Are you looking for ways to save time and money in your quest to live a simple, more intentional lifestyle? Here are 26 tips to help you lower your spending and save you some time, so that you can focus on the most important aspects of your life; like the people you love.
More on the importance of family - In Praise Of Home
Overcome by Overwhelm?
Do you ever feel like there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything crossed off of your to-do list? Are you constantly stressed about your budget? If so, you are not alone. I'm guessing that because you are reading this, you're quite likely at a place in your life where you are trying to figure out how to make a few changes to your budget, and to your daily habits, in order to save you a little extra time and money.
Over time, small changes can make a BIG impact!
Often times, we are under the impression that to make any kind of significant difference in our budget, we will have to spend extra time to do so. Or, if we want to save a little extra time during our day, then we'll have to spend extra money to make it happen.
Here's the conundrum....
You want to save money on your grocery bill by cutting out pre-packaged food but to do so, you'll have take extra time in the kitchen to prepare meals. But, if you want to save time after a busy work day by not spending an hour in the kitchen making supper, you'll have to spend more money buying pre-packaged foods or grabbing take-out.
It can almost feel like we have to choose between saving time or saving money. But the thing is, neither of these misconceptions are true. Little changes in our daily habits can actually make a big difference.
Saving time and money does not have to be a "one or the other" choice. Saving time and money can actually be two sides of the same coin with a few simple, but intentional living choices.
Read this post, Hygge - Where It Begins for more on intentional living.
26 Simple Tips To Save Time And Money
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Linens 'n things.
Tip #1- Use one set of sheets.
When it comes time to changing you bed sheets, rather than putting a different set of sheets on the bed, simply washing and returning the same set will save you time in folding and putting away a sheet set. Consider switching out your bed linens during the changing seasons to keep things fresh and keeping with the time of year.
Tip #2 - Use one set of towels.
As with your sheets, designate each family member a weekly bath towel, and once a week, wash all your towels (along with your bath mat), and place them back on the towel rack. It's a small thing but, it does save you a little time in unnecessary folding.
When your towels and sheets start to look raggedy,
Tip #3 - Invest in high quality bath towels and sheet sets.
While they may cost a little more up front, high quality sheets and towels will last exceptionally longer than their cheaper alternatives, and you'll end up saving money in the long run. Plus, they feel amazingly luxurious!
Tip #4 - Cut down on your laundry soap.
One of my girl-friends recently had an appliance tech in to fix her washing machine. He explained to her that one of the top reasons washing machines break down is from excessive use of laundry soap. He advised her to use between 1 and 2 tablespoons. I've started using this amount in my washing machine, and my clothes are perfectly clean.
Tip #5 - Nix the fabric softener sheets
Seriously, you rarely need them. I only use a half sheet, when I'm drying any fleece and I never deal with static.
In the kitchen.
Tip #6 - Meal Plan.
While this will take a little time investment up front, it will pay off once you have your plan in place. Honestly, I'm not sure if there is a better way to save you time and money. Knowing what you plan to cook for a week or even better, for a month, is one of the most practical ways to save on both time and money. Plus, once you have a months worth of meals scheduled, you can re-use that same list for following months. Making a few adjustments in seasoning and style here and there, will keep things fresh and new without creating a whole meal plan. And, having a meal plan in place will help curb those last minute supper take-out deliveries.
Tip #7 - Make a grocery list.
Once you have your meal plan figured out you can make your grocery list. And stick to it. Shop once per week and stock up on the ingredients that you will use throughout that week.
Tip #8 - Do your grocery shopping on a full stomach.
I'm sure you've heard this before but, don't go grocery shopping when you're hungry. Grocery shopping on an empty stomach really does lower your ability to resist those impulse buys.
Tip #9 - Prepare meals is bulk.
This is another time saving tip. Plan on the weekends to do a little meal prep for the coming week and make duplicates. So, if you're preparing to make a lasagna for supper one night, make an extra or two, for the freezer. In the coming months, you'll already a meal ready for you.
Tip #10 - Bake a double batch.
Whenever you're doing any baking, be sure to double (or even triple) your batch so that you have extra for the freezer. While it will take a little extra time to make a double or triple batch of muffins on the same day, where you'll save on time is the prep work and the clean up making another batch on a different day.
Tip #11 - Bake something else.
I almost always bake more than one recipe at a time. Seriously, being that I already have ingredients scattered throughout my kitchen, I may as well put together a second recipe. (Doubled, of course!) This equates to four batches, with only one clean up.
In your closet.
Tip #12 - Consider repairing clothing rather than tossing and buying new.
If an item of clothing is still in good shape and is a piece that you still wear, things like zippers, seam rips, and broken snaps are easily repaired by a seamstress for a fraction of the price of purchasing new.
Tip #13 - Implement the backward hanger method.
Here's the deal. I am living proof of the the amount of wasted time that happens staring into a closet full of clothes and having nothing to wear. If you're looking to simplify your clothing pieces and feel like you have an excess in your closet, here's a simple method to understand what items you actually wear. Turn all of your hangers backwards. As you wear individual items, turn your hangers back around. If you haven't worn an item in 6 months, (or in a year if you live in a climate with 4, starkly different seasons) it's a good indication of an item that needs to go.
Tip #14 - Use the "One in - One out" rule.
This is a simple technique. For instance, if you bring in a new pair of jeans, you purpose to get rid of an old pair. Knowing that you have to get rid of an item if you bring one in, really helps you nip impulse buys in the bud.
Tip #15 - Try a capsule wardrobe.
If you're not familiar with the capsule wardrobe concept, basically, you fill your closet with a minimal amount of pieces that will all mix and match together. You'll be able to wear a ton of different outfits with a minimal amount of clothing pieces. It's a great way to have a closet full of clothing you love and that all works well together. Investing, over time, in a curated closet will result in less time spent agonizing over what to wear, and it will lead to less money spent on pieces that end up just hanging out in the closet rather than on your body. Plus, you'll feel fabulous! Check out this article on a basic, year round capsule wardrobe for more info!
Tip #16 - Use your library for books and DVD's rather than buying new.
Tip #17 - Take advantage of your city's free events.
Often times, our towns and cities offer things like free matinee's and free family swimming or skating. Be sure to take advantage of outdoor concerts, festivals etc.
Tip #18 - Cancel your cable.
Or maybe it's Netflix, or Prime, or Disney; you get the picture. It's so easy to add in all of these different T.V. options and often times, we end up paying for subscriptions that we rarely use. Consider evaluating all your different subscriptions and getting rid of one or two that don't get used as much.
Tip #19 - Cancel those un-used apps you forgot you downloaded.
We've all done it. Purchased an app with a monthly payment, and then we forget about it. Or, we purchase similar apps. Do you really need, Spotify, Apple music and Amazon Prime's music station? Paring back similar apps to your most preferred is another good way to save money.
In the house.
Tip #20 - Turn down the heat.
Lowering the temperature in your house is a great way to save money. Drop a few degrees while no one is home during the day and at night while your family is sleeping.
Now, if you're like me, you may find yourself consistently forgetting to lower the temperature during those away/sleeping hours. Once we invested in this programmable NEST thermostat though, I didn't have to worry about remembering to drop the temperature when leaving the house or going to bed. The NEST allows you program the temperature settings throughout the day so once you get it set up, you don't have to worry about remembering. It's a little investment up front but it was so worth it! As the months progress, it continues to save us a ton of money.
Tip #21 - Stop heating unused bedrooms.
Or any room, really. Close the vent and close the door. There is no point in paying to heat a room that no one is using.
Tip #22 - Take shorter showers.
It's easy to take for granted, the endless supply of water available to us from our kitchen and bathroom taps. But the truth is, the earth does not have an endless supply of water. Nor is it free. Plus, you also have to pay money to heat that water for your hot shower. Taking shorter showers will save you a little money and it will help you be a better steward of the earth, at the same time.
Tip #23 - Wash your hair less.
You may be thinking "Hard pass!" on this one. But truly, washing your hair every other day will cut your shampoo and conditioner consumption down by half. Plus, you'll save a little time in the process which will help with taking a shorter shower. It's a win-win! And, in case you're worried about how your hair will fare, it will adjust to less frequent washings. I quit washing my hair every day about four years ago and because the natural oils weren't being stripped every day, my hair has become so much healthier . Actually, I'm at the point now where I only wash my hair once or twice a week. My hair looks great and it's crazy how much less I spend on shampoo and conditioner!
Tip #24 - Quit speeding.
The faster you drive, the more gasoline you use. Plus, if you quit speeding, you'll quit getting tickets! Another win-win!
Tip #25 - Brown-bag your lunch.
However much you eat out for lunch, consider cutting that down, at least by half. The amount of money you'll save by simply packing a lunch rather than buying each day is significant. And the same goes for eating out for supper. Reserve your dining out excursions for celebrations and/or those absolutely crazy hectic days. Your pocket book will thank you and eating out will become a special treat!
Tip #26 - Skip Starbucks.
I know. This one is hard! But, next to meal planning, I believe the place where we can make the biggest impact on our bank accounts is by skipping that Starbucks drive-thru. The money we spend on our daily Macchiatos and Frappuccinos with double whip, is outrageous. As with eating out, limit your drive-thrus; perhaps to once per week so that you don't feel totally deprived. And just because you're skipping Starbucks doesn't mean your morning coffee needs to be sub-par. A few changes to your home brewed coffee can help you become your own preferred barista! Check out this post for Five Tips To A Better Cup Of Home-Brewed Coffee.
Little habits lead to big savings.
A few changes in your daily living habits can, and will save you money and time, leading to a more intentional, and beautifully simple, lifestyle. While individually, these tips and tricks to save time and money might seem small, they work together for BIG savings. And the best part is, you're investing in yours, and in your family's future. Every step you take is a step closer to the life your working towards. What could be more intentional than that?
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