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Saving Time so You Can Save Money

Posted by mid_tn_mama (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 17, 03 at 9:40

A big part of being frugal is having the time to fix and make things yourself. Many folks feel they can't afford (timewise) to be frugal. So I thought it would be helpful to mention ways you save time so that you have time to be frugal.

I'll start: Every morning I put out a fresh clean dishrag and towel, take yesterdays dishcloth and towel to the laundry room. On my way there, I use the damp cloth to clean spots on the floors/doorways that I see on my way there. This keeps my floors which are swept daily but not washed daily looking nice.

When waiting in a waiting room, I cull the trash from my purse and make lists of things I need to do.

When I lived in a neighborhood, my neighbors and I would do errands for each other. If we were going to the post office--we'd ask anyone if they had any packages they would like mailed, etc..Did the same for grocer and dry cleaning. This saves gas too.

When I cook dinner, I always double or triple the recipe so I can freeze one or two meals for later. This way, I only cook three days a week--the rest are heated up from the last weeks stash (so we don't get sick of eating the same things) If your family doesn't like leftovers, this might work for them.

When cleaning, I keep a box by the door to put in all the things that don't belong in that room. I stay in that room cleaning that way and not off on wild goose chases or get distracted.

I don't believe in grounding children or giving time-outs--that doesn't help me. What does help me is that a child who doesn't follow rules will find they have extra chores. Having them wipe their fingerprints off wall, doors and windows will also remind them of the consequences of doing that (I don't punish for doing that, just use that as a chore regularly). My kids will know how to clean a house, fix dinner, buy groceries and fix household repairs before they leave home. BTW--my DD, upon hearing that a friend always gets grounded retorted, "You're lucky, we have to do chores--I wish I were grounded!"

Pantyhose with rips are kept in a separate bag to be washed. Then saved for frugal things like tying tomatoes to stakes. Yesterday I tied up the garden hoses for the season with them. They are great to use for putting in the spices for making pickles (washed well, of course).

I clean out the refrigerator before I go shopping each week--that way it's as empty as it's gonna be so it's easier to clean.

I sweep the floors (no carpet) every day so that there is less dust going throughout the house to clean later. I believe in putting rugs inside and outside of every outer door--it really cuts down on dirt brought in the house.

I've finally invested in extra trash baskets--one on each side of the bed, for instance--because it will be thrown away if the trash basket is close by.

I do some very easy breakfast things which I'll post on another thread.

Please add your time saving tips.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Saving Time so You Can Save Money

Good tips!
Sometimes it takes time to save money like scratch cooking (although a crockpot helps).
My computer broke and I did not replace it! You would be suprised how much time that saves at home.
Well seriously,
I wash and hang clothes and since I rarely iron (hubby irons his own) I hang shirts and nightgowns on hangers so all they need is carried upstairs and put in the closet when dry.
I bought a small dry mop (not the swiffer kind - a string mop) - it gets dirt swept much faster than a broom.
Cutting out the clutter in rooms saves a lot of time cleaning and dusting and straightening. I go through and declutter a lot (since I go to yard sales a lot and stuff seems to find it's way on display).
When you make baked potatos put them in the microwave first until soft (punch them with a fork) and then bake for a crispy outside if that is the way you like them.
When you get out of the car take time to remove anything that does not belong there. It's easier than doing a massive cleanout later (and if your car breaks down you won't be apologizing for the way it looks).
When you make your holiday wants list ask for stuff that is "used up" - gift certificates, magazine subscriptions or candles are good examples or even holiday decorations - that way you don't feel guilty doing that massive decluttering later.
If you get a new item of clothing get rid of one (still working on this tip).
To save time digging in the cupboards take your appliances or pans that you do not use often and put them on a shelf or somewhere in the basement. An upright freezer makes a dandy appliance holder too.
If you have the space have specialty closets - hubby has a closet just for hunting clothes and supplies. I use one just for Christmas items.
All for now... Kathy_PA


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RE: Saving Time so You Can Save Money

I'm not sure I'll be much help on this subject since I'm just now decluttering and reorganizing my home. Here's a few little things I'm doing:

Since I don't have a regular pantry (I'm going to make one somewhere, someday--lol) I keep all breakfast items in one drawer, like instant oatmeal, grits, hot chocolate, etc. So, I know in a glance what I need and don't buy extras. I just tear off the top of the pkg. and set the whole thing in the drawer.

I also keep my ironing supplies on one drawer---irons, spray starch, etc. I actually had to buy a second iron because I couldn't find the first one---before I organized!

I took all on my junky paper and cut it into note size, put it in my desk drawer.

If I have pretty junky mail, or envelopes, I cut them up to use as gift tags or small note cards.

I hate frying bacon, so I bake it now on a rack. It's healthier and I don't have to spend so much time at the stove. I actually baked a pkg. this morning, used it all at once---now, we have bacon for tomorrow.

I don't have very many closets, so I'm using decorative tins and hatboxes (I went thru a hatbox-making phase a few years back) for storage of sewing and craft supplies, and anything else that I can't find a place for!!! LOL These things hold a lot, so I may not have to buy any shelves.

In my foyer area, I have a narrow table with a mirrow above it. I just cleaned out that drawer in the table----I have a place for car keys (his & hers), gloves, hairbrush, and glasses.

Since I wash my hands a zillion times a day, I keep either an old dish detergent bottle or shampoo bottle with soap, water (*and now hand lotion or baby oil mixed in) under the sink to wash hands with. I just saw a Dr. on Tv say that if you wash your hands too much and they're dried out, germs can enter your body thru the cracked dry skin EASIER!! They were talking about the flu viruses. He actually said that rubbing your hands back and forth, creating friction, would kill germs on your hands!! Rub your hands, rub your hands!!!!!!


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RE: Saving Time so You Can Save Money

Oooh! Great ideas. You've inspired me to add more...

When making mac and cheese to go with hot dogs--I add the hotdogs to the macaroni and bring to a simmer together. Don't have to add oil and use half the water and electricity for heating them.

When baking something--throw a couple potatoes in there and later in the week make potato soup.

At the start of the week I cook a couple potatoes, a couple hard-boiled eggs and some dry beans--I have these on hand to fry up some quick potatos for breakfast or dinner( or make potato salad), have an egg for lunch or add to tuna, chicken or potato salad; and add bean to whatever casserole I have to stretch the meat and add roughage and protein. All VERY frugal and it only takes minutes to prepare at at the start of the week.

After taking a bath, I wash all the hose and gently hand washed things in the soapy water, then rinse in clear water. They drip dry on the porch and the air dries them nicely. The water is then used to: flush the toilet, water houseplants, water outdoor landscaping. The strength it takes to carry buckets of water is my version of working out. I lift the buckets and do reps all the way to my destination. Saves on medical bills to boot by living healthier!

When bathing children--clean the bathroom while they play in the bath.

Keep things like tape in the car in case you must buy a present on the way to a party and wrap it.


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RE: Saving Time so You Can Save Money

Almost every time I take a shower, I also clean a small section of it. I keep a sponge on the shower shelf and just use the same soap I use on my body. I clean a different small section each day. I don't buy commercial shower cleaners. My shower is always clean!

I try to save all my errands for one day each week, so that I am not running around every day.

When I pull into a store parking lot or into the garage, I look for any garbage and take it with me, tossing it into the garbage can.

I have a grocery list template that is set up to follow the floor plan of my grocery store. When I plan my menu for the following week, I write all the needed ingredients onto this shopping list. Shopping is quick and easy since the shopping list is organized like the floor plan of the grocery store! I try very hard to never go into the grocery store without a list.


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RE: Saving Time so You Can Save Money

One place I save time, if not always money, is that I've had my family change from bar soap to liquid soap - no soap scum or rings.

I keep a shopping list on my PDA, so I can add to it when I'm at work or waiting in a line. I usually shop on the way home from work, but I eat a piece of fruit first - otherwise I'm starved, and buy lots of junk!

I hang almost all of clothing on hangers to dry, giving it a good shake first so it's wrinkle-free.

Compact flourescents. I use them everywhere. The one in my bedroom has lasted for seven years so far; most last only a couple years. Saves time, saves money. They're expensive to begin with, but I can nearly always find a coupon from either a store or the electric company.

Like most other people here, I cook multiples. Three lasagnas, a huge pot of soup, etc.

We clean the refrigerator every week the night before trash pickup, then shop when it's empty.

Label - item and date - everything in the freezer that doesn't come with a label, so I don't end up tossing it because I don't know if it's good.

I try to clean junk out of the car before I go into the house. I'm around 50% on this.


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RE: Saving Time so You Can Save Money

I buy extra measuring spoons and cups at the dollar store or for pennies at yard sales so that every flour/cocoa/baking powder/baking soda.... container has it's own measuring spoon/cup in it. That way it saves a lot of time that would be spent scrounging around for the measuring cup/spoon.

When cooking--measure the dry things first and use the same cup/spoon to measure the wet things.

Things for washing car (cleaners/wax, shamois) are all kept in a bucket that can be used for putting the soapy water in. We wash the car after it has sat outside in a rain shower--that makes the first wetting FREE! It's usually overcast after the rain so it's a good time to wash the car (no streaks).


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RE: Saving Time so You Can Save Money

We use sock locks to keep our socks together in the laundry. Itsaves a lot of time when sorting socks.

I buy all the same white socks, black socks, black mittens---that way it's not so hard to match individual pairs.

Exercise while you are doing other things--like side leg lifts while you are waiting for the microwave, squats while you are brushing your teeth. Keep moving!

Put hooks on the back of all doors--at least if things are on the hooks they are off the floor so you can sweep!


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RE: Saving Time so You Can Save Money

I'm in the process of doing this----making 3 zones, or storage areas, underneath my kitchen sink. Directly underneath the sink will be dishwashing soap, clorox, etc.---on the left will be my "extra stuff" area---such as aluminum foil, paper towels, etc.-----and on the right will be the kitty section---cans of cat food, pills, brush, treats, etc.

I've sorta had this little system already going, but this week I intend to put either boxes or shelves in the areas to define them more.

Just this week, I have re-thunk (LOL) and actually started re-organizing my closet. In my main closet, which is a small one, is just the clothing that can be worn out---to church, shopping, out to eat, etc. In my chest of drawers is all of my crappy/junky/got-paint-on-it clothing and pajamas. I received a nice plastic storage chest, with wheels, that I put in my main closet----just for my sweaters and sweatshirts. Got them off the hangers. This really helped.

Yesterday, I purchased dish towels! I'm hoping to cut down on the paper towel usage.

Today, I put a plastic trash bag in my small laundry hamper in the bathroom. This will hold towels, white socks, etc. and I'll simply pull this out when I'm ready to wash them. If this system works, I may make, or purchase, a laundry bag that will fit in this hamper---will just wash it when I do the load of wash. This way, I won't have to fool with the basket. Does this make sense to anyone but me? My washer and dryer is in the kitchen and when I bring a laundry basket in there, it sits in the floor, on the washer, here, there, it seems to be everywhere!!!


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RE: Saving Time so You Can Save Money

It makes sense to me--you are trying to separate your whites and darks, yes? I keep two hampers in the laundry room so I don't have to spend much time separating clothes. Handwashed things are put under the bathroom sink and washed in the sink after I've gotten ready in the morning or in the bathtub water after a bath (rinsed with fresh water of course).

You might try to put a small box of rags under your kitchen sink so that you can easily wipe up big spills and throw these away. I cut up old tshirts for this purpose.


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RE: Saving Time so You Can Save Money

Hi mid-tn-mama,

If you lift your leg like that when you go out, be sure to wear a sign saying, "Say what you like - I am NOT a dog!".

ole joyful


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RE: Saving Time so You Can Save Money

Wow, you guys are really organized. I've picked up a lot of tips from reading your posts. Nothing earth-shattering to add, just a few things.

I also have a store aisle template for my grocery list. On the right I have the days of the week listed so I can plan my menu. This way I know while I'm shopping if what's on sale will go with what I've got planned, or I should change a menu to match a bargain. The list also has a spot for the drugstore and video place so I know what I need from the entire shopping mall. The list stays on the fridge for quick additions during the week.

My husband put an extra long cord on my vacuum cleaner so I (or he) can plug it into the bathroom outlet and clean the entire house without stopping. I have a ranch.

I took to heart the basic concept of simplicity creating harmony from reading Simple Abundance. By owning less, I have less to care for and more time for the important things in life.


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