It's no surprise that an evening routine will help you prepare the next day. But there are many ways an evening routine will save you money as well.
When I was a momma working outside of the home, I never went without my evening routine. I learned that an evening routine kept my life organized and my house clean. But it also had an added perk. It helped us save money. A lot of money, actually.
Here are five ways an evening routine will actually save you money.
1. An evening routine will help you avoid spending money on lunches
In the evenings, prepping lunches the night before makes it super quick and easy to pack your lunch for the day. My daughters have a basket of healthy snacks in the pantry and a tub of fruits and veggies already bagged in single servings in the fridge. Before going to bed, they make their sandwich, place it in the fridge, and lay out which lunch box they want the next day. I prep my food as well. In the morning, you throw everything together and you have lunch ready to go in as little as 30 seconds.
If this wasn't ready the night before, I would be tempted to let the kids eat a hot lunch at school or I might splurge and eat out. But that all adds up. A decent price for lunch is $9. My girls would spend three bucks each at school. That's $15 a day, or $75 a week, which adds up to $300 a month. Yikes!
2. An evening routine will help you save money on your morning cup of coffee
I'm not a coffee drinker. I know, I know. I promise I'm a real human. But if you are a coffee drinker, set your coffeepot so it's ready to go as soon as you wake up. Buy one that starts on a timer.
Avoiding your morning coffee run will save up to $4 a day. That's $20 a week and $80 a month!
3. An evening routine will help you avoid an expensive breakfast on the go
I also think about everyone's breakfasts the night before. I pull anything out of the pantry so it is easy to put together and saves us time assembling it. Cereal, granola and yogurt, fresh fruit, breakfast bars, muffins. All of those are easy to grab on the go.
If your family prefers a hot breakfast every morning, search on Pinterest for easy ready-made breakfasts. Make a batch of something over the weekend that can be frozen and heated up in the microwave. Pancakes, sausage biscuits, waffles, egg and cheese bagels, breakfast burritos.
By making your own breakfast on the go, you could save up to $10 a day or $50 a week. That adds up to $200 a month.
4. An evening routine will help you leave the house on time and avoid arriving late to work, missing any pay.
After my meals are planned out for the morning, I take a few minutes and gather everything I need before leaving the next morning. We lay out all our clothes. This includes clothing, undergarments, shoes and socks, even jewelry. Backpacks, sweaters, extra bags with anything extra needed, and my purse are also gathered.
Anything and everything that goes with us out the door is placed all together, ready to grab on our way out. This ensures we don't rush around trying to remember everything or needing to run back into the house because we forgot something, making us run late.
Is it just me, or does it seem like everything goes wrong when I'm running late? It never fails there happens to be more traffic or an accident which slows your commute to a crawl. If this happens you might be late to work. If you are paid hourly, this might mean a dock in pay. This is easy to avoid by simply laying things out the night before.
5. An evening routine will help you save on gas mileage
I don't know about you, but when I'm running late I tend to put the pedal to the metal and rush. Not that I speed. I NEVER do that, Officer. But speeding up quickly and slowing down quickly is terrible on your gas mileage. And gas isn't cheap, people.
So do yourself a favor. Do everything you can to set your mornings up for success. When everything is ready the night before, you are more likely to actually leave the house on time. Your gas tank, your wallet and your sanity will thank you.
Maybe only one of these areas is a frequent struggle for you. Maybe you can benefit from all of them. Being intentional with planning ahead in the evenings can literally save you hundreds of dollars each month! And my evening routine only takes five to 10 minutes. Those few minutes are such an investment for our family.
Figure out what is costing you in the morning. Find something you can do the night before to help alleviate that stress and avoid wasting money because of it.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Simple Finance Mom. It has been republished here with permission.