The only thing as delightful as saving money is saving sweet, sweet time. Spend a day following these easy tips, and you’ll find you’ve suddenly got more time to spend having fun.
1. Presoak Your Pasta
Over 10 minutes to make spaghetti? That’s ages! Save cooking time by placing your pasta in a bag filled with cold water about an hour and a half before you’re ready to eat. Afterwards, the pasta should only take one minute to cook in a pot of boiling water.
2. Thaw Butter With Your Cheese Grater
What happens when you have practically instant pasta but nothing to put on it? Thawing butter can take ages, but a simple cheese grater will solve this problem. Grate some cold butter over your meal and enjoy!
3. Double Recipes and Freeze Half
According to a 2004 study, a home-cooked family meal takes around 52 minutes to prepare. Doubling recipes and freezing half for later can significantly reduce future meal prep times. Soups, casseroles, meatballs, and poultry are ideal candidates for doubling up since they’ll last up to six months in a freezer.
4. Rise, Shine, and Get to the Doctor’s Office Early
It varies depending on which type of doctor you’re visiting, but the average waiting room time is 23 minutes. You can lower this time by booking wisely. Try to avoid times around 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are the most popular appointment times. On average, the shortest office wait times occur on Mondays, while Thursdays drag out the longest waits. Plus, the earlier you schedule your appointment, the less likely your doctor will be running late due to other patients.
5. Grocery Shop on Mondays or Tuesdays
Similarly, time your errands wisely. If you’re making the average 74 grocery trips a year, that’s around 3000 minutes that could be spent elsewhere. According to a 2008 study, Mondays and Tuesdays are the least busy shopping days. If possible, try to go during dinnertime when the checkout lines will be even shorter.
6. Turn Your Shower Into a Steamer
It takes a while to iron, especially since some irons take their time to warm up. Avoid ironing altogether by hanging your clothes in the bathroom while you shower. The heat and the moisture that accumulate in the room will un-wrinkle your threads without any extra work. Just don’t splash around too much!
7. Automate Your Thoughtfulness
Register your name for a profile with the e-card websites and flower delivery websites that you use the most. This way, you won’t have to spend time every year typing in your loved one’s address, the occasion, and so on. Not only will you have a safety net that keeps you from forgetting birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, but your special someone will never receive their gift late again.
8. Cool Warm Soda in Three Minutes
When you’re craving a cold drink, it can seem like refrigerators take forever to cool down your beverage. And sticking it in the freezer puts the whole thing at risk of becoming frozen. Instead, put your drink in a large pot and cover it with ice. Then, fill the pot with water and add a couple cups of salt. Stir until the salt is dissolved, and you’ll have a cold drink.
9. Sort Laundry as You Go
The typical American family does almost 400 loads of laundry each year. A simple way to cut down on pre-laundry prep time is to invest in three separate laundry baskets, divided into how you typically sort your laundry. Then, sort your laundry as you change clothes throughout your week. By the time it’s laundry day, your loads will be good to go.
10. Buy Pre-Chopped Veggies for Omelettes
Grocery stores carry bags of pre-cut vegetables. But, if you’re looking for something even fresher, hit up the salad bar. This way, you can fill up a box with the exact amount of vegetables that you need for your omelette or pizza.
11. Keep a Scrap Bowl in the Kitchen
If you prefer to chop your own vegetables, at least save yourself a few trips to the garbage can. Keep a large bowl on the counter and put all of your unwanted scraps in there. That way, you won’t be running all over the kitchen.
12. Use Coupon Apps
Rather than searching for coupons within the billions of flyers and newspapers that find their way into your mailbox, download an app that sends them directly to your phone. Scouring for coupons will be consolidated into one simple step. Plus, you’ll never forget a coupon again. Unless you forget your phone. Don’t do that.
13. Color Code Your Keys
Have trouble remembering which key is which? Color code, and you’ll never have to fumble with your key ring again! Nail polish sticks to keys almost as well as it stays on nails. If there’s one key you always forget, just put a dot on that key. If you have trouble telling keys apart in the dark, put glow-in-the-dark nail polish on the one you’ll need in that situation. Make sure to only paint on the top part of the key, though. You don’t want nail polish rubbing off inside of locks, which will keep your key from working.
14. Exercise Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
During this interval, your physical performance is at its peak and your risk of injury is at its lowest. Plus, your muscle strength, lungs, and hand-eye coordination are all working at their best and most efficient, which will allow you to power through a quicker workout. By sneaking in your workout in the late afternoon you will reduce your chance of dawdling as well as potentially saving yourself from a very time-consuming injury.
15. Program Autofill Words Into Your Phone
Over 70 percent of Americans send text messages. Composing these texts take time. But that can be solved with custom keyboard shortcuts. For instance, if you type your full name out a lot, you can make your initials an abbreviation for your full name. That way, when you type in your initials, your phone will autocorrect them to your full name. Most smartphones have a simple way to program these shortcuts, saving you plenty of time to swap LOLs with your friends.