Time and money saving tips for the household

Time. We never seem to have enough of it these days - along with cleaning and maintaining the household we wonder if things will ever let up!

However, help is at hand - here are some ideas using the simplest secrets out there to help save you time and even money. From single household owners to families filled with children, these useful suggestions will help you manage your time effectively, and on a shoe string!

Saving time and money in the kitchen

  • Slow cookers are the best invention ever, throw all ingredients in the morning and dinner is ready for the evening.
  • Turn a toaster on its side to make grilled cheese on toast
  • Hang onions in cut up tights to make them last for months
  • Prevent potatoes from budding by adding an apple to the bag (see picture: left).
  • In the absence of a garlic crusher use a fork to press.
  • To tell if eggs are fresh put them in a bowl of water - fresh eggs will sink whilst stale eggs will float to the top
  • Easily peel potatoes by boiling them with the skins on, immerse in cold water for 5 seconds then twist the skin off (as if you’re wringing out a towel) - the skins just slide off!
  • Prevent watering eyes when chopping onions by wiping the chopping board with white vinegar (this won’t affect the taste of the onions).
  • Wash dishes while cooking - cleaning up as you go along reduces the big clean up at the end.
  • Take a bunch of bananas apart to prevent ripening too quickly.
  • Freeze grapes to chill glasses of white wine without watering it down.
  • Put a wooden spoon over a pan to stop the water from boiling over.
  • Cut bread loaves upside down - this prevents the bread from being squashed.
  • Double up on whatever you're cooking and freeze it for later. Two meals for the same effort, no need to spend extra time on the second dinner.

Saving time and money with DIY

  • Install a regular coat rack low down on the wall to store shoes safely off the floor (see image right).
  • Create a thrifty watering can by puncturing holes in the top of a used plastic milk bottle.
  • Place a layer of greaseproof paper on top of kitchen cupboards to prevent grease and dust from settling. Switch over every few months to keep them clean.
  • Hang a bundle of chalk in closets to keep things fresh and dry - a cheaper alternative to a dehumidifier as chalk absorbs excess moisture.
  • Wrap rubber bands around the ends of a coat hanger to prevent dresses slipping off.
  • WD40 is very useful for removing crayon marks from any surface.
  • Silence squeaky floorboards by sprinkling talcum powder between them.
  • Sprinkle salt between patio slabs and along walls to kill weeds.
  • Use ice cubes to remove indentations made by furniture on your carpets.
  • Sharpen scissors by cutting through sandpaper (pictured left).
  • Rub a walnut over scratched wooden furniture to smooth out the marks.
  • When painting, put a rubber band around the open can of paint to wipe the brush on and keep paint off the side of the can.

Saving time and money with cleaning

  • Prevent soap scum by spraying bathtub walls, shower doors and curtains with shower spray, this will cut through soap residue. To avoid build-up rub tiles and surrounding bath area with lemon oil or baby oil.
  • Use rugs and mats at each exterior door, hovering these regularly to prevent dirt being taken in the house (pictured right).
  • Store bed sets inside one of the pillowcases for easy access.
  • Use chalk to remove grease stains from clothes - rub white chalk on the affected area and wash as normal - the chalk absorbs grease.
  • When cleaning the bathroom run a hot shower to minimize scrubbing.
  • Boil a bowl of water in the microwave to loosen dirt and grime.
  • Wipe down the sink and surrounding counters after each use, this will save time when cleaning day comes around
  • Pin plastic document folders to the inside of cupboard doors to store takeaway menus.
  • Hire someone - Mowing the lawn, shoveling the drive, cleaning out guttering, painting the house -- all these tasks cut into leisure time. Sometimes it's well worth the cost of hiring someone to do these ongoing chores if it gives you more time to relax, recharge, and refresh before the start of another work week.

Saving time and money through habits

  • Exercise harder, not longer - studies show that high intensity workouts lasting as little as two minutes can improve health better than a moderate hour-long run

  • Sleep better, not more - avoid computers and televisions an hour before bed time to optimize a good night’s sleep; these stimulate the brain.

  • Automatic bill pay and direct debit - the easiest way to save time is to opt for automatic online payment of your recurring monthly bills. Even if you set up a system that covers the minimum amount, you'll avoid late fees for past-due payments. Then, as time allows, you can go back and make an additional payment in the amount you wish.

  • Always use a list - with a list in hand you'll shop more efficiently, buy only the products you came for, and get in and out much faster than if you shop without one.

  • Less is more - the more you own, the more hours you'll need to care for your possessions. Clothing, shoes, furniture, electronics, household goods, small appliances, linens and tableware all have to be cleaned, maintained, repaired and/or stored away, all of which takes up valuable time. Living simply allows you more time to enjoy your life. Think carefully before you add to what you own, and always follow a good rule of thumb: when you get something new in, make sure something old goes out.

  • Limit social media - once we go on Facebook we always get sucked in; there’s no need to check social media constantly. Instead, restrict your viewing time three times a day -- morning, lunchtime and evening. You'll still stay on top of things but you won't get sucked into social media and you'll get back a good chunk of your day.

Hopefully, using these shortcuts, you will be able to make that extra hour up in the day, and spend that valuable time wisely!

For more tips and advice on maximizing family time, click here.

Read more handy tips from Time For You.