Inside: Juggling everything as a parent can be hard. Here are 10 time-saving tips so you can manage your life a little easier!
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When I got pregnant, my husband and I knew we had a roller coaster ride in front of us — dirty diapers, night-time feedings and sleepless nights.
What we didn’t know was we would be losing large chunks of time that we needed to run errands, clean or even go to the dentist.
At first, I resisted change. I was determined to make our old routines and habits work in our new life with our son.
I was hard-headed. And tired.
My body could barely keep up with my old lifestyle and my new one.
My husband and I both work full-time and it quickly became clear that we had to be creative with our time.
We decided our schedules, our routines and even our dinners had to drastically change because it was too much.
What evolved was a life that was simpler, more organized and easier to manage.
I’ve gathered some of our favorite tricks and hacks that I have found along the way that makes managing life and family a little easier.
1. Do all of your errands within a few miles of your home, office or school.
From the dentist to the hair salon to the grocery store, find places that are near your home or your work. You may have to change your routine or grocery store but the time savings is worth it. We finally set up our lives within a few-mile radius of our home and it’s been life changing. It saves so much time, especially if you live in a city with traffic.
2. Go to the grocery store on weeknights.
Put your kids to bed and then head out the door for your weekly shopping. It may be the last thing you want to do at night, but the stores are relatively empty then, and it’s a quick in and out. We like Thursday nights.
3. Make a list of recurring purchases and stock up once a month.
Stop spending time running out for toiletries or things you regularly need. Make a list of everything you typically buy in a month. Review your list at the beginning of the month and buy anything you are running low on. This system will save time and energy so you don’t have to run out at 9 p.m. to buy shampoo or diapers.
- Tip: If you have the space, buy your necessities in bulk. Go to Costco, Sam’s Club or BJs and take care of all your needs. The less time you spend shopping, the more time you have to do the things you love.
4. Order as much as possible online.
I have set up my entire life so that I never have to walk into a store, if I wanted to. I love Amazon, which has saved my life many times. From diapers to shampoo to toddler shoes, I’ve ordered it all.
One perk is that you can automate your monthly purchases through Subscribe and Save. If you need the same items every month, such as diapers, you can save money by subscribing through Amazon. You get a discount and your item arrives automatically at your door.
5. Save time when you pre-order and pick up.
Almost everywhere you go, you can call ahead and get what you need. You can pre-order things like groceries, library books and breakfast that will be ready when you are. I love running into a store and simply picking up my pre-paid make-up from the department store. If we are craving Panera, we order online and our food is ready when we walk in.
Pre-ordering saves to much time, and with the exception of groceries, the service almost always free!
6. Pump while you drive.
This is for you nursing moms out there. I never thought of this when I was breast feeding but this is pretty ingenious. Plug your pump into the jack in the car and you will be the ultimate multi-tasking mom ninja. You can drive, pump and listen to a book or your favorite music.
7. Save time by turning off technology.
This isn’t everyone’s favorite time-saving tip but it’s so effective. Turning off your electronics will save you time. It’s the little things like leaving the TV on as background noise that can be distracting and slow you down.
Also, let all calls go to voicemail. Block out time and handle them all at once because you can save so much time by batching tasks.
And Facebook and Instagram? Know your limits on social media. I often have to remove my Facebook app from my phone if it’s too distracting.
8. Up your multitasking game for good.
You only have so many hours in the day and there are legitimate ways to multitask to make the best of it!
Bring a book everywhere you go in case you have time to read a few pages. Check your work emails when you are standing in line. Listen to a podcast or book on your commute (here are a few I love). If you take the subway, you can read or even knit.
9. Simplify dinner and eat leftovers.
When life is busy, you don’t need to make a four-course meal! It took me a while to realize that I can take short cuts in the kitchen.
Our biggest time saver has been making good use of leftovers. When I cook, I always make enough for 2-3 dinners for our family. I know we will have a nutritious meal ready the next night when my son gets home late from swim lessons. We also have plenty for healthy lunches throughout the week.
10. Outsource Dinner.
I have trouble outsourcing my dinner. I am home, so why can’t I prepare it myself? But I always hit a point where I need a break — from cooking and from cleaning dishes afterwards.
Now when life is a bit too much, we do take-out or have a meal delivered. So many places like Amazon and Bitesquad can bring you dinner from your favorite restaurants. Here are 6 dinner outsourcing ideas for when you just can’t face making another meal.
Making parenthood easier
We learned quickly that when life gets busy, the tiniest shortcuts in life can make a real difference.
By shopping local, making changes to our schedule and outsourcing dinner, I get more done in my day than I ever have in my life.
By managing our life-tasks more efficiently, we then have more time to spend with our family and nourish ourselves.
I’d love to hear what you do to save time. Please leave a comment below!