How an Egg Timer Can Build Your Nest Egg

Photo (cc) by modomatic

A major weapon in your frugal arsenal lives in the kitchen, either on the stove or the microwave. A version of it lives in your cell phone too.

It’s the humble timer, and it can save you money in a lot of ways. Here are 10 right off the top of my head…

1. Laundry reminder

Without the timer, I’d probably forget to move the sheets and towels to the dryer, and then back upstairs. I’ve never lost a single item of clothing to laundry-room thieves.

2. Bus buddy

When I want to catch the 12:29 p.m. bus, I set the timer to ring at 12:19. That gives me time to shut down the computer, grab my bag, and head to the corner. If you’re a commuter, set the timer so you’re ready for the carpool or the bus/train/ferry. Miss the carpool and you’ll have to drive in alone, which costs more than sharing gas expenses. Miss public transit and you’ll be late – and showing up late to work is never a good idea, especially in these times of tenuous employment.

3. Beverage chiller

I prefer my iced tea really cold, but I don’t like an ice-diluted drink. So I pop the can or the glass into the freezer for 10 or 12 minutes. Tea is one of the cheapest beverages you can drink, and it’s so refreshing on super-hot days.

4. Utility watchdog

How long should a shower last? Set the timer for that amount and obey it. This cuts water/sewer bills and the utility costs to heat the water.

5. Ergonomic boost

I set the timer for an hour and start writing. When it rings I get up to shut it off – and while I’m up, I do some stretches. Fewer painkillers are consumed by people who don’t spend hours in a row hunched over a keyboard. Bonus: The less sore and exhausted you are, the more likely you’ll cook dinner instead of ordering it.

6. Food-prep partner

When you come home with groceries, set the timer for half an hour (or what you think you can spare) and speed your way through as much preparation as possible. Tasks like starting a pot of beans, grating cheese, washing salad greens, boiling eggs, grilling or roasting chicken, and cutting up fruit can be done semi-simultaneously. You’ll wind up with the elements needed for easy lunches and dinners during the week.

7. Manic maid moments

Assemble your cleaning supplies, set the timer for 20 to 30 minutes, and clean as though someone were paying you to do it. Which, in fact, someone might be doing: If you do this two or three times a week you might find you don’t need a housecleaner. Don’t have a housecleaner? You’ll find that a clean, well-ordered place is conducive to happier, less impulse-shopping-prone people.

8. Workout taskmaster

Third day in a row without any exercise? Even if you’re tired, set the timer for 20 minutes’ worth of stretching, exercise biking, Wii Fit, or whatever you’ve got. You will feel better afterward, both physically and mentally – and again, the more proactive you are about health, the less you’re likely to pay out later in doctor bills.

9. Extremely efficient couponing

Gather your coupon sections, set the timer for 10 minutes, and clip furiously. Set it for another five minutes and file the coupons alphabetically and by category, for easy use later on.

10. Scheduled relaxation

Reduce stress levels and improve overall health by doing meditation exercises or gentle yoga stretches a few nights a week. However, you probably shouldn’t use a kitchen timer for this. I tune my clock radio to the classical station and then set its alarm to go off in 20 minutes. A session designed to lower blood pressure should not culminate with a strident BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP.

Readers: Do you use a kitchen timer or your cell phone alarm to keep you on task?

More stories on DonnaFreedman.com:

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

9 Purchases That Will Make You More Productive
9 Purchases That Will Make You More Productive

These Amazon products can give you an extra edge at work and other parts of your life.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

5 Ways Anyone Can Save on Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs
5 Ways Anyone Can Save on Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs

Here’s how to lower your health care costs without skimping on care.

7 Kitchen Gadgets That Make Healthy Cooking a Breeze
7 Kitchen Gadgets That Make Healthy Cooking a Breeze

These small appliances and cooking aids make healthy eating easy — and they’re all available on Amazon.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

These Major Appliances Got the Worst Reviews in 2020
These Major Appliances Got the Worst Reviews in 2020

Consumer Reports says these home products got the worst ratings from experts.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021

Still married to your cable company? Hold on to your wallet!

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.