Win at Life: 5 Money Saving Tips for Busy Professionals

Guestpost by Crystal Hammond of Sophisticated Spender

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You've all heard people say that there is just not enough time in a day.  Sometimes you look up and 24 hours can just fly by.  Here are some tips to help you save time and save money, while still living the life you want. You have enough going on - you shouldn't have to worry about budgets on top of everything else! Become a sophisticated spender with these great money-saving tricks!

1. Slow Cooker:  I looove this investment.  I have a programmable slow cooker and I have the timer start a few hours after I leave for the day when I know I will work late.  Coming home to the smell of a slow cooked meal is priceless.

2.  Smoothie Maker:  I bought the Macy's version of the magic bullet.  I use it to whip up my own smoothies at home and at work.  I buy a bag of frozen mixed fruit (and spinach), protein powder and juice (I normally use water).  And whip up a smoothie in less than 2 minutes.  I've also used it to make pesto!

3.  Electric Tea Kettle:  I have one of these in my office and I LOVE it.  You can also buy one of those Kureg devices.  Instead of spending extra money (and time) going to Starbucks, why not make your own fancy pants coffee and tea at your office.  There are lots of copycat recipes online and I promise you will not notice the difference!

4.  Plan Lunch:  That slow cooked meal can make great lunch leftovers for the week.  When that runs out, check around for coupons or group deals.  Have one person make a lunch run for everyone else and you guys can rotate that duty.  I also know that a lot of chinese places offer a free lunch when you purchase a certain number of dishes.

5.  Happy Hour!  Have a light lunch and splurge on happy hour.  Most restaurants and bars offer great drink specials and half off appetizers or dishes on their full menu.  I look forward to happy hour because it gives me an opportunity to try lots of different menu items while still sticking to a decent budget.  Invite a group of friends and you can all share various items and really mix it up.

Do you have any other ideas on how busy professionals can save money?