There are plenty of things that you can do that save you time that are expensive. And there are plenty of things you can do that save you money but take a million years. So we want to find that sweet spot in between, especially now that it is back-to-school time.
Today I wanted to share some things that we do on a daily basis that save us time and money.
Batch your meal planning tasks
It's no secret that meal planning will save you cash and will save you time because you're not spending, like, 30 minutes every night wondering what's for dinner.
But one of the things that I have found that saves me a ton of time is to pre-chop things. One of the things that I do is take an hour on Sunday and I chop vegetables and I prep meals for the week.
I do this strategically. For example, I may buy some bell peppers on sale and use them in two meals. So I'll go ahead and chop them up on Sunday, put them in a container. The same thing with tomatoes. I might use tomatoes in multiple meals, chop them up, put them in containers, stick them in the fridge. That way, when I'm ready to cook, everything is pre-chopped and ready to go.
Get a coffee timer
Alright, here's the scenario that we face. My husband goes to work very, very early in the morning. He was getting up, making coffee, not waiting for the pot to finish, and then he would get this, like, super awesome, rich, strong coffee and I was left with, like, dirty bean water.
It was so gross. Or he would not wait for the coffee to finish making and then just hit up the drive through. And while the coffee was only $1.99 at the drive through, $1.99 five times a week, ten dollars. You get where I'm going.
We just ended up getting a coffee maker with a timer. I set that coffee maker at night and we're good to go. He wakes up in the morning, the coffee is already made. He pours a cup and he's out the door. The same thing with his breakfast. We go ahead and we prep his breakfast for the week on Sunday night. He gets up in the morning, he heats it up, and he eats it on the go.
It's all about prepping things in advance and being prepared in advance that saves you money in the end, saves you time in the end because you're not hitting the drive through because you're unprepared. You're not wasting food in the refrigerator because you're unprepared. If you just take that time in advance, you end up saving hours of time and manpower and thousands of dollars a year.
Pack leftovers the night before
Jason takes his lunch every single day. I picked up some of these Pyrex (I do not pick them up, I order them off Amazon). Some of these Pyrex dishes, they're glass, and he takes them to work. He can put them in the little convection oven at work or he can put them in the microwave.
I make sure that I have a little extra every night when I make dinner so that he can pack up his food. As soon as we fix our plates to eat, he goes ahead and packs up his leftovers, puts them in the fridge, and they're ready to go the next day.
So Jason actually did the math on how much leftovers saved us over the course of the year. If you go through the drive through everyday and you spend $8, which is really easy to do at a drive through establishment, that is $40 a week -- Monday through Friday -- that's $40 a week. If you only work 50 weeks out of the year, that's $2,000. Two thousand dollars. That's just for one person. So you can literally save thousands of dollars a year packing leftovers.
Mind your peak hours
So many electric companies offer off-peak hours, meaning, those are the hours when fewer people are using appliances, so they charge less per kilowatt hour. And that's when I run my dishwasher, my washing machine, my drier.
That way I am using as little electricity as possible. I'm saving some money. Now, you might be busy during that time, so if your dishwasher has a timer function, mine does, I go ahead and set that. You can set it to start running in a few hours.
And usually mine starts running first thing in the morning, it's done running, I unload it, put the dishes away. And then throughout the day, I'm loading the dishwasher. That saves me some time. And running it off-peak hours saves me some money.
Leave errands to one day a week
We have a standing appointment one day a week in another part of town. We're in the busy little part of town and that's when I run my errands. I pick up my groceries because I order them from the Walmart pickup, I go to the post office if I have to mail packages.
If I have to pick up something from the library, if I need to put gas in my car, if I need to go to the bank, I save everything for that one day a week when I have this standing appointment. I'm already at the part of town where I need to be, where, like, it's the hub of everything and I just go ahead and take care of everything then and there. It takes me an hour to do everything that I need to do.
I save gas because I'm not driving back and forth multiple times a week and it saves my sanity because I know, "Oh, I can just schedule to do all of these stuff on this one particular day of the week."
It just takes a little bit of intention, planning and just putting a little thought into how you want to spend your time because, like I said, if you put in the 45 minutes at the beginning of the week, you save yourself a couple hours throughout the week.
I would love to know what are some things that you guys do to save time and money. What are some, like, back-to-school routines that you have? I would love to know about it.
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