Six things to save today

I’m still catching up on posts, but here is a quick list of six things you can save today to make life a little bit easier. Add your own tips if you’ve found a great one!

  1. Save time (and your arteries). Because getting angry can give you heart disease, and what is more infuriating than trying to reach customer service and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, only to wind up at a computerized dead end? Visit GetHuman to find a shortcut for reaching a live person at your chosen company.
  2. Save 411 charges. If you are out and about and need a number, try texting Google at 46645. Send a quick message — like a business name and city or ZIP code, and in a minute you’ll get a message back with a suggestion. Much easier than Web surfing on the phone.
  3. Save your lungs (and vacuum waste). I’ve been seeing a TV ad warning about the dire consequences of dumping your vacuum dust bin in a trash can (the dust will fly into the air). Don’t give up and use vacuum bags again … just dump the dust in your compost pile outside. Hold your breath and then walk away.
  4. Save a burned-on pan with one of these tips: Boil super-salty water for a few minutes then scrub, or clean off gunk with a potato or a denture-cleaning tablet.
  5. Save money with and on magazines. Buy them at your local thrift store, and donate them there, too. Instead of simply recycling magazines, either pass them on to a friend or give them to a thrift store — especially recent issues. Donating 20 magazines could save you $2.50 on your taxes.
  6. Save on your taxes by signing up at For free, you can enter your tax-deductible contributions (whether money, goods, stock or mileage) and get estimated values. If you use TurboTax software, you’ll be able to transfer the information directly when tax time rolls around — saving lots of time and headaches.

6 thoughts on “Six things to save today

  1. jmisgro says:

    My husband was complaining about me dumping the vacuum waste in the trash. I was thinking about it last night and thought “Why don’t I compost it?”
    Great minds think alike, I guess!

  2. Kate says:

    re: 411 charges

    If you’re already paying for text, then texting Google is an awesome idea. But if you’re like me and think that text is a waste of time and money (:D), then call 1-800-GOOG-411, say the location and business, and they’ll connect you for free.

    Also, an article I got in my Google Reader this morning from SFGate, online home of the San Francisco Chronicle, talks about shopping for a week’s worth of kid’s brownbag lunches for under $20 total. In addition to a rundown of the costs of some participants’ shopping hauls, it’s got a weekly list of prepared meals AND recipes. It’s good for adults AND kids!
    Article: Budget Brown Bag: Packing a week’s worth of lunches for $20

  3. cheaplikeme says:

    @jmisgro – Yes, I’d suggested my husband not dump it in our big trash can outside, and then I realized – IT’S DIRT!

    @Kate – Thanks for the additions. I prefer text so I don’t have to talk or wait on hold for the theater … but I am saving with a plan with unlimited text.

    Those lunch ideas are great – I’d say *especially* for adults (there’s no way my child would eat spicy chili, although she would eat rice balls). I’m intrigued by the “cost of lunch” idea … I turned down school lunch this fall because it’s costing over $4 a day, so I’m curious how much we *do* spend.

  4. JayFromJingle says:

    also re: 411 charges

    The Google 411 number that Kate mentions will only work for business listings. In contrast, we at 1-800-FREE411 provide free listings for business, gov’t, and residential numbers.

    We also do free driving directions: if you’re already out and about and suddenly need new directions, call 1-800-FREE411 and choose “Directions” from the Main Menu; follow the voice prompts and receive turn-by-turn directions following the call.

    The catch? Well, there are a couple 10-second ads which pay for the cost of the call. Hopefully, saving $2 or more is worth 20 seconds.

    Best wishes,

  5. Mark says:

    To the Free411 marketing department, 411 is really more for businesses – especially since so many people now use cell phones with unlisted numbers. I have my phone book for people I want to call.

    So Goog 411 gets me numbers fast, and without those horrible time share ads you lay on your service. And Goog connects me with the number for free. Now that’s convenient, fast, and way better than your service (plus it’s better at figuring out what I’m asking for).

  6. Becca says:

    I love the Free411 service. I have never found the ads to be more offensive or time-consuming than the holds and hums of other phone directories!

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