Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time is precious! Save some with my top ten tips!

Moms are busy.  I don't think it matters whether you are a stay at home mom or a a mom that works outside of the home.  We have grocery shopping and cooking and transporting to do.  We pick up our husband's dry cleaning and make our children's lunch before school.  We do alot and even though it may not be noticed, I am a firm believer that our families appreciate all of the hard work that we do.  I wanted to take a moment to write down my time saving tips and hope that maybe one or two of them might resonate with you.

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.
Saving time is worth its weight in gold.  I hope that I have given you some tips that you can use to help make your day go smoother and less stressful.

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.

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