Do you have a trouble getting everything done? I have a few hacks that will help you accomplish more using the
same or, maybe, a less amount of time. Many of these hacks will save you money as well as time.
Hacks that save time and money
Hack 1: Most of the time, you know what days of the week are your busiest—the hardest to get dinner ready. Answer: Cook dinner using a crockpot. Crockpots make putting together a meal easy! There is some prep work, chopping vegetables or cutting meat, but this is usually pretty fast and simple; sometimes the prep can even be done in advance and held for a few hours (or overnight) in the ‘fridge. The beautiful part is that after you load the crockpot and turn it on, you can leave it to slow cook for hours—sometimes all day or night. Since we’re talking about cooking, how about making enough for a future meal? Make a big batch, or double the recipe, and you have tomorrow’s lunch. Or, you could freeze some for another day; it may be that all you’ll need to get that meal ready is a microwave to defrost and heat it up.
Either of these suggestions will save time and money. You’ll be eating at home. No money spent on a pricey restaurant (and your food is, probably, healthier). Also, it only took a few minutes of work for you have your meal ready when you were: No drive time: No wait: A time saver. (That drive time is a biggie—no money spent on gas. And even if the ride would have been short, who can’t accomplish something with a few extra minutes at home???)
Hack 2: Plan your meals at least 1 week ahead. When you go shopping, take a list of everything you will need for that week. By making only one trip a week to the grocery store, you save time by not having to go back, and that lets you save money by driving less—less fuel used, less wear and tear on the car.
Hack 3: If you have smart phone, take advantage of it. A wise shopper does price comparisons and couponing. You can save yourself plenty of time and money with an app that helps track coupons and the lowest prices. Among others, RetailMeNotapp and thecouponsapp are popular. There are apps for the cheapest gas (like GasBuddy). There are even apps that find parking. With a glance at your smart phone, you can find coupons, good deals, and cheaper fuel. This saves time and money.
Hack 4: Birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days recur regularly. Buy your gifts for these events on sale. Rather than making a special trip to pick-up “something”, plan ahead to include shopping for these occasions as part of your routine schedule. If you’ve kept an eye on appropriate things to buy, you can get them at a good price when you’re out and nearby. This will save time and money.
Hack 5: Entertain yourself and your family for less. Instead of going to high priced professional football, baseball, and basketball games, go the local high school and community center: They love to have your support—and, quite often, there is good action in the games. These games are local, so compared to going to a professional game, there’s very little time or expense invested in travel. If you opt to go see a pro game, actually getting there is only the tip of a time and travel iceberg; often, a hotel stay is involved ($$$). When was the last time you bought tickets to a pro game—say the Cowboys, Cubs, or Celtics? If you ordered them on line, what was the surcharge? If you stood in line, how long did you wait? Don’t even talk about refreshments; you pay inflated prices to eat at pro games. Save a lot of time and money. You’ll probably have just as much fun going to the high school or community center games. And, here’s a bonus: Most or the members of at least one of the teams, probably, live in your neighborhood; you can get to know the next Kevin Durant, or Charles Tillman, or…
Hack 6: Avoid waste. If you buy it, use it. Otherwise you are wasting the time and money it took to purchase it. It’s obvious: Time, money, and effort are required to buy anything. More than likely, if you spend frivolously, you’ll have to make up for it later. Save time and money: make your purchases count.
Hack 7: Go to the library. The library has books, movies, office equipment, and events. You can check out the books and movies for free. (Avoid late fees; return them on time.) The cost of using the office equipment is minimal. All of that can help you save money on services that cost more elsewhere. And, among the variety of scheduled public events, you’re sure to find something pleasant and interesting. If you really get into the library, you may find yourself spending a bit of quality time there: Quality time is well spent—not wasted—time. It’s a savings.
Hack 8: If you do laundry at home, you can easily make your own laundry detergent and fabric softener. Laundry detergent for 500 loads will cost about $20.00 and fabric softer will cost about .27 a load. Seriously, when was the last time you could do 500 loads of laundry for $20.00 or get 7 loads of fabric softener for .27 per load? You can find the instructions on the internet. Key words are “make you own laundry detergent” and “make your own fabric softener”. Save time and money by not going to the store to purchase laundry supplies—and you don’t have to go often to pick up the ingredients to make your own products; remember 500 loads?
Hack 9: Schedule automatic bill payments. After you’ve set up the schedule, it’s wise to make sure they’re paid, but you don’t have to constantly be thinking, “I’ve got to pay that bill. I’ve got to pay that bill.”—and then, forget to pay “that bill”, incurring a late fee. Automatic payments can save you stress, time, and action—as well as money.
Hack 10: Be aware of scams. Identify theft can eat up hours—if not weeks—of your time and thousands of dollars. Always question when you are asked for personal information. Never surrender your information if you are not 100% sure the request is legitimate. You should never be too busy to be careful with your personal information. How will this save time and money? You don’t have to spend time undoing whatever the identify theft did it, and since it usually requires credit repair, you save that expense (lots and lots of money).
Here you have 10 hacks (habits?) I use to save time and money. I hope they help you. Or, maybe you have some of your own that you could share with me? I’d appreciate receiving your comments.