If you are a frequent reader of this website you know we do a lot of posts on ways to save money. Well today we’re looking at ways to save something equally as valuable…TIME! If you’re like me and believe time IS money then you’ll agree these two subjects really do go hand-in-hand. While strategies to save TIME may not be the cheapest (monetarily speaking,) they can help free up time in your LIFE which you just can’t put a price on!
Obviously not all of these tips are for everyone, but are offered up merely as ideas to help out when time is more precious than resources.
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- Do not watch TV, stream what you want when you can or use a DVR. You will be able to skip all the commercials which are a HUGE and painful waste of time. You can watch a one-hour show in 48 minutes. Plus, you won’t get tempted to buy things advertised.
- Invest in apps that help you track your time. THIS LIST of time tracking apps will help you limit time-wasters and increase spending your time on activities you really value.
- Try Once-A-Month Cooking. If you live in the USA, places like like Dream Dinners will even do the prep work.
- Grocery delivery service, or pre-order for pickup. Some stores, like Sams Club, have a click-and-pull service…order online and just pick up your cart at the store. Some stores even have a drive-thru.
- Once-a-week subscription services like Blue Apron will deliver to your door all the fresh ingredients you need to make 3 meals, in exactly the right proportions with instructions how to prepare the meals. No time wasted shopping for food.
- Personal chefs will come into your home, cook as many meals as you’d like, portion and freeze them (with labeled heating instructions.)
- There are also CSA (Community Supported Agriculture ) ‘shares’ you can purchase (aka a bag or basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.
- Why spend all that time and effort making the perfect sticky rice or pizza dough when you can buy it from your local Chinese restaurant or pizza joint for a buck or so and turn it into all kinds of delicious meals at home?
- Subscribe to online banking to set up all recurring bills to be paid automatically each month. Take advantage of direct deposit and a bank that allows you to photograph checks, and you can eliminate trips to the bank completely!
- Order gifts online, pay to have them gift-wrapped (some will gift wrap for free!) and have sent directly to the recipient. By having it sent you save the cost of including a greeting card and all the hassle of packaging and shipping!
- Buy non-iron or wrinkle-free clothing. They cost a little bit more, but save a lot on dry cleaning (including the time it takes to get to and from the dry cleaner) or doing the ironing yourself.
- Use laser for permanent hair removal; never bother shaving again.
- If you have the space, get your own gym equipment. No time wasted commuting or waiting for machines. The machines are always available and the shower is all yours! A chin up bar and some barbells may be all the “equipment” you need.
- Buy everyday items in bulk when they go on sale, and save time and money. You’ll run out less often and will be spared the headache of having to run out and buy them every couple of weeks.
Items could include:
– shaving cream
– bar soap/body wash
– toilet paper
– feminine pads
– paper towels, napkins, etc.
– frozen food
– canned food, pasta
– cleaning supplies
- Use an airline credit card that gives you miles that count toward elite qualification so that you can qualify to skip the longer lines at the airport.
- Print your boarding pass before hand. Pack light and carry a suitcase onto the plane. Anything that you would need to check…Fedex it to your hotel. If you fly into/out of a busy airport, that can save you a 1/2 hr waiting in the checkin line plus the time waiting for the bags to show.
- Also, nonstop and direct flights are your friend. Find them, even if it costs a little more. They can cut a LOT of time off the duration of your flight.
- Get two monitors. Monitors are fairly inexpensive these days and published studies indicate that having dual monitors in a workplace setting can increase productivity by 20 to 50 percent. Also, try using a mount to turn the widescreen displays vertical, making it easier to view an entire web page or multiple pages of a word doc at once.
- Get an all-in-one printer for your desk at work. The purchase price for an all-in-one device might be more than a traditional printer, but you get the increased functionality without having to purchase multiple machines. Saves space too!
- For boys & men: Choose one style of socks and buy 10 identical pairs at one time. Then, when it’s time to do laundry, no need to pair up socks. Just grab any two and they will match. When the socks begin looking worn, replace all of them at the same time.
- If remodeling your kitchen, install 2 dishwashers and never waste time emptying the dishwasher again. One is the “clean” one and one is the “dirty” one (use magnetic signs to tag which is which.) Use dishes directly out of the clean one, and put the dirty dishes in the other one. By the time the dirty one is full, the clean one is just about empty and you run the dirty one and switch the signs. Saves tons of time you used to waste emptying the dishwasher.
- Get some inexpensive home automation units to control lights and some appliances. These little remotes save time and energy and the convenience is a nice little luxury as well.
- Get a bidet for your toilets. Quick clean-up after #2 and saves toilet paper too.
- Another idea, put gutter guards on your rain gutters so you don’t have to clean them! Guards also keep out wasps and other pests.
- Get a keypad deadbolt lock. When walking out of the house, push a button and the door locks. When going in the house key in 4 numbers and the lock opens. This saves minutes everyday and can save hours in the long run avoiding special trips to unlock the door.
- Vacuum robots like the Roomba work great and save time. You can even get one of the fancy ones with a scheduler so it will run automatically once a day or whenever you program it to. All you have to do is remember to change the dust collector once in a while.
- If you think the Roomba sounds good for your rugs, check out the “swiffer robot“ for your bare floors. It’s also a great time saver and keeps your floors spic and span! Keeping the floors clean will also extend the time between major floor maintenance (refinishing, etc.) which can be a huge time/money pit.
- Automate all your cat chores: water fountain, time-released feeder and self-cleaning litter box. Cuts down the time required for cat chores drastically!
- Upload and print photos online. It’s cheaper and easier then printing photos yourself on a color printer. For even more convenience, instead of printing photos, print photo books.
- Hire someone to manage a yard sale. Someone to handle it all—from sorting, pricing, laying out in driveway, selling, delivering leftover items to Goodwill, etc. Choose an experienced yard saler and give them a share of the profits.
- Or find a consignment store that will make “house calls.” They will come to your home pick and choose what they want (from your collection of stuff), load it up and haul it away. The deal is usually that they get 60% of the price if it sells in 60 days, 50% between 60-90, then you can sign to consign again.
- Pay for a gardener and/or house cleaner. Ideally find someone that has worked for someone you know and has earned their trust.
- Don’t do any home improvement yourself that requires you to buy tools you will only use once. There are no cost savings if you only use that wet tile cutter once.
- Print postage online and drop off packages at the drop boxes. USPS will pick up prepaid packages for free. You save on shipping fees and there are free boxes for Priority Mail.
- Buy large, sturdy reusable grocery bags. Unload your grocery cart onto the checkout stand conveyor belt grouped by items you will put away together when you get home (frozen food 1st, cold food 2nd, pantry items 3rd, etc.) You can even place those “separators” between items you want in separate bags. Then, when you get home, put each bag by the place you are going to unload so you don’t have to go back and forth across the kitchen. Put the bags on your door handle to take back out to the car the next time you go out. Such a time saver
- Have a charger for your smartphone in your most used places. One (or two) at home, one in the car, one at work. Make a habit of plugging in a couple times when not in use so you’re not forced to find a place to “plug in” at an inopportune time.
- Also keep a small USB (“thumb”) drive with you at all times. Huge time saver.
- Use Amazon Subscribe & Save to get items like laundry detergent, beverages, toilet paper, etc automatically delivered on a pre-set schedule (every 1, 2, 3 4 or 6 months). You can cancel (or skip) deliveries anytime with no repercussions.
- To clean the interior of your car, use the pay vacuum stations at car washes, rather than use your own vacuum. It costs more but the advantages are:
1. The gas station vacuums are basically indestructible. No need to worry about damaging your home vacuum.
2. They have powerful suction and can easily suck up caked on dirt, leaves, sand, whatever.
3. If you prepare the car by pulling out all floor mats, opening all the car doors, etc. before inserting the money, it will go faster than vacuuming at home. Not to mention the time you save by not having to lug the vacuum out of the closet.
And last but not least…..
Learn to say NO. This won’t necessarily “cost” you anything (except maybe your SANITY if you don’t do it!) but it’s especially important if you get a lot of requests from people. You want to say yes and make them happy, but usually it involves a huge time investment. Sometimes you just have to say “no” in order to say “yes” to the rest of your happy, balanced life!
I’ll give it a try if YOU will! :-)
Do you have any time-saving tips that you think are well worth the cost?