I don’t know anyone who isn’t looking to save time or money in some aspect of their lives. I always want to be getting the best value for time and money that I can so I’ve developed some ‘life hacks’ along the way to help me do that.
I’ve tried lots of different ways to save time and money in my week, but I’ve found that if I do these 6 things consistently, my week is more organised, efficient and enjoyable.
1. Meal planning – I started properly meal planning about 2 months before I went back to work in anticipation of needing that extra level of organisation. I’ve tried meal planning a handful of times before but this is the first time I’ve found that it is actually sticking! At the moment I am doing a fortnightly meal plan which means I only have to have the ‘what should I make for dinner’ conversation with myself every 2 weeks. This has been a huge time saver and saves me a fair bit of money because I’m only buying food for the meals I actually know I’m going to make.
2. Online grocery shopping – this one kind of goes hand in hand with the last one. Once I’ve done my meal plan for the fortnight and written out my shopping list I do an online shopping order and have the food delivered to my house. I’ve been online grocery shopping for about 3 years now because I hated wasting my time at the shops after work (and spending unnecessarily on things I saw but didn’t actually need). I get all my pantry stuff in my online shop and get my fruit, veg and meat at the local shops because they’re better quality and I like supporting my local businesses.
3. Lunch prep – on Sundays I make our lunches for the week, which means we just need to grab a container from the fridge in the morning and don’t need to waste time making our lunches. I usually make a large meal that does 6 serves, so this is our lunch for 3 out of 5 of our work days and the other two days we will have leftovers from a dinner (which I plan for in my meal plan for the week). While this does require a bit of extra time spent on weekends to actually make the food, the amount of time it saves me during the week is so worth it. Plus it means we’re never stuck spending money on buying lunches, which are always so expensive for what you get!
4. Tidy in the little pockets of ‘dead time’ – if you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, or for something to heat up in the microwave, tidy the kitchen a little while you wait. I try to keep my benches in the kitchen as clean and clutter-free as possible (a clean kitchen makes me very happy) and I am usually able to wipe the benches and put anything away in the time it takes to boil the kettle. Making use of these little pockets of otherwise ‘dead’ time will help you stay on top of the cleaning so it doesn’t end up becoming a huge and time-consuming task.
5. Prepare for the morning the night before – this tip has made my mornings go so smoothly, I don’t think I would cope without it. I’m not a morning person, and I’m definitely not a speedy person in the morning (Stu is constantly hurrying me along in the morning). So packing my bag for work and getting my clothes ready for the next day have been massive lifesavers. It reduces the amount of thinking I have to do in the morning pre-coffee (always a good thing!) and it means that my morning just flows easily. Spending a little bit of time at night preparing for the next day will save you lots of time (and stress) in the morning.
6. Have a place for everything, and put everything back in its place – there is a reason this is an often cited mantra for organisation. Because it just works. If you know where everything is (assuming you put it back when you used it) then it makes finding what you need so easy. You’ll save time that would have otherwise been spent searching for things and you’ll save money because you won’t constantly be replacing things you’ve lost or misplaced. This adds to making your morning go smoothly as well. I know exactly where my watch is, my makeup is, my keys are – they are always in their place and I can pick them up without even having to think ‘where is…’ because I know where they are.
I hope these 6 things have given you some ideas for how to save time and money in your own week.
Do you already do any of these? What’s your top tip for saving time and money?
Linking up with Kylie Purtell for #IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays)