30 Ways YOU Can SAVE Money and Time




About: Inspired by my cat Chili, who is full of fun and energy, I like to share about food and other home crafts with a new twist of 'chili'-fun. (This user was previously called Snowball10)

We all want to save. Here are 30 simple ways everyone, including you, can follow to do exactly that!

NOTE: This instructable is written by an ordinary person just like you.

Step 1: Ready, Set, Go!

30 Ways YOU Can SAVE Money and Time:

1. Turn Off the Water Heater. You really only need warm water for showers (and perhaps the washing machine) so turn it off until you need it. It is a good idea to let the water heat a few minutes before you use it. Turning off the water heater can really save you a lot of money, so give it a try!

2. Buy in Bulk. Whenever possible, buy in bulk, as larger packages are usually cheaper. Besides all the other things you can buy in bulk, many foods store well too. Canned vegetables, fruit, tomato sauce, etc. can be bought in large cans and leftovers frozen. Store large portions of nuts and dried fruit in the freezer too. Dry staples, such as flour, rice, and pasta, keep well on the shelf.

3. Cook Larger Portions. When you cook, make larger portions and freeze the leftovers in single servings. You will soon build up a wide array of instant food in the freezer, and all you have to do is remove your desired dish from the freezer and heat it in the microwave for lunch!

4. Cook From Scratch. Processed food, mixes, etc. are usually more expensive than basic staple ingredients, so cook from scratch as much as possible. This is also true for eating out – it is more expensive, so limit the times you do it and cook yourself instead.

5. Big Things First. This may sound weird, but it is a big time saver. Doing the important things first prevents last minute rush, and it will seem like you have more time for everything. Be disciplined!

6. Get Enough Sleep. This might be the oddest trick yet, but it is a real time saver. Prioritizing sleep helps you get your work done. How? Because you sleep enough, you will be able to think clearly and quickly, and you will actually get more done than if you had stayed up all night trying to do your work. Give it a try and see for yourself! Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

7. Drink Enough Water. This is an indirect way of saving money doubly. Water is free (at least in some places), and if you drink enough during the day, preferably between the meals, you will not feel so inclined to gulp down a lot of soft drink and juice. Your health will thank you too, as your body needs at least eight glasses of water a day to function well, and you avoid the sugar in soft drinks. It takes time to get used to, but you can do it!

8. Shop With Reusable Bag. Bring a reusable bag every time you shop, and you will not have to buy a plastic bag each time.

9. Turn Off the Light. Remember to turn off the light every time you leave a room. When you are not there, the light need not burn your money!

10. Close the Door. Always pass quickly through the door and keep it closed when the heat or ac is on, otherwise you will let a lot of cold/heat in, which will require extra energy to heat up/cool down!

11. Save Heat and AC. To save energy from heating/cooling your house, set a lower temperature on the heater during winter and a higher temperature on the ac during summer. If you are used to a very warm house during winter and a very cold house during summer, do the change gradually, a few degrees at a time. It might seem impossible to do this change, but it is amazing how easily the body adjusts, and you will save tons of money. Give it a try and see for yourself!

12. Use Scrap Paper. You will always have some printouts that get discarded, or some old essay drafts. Reuse them as scrap paper every time you need to scribble a note or do a quick sketch! You can cut them up into smaller pieces if needed. Whole sheets are perfect for kids to draw on. Save some money!

13. Borrow Books. Borrow books from the library or friends instead of buying them!

14. Fill the Washing Machine. When you wash clothes, try not to wash before you have a full load.

15. Fill the Oven. When your spend the power to heat up your oven, fill it up to take advantage of the heat. You can bake multiple loaves of bread or dishes of lasagna next to each other with no prolonged baking time. You can also bake at least two baking sheets of rolls/buns at the same time if you rotate the sheets (the bottom one goes on top and vice versa) halfway through baking and also prolong the baking time a little. You can easily determine when the rolls/buns are ready by tapping them on the bottom; if they sound hollow, they are ready. Just freeze whatever extra food you baked!

16. Pot and Hotplate. Use a pot that has the same size or bigger than the hotplate so no heat (energy) is wasted.

17. Sales. Whenever possible, buy what you need on sale.

18. High Quality. Over time, it generally pays to buy a higher quality product, as it will keep longer than a low quality product, thus saving you money in the end.

19. Fluorescent Light Bulbs. Replace your ordinary light bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs, as they use less power.

20. One Car. If possible, drive together with someone when you go shopping or to work. Share the expenses and you will both save!

21. Shop Big. Try to stock up when you shop and limit the times you go to once every week or every other week. That way you will save both money and time from driving to the mall.

22. Do You Need It? Do not buy something unless you really need it. It may be a good idea to wait a few days before buying anything so you have time to consider it and see if you still want/need it or if it was just a sudden impulse.

23. Buy Secondhand. There is nothing wrong with using secondhand things. While this might not be a time saver, it is definitely a money saver. If you take your time to look around, you can often get nice things at a fraction of the price for new.

24. Borrow/Share. If you only need something once, try to see if you can borrow it from someone instead of buying it. A similar principle holds true if you are two (or more) family members who only use something rarely – buy only one of whatever it is and share instead of buying multiple that never get used. For example, if the kids only use color pencils rarely for special projects, buy only one set and let them share!

25. Budget. Learn the principle that you need not use the money as soon as you earned it. Try to establish a certain percentage of your earnings that you will set aside for savings; budget the remains and keep track of how the money is used.

26. Cut Down. Do you really need to use that much tooth paste? Soap? Toilet paper? Try to cut down on your consumption. Small changes can make a big difference over time. If you could use half as much soap, it would be the same as buying it at 50% off! Now, who wouldn't like that?

27. Homemade Gifts. Instead of buying an expensive perfume or bouquet next time you want to make someone happy, consider spending some time making a personalized gift instead. The recipient will certainly feel more special about a gift you spent time and energy making than one you simply bought!

28. Reuse Ziplock Bags. Another money saver. Most ziplock bags are sturdy enough to be washed and reused. Simply swish around some warm soap water inside the bag, rinse the bag, and dry it with a towel or let it air dry. If you could reuse a bag four times, you would save 75% of your money!

29. Wear Out Clothes. Wear out your clothes instead of trashing them as soon as they are no longer modern. If you get tired of your clothes, consider trading with a friend – just make sure you both agree fully about it!

30. Repair. Learn how to repair things instead of throwing them out. Ask people with experience or research the internet on how to do it. Clothes are one of those things that are easily and often nearly invisibly repaired. Say yes to some extra money!

Step 2: Your Turn!

Phew! That was many, but I'm sure there are more. If you have any secret tips for saving money or time, or anything for that sake, share in the comments!



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    30 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Create and fill a rainy day savings fund that you only use in emergencies.

    One thing I've seen people do over and over again is spend money as they get it, then when an unexpected emergency (you can't expect everything to go well all the time, can you?) arises, they go into debt (sometimes soul-sucking title loans) and end up spending a lot more money then just the expense of the emergency.

    1 reply

    Places in the USA are starting this too (about time imho) I know WA state has started it and I think CA too, maybe NY? We just need to get into the habit of bringing bags, it's a no-brainer:-)


    Reply 4 years ago

    in canada many retailers make you pay 5-10 cents per bag


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I left Portugal in 84, and back then supermarkets charged a lot for bags, don't know how it is now, most people would use plastic bag over and over.


    Reply 4 years ago

    In many other places than the US (like Europe) you have to pay a lot for plastic bags (like .5 to 1 dollar per bag), but then the bags are good quality, so it pays to bring old bags to reuse!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    three things:

    1. sanitary. i don't reuse food storage which i cannot boil or bleach.

    2. lights. leave the lights on. replacement cost trumps usage cost.

    3. reusable shopping bags. germ trap. washing negates savings.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    1. hot water and anti bacterial soap. much better than wasting food or containers and your way has marginal gains.

    2. leaving lights off is better. watch mythbusters :)

    3. unless what you're buying leaks frequently or you store them in an unsanitary place than i dont see how it could be a germ trap


    4 years ago

    One note on turning lights off when leaving the room, I agree with it, but if you are using fluorescent lights and you leave the room and intend to return in less then 15 or so minutes, it takes more energy to turn it on again then to keep it on for those 15 minutes.

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank you for that insight – I didn't know that! :)


    4 years ago

    nice.. now I have to say you also can save money by picking up the floor.
    recycling is a big MONEY SAVING.
    remember: 1 man trash is another's gold...

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Some good tips there.

    9. Turn Off the Light, broughtback childhood memories, we had that one drummed into us as kids. :)

    30. Repair is the one that will save big money in short time, I don't think a mechanic charging labour by the hour is cheap in any country.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    Not just your car though. People used to repair everything as much as they could until it just wasn't fixable anymore and even then it would often be re-purposed instead of junked. In many places we live in a disposable world anymore. I fix everything I can and get the most use I can out of everything I can. I just don't see the point in replacing something that can be fixed. People give me a hard time about it sometimes but it makes me happy to bring a broken thing back to life or turn it into something else useful instead of it going off to a landfill. I repair my furniture instead of replacing it which can be another big money saver.

    Even most people's trash I find use in. Speaking of which, did you know Cool Whip bowls are top rack dishwasher safe? It actually states it on the bottom of the bowl. I don't have a dishwasher but I know many people do these days so thought I'd throw it out there.

    I think most of the instructable community is probably better at fixing or altering things instead of just throwing stuff away though don't you? I think it's a part of the creative mindset. :)