As vast and overwhelming as the Internet can be at times, it does offer so many ways to improve our lives.

Today I want to tell you about five websites that have the potential to simplify your life, whether you need to figure out how to use that huge crop of basil growing in your herb garden or find the perfect dress for your daughter’s wedding.

SEASONAL PRODUCE GUIDE. One of the best tips I know for cutting the cost of healthy, fresh food is to buy only during a fruit or vegetable’s “peak season.” Items at their peak are far more plentiful, which typically causes the prices to drop because of supply and demand. But how can you know for certain if say, cherries, are at their peak? offers a simple way to find out. Go to the site and scroll down and click on the Seasonable Food Guide graphic. Now select your state and month. Or you can select an exact produce item, to discover its peak season where you live. This handy online tool will also offer more information on every type of produce you can imagine such as what to look for, how to store and recipes, too.

BACKGROUND BURNER. This simple but effective app allows you to quickly remove the background from any image or photo. This is a feature of Adobe Photoshop, but that program costs hundreds of dollars! Anyone can use Background Burner for no cost at all.

The instructions for Background Burner are easy to follow and the process is quick. Best of all the price is quite right (free) as well!

RENT THE RUNWAY. Whether for a prom, wedding or another fancy occasion, buying a formal gown or even a simple dress can be mind-bogglingly expensive! Now you can forget about buying it and rent it, instead. offers 65,000 designer dresses and accessories for rent, at quite amazing prices, starting at under $50 plus $12.95 shipping. And we’re talking designer labels and high fashion. So many beautiful options.

And get this: When you rent a dress you get a free backup size. Returning is easy and they even send you a pre-paid mailing envelope.

Why would anyone pay hundreds of dollars for a gown they will wear once—then have to clean it, store it and feel guilty about having spent $400 for it— instead of renting for a fraction of the price and letting someone else clean and store it?

For those of us who are fashion and budget conscious, this is a great option.

COZI FAMILY ORGANIZER. This is a fantastic calendar, shopping list, journal and message center to be shared with everyone in the family. Sign up is a cinch.

You can access your shared account from any computer or mobile phone. No matter where or how you access Cozi Family Organizer, you’ll always be looking at the same information. Everyone posts their appointments.

Cozi Family Organizer will keep you from buying eggs twice and make sure you don’t schedule a baby shower on top of your daughter’s soccer game.

GOOD READS. Looking for your next book? Check out what your friends have read and what they thought with GoodReads. GoodReads allows you to scan book barcodes to add to your “to read” list so you’ll never reach the end of one book without having another on deck.

Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. “Knowledge is power, and power is best shared among readers.”