How to Shave Time and Money Like a Dad


There’s one promise I can make you today, right now.

I will never, ever curl my eyelashes.

Especially in my Pontiac Grand-Am, as I roll down highway 4-85.

Especially on the morning commute. (This happened, with a fellow motorist. Sixty-five-plus MPH, with an eyelash curler clipped one eye, then the other. I can judge and give dirty looks, even though when I eat animal cookies while I drive, I look down to see what animal it is, out of respect – for the animal.)

As dad of three and coach of two and writer of one blog, I’m all for shaving time and shaving money, out of the everyday. To make ends meet means to twist and turn and stretch – but not to curl. I will not curl.

There are a lot of ways I shave time and money in the everyday routine. Some of them aren’t gross.

photo credit: leg0fenris via photopin cc
photo credit: leg0fenris via photopin cc

3 Ways to Shave Time

1.      Computer startup time

In defiance of Macklemore’s call to find a new way to get up, I do get on the Internet first thing. I fire up my laptop, and in the time it takes to power on, I can take my pills and start the griddle for breakfast for Elise and me. I can be on WordPress in 7.7 seconds flat.

Even better if I could: Get in some morning hot yoga instead of hit the WordPress.

Not so good if I: Just Google “yoga pants pictures” and skip breakfast all together.

2.      NPR time is my news time

On bad mornings, I’ll hear the music to start the NPR news report three times on my commute. That car-bound 90 minutes is no time for sports-talk drivel. I catch up on world headlines with Kelly McEvers and Marketplace news with Sally Herships. No need to bone up on at work.

Even better if I could: Parlay some of this NPR knowledge into stellar stock trading, or into healthier living. It would be stellar if I knew more than six world leaders by name, even.

Not so good if I: Am late to work every day because I had an “NPR moment” in the car.

3.      Twitter at the urinal

Not just the urinal – sometimes, it’s while I wait for Elise to find her Toms or shin guards before we leave in the morning. I can steal a peek at the Twitter feed, and give out some props. I’m not good enough to tweet from the men’s room, but I can retweet like a champ without a double dribble.

Even better if I could:  Update my fantasy football while I wash my hands, using only the tip of my nose.

Not so good if I: Fumble the smartphone while changing hands.

photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

3 Ways to Shave Money

1.      Dollar Store on steroids

What’s better than shampoo and body wash from the dollar store? Shampoo and body wash from the dollar store – in a single bottle. Once, the 2-in-1 was actually shampoo and conditioner, not body wash. I shaved money by using it as shampoo anyway.

Even better if I could: That buck I spend on dollar-store razors that cut my whiskers will all the kindness and precision of a rusty buzz saw? Maybe it’d be better to invest it in a Dollar Shave Club membership to get good razors sent to my door every month.

Not so good if I: Buy any of these items from the dollar store to save money: Ground beef, pacemaker batteries or pregnancy tests.

2.      Laundry baskets and pantry space

The savings is marginal; the idea is significant. I usually have a change or three of clothes and a store-brand box of animal crackers on board. Not to mention 37 other items you don’t know you need until you need them. My car is the biggest multi-tasking monster since … dollar-store shampoo/body wash.

Even better if I could: Keep a bag of clean clothes in the backseat, rather than “relatively clean.” It wouldn’t hurt to skip the bag of dollar-store pork rinds.

Not so good if I: Keep dollar-store ground beef in the passenger seat.

3.      “Discover and uncover” golf discs, rather than pay retail prices

It’s perhaps my most deplorable feature: A golf disc found is a golf disc kept. Mother Nature might want the discs with phone numbers in them returned to their rightful owners. She’ll force me to lose it in the thicket if she does. Then, another kind soul can take the credit. Until then, its finders keepers.

Even better if I could: Uncover a pair of eyeglasses with my complicated and expensive prescription, in a protective case. Bonus points if the frames are fashionable, but not too fashionable, for a 42-year old.

Not so good if I:  Also find an eyelash curler. And begin to think … maybe, with fuller, sexier eyelashes, no one will care about the pork rinds crumbs on my shirt.

savings quote


  1. Lyn says:

    Saving money by using the shampoo as a body wash too? Why not; after all, it’s just nice smelling soap. Baby wipes from the dollar shop also make good spot cleaners. They will take coffee stains out of carpet, clean hard to remove stains/spills off tiles or linoleum (makes you wonder what they do to babies’ butts doesn’t it). Don’t use expensive glass cleaner, use equal parts of methylated spirits and water and apply and dry with newspaper. A buck saved is another buck closer to another Star Bucks 🙂 Reuse your old spectacle frames – that way you only have to pay for the lenses – mine are now five years old. Oh, and if you really want to make your stainless steel and chrome shine, pinch some white fingerprint powder from the local police…well, maybe not, but if you ask nicely, they might give you some. Eyelash curler while you’re driving? I don’t think that’s something I want to try. With my luck, I’d hit the brakes and have all my eyelashes ripped out.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Lyn, I should have asked you to write this post! I need all the life hacks I can get when it comes to saving time and money. The body wash made my hair a little flat, but kept it clean. I can deal with that.

      Great point on the eyelashes – at what price? If you love your lashes enough to curl them, are you willing to have them ripped out in traffic? Seems to me that might be something worth getting up 5 minutes earlier to do.

  2. Kathy@kissingthefrog says:

    Wow, so much to think about here. First of all, I pray for you that you will not have to buy any pregnancy tests any time soon, dollar store or otherwise. Next, I’m all about the combined shampoo and body wash – just not for me. But totally okay for all the boys in my house. And pork rinds? No, just no. Not even with curly eyelashes (and I have a houseful of those, too; though sadly, none are mine). Really loved this one.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      There are just some things you should feel iffy about buying at the dollar store, right? PG tests and pork rinds fall into that category.

      Boys are easier to wash, I think. Or, we have lower standards. Either/or.

      Glad you liked this one, Kathy. Your Little League World Series lessons post is stellar, by the way.

      1. Kathy@kissingthefrog says:

        Thanks Eli. xo

  3. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Eyelash curlers scare me when I try to imagine using one while standing on solid ground. No enticing eyes here! I am in awe that someone would do that in traffic.

    I like that you pay respect to the animal crackers. Do you bite their heads off first?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The price of ‘beauty,’ right? I have never looked at a woman and thought, ‘cute, but if only her eyelashes were curly … ‘

      I eat the animal cracker whole, to ensure a quick and painless end.

  4. laurie27wsmith says:

    You don’t want to start shaving after googling yoga pants mate, shaky hands and all that. Now tweeting at the urinal of course means hanging onto your phone while doing business. You know that the next bloke who walks in will be thinking that you’re taking pics of your little mate and sending them off into the ether. What would be far worse is being sprung curling your eyelashes at the urinal. The blessing of being over sixty and retired mate is people expect you to do strange things and buy wisely. Time doesn’t need saving as each day can be banked but without interest. Shaving is a take it or leave it chore although when done I use a safety razor. Yes, I live on the wild side and use aromatic shaving soap. The bliss.
    You’ve excelled yourself here.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Sage advice, mate. I like to think I can keep my cool in the face of the ultimate yoga pants Google search, though.

      I think a fellow ought to keep the phone at eye level and away from running water and private parts if he decided to check on Twitter at that very moment. Maybe that’s another post.

      Aromatic shaving cream? Do I have to wait until I’m 60 to try that?

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        Cool and yoga pants never quite gel in the same sentence. Yes a post on men’s room etiquette and how not to use mobile phones would probably be a winner mate. Shaving cream? Mate I use a shaving brush and soap. I found a lovely pot of shaving cream, it lathers and moisturises. Makes shaving a pleasure and you don’t have to be over sixty. Just keep it away from the girls when they want to shave their legs.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        My shaving cream goes three times as fast as it should – coincidence?

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Not at all Mate, do you check your razor usage too?

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        I wouldn’t dare, mate.

  5. I totally have a spare eyelash curler if you do ever change your mind and need one! But seriously that is besides the point (hey for you anything!). But you are so right and especially in the morning, I will fire the computer back up while I get started with others things around here, so I kill tow bird with one stone and don’t lose a moment of time while my computer takes its time rebooting!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      If I did electrical work, I could see how it might come in handy. Might. I feel Amish (not that it’s a bad thing) if I don’t fire up the laptop and get the NPR going over breakfast, you know? It feels like a responsibility.

  6. I think you should give eyelash curlers a chance – out of respect of curlers, you know.

    This morning our internet was down, and I got quite some housework done. Not that I’d enjoyed it, but what is done, is done, right?

    Griddle, for breakfast? Isn’t that time consuming? I get that you avoid yogurt because I know what it can do to your phone, but what’s wrong with pop tarts or fruit loops? Just saying 🙂

    Had any shark crackers lately?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Probably the most respectful thing I can do for curlers everywhere is never to curl.

      You got to live the Amish life for once, then. Does C feel the same way when he goes old-school?

      Breakfast is the most important meal of the day you know. I like to go all out. Anything less just feels like a snack.

      Sharks aren’t included in my regular allotment of animal cookies. I think the Shark Union forbids it.

  7. 9jaime says:

    Hey now, I’ve bought many a pregnancy test at the Dollar Store. They make you ask for them—I guess people steal them! Do you know how embarrassing it is to be in yoga pants (not sure if they are hot yoga pants) with at least half a dozen crazy kids, trying to hide from them that you are buying pregnancy tests? And then having to ask the teenage worker for them? It’s worth it to save money, though. By the time I actually take a pregnancy test, it turns positive while I’m still peeing on it. Happy Monday to you! And Happy 6-Kids-Are-In-School-Now day to me!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It no worse than my pork rinds, really. They don’t make you ask for those, though. Although I think if you put a bag on top of the test on the conveyor belt, the kids would be none the wiser.

      I remember the first time I had to fold a thong for a customer at my first retail job. I had no idea. I think she found it charming. That’s what I tell myself anyway.

      Are you telling me the dollar-store pregnancy test holds up about as well as the dollar-store deodorant?

      And most importantly … has the silence at home deafened you yet?

      1. 9jaime says:

        Well, I still have an 11-month-old, 2-year-old, and 4-year-old at home, so I wouldn’t exactly say that silence has deafened me. I am very much enjoying focusing extra time on the little ones.

        Too funny that you can fold thongs. That must look impressive on your resume!

        Pork rinds sound so disgusting with the chocolate chips I am eating this very second for breakfast, but if they cover up the pregnancy test, I might try it in the future!

        And now I shall Google how to fold thongs….

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I didn’t say I folded them *well* … you fold this way, then that way, and then there’s really nothing else to fold.

  8. Cassandra says:

    Have to admit that I once was a participant in dragging a lake obstacle in search of good discs. Got 5 or six excellent ones that we still have today. Phone number? What phone number?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You wind up with a nicer haul than the Gorton’s fisherman when you do that, Cassandra. They make lousy fish beds, so you’re doing the world a solid.

      sometimes, those phone numbers rub right off, or fade away. I can only imagine that’s what happened on the discs I’ve lost. Hey, this is a sharing economy.

      I’m only doing my part.

    2. Corinna Ashley (For My Love Of blog) says:

      Thats what you’ll be saying if you pour a bit of rubbing alcohol on it 😉

  9. ksbeth says:

    all excellent advice. and maybe you are right about the dollar store pregnancy tests, is that how i ended up with 3 daughters?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      they could be collected as evidence for sure, beth.

  10. Rorybore says:

    My hubby finally broke down and spent the money for a good razor. He just couldn’t stand how quickly his razors became dull anymore.
    In un-related news: my legs are like soooo smooth. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      All these years, I thought it was we fellas who were dulling the ladies’ razors in the shower.

    2. Corinna Ashley (For My Love Of blog) says:

      Amen to that! There’s something magical about a nice men’s razor!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’m not above using a Venus on my face, either.

  11. Kim says:

    HaHa – Rorybore’s comment is hilarious!!!
    I don’t even get how someone could curl their eyelashes while driving – I can’t do it period but….I can barely drink out of my water cup (with a straw) while driving without spilling!!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Rory’s always good for hilarity. I don’t even channel surf on the radio – two hands on the wheel (unless there are animal crackers about), and eyes on the road.

  12. Corinna Ashley (For My Love Of blog) says:

    You are so easy and pleasant to read! I have to admit, I’m perfectly content waking up 5 minutes earlier in the mornings to groom my eyelashes. No need to risk losing such an important factor in the makeup routine due to road rage.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Corinna – glad I found you today too. My morning commute would be easier if every woman were like you, you know. If it took me longer than 17 seconds to fix my hair, I’d wake up earlier to do it, too.

  13. dishofdailylife says:

    I will never curl my eyelashes either. I don’t even get why anyone would bother. I must admit though I had to chuckle a little when you mentioned that. And I fblex the smartphone right into the toilet the other day…not my finest moment.

    1. dishofdailylife says:

      Fumbled! What kind of autocorrect was that?!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I don’t know, but I left it! I think fblex sounds awesome and might start using the term myself.

        “we fblexed that team right off the field!”

        “I fblexed that box of animal crackers like it was a 100-calorie pack of pretzel thins!”

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Anything’s possible in this life, but this? This I can guarantee. My luck, the thing would get stuck on me. What if it did? Is that an emergency-room thing?

      How did your smartphone wind up in the toilet? I hope it’ll be in a post. Or response to this comment. Or at least an email to me!

  14. I’d be worried, Eli, if you started buying pregnancy tests at the dollar store…(unless there’s something you need to share with your wife). Also, dollar stores do sell glass frames, but most of them are, well, not so stylish for a 42 yr old guy (unless you want to look like a stereotypical 80 yr old woman). Just a heads-up! 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      No, I have all the parts I’m supposed to come with. I have actually worn a pair of dollar-store reading glasses in lieu of actual prescription glasses. A couple of times.

  15. reocochran says:

    I laughed throughout this, sorry! some of it was meant to be serious, I am sure! I have been known to put on makeup at stop signs and this must stop! I have also used a variety of products as substitutes when the ‘real thing’ was not around… so much more I agree and chuckled about! thanks for this one!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Sometimes my funniest stuff was mean to be serious! I know the drill. Stop-sign makeup application would actually be an upgrade from morning-rush-hour makeup application.

      I think it’s the MacGyver in all of us that has to make such adjustments when we can’t get to the ‘real thing.’ That sounded much worse than intended.

  16. 1jaded1 says:

    Boo for complicated and expensive eyeglass prescriptions. Yay for fashionable frames. People curl their eyelashes?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think – i THINK – I’m going to get them on Friday! It helps to be able to see, especially for one who blogs. Who knows, though – maybe I’m a better writer without them!

      Apparently they do … I winder if they also sometimes straighten them.

  17. This was hilarious! I don’t think I’ve seen an eyelash curler in this house for at least 15 years. Hmmm….that may have been the last time there was a pregnancy test here as well. Coincidence? I think not 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I should have attempted to write this post with one eye covered with an eyelash curler. I will say your story emphasizes the fact that curled eyelashes lead to baby-making. In her case, I think the allure was canceled out by her utter stupidity.

      1. I’m laughing so loud right now!
        There’s a fishbone diagram being sketched in my head and it’s filled with all the factors that lead to baby-making 🙂
        (I’ve been studying for an exam all afternoon and this is the fried brain manifestation!)

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        This blog is clinically proven to combat fried brain manifestation. Results may vary.

  18. Haha we can imagine the eyelash curler indeed! Hopefully not while driving though…

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Sometimes it’s impressive what women are able to do while driving. And simultaneously terrifying.

  19. Is that 90-minute commute one-way, Eli? I’m no financial analyst, but I think I just found your time/money waster smoking gun. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It can be. I don’t know what can be done about it, though.

      1. jennifermccullough says:

        You poor guy! That’s a lot of NPR. Not knockin’ NPR, but just sayin’.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I feel like Renee Montagne is my common-law wife.

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