7 Ways to Save Time, Money, + the Planet (All On Your Lunch Break)

thinky face

If you’re quick with your internet skills, you can bang out all seven of these on your lunch break. Pizza in one hand, mouse in the other. I believe in you.

1) Break up with the yellow pages. If you – like me – are one of the majority who never cracks open a phone book, and instead just stares at the massive brick of yellow paper on your front porch wondering how this could possibly still be a thing, it’s super easy to opt out of receiving it.

2) See if you’re eligible for an auto insurance discount. If someone in your family recently started telecommuting or made the move to being a stay at home parent, call your car insurance company and let them know. I went from having a 45 mile daily commute to no commute at all, and they sliced down my bill by $30 a month.

7 Ways to Save Time, Money, + The Planet (All On Your Lunch Break) || NEON FRESH

3) Spend $20 on a clothes drying rack. If it’s a sunny day, I’ll wash my couch cushion covers (I have a white couch and three kids, which basically means I’m a sociopath), and throw them on the deck to dry + naturally brighten up in the sun, but otherwise, I don’t hang anything outside to dry (for various reasons). I bought this drying rack and it sits – indoors – right next to my dryer. MOST of our clothes go through the washer and dryer, but I’ll throw my jeans, Jack’s jeans, any bras, dresses, or delicate blouses on it. When they’re dry, I throw them in a basket with whatever’s coming out of the dryer. I personally keep a small wardrobe of things that I love, so I want my favorite jeans to last forever. This is a painless way to help.

4) Clean up your inbox almost painlessly. Unroll.me is a pretty neat service. You sign up and they generate a list of all of your email subscriptions. With one click, they’ll unsubscribe you to the ones you don’t want any more. The ones you want to keep? You can opt to putting those into one single daily digest email. So bueno.

5) Use your phone to drop your rates. Sometimes lowering your bills (like the car insurance tip) is just a phone call away. Talking on the phone might be my least favorite method of communication, but if I have to shake down a few companies at once, I pop in my earbuds so I can at least putter around the house and clean while I’m on the phone. Our Freaking Budget talks about calling after promo rates have fun out. Similarly, if you carry a balance on a credit card, but are super fantastic about paying on time, you can always ask them to lower your interest rate.

6) Put some shortcuts in your phone. Not pranky ones (although I love those, too), but the kind that will save you time. Instead of typing in my full email address (which includes my ridiculously long last name), I type in @@, and my email address pops up. So easy. Great write-up on phone shortcuts here.

7) Check your credit score. I’m not really sure what the time + money payoff is as a whole, but it’s the grown-up thing to do. You’re eligible for one free report per year. Scan it and make sure nothing looks weird. Oh, cool, the loan information on my boat is on here. Wait, do I own a boat? Shoot, I definitely don’t own a boat.

Got more? Holla at a girl below.

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  • Reply Lauren @ Faith and Macaroni May 20, 2014 at 11:38 am

    I hang dry pretty much everything except for my socks… tall girl life. No shrinkage allowed.

    Stop by your cell phone provider’s store the next time you are in the mall. My husband and I were paying for 3 gigs of data when (combined) we were only using .36. [yay for home wifi] So we bumped it down to one gig a month and shaved $30 off our monthly bill. We did this in less than 5 minutes and it was totally free.

    Now I can buy something important. Like more drive-thru Starbucks.

    • Reply Roo May 20, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Great idea, Lauren! You can also login online or call. We always get the warning text that we’re at 95% of our data usage, bah!

      Drive-thru Starbucks; fantastic invention.

    • Reply Kelly {the Centsible Life} May 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      We recently changed plans and are saving a small fortune each month! Our bill went down $65/month for three phones with AT&T’s change in pricing. It’s totally fueling my Starbucks addiction.

  • Reply Caitlin @ {walker whimsy} May 20, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Unroll.me just saved my life. I don’t even know how I subscribed to all this junk. *side eyes husband*

    • Reply Roo May 20, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      ALL of the retail stores. For crying out loud.

  • Reply Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run. May 20, 2014 at 11:54 am

    OMG, I’m so excited to hear about unroll.me! I’m going there now!

    These are some great tips, thanks!

    • Reply Roo May 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      You’re welcome! Hope it works well for you. :)

  • Reply Megan H. May 20, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Thanks Roo! I just opted out of the THREE Yellow Book publications that we receive (and never use) each year.

    • Reply Roo May 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Sorry you’re missing out on a prime opportunity to rip phone books in half and impress all of your friends, Megan.

  • Reply Marlie May 20, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I was SOOO excited about not getting phone books! I logged in, registered, and completed the opt-out. THEN, I got an email from the publishers that said I have to contact my local post office. Womp womp. However, I opted out of receiving SEVEN phone books, so, I’m not sure which company is contacting me. We’ll see what happens. Thanks for the awesome tips!

    • Reply Roo May 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      SEVEN. Good night. I wonder if there’s some Pinteresty tutorials for turning them into wall art, hahaha.

  • Reply Kati May 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    This website lets you enter all of the shows you watch and shows you if you can save money by ditching your cable or satellite TV company.


    You enter all of the shows you watch and it tells you what your options are to watch those shows with cable/satellite and what the cost would be. We found out we can ditch DirecTV and save about $30/month, we just have to wait until our contract is up. :)

    • Reply Sara May 20, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Call up DirecTV and say that you want to switch but have a contract – they may offer you rebates that equal your cancellation fees for your current provider. They recently offered me $200 to cancel my Uverse contract – save money now!

    • Reply Roo May 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks for sharing the link, Kati!

  • Reply Jessica May 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Roo, your the best. I enjoy your blog a lot. Keep up the great work!

    • Reply Roo May 24, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Awww, Jessica! Thank you so much. :D

  • Reply Kelly {the Centsible Life} May 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Oh you know I could go on and on about ways to save.

    One thing to note-you get free credit reports at all three agencies so I always spread ours out. One every 4 months, and I set up a phone alert so I take 10 minutes to check it when my alarm goes off.

    One of our credit cards offers free credit scores so I don’t have to pay for that-I just check our scores right from their dashboard. If you don’t have one that does you can sign up for a site like CreditKarma.com and get your score. They try to ‘sell’ you on other ways to save but you can ignore all that and get your credit score for free.

  • Reply Ashley May 20, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Great tips Roo! Unroll me just saved me from having to delete tons of email, no more phone books for me…and progressive told me about their snapshot discount! Boom-winning!

    • Reply Roo May 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Woop woop! That’s amazing!

  • Reply Melissa {Blog Clarity} May 20, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Oohh I just opted-out of the Yellow Pages! Good riddance bad law firm ads and companies called AAAAAA Repair.

    And thanks for linking to my post!

    • Reply Roo May 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks for writing it, Melissa. I love using the shortcuts – especially for when I have to log in to… anything.

  • Reply shannon May 20, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    roo, I love you. for realsies. the roll up thing??!!! I could kiss you right now. I shall refrain, lest this gets weird.

    • Reply Roo May 24, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      Let’s be honest, Shannon. Things have been weird for awhile. xo

  • Reply Wendy May 21, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    On laundry, skip doing it between 12 and 8 pm when rates are often higher. Same for washing dishes, etc.

    We use this IKEA drying rack and love it!

    Most utility companies will do a free audit every year or 2 so you know where energy is being expended. Consider that and making modifications to home and habits.

    • Reply Roo May 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      Great advice, Wendy. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply J.mill May 22, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I immediately opted out of the yellow pages the second I saw your tip! My husband is our condo board president so I was able to opt the whole building out of those prehistoric things! I hate getting them – they always somehow get rained on to where they are a sopping mess to pick up and haul to the dumpster!

    • Reply Roo May 24, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      Yay! That’s incredible. Glad that tip helped.

  • Reply Megan May 23, 2014 at 9:16 am

    unroll.me! where have you been all my life!! I even went through my emails by searching “unsubscribe” this one time, but somehow I missed, you know, over 100 subscriptions!!! Yikes!!

    • Reply Roo May 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Hahaha glad you two have finally come together. ;)

  • Reply Kaity May 27, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Not an entirely new tip, but jumping off of #7: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax all work with AnnualCreditReport.com and offer 1 free credit report per year. If you need to track your score more often, rather than getting all three at once, select each company’s report one at a time, to be able to check your credit score for free every 4 months!

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