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Frugal Living
10-Minute Tasks to Help You Save Money
By Nancy Twigg 
Apr 14, 2005, 00:07

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Many people use the excuse that they are too busy to make any extra effort to live frugally. But even those of us who are the busiest can find an extra ten minutes here and there if we look hard enough for it. Here are five quickie tasks you can do anytime that will help you save money.

1. The 10-Minute Pantry Inventory - You know all those food items that get pushed to the back of your pantry and never used? Spend some time taking inventory of all the food items you have in your pantry. Then think of creative ways to use those items this week. You probably have several meals in your pantry just waiting to be cooked. By cooking these meals instead of buying more groceries, you will save money on this week's food bill.

2. The 10-Minute Coupon Organization - Even if you don't clip coupons for grocery shopping, you probably use them for health and beauty products, going out to eat, haircuts, oil changes, etc. Spend ten minutes organizing and going through your coupons, throwing away those that have expired and pulling out ones that will expire soon. The reason for this task is obvious. You can't save money with coupons if you can't find them when you need them or if you miss the expiration date.

3. The 10-Minute Medicine Cabinet Cleanup - How many times have you bought cold medicine or cough drops only to find when you got home that you already had plenty? Protect your family by taking time to clean out any old and expired medicines. Then take inventory of what is left so you won't buy more of something you already have.

4. The 10-Minute Closet Clearance - This one will save you both time and money. Spend some time in sorting through your closet and pulling out the clothes and shoes you don't wear anymore. While you're at it, look for new combinations of outfits using pieces you already have. By combining your separates into different combinations, you'll feel like you have new outfits without actually buying anything new.

5. The 10-Minute Toy Sort - Take ten minutes to go through your children's playthings. Pull out those extra toys they won't even miss. Donate them to charity or save them for your next yard sale. Pick out the toys they do enjoy but haven't used in a while. Put them up in the attic or on a high shelf. Next time your kids are begging you to buy new toys, pull down some of the forgotten toys. See if they don't get just as excited as if you had bought something new.

Nancy Twigg is a speaker and writer who loves inspiring others to live more simply. She is also the editor of Counting the Cost newsletter and the author of two books. To learn more about Nancy's work, visit her online at

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