September 2018 | Aubrey E. Shaw
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September 2018

10 Ways to Save Money This Month

Between school starting and the holiday season drawing near, many of us start looking harder at ways to save money in our budgets. In fact, one of the budgeting facebook groups has even adopted the hashtag #$avetember to encourage and inspire its members.

I’m always on the hunt for ideas to squeeze more dollars out of my budget and wanted to share some tips that we use to keep the budget on track. If you’re looking for more ways to save money and grow your savings account, here are my top 10 ideas:

  1. Save your loose change in a jar and make a deposit at the end of each month.
  2. Look up your grocery store’s weekly flyer and create your meal plan based on what is on sale; this can be especially significant for sales on meats and produce.
  3. Plan several meals using the same protein. For example, leftovers from a roast chicken would be used for tacos and soup later in the week.
  4. Purchase produce that is in-season. If possible, shop at a local farmers market or join a local CSA.
  5. Freeze or can in-season produce so you don’t have to purchase it at a higher price when out-of-season.
  6. Learn to make to make your sauces, seasonings, and broths from scratch. We make these at home: tomato/pizza sauce, chicken/veggie broth or stock, taco/chili seasoning, stir-fry sauce, etc.
  7. Group and map out your errands for one afternoon rather than taking your car out several times throughout the week.
  8. Make use of your library to check out books, magazines, movies, etc. Check to see if your library allows you to borrow digital or audio books.
  9. Make use of your library for other community programs. Our library offers classes in crafts such as tie-dye or knitting, has movie nights (or mornings), has regular yoga classes, etc. all for free to its members.
  10. Get familiar with your city’s parks and museums community events. Our community has weekly free concerts in the summer and field days with games for the kids, hosted by public safety.

When you have to tighten the budget, what do you do to save money? Share with us in the comments or send me an email to let me know.

If you're on the hunt for ways to save money and grow your family's savings accounts, here are 10 ideas that we use to keep our budget on track.

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5 Ways to Find More Time in Your Schedule

The lazy days of summer are behind us. September brings a slew of challenges to our calendars, including back to school, sports (hello, college football), getting ready for the holidays, etc. For me, quarter 4 is always the busiest work-wise, so I have to dial down on my systems, even more, to find more time in my day-to-day schedule.

Time is a non-renewable resource, so I think it’s even more important this time of year to not waste our precious minutes. Here are my top five ways to find more time in your schedule and keep your sanity as the year speeds toward its end.

1. Plan your week and your day ahead of time.

Each weekend (usually on Sunday mornings), I sit down and lay my schedule out for the week on paper. This allows me to visually see which days will be extremely busy and when I have more flex time; I use this as a guide to write out the next day’s to-do list as I wrap up my work day. Getting a handle on my weekly schedule has been key for me in finding more time in my week.

2. Meal plan and meal prep.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, not having to figure meals out each day has freed up so much time on my calendar and eliminated a lot of stress from my life. I’m a big fan of the Prep Dish meal planning service. If you don’t want to do a comprehensive plan on your own, check out Meal Plan Rockstar to learn how to create your own seasonal meal plan and revolving pantry/shopping list.

3. Do a load of laundry each day

Running a small load of laundry each day allows me to stay caught up, rather than having a huge mountain to deal with at the end of each week. Also, I wash sheets and all the towels every weekend. Who wants to spend all their time on a day off chained to the laundry room? Not me.

4. Create a solid evening/bedtime routine

Getting in the habit of laying out your clothes and packing lunches each evening makes the mornings so much more peaceful. Because I have tomorrow’s to-do list laid out already, I know exactly what needs to go in my office bag so I’m not hunting for it on the way out. A solid nighttime routine has helped me find more time in the mornings, and I believe that a more peaceful morning leads to a more productive day.

5. Create a checklist for recurring tasks

I know it sounds structured but it works. Write down the tasks you find yourself doing on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis and put a reminder in your calendar until these things become a habit. Do not put the stress on yourself of trying to remember everything.

What are your tips to find more time in your schedule? Let me know in the comments what you do to find…or send me an email at aubrey@aubreyeshaw.com so that we can have a conversation.

 

5 ways to find more time in your schedule

 

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