Food is one of those things that makes life so much more bearable. It’s not just a source of nourishment (well, it’s our main source of nourishment), it’s more than that. We don’t just eat out of hunger, we also eat out of boredom, anxiety, when we’re too hot, when we’re too cold, when we watch TV, and whenever we come across something delicious.
But, there’s eating and then there’s proper, efficient eating. There are food hacks that you can whip out in front of family and friends, at a party or a barbecue, that’ll make everyone think you’re on a whole other level of eating. Then there are the more low-key food hacks that seem a little dorky so you just use them in private.
It doesn’t matter which category you fit in when it comes to food hacks. If you just want to eat more efficiently, do something fun next time you eat or impress the people in your life, we have you covered.
Here are 16 clever food hacks to help you pig out the right away:
1. Have you ever wondered why potato chips are 70% air and 30% chips? It’s to help them stay fresh and keep them from the Stale Zone. But it’s also to give you room so you can do things like this:
2. Next time you put away your bag of chips, take advantage of that 70% air room! Instead of scrunching it up or just clipping it at the tip, fold your bag down like in this diagram. This will keep the chips fresh longer, and you don’t have to scramble to find clips to seal the bag!
3. If you want a cute way to serve Skittles or M&Ms, how about turning them into a rainbow? All you need is a dish and a little bit of water. Line up the Skittles/M&Ms in a circle and watch the magic happen.
4. Here’s how to make one of those fun chocolate coke bottles. Melt enough chocolate to fill the bottle you’ve chosen. Then, pour the melted chocolate into the bottle using a funnel (do it in two layers to avoid cracking). Leave in the freezer overnight. Then, take it out, peel off the plastic casing and fill the resulting chocolate coke bottle with your favorite candy!
5. This is a pretty straight forward DIY container. You can do this for a barbecue (french fry holder!), or for movie nights at home. You can also decorate them and use them for a baby shower.
6. No more reaching into a tube of chips and getting your hand stuck there. Just slide a sheet of paper into the tube and pull the chips out like this:
7. Nobody understands the plight of someone who loves messy food but doesn’t like to use their hands to eat it. If you just don’t want your hands to get sticky when you eat Oreos and milk, try dunking them with a fork instead!
8. Or, if all of your dishes are dirty or you don’t use any forks at home, try doing it with chopsticks. This is also a great way to practice using chopsticks if you’re really bad at it.
9. Does the world’s most efficient sandwich exist? I don’t think we’ll ever know. For now, cut your round ham slices in half and put them inside your sandwich with the curved side inside. That way, your entire ham slice will be a part of the sandwich.
10. Sometimes, surprises happen. You could be at a picnic or at the park with the kids when you realize you forgot to bring a knife for de-stemming the strawberries. Don’t panic! Just push a straw through the strawberry starting at the bottom and force the stem out.
11. The summer weather can be a little unpredictable, especially when it comes to the wind. To stop your straws from getting wind-swept, just insert them through the hole of the tab in your can.
12. Everyone loves a good ice cream popsicle. The cool fruitiness can brighten someone’s day and make them forget about all their woes. But the mess caused by popsicles melting can also dampen someone’s mood. Next time, use a cupcake liner to stop the drip.
13. Do you love strawberries and chocolate? Do you want to learn a new creative way to eat this snack? Just melt some chocolate, pour it in an ice bucket, stick some strawberries into it and freeze them overnight. The result is a delicious strawberry-chocolate cube.
14. If you ran out of Ziploc bags or you simply want a better way to carry your apples around, try this. Slice an apple up, shape the slices back to their old shape (as much as you can) and wrap an elastic band around the middle of the apple puzzle. No plastic necessary!
15. Here’s another handy fruit tip, this time it’s for removing the pits from your cherries. You can use a chopstick or a straw to accomplish this. Just put the cherry on top of the opening of a bottle and dig the stick/chopstick/straw through it until the pit falls into the bottle.
16. There’s nothing more frustrating than hard, cold butter that just won’t budge no matter how much you scrape your knife over it. To solve this, warm up a glass (you can do this by running it under hot water) and cover the butter stick with it. Then, remove the glass and the outside of the butter should be softer.