We have discussed this plan ahead principle several other times, but let’s consider it again and think about many ways that planning ahead can save money.
Obvious areas include paying bills on time to avoid late fees and mailing packages early to take advantage of lower cost slower shipping methods. Also, planning vacations ahead of time can result in lower airfare and hotel rates.
Planning ahead also includes preventative maintenance. I get my aging heat pumps (3) serviced twice yearly, before summer and before fall. This allows for small repairs rather than large blowouts. We also get yearly check ups at the doctor, eye doctor and dentist. This way we catch problems while small (cavities) and are up to date on immunizations and tests.
We all know that planning ahead in the kitchen includes menu planning and shopping sales. In addition, planning ahead includes cooking dried beans and grinding wheat, so these can be used in recipes while cooking or baking. Neither is hard, just takes a bit of time and planning.
Shopping is a never-ending! While generally I do not mind shopping, sometimes is it a chore, especially when I have to make a trip to town for just 1 item. That is why I enjoy the “birthday box” idea, where I stock pile items that are suitable for gifts. When someone needs a gift, we first sort through the box so see if there is anything suitable. Usually there is and we just wrap it and we are good to go.
And then just the regular projects that need to be done around your house, plan ahead. I don’t like to wait until the last-minute to get things done, it stresses me out. So I try to plan ahead. I am having a group of 4-H students over on Sunday for dinner, so I have the menu planned (Wed) and will shop for the food today ( Thurs) so I can just whip it on Sunday afternoon, as fast as I can whip up 6 homemade pizzas and dessert. But because I have it planned now, I won’t be stressed on Sunday.
What stresses you out the most? Can you use the plan ahead principle to ease your mind? What areas have you found that planning ahead really works for your family?