My Frugal Life - "Time is Money"

I was raised in a frugal household so I learned from the masters. I am a very organized person who believes "Time is Money" so I have learned to budget my time very wisely. I am a working mom of two girls (ages 14 and 8); we are busy with school activities, cross country practice (I help "coach"), church activities, and family outings.


I have a planner and calendar which lists "all" our appointments, dates, and family activities, doctor appointments and outings, etc. I am a huge list maker, but in addition to the normal shopping list, mine also include lists of annual chores (cleaning the silver, windows, gutters), books to read/movies to request at the library or websites to visit, vacation ideas, budget sheets, and the like. I also include necessary telephone numbers in my planner. I also record any weekly "to do" items on the Saturday page of my calendar, so I can check them off as they get performed during the week (things like returning library books, purchasing stamps, obtaining craft supply for Girl Scout project, balancing check book, etc.) I am a great proponent of using a spare minute to complete a chore and having these lists and notes makes it easier for me to fill up the time waiting at the bank or doctor's office.


I divide my household chores by the day and complete a small task each day before I leave to walk the kids to the bus stop.

On Sunday mornings, I clean the master bathroom (DH does the tub)

On Mondays, I dust the upstairs (3 bedrooms and a loft) The kids are responsible for cleaning their own rooms and bathroom.

Tuesdays, I dust the downstairs: sun-room, great-room and dining room, clean glass table tops, etc.

Wednesdays, I have early morning bible study so no real chores

Thursdays, I clean kitchen countertops and after dinner, I vacuum (if DH has not already done it!) and mop the kitchen and entry hall.

A load of laundry is done almost every day. I try to wash knits at night and dry in the morning so I can hang them before I leave for work. Whites I can wash in the morning after our showers and put in dryer before I leave for work. My 14 year old DD does her own laundry!


The children prepare their own school lunches. Dear Husband is better than most, I am told, as he unloads the dishwasher and makes the bed (two chores I abhor!). He also irons his own clothes.

We get up early (5:30 A.M.) so we can have a relaxed morning. We are generally out the door for school by 7:10 A.M. We go to sleep around 10 P.M. (DD around 9 P.M.). We do not watch a lot of TV. Exercise is gotten throughout the day by taking the stairs, exercise class during lunch and cross country practice.

We always eat dinner together. I keep a fully stocked pantry and freezer. I have a list of "easy meals" for the nights when we don't have much time before we have to be back out the door. I try to plan the meals in my head so I can purchase what I need on our weekly shopping trip to avoid rush hour grocery stops. I enjoy trying new recipes so also have a file and pull at least one new one each month. We do lots of pastas, roasts, and grilled meals.


Lastly, I spend some time everyday in prayer and meditation. I exercise a little, call my mom, and e-mail friends to keep me grounded and focused on the right things. I try to do "one" caring task for others each day (send a card or a phone call to a person in need). I try to make most weekdays "money free days", meaning I don't make any unnecessary purchases (groceries and gas don't count, but the Ho-Hos purchased at the grocery store do! Ha ha)

This also helps me save money and "time"! I take my lunch and read.

I am truly blessed, I am happy, healthy and I think, wise! Organization is the key for my success. Good luck!

Diana from Prospect, KY

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August 23, 20060 found this helpful

Sounds like you are in control more than I could ever dream of. One thing I would think twice about is drying clothes while you are not home. I once had a dryer fire and now I never dry clothes unless I am at home to make sure everything is OK.

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By Misti and Gracie (Guest Post)
August 23, 20060 found this helpful

Thanks for your advice.. Any recipes to share my email is mistibreuer AT
Misti and Gracie (she is 2 years old,.and has had 2 open heart surgries,so I stay home with her,..)

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August 24, 20060 found this helpful

This was a great post and I commend you on such an organized life. I hope to be there one of these days!


I never run my washer or dryer when I'm not at home. I once had washer hose split open and water was gushing everywhere. I was home at the time but still a lot of water was on the floor before I had the presence of mind to turn off the water. Hate to think of what would have happened if I weren't there. I don't think too much about a dryer fire but it does happen so probably would be best to be at home when drying clothes too.

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By (Guest Post)
August 24, 20060 found this helpful

Would you share some of you quick recipe list -- maybe just the titles or very brief idea of what it si (don't spend your time typing recipes!)

PLEASE do not dry your clothes when you are not home. My mom is the assistant fire chief and my dad a firefighter and about every 4-5 months there is a house fire (usually totaly loss b/c it gets reported by whoever happens to be driving by and not someone at home) caused by a dryer.

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By couchpotato (Guest Post)
August 24, 20060 found this helpful

WOW! I am home all day and even though my two kids are in school I still can't seem to get it all done.

I aspire to be like you someday.

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September 5, 20060 found this helpful

Yes your husband does more than most. My friends tell me their husbands do nothing. Still funny men do or help with 5 chores to your 25 and they are
GREAT...oh sound like you are very organized and your family helps which is wonderful.
I am glad you get time in for prayer and mediation as you can only help others when you feel good.
Hopefully I can learn to plan my housekeeping schedule better. I think I will start with prayer in morning as I would be inspired thank you as I say them each night.
Yes be careful about dryer being on when you are not there FIRE HAZARD. Good time in fall to check your hoses and vents for lint.

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By Trigvy (Guest Post)
September 12, 20060 found this helpful

I start the dryer alot on my way out the door. I guess I will change that routine. I am also interested in some of your recipes, if you have time to e-mail them - trigvy AT . My husband and I both work outside the home and I am exhausted by the time I get home, so suppers, baths (I have 5 yr old & 2 yr old boys), and bedtime routine take up enough of my night that I don't feel like doing alot of anything else. That means my weekends are full playing 'catch up' on laundry, dishes, cleaning. It can get pretty ugly. I am going to try to do 1 chore a night so my weekends are more enjoyable. Thank You for the inspiration.

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