Life gets busy. Moms are busy. Dads are busy. Singles are busy. All the people in today’s society are busy. And a lot of days? We bring it on ourselves.
We overcommit. We under-estimate the time various tasks will actually take. And too much of the time, we don’t schedule downtime. White space.
We often want white space in our homes, but don’t see or remember the value of it in our lives.
We are a blended family around here. We always have kids, but some weeks we have more than others—which means our schedules may not look the same as yours, but there are simple things we can all do—regardless of our lifestyles—that can save time and sanity and help us to live a life we love.
Meal planning and prep
Here’s the truth—I suck at this. Holy moly. I get on a roll with it, we eat all the planned and prep meals and then scramble for the next week+. Like most things in life, consistency is key here.
I have recently been introduced to Plan To Eat, and y’all, it is worth the hype.
You can enter the link to a recipe or upload your own recipe, adjust the number of servings you need, and it will auto-populate your list of ingredients and a grocery list. Hello? Time saver.
Resources for budget-friendly recipes:
- Large Family Table – Truth: Jamerrill is one of my best friends. She is the real deal, y’all. What you see is how she lives: authentically. She has a lot of kids and a lot of great tips for shopping on a budget but eating real food. Her sheet pan meals are some of my faves.
- All Recipes – While it doesn’t specialize in budget-friendly recipes, it’s the OG of recipe blogs, right? I use this site often when I’m staring at a package of chicken breasts or ground chuck asking myself what can I make with this? because their feature to search by ingredient is pretty handy.
- Pinterest – A simple search will go a long way, right? Here’s a board where I pin a lot of my favorite recipes.
My go-to cookbooks:
In the area we live in, we have the option of using Shipt to shop at Kroger, Kroger delivery and Walmart delivery or pickup. I used Shipt for a couple of years. I didn’t renew my account because as much as we spent, I wasn’t getting the fuel points (which is a big reason for me to shop at Kroger).
As of this last year, our Kroger now offers delivery, which I have used a few times. Granted it depends on the contractors hired in your area, but our experience has always been top-notch. We’ve had the same delivery person each time, and there have been times he’s received our order and delivered it within the hour. Amazing.
We have used the Walmart pick-up option more times than I can count. Convenient, yes? Inconvenient? Sometimes, because it sometimes meant an extra trip out of the house, if I didn’t plan it around school pick-up or drop off.
Welcome, Walmart delivery. Our area just recently got this option in the last few months. I signed up for a free trial for 30 days in the fall to see if I would really remember to use it, and I did. And I have. And the turn around time has been pretty okay.
The best thing about Walmart delivery? There are no mark-ups on products for this service, unlike other services. Walmart typically charges customers a grocery delivery fee of $7.95 to $9.95 per order, but their Delivery Unlimited, allows you to pay a flat charge of $12.95 monthly or $98 annually.
This service saves me a minimum of 12-15 hours a month. At $98 per year, you can do the math. It’s well worth it.
And hello, my favorite. Amazon Prime, I don’t know what I would do without you. Love, me.
Y’all know I love a color-coded schedule. But I can also be easily scattered. My tip for knocking out projects or work? Batch. I will schedule my time to strategize social campaigns one day, writing content one day, doing assessments and marketing strategies on specific days recording videos one day (hello? This way I know my hair is washed and brushed for all of them. amen.) Ideally, I’d have client calls on one day.
The same concept works for house chores. You’re not likely to mow the yard one day and weed-eat another. No. You do yard work one day. (At least we do here in the South.)
I choose one day a week run errands. Usually, it’s on Friday. In lieu of running around every day of the week, I can typically save time (and gas) by knocking them all out in one day.
I’ve tried the method of vacuuming one day, dusting another day, cleaning bathrooms on another. That doesn’t work well for me personally. If I am in cleaning mode, I clean. I want it all done.
Multitasking tends to waste time. Our brains aren’t made to jump from one task to another and focus well.
Speed up the audio
I am a big listener of podcasts. Generally, I listen to them for half of my day, while I am either working or in the car. For years, I’d listen to Neil and Eric’s Marketing School on my drive back home from school drop off. At the time, their podcast episodes were still only 6-7 minutes and it matched my drive time perfectly, (given there was no train). If you think you don’t have time to listen to an entire episode, speed up the audio. You can choose 1.25x or 1.5x. How in the world people can comprehend anything at the 2x speed is beyond me. But it’s an option too.
You can do the same for audiobooks and YouTube videos. I’m personally not a big fan of audiobooks. I rather have that sucker in my hand, with a pen and highlighter and soak it all in.
I’ve hesitated for a while to say this publicly, because I wanted to make sure I stuck with it (ha!), but take email off.your.phone. Holy moly, y’all. I did this. I removed all emails from my phone early November and it has literally been life-changing. The amount of time wasted opening the app, refreshing the app was ridiculous. I’d find myself checking email when I should have been focused on other things, only to get rapid heartbeat thinking I needed to respond or to ‘take care of something’ immediately, and I didn’t. Honestly? It did nothing but cause undue stress. It caused me to give people unreasonable expectations (that I was always available), and that wasn’t fair to either of us. For years, I’d hear other people say they only check email 2 or 3 times a day and always thought What?? How in the world?? Let me tell you how: delete it from your phone. Be intentional when you do go to check your email. Plan to handle each of them as you read them, so at your next scheduled time to check your email, you won’t be so overwhelmed.
[If you decide to take your email off your phone, I’d love to hear how it works for you.]
That’s a quick list of five time-saving tips for moms. Tell me what you would add.