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The Best Time-Saving Ideas

Simplify your life with these speedy tips and shortcuts for cleaning, cooking, exercising, and more.

Fast Food

Time-Saving Foods to Keep in Your Kitchen
Real Simple picked 37 of the best-tasting grocery store items that can be prepared in a flash.

10 Recipe Ideas for Rotisserie Chicken
10 recipes for our go-to convenience food, rotisserie chicken.

The Best Instant Foods
When time is tight, convenience rules. These nine winners give fast food a good name.

Clock and paint can

Real Simple’s Best Time-Saving Tips

Real Simple's best ways to save time—chosen by readers.
Photo:  Reed Davis

11 Time-Saving New Uses for Old Things

Repurposing ideas that save you both time and money.
Photo: Monica Buck

14 Shortcuts for Everyday Tasks 

Better, faster, and easier ways to get from point A to point B. 
Photo: John Kernick

Five 15-Minute Workouts

No time to exercise? Here are five fast routines you can do at home or on the road.
Photo: Jonathan Pozniak
Clock and paint can
Dinner set on a table.
Road sign
The Supported Side Crunch

Pretty Quick

Woman applying eye cream

Beauty Pros’ Time-Saving Strategies
Secrets to streamline your beauty routine, straight from the experts.

Woman in profile

Quick Solutions to Common Skin Problems
A guide to faking a flawless complexion. 

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Illustration of a computer

Speed-Clean Your Computer Checklist

How to get your computer ten times cleaner in just five minutes.

  • Minute 1: Turn off the computer and unplug electrical cords. (For a laptop, remove the battery.) Pour a little rubbing alcohol into a bowl, dip in a foam swab (foam won’t leave lint behind like a cotton swab can), and then very carefully run the swab over all speaker holes, cord inputs, vents and any other openings on the monitor; follow up with a dry swab. Barely dampen an eyeglass cloth (or any other soft, lint-free cloth) with water and give the rest of the exterior a once-over. (For stains, add a drop of dish soap to a fresh cloth and rub; use the damp cloth to wipe clean.)
  • Minute 2: Wipe the screen from top to bottom with the barely damp cloth. Even if you don’t see crumbs, turn the keyboard upside down over a wastebasket and give it a few gentle shakes—particles may be hiding under the keys. Keep the keyboard upside down, hold a can of compressed air upright with your other hand, and shoot a few bursts in and around the gaps between the keys. This will whisk away dust. (A small paintbrush also does a decent job.)
  • Minutes 3 and 4: With a new alcohol-dipped swab, trace the outside of each key. Then swipe the tops of the keys gently with a fresh cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol; there’s no need to press down.

View The Entire Checklist

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