Friday Five: Save time and money – and get organized!

The “Friday Five” series shows five items that could help save you time or money – or help you get more organized.

photo-91. Ziploc snack size bags to store bulk snacks
Before I left my job, I was more than wiling to pay for convenience. Now, I’m a bit more frugal, and I’ve realized that buying the larger bags of snack items at Costco is much less expensive than the individually wrapped bags. Then I found myself rushing to put snacks into baggies before school or a trip to the beach. I have a new strategy. The night I buy the bulk item,  I divide it into Ziploc snack bags – all at once, while watching TV. It technically takes the same amount of time, but by multi-tasking and doing it while I’m already sitting still, I don’t feel like I’m wasting time. And, when we’re running out the door, I grab the already-filled baggies, and we’re ready to go. They sell the snack bags at Costco, too. Saving money by buying the bulk size and saving time getting out the door – I like it!

Container store2. Container Store Cabinet Organizers and Cabinet Shelves
In a perfect world, my whole house would be filled with organizing solutions from the Container Store. I hate clutter and have a small house, so keeping things organized keeps me sane. Last summer I spent some time at the Container Store’s annual sale (I came back $200 poorer), and some of my favorite purchases are the ones that helped me organize my small pantry. Our old house had a walk-in pantry, while this one is more like a cabinet, so I had to find a solution to  create more vertical space to store snacks. These inexpensive ($5-$10 each) bins and shelves do the trick. So, now when I bag the snacks from Costco, I have a spot for them. We can access things quickly and  easily, and the giant Costco containers don’t clutter up the pantry. Win-win!

Suave 3-in-13. Suave 3-In-1 Kids Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash
I know I’ve said this before: my kids are obsessed with the pool. We live 10 minutes from the beach, but their preference this year is the pool. Because it’s highly cholorinated (trust me, this is a good thing with all the young kids in there), we were bathing the kids every day. Not only does that use a lot of water, it takes a lot of time. In comes the Suave 3-In-1 shampoo, conditioner and body wash. It only costs $3, and I can use one product to wash and condition their hair and clean their bodies. Even better, I can do this in the pool’s outdoor shower rather than taking the time to give them a bath at home and making a mess in my own bathroom. The kids’ hair hasn’t turned green and I’m saving time and money using just one product. Love it!





Gal Pals4. Gal Pal Deodorant Removers
I wear a lot of black (leftover from my D.C. days), and I hate it when I get deodorant on my clothes. Years ago, my mom gave me this fun little product. It is made out of some type of sticky foam and all I have to do is quickly rub it over my clothes and the deodorant is gone. I’ve tried hand towels, but it never worked well, so it wasted my time. This takes five seconds. The Gal Pals are small, so you can easily travel with them (for weddings and other special events). They may seem a bit pricey at $24.99 for two of them, but I have had the same Gal Pal for nine years. So split the two-pack with a friend and call it a day. You’ll love how quickly it gets your clothes cleaned up!


Coppertone Sport sunscreen5. Sunscreen at Costco
I wrote before about the CVS spray sunscreen and I still like it, but you can’t beat the prices for sunscreen at Costco. We go through a lot of it, and this Coppertone value pack was only $14.99 – for two bottles of spray, one bottle of lotion and the face stick. You’d pay $10 for just one bottle of Coppertone spray at CVS, so it’s a great deal!


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