21 Ways To Save Time And Money

By Zach Buchenau

Last Updated: July 1, 2021

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There’s no doubt that life can get busy and expensive at times. Between the increasing cost of living and the pace of our modern-day lifestyles, it’s important to find ways to save time and money.

Fortunately, if you are looking for some creative ways to streamline your routine and cut your budget, we’ve come up with 21 ways for you to do both! 

So, if you’re ready to build a little extra margin into your schedule and your finances, keep reading!

21 ways to save time and money | Be The Budget

1. Move Closer To Work

According to the US Census Bureau, the average American commutes nearly an hour each day. (source

That’s a lot of time spent just sitting in traffic. 

For the average full-time worker, that equates to 10 full days each year! 

In addition to time wasted, your wallet is getting hit with the cost of fuel and higher insurance premiums.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a great way to save time and money, you should consider moving closer to your workplace. 

Now, I realize this might not be feasible in every situation, as many people live away from their job in order to take advantage of cheaper housing costs. However, if you can live closer to work without increasing your monthly housing costs, this can have a really beneficial impact on your schedule and your bank account.

In addition to fuel and time savings, commuters can negotiate lower car insurance rates since insurance companies usually factor mileage into the premium.

If you can’t reduce your commute time, think about other alternatives. 

For example, you could negotiate with your boss to let you work remotely one to two days a week. 

If that isn’t possible, consider ways to make your commute more productive such as listening to a financial education podcast or learn a new language.

2. Set Up Auto-Bill Pay

The more processes you can automate, the more time you will save yourself.  

That’s why setting up auto-bill pay is a great option. 

This will save you from having to log into various accounts to pay your bills, send checks through the mail, or even deliver any bills in-person.

In addition to time savings, this method can help you avoid penalties and late fees. In fact, some companies may even offer you a monthly discount if you set up automatic bill pay.

Interested in saving money? Check out some of our other money-saving posts:

3. Spend Less Time In Stores

If you are like most people, you dread the weekly trip to the grocery store. 

Unfortunately, this wastes a lot of time and can drain your pocketbook due to impulse purchases. 

If you’re like me, the more time you spend in the store, the more likely you are to buy something you don’t need. 

You can avoid this by shopping online, using a drive-thru grocery pickup, or delivery service. 

This ensures that you get what you need, and saves you the time it takes to do your shopping in-person.

4. Plan And Prep Your Meals Each Week

Families spend hours and hours each week preparing meals.

For that reason, creating a weekly meal plan and prepping as many meals as you can in advance can save you a ton of time and money.

Seriously, by planning ahead, you can reduce the amount of time that you spend in the kitchen and cut your grocery budget. 

But how exactly do you plan and prep your meals? Well, here’s a brief overview to help you out:

  1. Figure out what you (and your family) want to eat for the week – Try to pick recipes that have common ingredients, as this is a great way to save money. Additionally, you can base your weekly meal plan on food that’s on sale at your local grocery store.
  2. Use your weekly menu to build out your grocery list – As I already mentioned, I recommend ordering your food online, as this will save you tons of time, and prevent you from buying things you don’t need.
  3. Pick 1 day each week to prep your meals –  At the beginning of the week, select a time to do any work that you can ahead of time including chopping vegetables, mixing ingredients, and other prep work. For example, if you plan to make lasagna, go ahead and make it and put it in the refrigerator or freezer. Then, all you have to do is throw it in the oven, and voila!

Want to save more money on food and groceries? Check out these helpful posts:

5. Make Your Own Coffee

If you are a coffee drinker, you might consider cutting out visits to your favorite coffee shop and make your own at home. 

Since most major brands sell their own roasted coffee, you can easily get the same flavor that you already enjoy. 

Not only will this be a cheaper alternative (seriously, this can save you anywhere from $40 to $250 per month), but you can save the time of running into the coffee shop to get your morning fix. 

You can even purchase an inexpensive French press or pour over to avoid buying an expensive coffee maker.

6. Use Technology To Your Advantage

Leveraging technology is a fantastic way to save time and money. 

For example, if you spend a lot of time vacuuming each week, you might opt to purchase a Roomba instead of having to vacuum every day. 

Or you can use a smart thermostat to adjust the temperature in your home. 

You could even use an instant-pot to cook your meals faster.

7. Get Your Workout From Everyday Activities

If you’re paying for a gym membership, you can save time and money by ditching the monthly fee and either working out at home, or getting exercise through everyday activities.

In fact, there are lots of other ways to stay in shape that require little additional time or money. 

For instance, if your office is on the third floor of your building, you might take the stairs each day instead of the elevator. 

Or you might ride a bike to your favorite restaurant instead of driving. 

The more active you do outside of the gym, the less time you need to spend at the gym. You may even be able to eliminate your gym membership altogether.

8. Unsubscribe From Emails

How many times have you logged into your email account only to find hundreds of junk email advertisements trying to get you to spend money?

Well, if you’re looking for a great way to save time and money, I recommend unsubscribing from as many of them as possible. 

For one, you won’t have to spend as much time deleting emails every single day.

And two, you will be less tempted to make purchases from the numerous sales advertisements that you get every day.

9. Buy Items In Bulk

If you are constantly running to the store to buy a certain item, you might consider purchasing it in bulk. 

Not only is this usually cheaper, but you can reduce the number of trips you take to the store.

This is a great way to save money on fuel and avoid making impulse purchases.

10. Use Public Transportation

If you live in an area that has a good public transportation system, you might consider using it more frequently to save time and money. 

First, public transportation can sometimes be cheaper. 

Secondly, it might give you the option to sell one of your extra cars or cut the cost of wear and tear on your vehicle.

You can also use this time to study, complete a work project, or spend time working on a side hustle.

how to save time and money | Be The Budget

11. Turn Off the Television

Most people don’t realize how many hours each year are wasted watching TV. 

Seriously, according to the Total Audience Report by Nielsen, the average American watches 4 hours of television programming each day. That’s 2 full months every year!

Fortunately, this is an easy thing to curb with some simple rules or habit changes. Implementing a “block out” period during the day can help. 

For example, you could make a rule that the TV stays off during and after dinnertime.

If you are spending less time watching TV, you probably don’t need five different streaming services or the deluxe cable package. By canceling some of these services, you can give your budget a boost, and find all sorts of time to be more productive.

12. Combine Errand Runs

Try to avoid making special trips to go pick up an item or two from the store. 

These individual trips take a lot more time than if you only run a few errands at one time. 

Instead of making separate trips, you might go grocery shopping, pick up your dry cleaning, and stop at the post office in one trip.

You can also split the effort with a friend or family member. 

For example, if you need something from the hardware store, you might ask the handyman who lives next door to pick it up for you the next time they go.

13. Eat Leftovers

Some leftovers can be reheated over and over throughout the week. 

This is a great opportunity to save time and money. 

Meals such as chili, soups, pizza, steak, casseroles, and pasta dishes are great options. 

I even recommend designating 2 nights each week as leftover nights. This is a fantastic way to cut down on your cost of groceries, and save yourself the time it takes to cook 2 additional meals.

14. Use The “Debit Card Only” Rule

If you want to save time and money, one of the best things you can do is to only every pay for things using cash or your debit card.

Since debit card transactions don’t accrue any interest, you will be completely avoiding debt.

Plus, you won’t ever have to worry about paying something off before you get hit with the interest, missing a payment, or logging into multiple accounts to track your spending.

Beyond that, when you can view all of your spending from one single account, budgeting and managing your finances becomes incredibly simple.

15. Swap Babysitting With A Friend Or Neighbor

Using a babysitter can be expensive. 

So, if you have a friend, neighbor, or family member who also has children, you might consider swapping babysitting services. 

You can take their kids one day, and they can take yours the other. This eliminates the cost of childcare entirely. 

Plus, you can spend your time running errands or doing household chores without having to keep an eye on the kids.

16. Automate Your Life

Technology is advancing quickly. 

More and more people are starting to lean on automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence to help them be more productive. 

Think about some of the tasks that you do that could be replaced by some form of automation. 

This can be as complex as setting special rules to help manage your work or personal inbox. Or something as simple as setting the slow cooker in the morning so that you come home to a fully-cooked meal.

17. Outsource Tedious Tasks

Some tasks are better left for others–especially if they can be completed much faster by an expert. 

There are plenty of resources available to find people who are willing to take care of tedious tasks for an inexpensive price. 

For instance, if you have administrative tasks, you might hire a freelancer on Upwork or Fiverr. 

Or, rather than spending 10 hours trying to do your own journal entries for your business, it might make sense to hire a part-time bookkeeper.

Sure, it might cost you some money, but the time savings could allow you to work on higher-value tasks like building your own business.

18. Switch Meetings To Video Conference

These days, more and more people are switching from in-person meetings to video conferencing.

Depending on your profession, this might actually be more beneficial.

Not only will this save you money on gas, but since you won’t have to drive to meetings, you’ll free-up quite a bit of time in your day.

19. Make Good Use Of Waiting Times

The next time you are in the waiting room at the doctor’s office or hanging out at the dealership waiting for your car to be serviced, think about what productive things you could do while you wait. 

The key is to plan ahead. 

If you don’t have a plan for how you will use the time, you will likely spend it scrolling through social media. 

Instead, spend your time working on valuable tasks such as placing your pickup grocery order, creating your weekly meal plan, or reviewing your monthly budget.

20. Declutter Your House

If you want to save time and money, it’s important to declutter and organize your house periodically. 

Not only will getting organized help your life run more smoothly, but you might actually identify items that you can put up for sale.

This additional cash can be used to pay off debt or increase your savings.

21. Say “No” More Often

Sometimes the best solution is to say no to things that waste your time and money. 

For example, you don’t have to go to brunch with your friends every Saturday. Instead, you could choose to go every other weekend, or once a month. 

Or, you might get asked to buy something from a fundraising catalog that a coworker’s child is passing around. Don’t feel obligated to do things that you don’t want or need to do.

If you want to save time and money, you need to learn how to say ‘no’ more often.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to save time and money. From automating certain tasks to eating leftovers to learning to say “no” more often, even a few simple changes can bring about massive savings in your life. 

The only question left is, what will you do with all the extra time and money you’re about to discover? Be sure to drop your answer in the comments!

Zach Buchenau

About The Author:

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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