundup in the coming days – get excited!
1. Shortcut to Better Google Results. Are you AT ALL shocked that I included an article about Google in this month’s roundup? If you’re new to the blog, welcome to my love affair with all things Google. I’ve always been amazed with Google’s ability to find something, even when I put the most vague words into a search box (ie. pretty dress with blue squiggles and boom! they find it), but this article takes it to another level. For instance, if you’re looking for Jaguar, but want to cut results that don’t pertain to the actual animal, you can put “-cars” or “-football” after the word “Jaguar” to do just that. Genius, right? Or, one that I’ll be using quite often, is the “intitle” command. You can simply list this before your search words if you remember the name of something you like, but don’t remember where you found it. The marriage of RS and Google just makes my heart melt into a gooey puddle of nerdiness. I heart you, Real Soogle.
2. How to Save $5,000 a Year. No matter what Uncle Sam is telling us, the recession is still in effect for most Americans, including yours truly. So of course RS serves up just what the doctor ordered and gives us a heavy dose of ways to save money in all facets of our lives. The categories include food, health care, entertainment, home, transportation, and apparel – basically all the parts of life that suck money out of our wallets. Not only are these tips helpful for the right now, but we should always be thinking about ways to pare down our lives and live more within our means (am I sounding more like my Dad everyday, or what?). Some of my favorite tips included sticking to a grocery list, and spending your money on more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods (also including heads of lettuce, rather than the pre-packaged bags). It’s amazing how much money you can save over time if you forgo a little extra convenience and lean towards a little healthier food options. RS also suggested going to a dental school for bi-yearly cleanings (half the price) or boosting your home owner’s insurance deductible to save you as much as 25% on your bill each year. Also, your AAA membership can save you up to 15% at retailers like Target, etc. Pick up the article to see how you can save your precious, hard-earned dough and bulk up that nest egg!
3. Road Test: Chopping Gadgets. Ah, road test. Real Simple takes the guess-work out of shopping for a variety of products by telling you which product is the best, and for what kind of results. Could they make our lives any easier? They show a nifty device for mincing garlic (so your hands won’t stink for days) and even a corn zipper, to remove kernels from the cob. Did you even know something like that existed? Not included in this road test, but elsewhere in the issue (under Solutions), RS also answered my prayers and included a link to a pant strap. This little bugger acts like a stirrup and keeps your pant legs secure when they’re stuffed in that winter essential, a knee-high boot. Without a doubt, RS will jump into my brain, find out what I don’t know I need, and put it right in front of my face. Pretty creepy if you think about it.
Stick around for the roundup from this month’s February issue in the coming days. Happy reading!