1. Cook larger portions of staples and save them for later. For example I love cooking up a large batch of ground beef with chopped onions. From there I can take a portion and sit aside for a later meal. From one large batch of cooked ground beef and onions - I can make chili, shephards pie, sloppy joes and add some to spaghetti sauce. It takes the same amount of time to cook a small batch as a large batch so why not?
2. I have all of my snacks hanging inside my pantry door in a shoe organizer. This way all of the available granola bars, bags of cookies, breakfast bags, chip bags are visible and can just be snagged in a moment. This also helps me fit more into my little pantry.
3. I buy in bulk and make my own snack bags. Not only does this save money but also time. I do a bunch ahead of time and the kids are able to grab what they want and I can make sure they are exercising portion control. I decide how much is in each bag.
4. I do make the children lay out their clothes for the next day before they go to bed. That way I am not messing with one child that can't find socks when I am ready to walk out the door.
5. I use my DVR. If you don't have one of these, well you really should. I can knock out my favorite shows all at once while doing the laundry and my daughter is napping. This is the only time I get to watch what I want so I really try to take advantage of it.
6. I am a new member of Netflix. Netflix is a wonderful tool. They have so much programing available right at the touch of a button. I no longer purchase DVD's only to have my daughter watch them a few times and want something else. Any time I can save a trip to the store, well that is just heaven to me!
7. I shower while my daughter bathes. Sometimes it is hard for us stay at home moms to get twenty minutes to take a shower. Now that my daughter is old enough and enjoys playing in the bath tub, I let her do it in my master bath while I take a shower. I only recommend doing this if you can do so safely. My shower has clear doors and is literally attached to my bathtub so I can get out in an instant if need be.
8. I check my emails from my cell phone. I am a smart phone fanatic. I love having access to my email whenever I need to. I have been able to communicate with clients while sitting in the doctor's waiting room or waiting for a prescription. This just saves me from having to do this later once I return back to my laptop.
9. I order pizza. I know it sounds crazy but sometimes you need a little time to yourself. On days when I just want to take an hour and have a nice hot bath, I order my family pizza and eat on paper plates. Letting someone else do the work and having it ready whenever I need it puts a little bit of me time in my back pocket for later. Plus there are no dishes! Oh wait...are those angels singing that I hear?
10. The last that I do to save time is use apps on my phone. Target texts me coupons so that I don't have to clip them. They just scan the coupons from my cell phone.
Starbucks has a great one for Blackberry, Android, iPhones and iPod Touches that allows you to do the following:
- Pay with your phone: Enjoy the fastest, more convenient way to pay at nearly 9,000 Starbucks locations. Just download the app, enter your Starbucks Card number, scan and go.
- Manage your card account: Access your Starbucks Card balance directly from your phone.
- Reload your card balance: Use your smartphone to reload your Starbucks Card using any major credit card.
- Check your My Starbucks Rewards status: Find out how close you are to earning your next free drink.
- Find nearby Starbucks stores: Save time by finding a Starbucks store near you.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.