What do you value most in life? For most people, it’s the ability to spend more time with family and friends.
In our time-compressed world requiring endless multi-tasking, it’s often difficult to carve out that quality time. Family budgets are stretched thin with mortgage, child care, school events and upkeep of the home.
As a working mom with a husband who works long hours and a teen daughter with a schedule packed with activities, a dog, a cat and a large home and garden to upkeep, I understand the demands and pressures of the modern family.
With help from Democrat and Chronicle editors, I’m starting a new feature called “Save Money, Save Time.” Keeping busy families in mind, I’ll offer tips on where to find deals around Rochester such as free family events or how to organize your life.
Many money-saving tips require a lifestyle overhaul for a major return. But I’m a proponent of little changes and tips that help make lives easier.
From affordable closet organizing with a Rochester organizing guru to easy and beautiful gardens for busy people, the Save Money, Save Time column will help families enjoy more quality time while helping to stretch the family budget.
Other stories on tap will include how to save time and money on grocery shopping and budgeting for those school trips.
On the hunt for value
I’m been frugal all my life and have often joked that I’m allergic to paying retail. Saving money is in my genes. Having lived in Rochester for more than two decades, I’ve gathered tips, shopped stores and vendors and talked to industry experts in order to save a buck or two. Being Type A, I am quite often out and about with daughter in tow to find deals while maintaining an attractive home and garden to enjoy with our family.
I recall shortly after our daughter was born and my husband was called to military duty in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a friend who was over at our home asked how I maintained a garden with everything that was going on.
My response then was because it’s important to me. But really it’s due to easy tips that I learned from gardeners over the years such as planting annuals for four months of continuous colors.
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For readers who have been following my real estate and retail coverage over the years, I will continue my weekly columns on those topics in addition to helping readers Save Money, Save Time, staying true to my multi-tasking personality.
The old adage of “time is money” rings very true in today’s digital age. In the first column coming up Tuesday, we explore the craze that drove Americans to tidy up in 2019, with Rochester’s version of Marie Kondo offering realistic goals on decluttering — not a reality television half-hour makeover.
Going forward, I welcome thoughts from readers on where and how to score deals in Rochester and on finding inner peace as we venture down this journey to Save Money, Save Time, Rochester-style.
Please email me your ideas and tips.
Mary Chao is the marketplace reporter at the Democrat and Chronicle. A native of Taipei, Taiwan, she now lives in Brighton with her Marine husband, teen fashionista daughter, a Pomeranian named Princess and a black cat named Cat. To reach Mary Chao with tips and story ideas, email [email protected]
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