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2020 is finally here!
Its hard to wrap my brain around the fact that I’m making my very first blog post of this new decade, but I’m VERY excited about this one. Time management has been a big thing in my life lately as I get ready to become a mother of two littles. I just know that I’m going to need all the extra help I can get, and I figure that some of you could use the extra help too.
So to ring in the new year, I put together this list of 8 useful habits, apps and tricks that will help you save time (and money)so that you can spend more of it with the ones you love there most!
The deeper I get into this pregnancy, the more I lose the will to cook. My wallet isn’t a fan of us eating out so much, but between working, cleaning and rising kids, I’m too tired to even think about what to make for dinner.
This is where meal planning comes in. It can be as extravagant as cooking and packaging all your food for a week, or as simple as just writing down what your planning on having for the week.
I personally love using the app eMeals to do my meal planning for the week. They have options for just about every diet (including vegetarian, vegan and keto plans) with most of their recipes taking only 30 minutes to cook!
And even better, you can order your groceries right from the app (more on that below). I have a full review on eMeals up on the blog, so if you’d like more information on the service, check this post out.
Pick simple outfits out weekly
According to a study in Glamour magazine, the average person spends about 2 hours weekly trying to figure out what to wear.
I fully admit that I’ve been guilty of this a few times in the past. But the thought of two hours a week just wasted on thinking about what to wear seems like complete and utter nonsense to me.
There is so much more that I could be doing with two extra hours a week (like benign watching Murder She Wrote on Amazon Prime). So I got into the habit of picking out my outfits for the week every Sunday evening.
I keep my outfits as simple as possible and wear a ‘uniform’ of sorts. Unless I’m due for a meeting or a shoot, I simply pair a shirt or sweater with black leggings or dark pants.
This takes away a lot of the stress and overthinking that goes into ‘What am I wearing today?”. I can plan my outfits for the week in less than 15 minutes and be done with it.
And now that Edison is older and not going through so many clothes in a day, I do the same for him. This has made our morning go much more smoothly as a family, as it is one less thing to worry about!
I have a full blog post up on my go-to style for working pregnant mamas and just how great it is for time management here
Cleaning supply subscription
I thought it was so stupid when I first heard that you can order your cleaning and house maintenance supplies through online subscriptions.
Why would I sign up for another subscription service, when I could easily just run to the store and get what I need?
But the average trip to the grocery store takes 43 minutes (not including travel to and from) and most of us are making that trip twice a week.
That’s about 1.5 hours in the store picking up products that I could just have sent to me. At this point, most of us know about the advantages of grocery pick up and delivery, but we should seriously be considering the same thing for our household needs.
At the beginning of each month, I place an order for all my cleaning supplies through Grove.co. Their site is super easy to use and they have my favorite eco and children friendly cleaning and house supplies all on one site.
They also offer great pricing on most of their cleaning supplies and often times, they’re cheaper than Walmart or Target. Plus, they are partnered with Rakuten, so I’m saving money when I place my orders with them.
Shipping is quick (it takes only about 2 days) and is also free for VIP members. If you’re not a member yet, sign up here and receive a 5 piece gift set, plus $10 off your first order.
Most items you can get with same to one day shipping (depending on your location) and many you can set up for a monthly subscription as a discounted price.
Online grocery shop
That said, shopping online for my groceries has saved me more time and energy than you could ever know– especially during this whirlwind of a holiday season.
Paired with a pre-made shopping list thanks to eMeals, it takes me about 15 minutes to grocery shop for the whole week. I can have my groceries delivered straight to my door for a small fee or have Stephen pick them up on his way home from work for free.
Either way, the convenience can’t be beat!
Now a days, you have many options for online grocery shopping. Including Prime Pantry, Instacart and Walmart Grocery.
Prime pantry is unfortunately not offered in my area, so I find myself using Walmart Grocery the most followed by Instacart when I’m really in a pickle and can’t leave the house.
Routines save you time because they put everything on auto pilot.
When you don’t have to think about what you’re doing, things tends to flow and move faster. This is why I’m a huge fan of creating simple, functional routines that you can refer to throughout your day.
In the mornings, instead of thinking about what I should do first, I follow my simple routine of check email (10 minutes), wash up (5 minuets), do my simple mommy make up (10 minutes), grab clothes (5 minuets tops), make quick and simple breakfast (5 minutes) and get to work.
The average woman spends about 1 hour just getting ready. But in just under 35 minutes, I’ve already done a bit of self care and work productivity for the day, all before 7 am! I typically follow similar routines for my afternoons and evenings too.
While routines don’t always work out (life and kids love to throw curve balls at you!), they do help speed things up during normal days and can defiantly help you get back on track when things go haywire.
I highly suggest sitting down and figuring out a quick and simple routine you can follow for your day to help you save time and think less about the mundane things.
Use in-store pick up
By now you know that I’m a huge fan of shopping online. I do love the experiences of walking down aisles and discovering something new, but I much more value all the time I get to save and spend at home with my family or creating new projects.
So it’s no wonder that I love using the in store pick up options most stores are offering nowadays. The average Target shopper spends a little over 2 hours in their stores each week and spends on average $62 each visit. That’s about 10 hours and $530 a months! Both those numbers are ridiculous to me.
By using the in store pick up option, I’m able to be laser focused in my purchasing (No, I don’t need every pen in the dollar spot section) and only spend about 5 minutes a week–if that, shopping at Target.
Most orders are ready within 1-2 hours and I generally have Stephen pick our shopping up on this way home from work. In our area, they’ll bring your order straight to your car even so you don’t have to worry about being temped by the treasures they have inside.
The whole process takes only 10-15 minutes out of our week instead of 2 hours and we only buy what we intended. Plus, did I mention that Target offers 1% cash back through their Circle app and Rakuten? That’s 2% cash back I’m getting just from shopping online and picking up in stores.
You’re welcome =]
Set bills to Auto Pay
Setting bills to auto pay can be a bit tricky for some if you’re just starting to get a hold of your finances. But I strongly recommend doing so for several reason.
The first being that with all the bills people typically carry nowadays, it can be time consuming remembering which accounts you need to visit and on which days.
And a missed payment can cause havoc on your credit score and cost you more in the long run. None of us want that.
By setting your bills to auto pay, you do one initial set up for payment instead of coming back every month to pay.
Since setting my bills to auto pay, I haven’t had to worry when something was due or about a late fee once!
Now I do still keep track of what I’m paying in bills, but instead of going to individual sites to see what I paid, I can track all our bills at the end of the month using my bank app.
I spending about 10-20 minutes at the end of each month, just to double check that all the right amounts were paid and that’s it!
Make a place for everything
Lastly, having a place for everything, and keeping it there is going to save you an unbelievable amount of time.
I know that I sound just like a mother saying this, but it’s true.
Research shows that the average person spends 30 minutes a day looking for misplaced things such as a phone, keys, umbrella etc. Thats 3.5 hours a week!
By simply having a place for everything and keeping it there, you eliminate the need for searching. It’s always going to be there, so you can just go right to it.
I always keep my keys in my multi cles, which is always stored in my current bag–which is always the only bag I keep in my office. So whenever I need my keys to open up our mail box or our other property, I simply go to that exact spot and it’s so easy.
Of course, life isn’t always so simple, especially when you have children. So for the instances when your items do walk off, attaching a small tracker like Tile to them can be useful.
And, all iPhone have a built in tracker in them. So if you ever lose your phone in the house, you can just login into your iCloud account and ping your phone from your computer.
These 8 tips combined can save you around 12 hours a week. Thats about 2 days a month, with is insane!
Not to mention all the money that you can save in late fees and by not getting distracted in stores.
This all just goes to show that being well organized and fostering good habits really is worth your while. No one is prefect and you may not be able to stick to these 8 time saving tips always ( I know I sure can’t), but even implementing one or two of these habits for 2020 is going to be so beneficial for you.
For me the first, and the last two tips were the easiest to apply to my daily life. Those alone made things significantly easier for me as a new mom.
Which habits are you going to try to incorporate for 2020? Let me know down below or on Insta!