This old question still comes up a lot: I have this callback that sends email, makes coffee and takes $10 from my credit card. I'm creating this object in a loop in a test and I'm out of money.
Usually... shouldn't do this in callbacks anyway, try creating separate method like
Project.submit_and_do_stuff(attrs). Or try service objects.
Having said that, you can reach directly into ActiveRecord persistence guts:
record[:created_at] ||= Time.zone.now if record.respond_to?(:created_at=)
record[:updated_at] ||= Time.zone.now if record.respond_to?(:updated_at=)
lol_insert( ModelWithLottaCallbacks.new )
This also skips other modules mixed into AR::Base, like automatic timestamps, hence we're filling them by hand.
Trick tested in Ruby 2.1.1 and Rails 4.1.
For updating record AR exposes neat update_columns method.