Adjustments To Help You Save Time And Money

Little tweaks you make to your daily routine can snowball into significant changes. For an example, take toothpaste. You don’t need much on your brush to get the job done, but you probably cover the entire face of the brush with the product. Cut the amount in half and it will take you twice as long to use up the tube.

ReadyForZero offers a bunch of different tips along that line of thinking. Here are some of the most effective:

* Shift to four 10s. Year-round three-day weekends become reality if you can convince your boss to let you work 10-hour days four times a week. You’ll cut the time and money you spend on your commute by 20 percent.

* Drive slower. Slamming on the gas may feel empowering, but it really doesn’t get you to your destination much quicker and causes you to spend more on gas. The post says that every five miles per hour you drive over 60 burns your gas faster, making you pay 26 cents more per gallon.

* Eat easy breakfasts. A satisfying breakfast helps you avoid the gauntlet of office snacks, but it’s tough to find time to slap something together if you’re always in a rush getting ready in the morning. Shifting to grab-and-chomp options, such as bagels or breakfast bards, is one option. Another is to keep a box of instant oatmeal packets at the office so you can zap yourself some breakfast during morning downtime.

The Daily Commute: 7 Ways to Maximize Time and Save Money [ReadyForZero]

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  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Breakfast bards…Bagel, lox, and Shakeschmear?

  2. Jane_Gage says:

    I’ve taken to eating breakfast. I have organic oatmeal packs, lots of fruit, and I hard boil eggs with salt packets at the beginning of the week. Yogurt is good too but there’s a lot of sugar in it.

  3. caradrake says:

    I’m trying to figure out what breakfast bards are. The only thing I can think of, is breakfast breads – but it wouldn’t make since to mention bagels unless it is “bagels and other breakfast breads.” Am I missing out on a tasty breakfast food? I don’t know if bards is a typo or not.

    I like the instant oatmeal and cream of wheat packets. Aldi also sells precooked frozen link sausages that are very tasty and cheap at $.89 for a dozen. I’ll toss a package into a skillet, let ‘em brown nicely, and then they’re very good reheated later on in the week, as are scrambled eggs. Add some buttered toast and some fruit, and it’s an excellent breakfast. Or keep that eggs/sausage mixture and toss it in a tortilla to make a yummy burrito.

    Okay, I missed breakfast this morning, and now I’m craving scrambled eggs. Sigh.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Uh yeah, it’s a typo. It’s supposed to be “breakfast bars.”

      • caradrake says:

        Doh!!! Thank you. That makes a lot of sense.

        See kids, when you don’t eat a balanced breakfast, you’re sluggish and unable to think during the rest of the day. So eat a nutrigrain bar and enjoy the sugar rush all day long!

  4. The Upright Man says:

    I would think listening to podcasts would potentially be more distracting than listening to music (This applies to drivers of course. If you don’t drive, then go crazy), I could be wrong, though, since I never actually think to listen to podcasts

    As a music snob, however, I find listening to radio music unacceptable most of the time.

    • Rachacha says:

      I listen to podcasts throughout my commute. Most of them are news centric, so I am not necessarially learning a new skill, just keeping up with the latest news and trends in areas that interest me. For driving or riding the train to work, it is no more distracting than listening to a talk radio program. The advantage is, they usually have fewer commericals, and there is no “teasing” of a story that will be coming up in an hour. When I get to work, I simply press pause and can pick up where I left off for the evening commute.

  5. dolemite says:

    I *wish* more than anything I could do 4 10s. Instead, we do 5 10s (salary). Hurray for unpaid overtime. It’s not an official 5 10s but on average, it ends up being that.

    • StarKillerX says:

      I know how you feel, I’ve always thought 4 10′s would be the best of both worlds, and I got half my wish, I now work 10 hour shifts but unfortunately it’s Monday to Friday. :(

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      We tried this at work, and while most of management was for it, our direct manager wasn’t. But she only drives a few miles to work each way, while those of us who wanted to do this were making 45+ mile round trips per day. Gas was over $4.00/gallon, but noooo way would she let us.

      So now we car pool, and come to work at the same time, and leave at the same time.

      Guess what – this causes angst too – because she gets annoyed when she expects one of us to stay over for a meeting that she scheduled after hours and we won’t do it.

  6. crashfrog says:

    The post says that every five miles per hour you drive over 60 burns your gas faster, making you pay 26 cents more per gallon.

    Um, per gallon? You may burn more gas doing this, but the price per gallon you pay at the pump is going to be the same no matter how fast you drive.

    • The Upright Man says:

      I think the implication is that you’d have to fill up more often.

    • dolemite says:

      The real number is every 5 mph over 60 reduces efficiency about 15% (around 4 mpg). Kind of depends on the base mpg.

      • TheHalfWit says:

        I’d say that depends a lot on the car involved. My jeep for instance gets 17mpg if I’m gunning it and doing 80 on the freeway. Or 18mpg if I baby it and only do 60mph.

        My subaru gets 30mpg at 60 if I baby the throttle and there’s no cargo. But add cargo and it drops to 26mpg-24mpg at 60mph, add going 80mph and it gets 20mpg.

        The jeep just doesn’t give a fuck, I’ve had it loaded down with half a ton of concrete before with the mpg dropping to 17 at 60mph, while if I tried that trick with the subaru its mileage might drop into the teens. (the subaru isn’t rated for that payload, and doesn’t have the space though so I couldn’t anyway.)

    • dangermike says:

      Not in my car. It’s fueled by a superdense material known as Dark Matter, each pound of which weighs over 10,000 lbs!

  7. Nuc says:

    I always try to keep oatmeal, tuna, and crackers in the office so when I forget my food (and I will forget) I have something to eat without having to spend to go out.

  8. caradrake says:

    I’m trying to figure out what breakfast bards are. The only thing I can think of, is breakfast breads – but it wouldn’t make since to mention bagels unless it is “bagels and other breakfast breads.” Am I missing out on a tasty breakfast food? I don’t know if bards is a typo or not.

    I like the instant oatmeal and cream of wheat packets. Aldi also sells precooked frozen link sausages that are very tasty and cheap at $.89 for a dozen. I’ll toss a package into a skillet, let ‘em brown nicely, and then they’re very good reheated later on in the week, as are scrambled eggs. Add some buttered toast and some fruit, and it’s an excellent breakfast. Or keep that eggs/sausage mixture and toss it in a tortilla to make a yummy burrito.

    Okay, I missed breakfast this morning, and now I’m craving scrambled eggs. Sigh.

    • caradrake says:

      Okay, my computer lagged on the submitting for about three minutes before posting. I didn’t click it twice or anything. Sorry, ignore this copy. :/

  9. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I’m not hungry until 9-10am, so breakfast is pretty hard for me to swallow, literally, at 7-8. When I do I usually get sick later.

    • Rachacha says:

      When I was in college, I worked a job where I started at 3am, had my “lunch” break at 7am, and usually left work at around 1:30pm. Initially it bothered me that all of the old timers were eating sandwiches and other lunch items at 7am, but after working there for a while, I soon adopted their line of thinking and I was eating breakfast a 2am, lunch at 7am, dinner at 3pm, and going to bed at going to bed at 6pm

  10. Cat says:

    Keep a box of instant oatmeal packets at the office? Yes, and no.

    Packaged instant oatmeal gets expensive. Buy a big box of “1-minute” oatmeal, portion it into ziplock bags, add dried fruit and powdered creamer.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Amen. I do this all the time and now I can’t eat the pre-packaged kind (which I grew up on and loved) because they are so super sweet in comparison. My grocery store regularly puts pound containers of quick oats on sale for $1, I stock up.

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      +1

      This sounds like a great idea. I can’t beleive I hadn’t thought of this myself.

  11. CosmosHuman says:

    Tell me how to stretch $21.00 in food stamps for the month!

  12. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Any time they say I pay more per gallon because I’m using more I have to say BS and call them marketing idiots.

    Besides, my gas mileage improved when I raised my speed from 70 to 90 mph. But this is because I have a gas guzzler high performance car.

    • kc2idf says:

      Ding! Concept fail!

      Unwind the math you did to compute that and give me a percentage change in my expected fuel economy, please. It’s a figure that actually means something to me.

      Or, if you prefer, tell me how much more often I’ll have to fill my tank or how many more dollars I’ll spend per month at the pump.

  13. JoeDawson says:

    The shift to 4 10s thing looks great on the surface, but then i have deliverables due daily, and have no work from home access. Also, business is conducted M – F, me not being there, breaks that.

    • 67alecto says:

      More importantly, consider the main cost savings assocated with it – a reduced commute. This assumes that you’ll spend that extra day locked in your house. I work a 4×10. I spend that day running errands more often than not. So instead of my typical 12 miles roundtrip, I may log 25+ miles with errands I’ve been saving to do on my day off.

      • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

        Yes…but you would have run all of those anyway. You’re probably saving commute there by combining them all into one day’s efforts. Or, even if you would have done them all on one day anyway, you’re now doing them on Friday or Monday instead of Saturday or Sunday, so you don’t commute for them on that day, instead. So there’s still an extra day there of not commuting and of time off.

  14. Cantras says:

    Either there’s something futzy with my gas gauge, or my gas mileage over 72ish is so bad that the needle drops noticeably faster than it does at 70 or below.

    My preferred breakfast, I will get a batch of powdered cookie mix and add a bunch of oatmeal and cranberries and such to it and bake them all up and stash them in the fridge. 1-2 cookies makes a good start to the morning, and they’re easy to eat while I drive.

  15. SerenityDan says:

    Yeah, I work for a mail room, at a school so 4 days weeks ain’t happnin’

  16. yurei avalon says:

    Breakfast has always been a no win situation for me.. cereal is expensive and not filling, not even the best “healthy” options. Oatmeal is inexpensive and filling but tends to give me indigestion something awful, bagels and pastries are unhealthy, expensive and not filling, I don’t like eggs and I have neither the time nor energy to cook anything very complicated anyway. Not a fan of fruit either :/

    Right now I’m stuck suffering through oatmeal eating at my insides every day. Starting to think I have GERD or something. Maybe I’ll go back to doing protein shakes for breakfast with something small to nibble on to try and stay full… /sigh

    • who? says:

      If you have chronic GERD, oatmeal would be one of the better breakfast foods you could eat.

      • Rebecca K-S says:

        Not necessarily. Oatmeal exacerbates heartburn for some people. I love oatmeal and eat it regularly, but it’s probably the most reliable heartburn trigger for me.

      • yurei avalon says:

        From what I’ve been reading high fiber stuff like oatmeal apparently can be a trigger. I started researching after a week straight of heart burny feeling after eating oatmeal for breakfast again. I was like “WTF, why is oatmeal making my stomach upset, it should be soothing”. Apparently now :/ I have a very finicky stomach- it gets upset by quite a lot of things, some of which doesn’t make sense to me to get indigestion from such as oatmeal or select dairy products.

        I might look into the cream of wheat, I think my bf likes it so even if I don’t he won’t let it get thrown away.

    • Jane_Gage says:

      Could you try Cream o Wheat? It’s very tasty with milk and salt.

    • qwickone says:

      Can you try some non-breakfast foods? Steamed veggies? You can make that at the beginning of the week and put it in individual serving containers that you microwave at work?

  17. AllanG54 says:

    I don’t eat lunch or snack while I’m in my office so I guess I save even more.

  18. SamiJ says:

    You can freeze pancakes. So make a lot on the weekend & freeze the extras. Also buy your yogurt in the big tub. Make a parfait the night before in a cup. And you can keep some boiled eggs in the fridge. Grab and go.

  19. Nyxalinth says:

    The oatmeal thing is a good idea, if you don’t work in a call center. There, once you’re on the floor there’s no eating until your break, which can be 2 hours away, minimum.

    • HollzStars says:

      That really depends on the call centre. The one I am at allows food at your desk. I’ve been at a few that don’t – it seems that the turn over rate for those ones is nearly triple the ones that do. Hmmm.

  20. brinks says:

    Can anyone really just choose the 40 hours a week they want? I would love to save commute time and have three days off, but that doesn’t seem realistic in most circumstances.

    The other advice is pretty sound, though. People blow way more money than they realize on breakfast and coffee. Every time I’m out of money, I realize I could have paid a few bills with what I spent at Starbucks.

    • Firevine says:

      The coworkers I have had can apparently choose to work whenever they bloody well please, while I get to be here every f’ing hour the place is open and then some.

    • tooluser says:

      So it’s 100% your own fault then, isn’t it?

  21. BorkBorkBork says:

    Save gas by looking further than the front of your hood. I see so many people engaged in stoplight drag racing. Gun it! Slam on the brakes. Gun it! etc.

  22. tbail25 says:

    4 10s doesn’t always mean a 3 day weekend. I have Fri & Sat off, then have to work Sunday, then off Monday. Makes vacation planning a pain.

  23. Ablinkin says:

    I save gas by driving an white egg shaped car with a giant key on top. I’m also best friends with every greenie in the area who wave at me as they go screaming by burning up tons of fuel while I’m doing 25 miles per hour on the interstate. They love me so much they give me the #1 symbol. Damn those are some cool guys.

    At work I have sardines and crackers for snacks. My co-workers are really nice cause they all leave to go outside so I won’t be disturbed as I watch the latest videos on Huffington Post.

  24. energynotsaved says:

    I find two eggs really fill me up. I have a microwave thing I bought at the grocery store. Takes 33-36 seconds (depending on egg size) and I have a fast, easy and filling breakfast. I eat them as I’m getting ready to leave.

    I also like Greek Yogurt and granola mix together. Not as long lasting as the eggs, but a nice change of pace.

    • tooluser says:

      “I find two eggs really fill me up.”

      Hee hee. You have a really tiny stomach, or something is terribly wrong with you.

  25. mdoneil says:

    What nonsense. The ‘gas allowance’ is fully taxable for the employee and not deductible by a business as a ‘business expense’ any more than an employee’s salary is.

  26. kimmie says:

    How realistic is this ‘gas allowance’ thing? I wouldn’t want to get laughed at here.

  27. SporadicBlah says:

    Turning my underwear inside out to get two days wear per pair means I do laundry half as much.

  28. Siber says:

    Driving slower to save $$ on fuel is only worth it if your time isn’t very valuable. In an hour, going 70mph instead of 60mph will save you 10 minutes and you’ll use ~$1.04 in fuel. My time is certainly worth more than $6.24 an hour.

  29. Tokarev_Makarov says:

    .410s aren’t that much cheaper than 12-gauge, and with far less stopping power, you may end up firing more shots anyway.