Whether you’re a working mom or a stay at home mom, it just seems like our jobs are never done. There’s always a room to clean, a meal to be cooked, or laundry to be done. Although those are all important things to do, it’s even more crucial to spend as much time as you can with your children because you just don’t get this time back.
We all need to get better at managing our time and organizing our lives in order to maximize the small amount of time that we do have. Whether it be spending a little more money for services that will help us, planning out your day better, or getting things done in advance, there are a few ways we can look at our days and see what small changes we can make to give us more time.
I’m all about finding ways to make those every day tasks quicker and easier. In this digital era we live in, we need to take advantage of the time saving options we have via the internet. I have been using most of these strategies down below to maximize the time I have with my family, even if that means spending a little extra money.
Here are some of my favorite time saving hacks the can really buy you some extra time to spend with your family.
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Have a schedule or routine for the day
Especially if you’re a stay at home mom, you can let the time tick away and hours get away from you. Before you know it, it’s 4pm and you didn’t get anything done you needed to because you wasted time watching reality tv and scrolling through instagram. Make and set a specific schedule for the day that you don’t let yourself deviate from. Set an alarm or stop watch on your phone/microwave/Alexa so you actually stick by these times for when to change tasks.
I know this sounds simple, but the more clean and organized my house is, the easier it is for me to be productive. This way, I don’t end up searching for the things I need or procrastinating with all the tidying around the house that I have to do. If you have all of your items that you need to use in organized bins or compartments and know where everything is, you will end up being more productive. I love these bins and have them all around my house. I keep shoes, toys, blankets, baby stuff, and a bunch of other things in there. They match nicely with my home decor, are big enough to store a bunch of things, and best of all- have lids, so I can quickly hide my mess when company comes!
Meal Delivery Services
These have been a life saver! There are a few options out there and trust me, I’ve tried them all! How it works is: every week you pick out the meals you’d like to have, they send you all the ingredients you need in pre-measured out bags, a recipe and step by step instructions with pictures. It’s SO convenient and all the meals are healthy, have great flavor, and let you try new things that you may normally not think to make.
All of these services are great in their own unique ways. Try them all! Hint: You can sign up for the promotional price and cancel it after that. Then try a different service with their discounted price and decide which one you like best to continue. Each meal only comes out to be $5 or $6 with the promo so it’s even cheaper than take out!
The best ones I have tried are:
Hello Fresh – Save $60 using this link when you sign up
Gobble – $50 off your first order!
They all offer a variety of meal options that you can choose from, carefully selected healthy ingredients, and easy to follow instructions. No planning or shopping required at all! It’s worth it to at least try it out with the promotional pricing.
Grocery Delivery Services
Grocery delivery has been such a blessing when I don’t have time to go to the grocery store. I’m the type of person that, regardless what type of store I’m in, I have to take my time and browse and always get more than I came for. So, a quick trip to the grocery store to get a couple ingredients for tonight’s dinner always takes at least an hour. Having my groceries delivered to me has been amazing.
Depending on your location there are many grocery delivery services out there, so check out the availability of these programs offered to you. Most of them also have free trials for a few weeks or a month so you can try it out with free delivery to see if you like it and you aren’t paying anything more than going to the store.
Shipt with Target – This program (through Target) is my favorite because it offers SAME DAY shipping. So you can get pretty much anything available at your local Target, within a couple hours of placing your order! I have placed an order for groceries and miscellaneous Target items at 3pm before I left work and it was delivered to me before I even started making dinner at 6pm! Although Target doesn’t have the largest selection of grocery items, but it’s always enough for the little things I need.
Peapod By Stop&Shop If you have a Stop & Shop close by, try out PeaPod. The produce is always fresh and you can choose next day pick up or delivery.
Boxed – For bulk/warehouse purchases – 20% off your 1st purchase with this link and code CYBER2018 Expires 11/30
Ready Made Meals & Take Out
If you still can’t give up going to do your own food shopping, the grocery stores now have already cut veggies, measured out ingredients, and even already cooked, fresh meals by their deli counter. My local ShopRite has delicious, healthy, precooked meals that I just have to reheat. Therefore, no mess, no clean up, and more time for myself. We try to limit take out to only 2 times a week, but always use a coupon to make the purchase more affordable too.
Meal prep & planning
Most people like to use Sunday to do their meal planning and prepping. Make a schedule of your meals for the week with a list of ingredients. Prepare as much of these meals in the beginning of the week as you can so you’re not stuck in the kitchen for as long on weekdays. Try to make meals that overlap ingredients so you’re buying less and enlist the kids and husband to help out as well! This is a great time for your kids to start learning how to do chores and help out in the kitchen and if you have toddlers, they just love imitating mom.
Amazon Echo or Google Home Hub
If you don’t already have one, go get one now! Both Amazon Echo and Google Home Hub just make life a little easier. They can make phone calls for you, add items to your shopping list, tell you the weather for the day, tell you what time a store is closing, read you instructions for a recipe, and numerous other things. Yes, these are all things you can do on your phone, but now, you don’t even have to lift a finger. Also, if you want to turn your home into a smart home, you can have it turn the tv on, lights off, adjust the temperature in your home. Talk about simplifying life! This really does it!
You don’t have to commit to everything asked of you! Whether its a PTA meeting, a birthday party, or a gathering. Your family needs you to be present and available to them more, so before you go saying yes to every opportunity asked of you, think of what else you could do with that time instead.
House cleaning services
Cleaning is definitely not on my list of things I want to do with my time, but it always needs to get done! The most cleaning I have time for between 2 kids is just tidying up after my toddler leaving her toys all over and cleaning up after dinner. After those things that need to get done every day, I never have time to actually dust or scrub toilets. That is when I hire someone to clean the house every few weeks so I have that time back to myself.
Get things done before the kids wake up or after they go to sleep
I’m more of a morning person, so waking up before the kids is easier for me than trying to get stuff done at night after they go to sleep. I know we all value our sleep, but think about how much more productive you can be if you had 30 minutes to get things done with out keeping an eye out to make sure your toddler doesn’t have his head in the toilet or isn’t coloring on the walls.
Reduce Screen/Social Media/Phone time
We’re all guilty of wasting too much time on our phones and falling down a rabbit hole of social media. The new iPhone update even has a way that you can schedule downtime from the phone and apps. You can set times of day where certain apps and services won’t be available based on what settings you choose. Be present with your family without the use of screens and apps and not only will you have more time, but you’ll better about yourself too.
If you’re like me, you could get lost in any store just browsing around and shopping for endless things. I find myself only going to stores when I know I have a coupon or to not pay to get something shipped to me. Shopping online is so much more convenient and saves us a ton of time! Amazon Prime is such a great service, but the fact that I can get free shipping on virtually any item makes me not want to go to the store or even pay shipping charges ever.
Buying something already made instead of DIY
Often times I see something I want to buy and think to myself, I could just make that for so much cheaper! But is it really worth my time to get the supplies and make it when I could just spend a little bit more and have it already done? Unless you’re a DIY hobbyist and it’s something you really enjoy, spend the extra few bucks and enjoy the finished product without the hassle of making it yourself.
I hope you’re able to take some of these time saving hacks and make use out of them. Now with all that extra time, how would you make the best use out of it?