Life is busy. Work, school, activities, volunteering, hobbies, kids, pets… they all take time. Throw in unexpected illnesses, car repairs and home improvement projects and you’ve got a lot to do.
It can seem like you don’t have time to save money. But you do. You will either find a way or find an excuse.
So let’s figure out ways to find time to save money and stop making excuses.
You have time to save money
Everyone has the same 24 hours a day. It’s how we use that time that makes all the difference. I have found that by making use of little snippets of time, I can save money. A few examples:
Instead of making dinner for one night, I’ll double the recipe and put half in the freezer. This will give me a home-cooked meal I can use on busy nights instead of resorting to eating out. Or I’ll plan a meal that allows me to use the leftovers in a meal the next day. For example, tonight’s barbecue chicken becomes barbecue chicken pizza in a day or two.
If there’s a lull in the dinner prep, I’ll use that time to package up snacks for the kids for the next day. It’s much cheaper to buy snacks in bulk and then package them into reusable containers than it is to buy the pre-packaged snacks. If I have 20 minutes, I’ll whip up a batch of banana muffins for breakfast or snacks.
It’s cheaper to buy fruit and veggies that aren’t pre-washed and prepped. It takes just a few minutes to wash and cut up produce. I can do this while I’m waiting for water to boil for dinner, or while I’m talking on the phone with a friend.
And if there was ever the king of time-savers, it’s a slow cooker. Slow cookers have saved many a day for us.
After dinner, I’ll take a few minutes to place any leftovers into containers for the next day’s lunch. Or I’ll pop them in the freezer to incorporate into a future meal.
While my husband is washing dishes (he is awesome, by the way!), I’ll vacuum seal meats and veggies I’ve bought in bulk into smaller packages. Buying in bulk and buying in season is a great way to save.
I like to make use of time I spend waiting. So while I’m sitting in the car waiting to pick kids up from activities, I’ll sort out expired coupons, submit receipts to earn cash back, and use my phone to unsubscribe to e-mails that only want me to buy stuff I don’t need. I can also use that time to use my phone to shop around for better prices on services I use and things we need.
You can learn all kinds of good money-saving info by listening to audiobooks from your library or podcasts you’ve downloaded while you’re driving in the car, exercising, or while you’re cooking dinner. You could (dare I say it?) get a little frugal living reading done while you’re occupied in the bathroom, too.
I am a person who really enjoys downtime. I love sitting. And watching TV. But I have found that I can use that time sitting in front of my favorite shows doing things that save money. I’ll clip coupons, mend clothing, or work on crafts. I’ll use that time to shop for bargains for clothing and gifts. It’s also a great time to take some online surveys and make a little extra cash.
When you’re putting away clean laundry or packing away clothes for the season, take a few minutes to take an inventory. Make a list of things you’ll need for next season. This will really help you save money as you can shop the end-of-season sales. It’s a quick way to help you stockpile kids clothing to be ready for their next growth spurt.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that the little things you do every day can add up to savings. You have many little moments during the day that you can use to do the simplest things like make up a batch of homemade wrinkle releaser or write up a menu plan. Just a few minutes a day spent doing a money-saving task can help you reach your goals much faster than you can sitting on the couch mindlessly surfing the internet.
What are some ways you find time to save money? What money-saving tips do you have?