I don’t know about you, but I hate wasting time or money. Both seem to come in short supply, and even in times of abundance, they melt away as quickly as spring snow. I’m no expert, but I have found a few ways to save. I hope these ideas help you in this New Year.
Saving Time—
#1: Handle it Once
When you’re tired, or pressed for time, it’s easy to drop stuff on a nearby surface to get to later. But we make more work for ourselves that way. Take the time to put it away while you still have it in your hands; then it’s done. It’s just as easy to put things in the right place as the wrong place. Handle it once; you’ll save time and be glad it’s done.
#2: Use a Timer
Your timer can be your friend—keeping you from spending too much time on projects you love and pushing you to work on projects you dread. In the first case, set the timer to limit the amount of time you spend, then stop and clean up when it goes off. In the latter case, set a goalfor 15 minutes to an hour. You can quit when it goes off and admire the progress you’ve made. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in small increments if you stay focused (and off your phone).
These next three save both Time and Money.
#3: Make It Ahead
There’s nothing better than coming home from work, or in from yard work, to a readymade dinner. You can fill a crock pot with meat, soup, or a one dish meal and divide into containers. Other things you can make ahead—dry ingredient mixes, cookies, muffins, fruit, and veggies—baked, bagged, and frozen. These can save time and money when you need something quick.
#4: Make a Shopping List
Limit yourself to one trip a week and keep a list. Whenever you see you’re almost out of something, put it on the list so you don’t have to make an extra trip. The more times you shop, the more you’ll spend. Decide on your menu ahead of time when having company, and check recipes to see what you’ll need.
#5: Buy and Divide
When possible, buy meat and more expensive items on sale or with coupons. Buy large packages of meat and divide as soon as you get home and put in the freezer. Or cook the whole amount and freeze in smaller quantities for quick and easy meals later.  Do the same with chips, snacks, or desserts for lunches. This not only saves buying individual packages, but initiates portion control for you and your family.
Saving Money—
#6: Recycle
There’s more than one way to recycle. Separating cans, glass, junk mail, newspapers, and cardboard is a great idea. There’s also creative recycling. Use produce bags for lunch sacks, and grocery sacks for garbage can liners. Wrap presents in newspaper, or make cards using pictures from calendars or magazines. Use paper printed on only one side for scrap paper. And instead of buying plastic containers, wash and reuse containers from products you use.

#7: Make Your Own
Recipes abound for homemade cleaners, hand soaps, lotions, hand sanitizer, and laundry detergent. You not only save money on the products, but reduce the amount of garbage that goes into our landfills. You can add your own scents, or go scent-free. You also save money by making your own cake, muffins, granola, and spice mixes. They don’t take that much longer than readymade, and can be full of fresh, natural ingredients.

#8: Wash and Re-use
It’s handy to use disposables when traveling, but these products are filling our landfills at an alarming rate; that’s not only expensive, but bad for our environment. Instead of buying throwaway wet wipes, cleaning cloths, and single use dusters, use washcloths and rags cut from worn out towels and t-shirts. Instead of throwaway water bottles, fill one at home and keep in your car.
#9: Maintain What You Have
My dad told me, “If you take care of your tools, they’ll take care of you.” Hose the underside of your machine after mowing the lawn so wet grass doesn’t build up. Wipe dirt from garden tools so they don’t rust. Sharpen blades on tools and knives. Carry garbage from your car when you get home to keep crumbs and odors from working their way into the crevices of your vehicle. Maintaining our homes, machines, clothes, and bodies will make them look and run better, and last longer.
#10: Spend More
Even though I’m big on saving money, sometimes you save by spending. If you want appliances and furniture that last, it’s wise to pay more for quality design and craftsmanship, rather than a “cute” product made of cheap materials. I buy a lot of clothes at thrift shops, but some I shop for new to save in the long run.
This is an unusual post for me, but I firmly believe we need to be good stewards of the resources God gives us. I hope these ideas spur you on to make changes, and challenge you to budget, save, and give to the glory of God.
#moneysavingtricks #savetime #householdhints #stewardship #savingenvironment