No matter what your career or life circumstance, there just aren’t enough hours in the day, right?
So we thought we’d provide some handy tips for saving some seconds, minutes or hours here and there. In each issue of our newsletter, we’ll feature some of your ideas along with some of ours.
Meal Planning: Was “eating better” on your resolution list? There are lots of companies that deliver ingredients for making healthy meals. While they aren’t as cheap as buying the ingredients yourself, they are very convenient. A couple to try: Blue Apron or Magic Kitchen.
If you want to buy your own ingredients, a meal planning subscription may be just the trick for you. See The Fresh20, emeals or The Six O’clock Scramble. Most let you customize the menu choices (i.e., vegan, kid-friendly, etc.). Also, lots of cities have great services that will deliver restaurant food to your door. GrubHub is one of those and seems to be taking the nation by storm. Another idea is caterers who sell complete, healthful meals for pick-up. Cooper Street 20/20 in Memphis is an example of one. A slow cooker is a must – invest in one with a timer. Check out AllRecipes.com for lots of great slow cooker ideas.
Finances: Websites and apps have opened a whole new world to those responsible for keeping track of the family’s finances. Mint is just one example. But even if you are not tech- savvy and don’t want to access another service, your own bank likely has services that will save you time, including automatic bill pay and smartphone check deposit.
Cleaning: Invite company over. We know everyone cleans when guests are coming, and it seems to help us decide which tasks are really essential. And opinions may differ on this, but many professional women say that hiring a cleaning service was the first splurge they made once financially able – and very few would say it wasn’t worth it! You’d be amazed how many of your other tasks you can complete in that extra time, or how much more rewarding it is to spend weekends playing with your kids instead of cleaning the bathrooms.
Appointments: Look for doctors, dentists, hair stylists, etc., who operate outside normal business hours; many will now take appointments earlier than 8:00 a.m., after 6:00 p.m. or on weekends. If yours doesn’t, ask for the first appointment of the day or the first appointment after the lunch break.
Helping with Homework: Now that school is a full-time job for most school-age students, mom and dad often find themselves bogged down with homework help after putting in a full day’s work. Teach your kids to make lists themselves, first thing upon arriving home, and to decide the order in which they will tackle projects. It’s amazing how much time is saved when kids don’t go into “vapor lock” trying to tackle everything at once. Shoot your kids’ teachers an email before long breaks (like fall, spring and Christmas breaks) to find out what projects are upcoming. You can stock up and prepare over those breaks so that you don’t find yourself out at midnight the day before the project is due looking for just the right kind of glue!