Have you ever been in a pinch and needed a flamethrower? Did you use ordinary items from your home to construct it? Yeah, me neither. Some life hack.

Life hacks are simple tricks that improve the quality of life, or shortcuts to increase efficiency. You can find them all over the internet, although most seem far-fetched. But I’m easily drawn to the bright, shiny Facebook videos demonstrating life hacks. The assortment of unrelated items that the creators somehow combine into a useful tool pull me in like a moth to a candle.

Claire Weltz

Claire Weltz

After all, if watching a three-minute video can save me time, I’m all about it!

Life hacks are so popular because they make things easier with minimal effort. To save you, dear reader, some time, I have compiled a short list of some simple hacks.

• Keep pizza or other takeout food warm on the drive home by turning on the seat heater. Looks like those heaters aren’t only for the frigid winters of North Dakota!

• I always need to take at least three of those tiny, paper cups from a fast food restaurant to have enough ketchup for my fries. To save the environment and a trip or two back to your table, pull on the folds of the cups. This expands the cup, letting you fill it two to three times fuller.

• Sipped your coffee before letting it cool down? Burnt your tongue on a bowl of grandma’s soup that you couldn’t wait to eat? Put sugar on your tongue for a few seconds, and the pain will fade quickly.

• Chew gum while you study. Then, on test day, chew the same flavor. This will help you recall the information you studied.

• All natives of the great north know to keep a winter survival kit in their car. A sturdy shovel, matches, hats, gloves and flashlights are all essentials, but have you considered kitty litter? If you get stuck in the snow and ice, dump some underneath your tires. The litter is gritty and will give your vehicle’s tires something to grip.

Claire Weltz is a junior at Our Redeemer’s Christian School, where she is involved in soccer, National Honor Society and student council. She enjoys “Star Wars” marathons, reading a good book and indulging in KitKat bars. Claire is the daughter of Paul and Cindy Weltz, who are members of SRT Communications and Verendrye Electric Cooperative.