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7 Ways To Save Time When You Wish You Had More Of It

time saving

I’ve written extensively here on my blog about saving money, as it’s one of our most valuable resources. But here I want to focus on a resource that is just as valuable, and often as scarce: time.

Below, I’m sharing 7 time-saving strategies that can help you save time not just once, but every day. Some of these tips may not be as applicable to your situation as others, but you’re sure to find some valuable time-saving advice you can put to good use here.

Whether you’re in the midst of a busy season or just never seem to have as much time as you’d like, give these tips a try.

7 Effective Ways To Save Time

time saving

1. Set Up Auto-Pay

Nearly all recurring bills have an auto-pay option you can sign up for, or you can usually set it up via your online banking portal as well. Using features like auto-pay, direct deposits, and mobile deposits can eliminate a lot of those trips to the bank and save you a lot of time in the long run.

time saving

2. Keep Devices Charged

This one is for those of you whose phone dies on a regular basis: keep a charger for your smartphone and other frequently used devices wherever you spend time. Have a couple at home, one in the car, one at work, etc., and make a habit of plugging your devices in throughout the day so you’re not forced to derail your plans to charge something at an inopportune time.

time saving

3. Simplify Your Socks

Choose one style of sock to replace all your current socks. When it’s time to do laundry, you won’t have to spend time matching your socks because any two will match!

time saving

4. Subscribe & Save

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, use Subscribe & Save to get necessities like laundry detergent, drinks, toilet paper, etc. delivered to you automatically on a pre-set schedule (typically between once a month and every six months). You can cancel or skip deliveries anytime with no repercussions.

Read More: How To Use Amazon’s Subscribe & Save Program

time saving

5. Shop For Groceries Online

In addition to having non-perishables delivered regularly (see above), you can use online grocery shopping to save even more time. Instead of spending precious time wandering around the store, you’ll be able to search each item on your list by name, check out the options, and click the one you want to add it to your cart.

Delivery is ideal, but if your local store doesn’t offer delivery, they probably offer a pick-up service where someone will load your groceries right into the back of your car for you. You can still save a lot of time with pick-up versus shopping in-store!

time saving

6. Track Your Time

It’s hard to save time if you don’t actually know where your time is going in the first place! To find out, use a time-tracking app like Toggl to figure out what activities or errands you’re spending more time on than necessary so you can make changes to your habits.

time saving

7. Use A Meal Subscription Service

Weekly meal subscription services like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, etc. are a great option for both saving time and keeping your dinner rotation interesting. With all the ingredients you need to make meals delivered right to your door, you can get right to cooking without all the planning and shopping beforehand.

BONUS: Learn To Say “No”

Learning to say “no” to things doesn’t cost a thing, but failing to do so can easily cost you your sanity! Especially if you get a lot of requests from people close to you, it’s important to realize that setting boundaries and protecting your time and energy isn’t selfish, it’s self-care.

In short, sometimes you just have to say “no” in order to say “yes” to a happier, more balanced life!

Do you have any tips that help you save time?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I love the time savers! I do the sock thing lol; I pull all the socks out of the dryer by the toes and place them in a drawer so I can pull two ‘toes’ out together.
    I also set my phone reminder app at 12:00 and 2:00 so I know if I’m on schedule or running behind.
    Thanks for my morning emails!
    Tawnya

  • Can’t please everyone apparently!
    You don’t have to agree with all of Jillee’s posts- but for Gosh sake keep it to yourselves!

    Why try to make an issue of things that OTHER people may enjoy reading about–OR might want to try.
    We can dream of affording 2 dishwashers or having a food service- it’s nice to know things like that are available.

    All the naysayers should listen to my Grandmother…If you can’t say something nice– don’t say anything at all!!!!!

  • […] many different price points so you can decide which ones will save you and your family.   That’s a lot. […]

  • I LOVE YOUR POSTS. I GET A LOT OF GREAT TIPS. WHILE THIS POST WAS WAY BEYOND MY CURRENT MEANS, WHO KNOWS WHAT THE FUTURE MAY HOLD. MY FLEET COULD COME IN TOMORROW.
    I HAVE WORKED SINCE THE AGE OF 14. SOMETIMES
    3 JOBS AT A TIME. I AM CURRENTLY WITH NO
    INCOME AND DISABLED. I HAVE LEARNED TO LIVE
    WITHOUT THINGS I USED TO THINK WERE
    NECESSARY. I PREFER TO STAY POSITIVE AND NOT
    WASTE TIME LOOKING FOR THINGS TO COMPLAIN
    ABOUT. I HATE RASPBERRIES AND GRAPEFRUIT,
    HOWEVER IF A RECIPE SITE PUTS A RECIPE ON THEIR SITE I DON’T WRITE A NASTY COMMENT.

  • Actually I have two dishwashers – one upstairs and one downstairs in our bar area and we do use both regularly when host – huge timesaver. We kept the dishwasher from our old house when we tore it down and rebuilt so the cost was minimal and definitely worth finding the space to install in the new. Highly recommend having two – would also recommend two washers and dryers as well! Great list Jillee!

  • Spend lots of money so you can save lots of time, which you will then have to spend working so you have money to pay for the things that you are buying to save you time…Consumerism at its best!

  • Jillee, you rock! I love each and every article.. I think the ones that wrote negative just have too much time on their hands. I personally want to THANK YOU for each and every one of your posts! I take what I need and want and leave the rest!!

  • Jillie,
    It’s sometimes a very difficult thing to deal with the general public you do it with patience & class! Some people have nothing better to do then criticize and complain I deal with it daily as well. Anyway I am a single mother and bartender. I do not have anough money to go around many days. However sometimes spending time with my kids is more important than gold by the time my day off comes. I sometimes have a helper I pay to come a few times a week they cook a meal, do the dishes, straighten up and then leave. it saves me hours and it worth it. if I can afford this sometimes so can these mean house wives above. I know that many post on the web are not geared for a woman in my position it does not offend me. it gives me happy day dreams of a bright open kitchen with 2 dishwashers an all the bells and whistles some day. I am happy for the women out there that have these things already not mad at them. I like you emails I get thank you!
    Lindsey

  • We have the keyless entry and it is fantastic. We don’t have to worry about kids having their keys and then spending a lot of time looking for missing keys!

  • @VICKIE—Exactly what I was thinking! Being self rightous abut how YOU do things–or don’t!!!—is not really helpful.

    And I am pretty sure Jillee would NOT say–Go get a BUTLER! You know you WANT one! Impress your friends! LOL!!!

    What would work for ME in terms of time AND money might not work for YOU.

    I am handicapped–and can no longer physically DO some things I NEED to do. So I am going to save up for some HELP from some one NOT family –no attachment to STUFF then!!!—and work on getting the things I CAN’T manage DONE. To ME this is—priceless.

    For some one who CAN do these things-who CAN get into the basement; say–where I have not been ABLE to get for 7 YEARS—this is quite possibly of no interest and would be a waste. Between my husband and myself we have “issues” that mean we can’t do certain things; others need money and CAN. Win-win. Since we do almost all of our home and car repairs–and have invested in the tools TO do these things–we have been able to help others who CAN’T do these things.

    Other things to consider—Trade your talents for some one elses. IF you can sew or paint walls or drive some one somewhere who other wise could not do something then perhaps they can cook some meals for you to stock your freezer. This can save both time money AND frustration at NOT having something DONE.

    And–you never know when you might need something you didn;t even know you needed—we had to get rid of an old LARGE and HEAVY hot water heater. WE tried different dollies; we tried several strong people; we tried some sort of casters. Nope. My daughter placed an ad on Craigslist to get RID of this and the re-cycler came with a small WINCH and yanked that baby up the basement stairs and onto their truck in minutes. Guess who decided then and there–we NEED a winch? And for $40 at Tractor Supply–we had one. Now–we live deep in the country and are forever trailering and hauling stuff. So for US a winch will be useful. For you it could be something very different. But–we saw a TOOL that would have SOLVED that problem–lesson learned!

    Well anyways—we all have different needs and different reasons to want things DONE.

  • I just discovered weekly food services and love it. I easily justified the cost because I have 3 dinners ready to cook for the week for the same price as one night eating out. And I found that it has reignited my desire to cook, taking me away from my recipe rut.
    I am also a fan of the same socks, I have one kind and my husband another. No sock matching necessary.

  • My daughter has started couponing. She donates what she gets for free or what we don’t need. But in two or three months she has saved us so much money. I’ve been clipping the coupons for her and there is a method to doing all of this. We now have a years supply of paper products, pet food which does not go bad when it’s stored properly, plus all the things that were listed on this site. It’s wonderful to know you have enough detergent and things so you don’t have to run out a few times a month to buy something you need.

    She loves doing it and they get together to swap coupons or trade items. I’m happy to reap the benefits of saving money. She is not one that empties the shelves. She considers that in very bad taste. She does introduce herself to the managers and tells them what she is doing and which places she will donate to. I think she is doing a wonderful job and doing it legally and properly. Yes, it takes some time but well worth the effort.

  • Honest Abe said, you can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.
    If you can post money-saving tips for reusing dryer lint for some people ( seriously??) you can certainly post time-saving, cost conscious trade-offs for others. Keep calm and blog on!!

  • All those grocery shopping/cooking items at the beginning made me homesick for the familiarity and convenience of living in the US! Love your site! You have a new convert in my mom. She was here last month helping me out after I had baby #5 and used my spray bottle of your shower cleaner recipe. She’s been singing it’s praises to anyone who will listen! Thanks again for your spot here!

    • I am responding to a now 6-year post. But I just wanted to say, (even though baby #5 is 6 years old now!), bless your heart! I am sure that with 5 (or more?) little ones, you deserve any help, from human or machine, to help you care for your family to the fullest!! Hope all has and is going well for you and your family! :-)

  • Yeah, many of these ideas are expensive but they are just that, IDEAS! Don’t like me? DON’T USE EM! and some aren’t expensive at all like the socks! Relax people!

  • Well, one thing I can agree with is someone to help clean the house! I have had an Amish woman come every other week for 13 years. She started when I was working more than full time and my husband and I just could not keep up, it was Thanksgiving and my mother was coming! Even thought the kids are now grown and 2/3 are mostly out of the house, as I get older, I really appreciate the help! I pick up and she cleans and she does everything!

  • I just wanted to thank you for all your helpful ideas and (literally) life changing concepts! Yaaa, I can’t afford most of these specific tricks…but just the idea of having these luxuries gave me a few minutes of pure indulgence..something thats glaringly missing these days! I thoroughly enjoyed reading them all…and as soon as I win the lottery, I’ll be all over every one! Thanks, Jillee…you ROCK!

  • Many of these are good ideas. However, even when buying all the socks at the same time, I found that they wear out at different speeds, and I ended up having to sort them by how worn they were.
    I invested in a bunch of mesh fabric (the sort that you find in the inside of men’s swimming trunks). I made a BUNCH of small mesh bags. This stuff doesn’t fray, so there’s no need to hem the raw edges.
    I put one pair of socks per mesh bag, and close it up with a stainless steel safety pin…. weaving it in and out of the opening of the bag. This weaving helps keep the safety pin closed.
    I open one, put the socks on. End of day, put them back in the mesh bag, close it up, and toss it in the laundry. They go through the washer and dryer-or-clothesline, and back into the drawer. I’ve never had one open up, and I can’t even count the number of hours I’ve saved by never having to sort socks!

  • In response to the cost etc. I may not utilize some of these ideas but greatly appreciate the out of the box thinking many of these provided me. Often costs can be bartered or overcome as some of the posters have mentioned. Thanx for not censoring your posts Jillee. I’ll take the good with the “bad”. <3

  • PS… I love the double monitor idea! I often work on my iPad and laptop simultaneously. It helps keep the process organized and is less work not having to switch between windows.

  • Thank you, Jillee. Good list! Yes, some of these are not for everyone, but I think everyone will find at least a few suggestions (or more) that will be practical and affordable. I *love* the win-win idea of someone managing a yard sale for us!!! Where oh where would one find that person if all of our friends are buyers, not sellers?!

  • Jillee, thank you for a a great post. I am already doing several of these things & can see how to implement others you mentioned into my already crazy life. While I love the idea of a personal chef, it really isn’t in my budget. But it got me thinking….. Who do I know? My mom is retired and has some time on her hands so it would be some extra cash for her and I get moms cooking! There are also some culinary schools in town so maybe a student would be looking for some experience and tuition money. Maybe I could barter/trade my skills with friends. Thanks again for a great post.

  • Really people….Pick and Choose..I am not rich, married, or have children at home and I got some good ideas from this post..Thank you Jillee..I am sure we all can take something out of this post if you use your heads and not be so critical.

  • Since you asked for time saving tips and not a critique of your blog, I’ll share a couple I do.

    Put several clean garbage bags in the bottom of the garbage can. They are right there when you empty the garbage.

    For saving time AND money, I use your scum buster solution for the bathtub.

    I’m now the queen of spot removal thanks to your tips! Just used the carpet spot solution and was amazed. I saved hours “de-spotting” heirloom dresses I made for my girls 30+ years ago. I worried about putting them in boiled water/oxy/washing soda but they looked brand new after a couple of treatments-smocking /lace were unharmed by the chemicals and my grandangel is able to wear day gowns and dresses her mother wore. That saved me HOURS of time so she could wear the”old” clothes while I make her new clothes! Win-win.

    Thanks for all your time/money savers! I appreciate you!!

  • Jillee, I think you are doing an awesome job. Talk about time savers, this site is a great time saver. It’s true, some of these suggestions are are pricey, but does one go to a grocery store and buy everything on sale? People, use what is useful for you, and pass by the things that don’t.

  • I think some people missed the point. The point was that sometimes your time is more valuable than money. I know that as a stay-at-home mom people think I have all the time in the world to do everything myself, but with 2 little ones under 5 years old, getting my groceries delivered is sometimes worth the cost. There are times when I can’t get out of the house and many of the suggestions can help me have more time with my husband and kids.

    Also, many of these suggestions aren’t necessarily more expensive than doing them yourself. We’ve just been brainwashed to think they are. You need to do the math for yourself and your situation and decide which is more important for you, the time or the money.

  • So many good ideas. I am always grateful for the time saving services I employ–and that is a benefit that you did not list–most times you are employing someone else. For me, hiring out is for times when I am stressed to the max, and helps relieve the feeling of being overwhelmed. One thing I do for the holidays is have my groceries delivered. On average I pay about $12 more for those groceries but, it saves at least an hour (or more because of the holiday), and I keep non perishables in the bags until I start cooking so they are already rounded up.
    As for my Just say NO rule, I look at it this way. I help those who help themselves. So, if someone asks me to do something solo, I say no; but if they help or send help, that I can do. Sometimes I break the rule, but that is not the norm.
    Thanks for the post.

    • Leslie, the readers of this website are from every socio-economic background and almost every country across the globe. I obviously can’t please everyone with every post, but I’d like to think that “most” readers will recognize that ALL my posts are presented with the sincere desire to help people.

      • I think sometimes people just like to hear themselves complain. And, you stated at the beginning that it might not be for everyone! I enjoyed reading them all the same. Thanks for your website Jillee!

  • I know Kijiji is not as popular in the U.S. as in Canada, but personally, I would never buy a new appliance again, when there are so many on both Kijiji and Freecycle for free.So 2 dishwashers would be feasible, as only installation and pick up would cost you, and really, even installation is pretty simple. Plus you are saving stuff from the land fill. I know advertisers like to convince us we just have to have the latest thing, but we can profit from the gullible people that subscribe to this by taking their castoffs which usually work better, and last longer than the new stuff. In Ontario, the power company pushes people to replace old fridges and freezers with the new power efficient ones, and even gives coupons. But you can buy a lot of power with the price of a new fridge, and you will be lucky if you don’t have to replace or repair it in the first 5 years.

    • Hear Hear! My non-handiman DH has repaired our 40yo washer and dryer but once. They are low-tech but do a wonderful job and don’t stink. “If it ain’t broke,…”

  • Personal chefs may not be as expensive as you think, especially if someone is eating out or getting take out a lot because they don’t have time or energy to cook or even get the grocery store. I have known people who work 10-12 hour days and when their days off finally come around, they certainly don’t want to spend it at the store or cooking. They want to spend time with their families. Or, you know, sleep. :) If it’s a choice of eating out most of the time or having a chef, the chef is actually cheaper.

    • Very well said Jena B. Everyone’s circumstances are different. Utilizing the services of a “personal chef” isn’t exclusive to the rich and famous.

  • I buy only white towels for both kitchen and bathrooms. You can find nice ones for the bathroom but all of them can be washed together and bleached and they match all of my bathrooms. The kitchen ones look nicer for longer, too. I hate faded out colored towels.

  • As I read all of these time saving tips all I can think is it might be saving time but not saving money. A lot of the tips are expensive. My time is valuable but my money is too.

  • I would agree with Rebecca and Laurie. I typically love your posts but I wouldn’t be able to afford most of these things. I Love your money saving and diy posts but maybe that is because I have more time than money.

  • I’ve done some of these for years. We buy about 10 days worth of socks for each member of our family in December when they go on sale. At New Years all of our old socks get used for cleaning or (the ones in really good condition) handed out to homeless. For the whole year, I pull the whites out of the dryer and toss into each person’s basket, no matching or folding.
    We stream all of our TV not because of commercials, but because we don’t like paying the high prices for a satellite dish. I can see hiring a kid to mow the yard and pull weeds, but I wouldn’t call them a “Personal Gardener” just the kid two doors down that wants a new gaming system. And laser hair removal? It takes less than 10 minutes a week to shave your legs, or you could just wear a maxi skirt.

  • I agree with Rebecca, especially about the two dishwashers! My dishwasher saves me so much time just washing & drying the dishes! My mom taught me to get in the habit of unloading first thing in the morning & it only takes two or three minutes.
    One thing I wholeheartedly agree with is the Roomba! I had one given to me & loved it so much I bought a Scooba, too! The Scooba vacuums & mops hard floors. I LOVE them both & they save me a LOT of time!

  • Usually love your posts but this is over the top. We are upper middle class but who can afford a personal chef, installing two dishwashers, laser hair removal, a grocery service and our own home gym.

    • Rebecca, obviously not ALL of these tips are for EVERYONE. The list if offered merely as ideas that can be helpful when time is more precious than resources. Nowhere in the post did I recommend using them all. I would hope after 3 1/2 years of posting people would know me better than that.

      • Except your posts are not consistent. At all. You’re teaching people to make their own laundry detergent, a frugal method, then turning around and telling them to install two dishwashers. Most of these suggestions save time but waste money which isn’t what most people are looking for. People already know how to waste money. It’d be more helpful to talk about, say, ordering your stuff online in bulk and using a soaking bin for dirty dishes not yet ready for a dishwasher than a second whole dishwasher. Saves time, and money and energy and space. I’m new to your site and many others are too, the article would have been better titled, “ways to save time if you’re looking to spend some of that extra money.” The truth is if people aren’t unloading a clean dishwasher chances are they aren’t unloading two clean dishwashers.

    • I have to agree many of your suggestions are too expensive for most. Hiring someone to sell you garage sale items for example, if you ever had a sale you will quickly find out you make very little considering your time and labor…then to hire someone is not worth it. You are farther ahead to donate items. Jille, I love your posts but you were unrealistic on this one.

      • I have to admit when I read the one about hiring someone to organize and run your yard sale, I thought that was a little ridiculous. I like this site too, but really? Just use Craig’s List or take it to the Sally Ann. We keep a bag or 2 going in our storage space and every 3/4 weeks when a couple bags get full, I just take them to the charity shop, which fortunately, just down the street from me – and I use public transit.

    • I have to agree with Rebecca on this… FedExing your baggage? If you have that kind of money, charter a plane. This doesn’t even sound like a Jillee post.

      • I have mailed my suitcase ahead of my trip. It’s a great idea. That way it’s never lost, doesn’t cost you so much if you have a lot of stuff. My suitcases have been lost twice on airplanes. Plus once some things were stolen out of my bag.

    • Good grief, guys! If u don’t like this post, skip it! It says in the beginning that it isn’t about saving money, it’s about saving time and all of these tips do that. I definitely can’t afford these on a regular basis, but maybe when I’m visiting my sister that I don’t see often, I’ll ship my luggage to spend more time with her. During busy holidays instead of takeout, maybe I can get the prepared meals or have my groceries delivered. If I want to spend more time with my kids, I’ll save for a roomba. The socks and grocery delivery weren’t costly things. Thank u, jillee for the tips. The only complaint I have is I might forget them before I get to use them!

      • Thanks Liz I could not have worded it better & Thanks Jillee for your posts and ideas! They all don’t apply~ but it would not stop me from being a fan.

        Jane in Oregon

  • With regards to the tool you might only use once thing. There are a lot of places that rent items like that for really low cost compared to buying the same tool. They rent everything from pressure washers to extension ladders or large floor sanders. You can even rent a truck for $20 to $30 for the day to move lumber or supplies. We do this and it has saved us a lot of money and hassle. Oh the places range from Big Box stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot to specialty local tool rental places. You can the specialty places listed in the phone book under tool rental or an online search using tool rental .

      • Jillee, Love these ideas! Especially the double
        Dishwasher idea-have seen this in magazines
        And dream of doing this! I have used the food
        Service and it’s a great time saver! Thanks for
        Putting all of these ideas in one place. Maria

    • Some of these “One Use” tools will end up being VERY useful–we got a pressure washer from Haror Freight for around $75 (with coupon and on sale) for cleaning our deck to refinish it. So far we have used it for the deck; washed the cars and motorcycle with it–gets off stubborn road gunk and mud EASILY; used it for assorted other jobs like:: cleaning off sliding glass doors; cleaned a stubbornly stained pet cage, plastic kid structures–more!.

      One thing we tried that made the entire unit WORTH THE MONEY was to clean the SOFFIT of our house–older aluminum siding . This is the piece that faces you at the edge of the roof; ours had stains from trees and shingles; the power washer took ALL of these old stains OFF in about 5 minutes! Just keep the power setting away from the edge of the shingles themselves (not hard to do) and you are set—surly would have cost us a bundle to have some one ELSE do this or buy new and replace.

      Another well worth it for DIY’s is an AIR COMPRESSOR—we bought a large one at a yard sale for $50 and spent abo0ut the same for the basic tools; saved hundreds and have saved well over what we would have spent retail on car and home repairs.

      Don’t for get CRAIGS LIST for getting used tools for much less; or your local Shopper Paper.

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