How Routines Can Save Time and Money

As we inch closer to the start of the school year, I have been thinking more about the topic of routines.  Routines are, according to the dictionary, “a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.”  Routines can help us save time in many ways.  For example, if we have a habit of checking our calendar for the upcoming week, we will save time by remembering where we have to go and when.  If we have a routine of doing all of our nearby errands on one day, we will not waste time driving to places over and over.

Routines can help us save money as well.  A routine such as packing lunches for the week, will help us not have to buy fast food or premade foods.  A routine like filling water bottles the night before a school day will save us time and money as we will not be tempted to buy drinks on the go and we will not be scurrying around before we leave to get them filled.

I have been thinking about routines that we do and some that we do not.  What causes us to not want to implement new routines?  Is it the change?  Is it the time involved?  I would like to reflect on this more in my life.  I know that routines initially take time to implement, but then, begin to be fruitful.  Below is a list of current, past, and ideal routines that may save time, money, or a combination of both.

Food Area Routines

  •  Menu Planning
  • Using up older produce and foods first
  • Grocery shopping on a fixed day
  • Clipping coupons before each shopping trip
  • Creating a list before going to the store
  • Scanning the receipts into a receipt app such as Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, or Checkout 51
  • Having a weekly baking day
  • Prepping meals on the weekend for the week ahead
  • Organizing your pantry with soonest expirations in the front
  • Freezer batch cooking or freezing meals ahead of time

Budgeting Routines

  • Monthly/ weekly budget or accountability meetings
  • Daily/ weekly spending reconliliation
  • Daily/ weekly couponing searches for regularly purchased items
  • Taking cash out on pay day for cash envelope system
  • Scheduled bill paying day(s) based on pay cycle
  • Planning a vacation ahead and setting aside money regularly for it

Household Routines

  • Unplugging items around the house before going to bed
  • Schedule maintenance on items like furnace, cooling system, sprinkler systems, etc..
  • Regularly checking for toilet leaks and dripping sinks
  • Regularly checking through all recurring bills, to see if there is a cheaper deal in any areas like cable, cell phone, internet
  • Maintenance on vehicles, changing oils, keeping up with the scheduled maintenance
  • Keeping an inventory on what children need, if they are growing out of clothes, shoes, etc..
  • Cleaning items such as appliances, vacuum, stove, refridgerator to help them last longer
  • Updating and discussing emergency procedures with family
  • Filling up on gas on a regular schedule at the cheapest place instead of waiting until it is completely empty

Holiday/ Special Events

  • Budgeting for Christmas and planning a monthly amount to be taken out for this expense
  • Shopping all year long for toys, clothes, when you can get them for a deal, for Christmas
  • Making a list or note in your phone of what certain people mention that they would like for a gift
  • Keeping a list of sizes for those you by for
  • Planning Halloween costumes ahead of time so you have time to make or upcycle something
  • Using rewards sites like PerkSwagbucks, Earning Station, to earn gift cards throughout the year to buy gifts
  • Using reward programs like Coke Rewards, Kelloggs, and Pampers Points to earn small items that can be used for gifts
  • Keeping a, “gift closet” (does not have to be an actual closet) with deeply discounted kids items for Birthday parties that you children are invited to
  • Buying bulk birthday cards so you have them at home ready to go when a friend or loved one’s Birthday comes up

Routines for Children

  • After school homework/ reading routine
  •  A routine for emptying the back pack and getting everything signed and sent back in a proper way
  • Laying out school clothes the night before including socks and hair bows
  • Signing planners, permission slips and reading charts the night before
  • Chore charts
  • Bedtime routines: brushing teeth, reading, devotional or what your family deems is important
  • Laying out breakfast items that you can the night before

Whew, that is a ton of routines!  Those are just some that I can think of that we have tried or need to implement to save more time and money.

What do you think?  What routines help you get through your days?  Are any that I mentioned ones that you use?  I would love to hear!  Please comment about any additional routines that you have that help you!

Take Care!

Liz

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