Throughout the month of April and May, Paul and I have made several changes that have saved both of us time, energy and money hopefully for years to come. I’d like to share these with you to help jump-start your own thinking on how to live and earn more efficiently so that you can enjoy your life more fully.
Grocery Shop Every Other Week
First of all, we are now on an every-other-week grocery shopping schedule. While this is partially attributable to our current lifestyle—there are only two of us (+ Lyla Bear and Danny Boy, our kitties)—it is mostly attributable to the stockpile I have been able to accumulate, and continue to accumulate, through my couponing and CVS efforts. Now that we have enough products to last us through 4-6 months—our freezer is stocked, our supply closet is overflowing, and our refrigerator is filled—we can afford to go grocery shopping every other week. Not only has this cut down on the amount of time I need to spend putting together coupons and deals, gas to go to the store, and time spent shopping, but it also has roughly halved our grocery bill. We now spend just $300 a month on groceries, and that includes the grocery store for all of our meals (breakfasts + lunches + dinners). This price even includes trips to our favorite farmer’s market where we stock up on lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. What a difference!
Deep Clean Every Other Week
Secondly, we have changed to a two-week deep cleaning routine. Paul suggested this several months ago, and I have to say that it is fantastic. Yet again, there are only two of us, and lots of furballs (oh, I mean Lyla), so this may not work as well for your family. We choose a night, divide up the rooms among ourselves, blast our favorite pep-music to get us in the mood, and knock out all of the cleaning in about two hours. This not only saves us a few hours of time and energy each first week when normally we would be cleaning, but it also saves us money as we are using half of the normal cleaning products that we used to. During the interim periods, we still do the laundry and dishes as necessary, and occasionally de-clutter the coffee table. Something we just can’t seem to get the hang of though is making the bed…
Compressed Work Schedule
Finally, I have started a compressed work schedule, working 4 ten-hour days. This has not only immensely expanded my personal time—resulting in a greater work-life balance—but it ultimately will save us money in the future. There is less wear and tear on my car, less gas used, I only need to have four work outfits in the hopper so I am doing less laundry, and I only need to pack 4 lunches per week.
Grocery Shopping Every Other Week: 6 hours per month
Deep-cleaning Every Other Week: 6 hours per month
Compressed Work Schedule: 8 hours per month
Grocery Shopping Every Other Week: $200 per month
Deep-cleaning Every Other Week: $10 per month
Compressed Work Schedule: $40 per month
Perhaps these methods are not going to work for you and your family, but maybe these ideas can stimulate your own thinking about ways to cut both energy and money costs in your household.