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Let’s face it, our days are busy! Whether you’re a stay-at-home-mom (and possibly even work from home like me) or work full time out of the house, it’s hard to get things crossed off our to-do lists. From cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids and everything in between, we could all use a few hacks to help us save time wherever we can.
Once we actually free up time in our day, then we have the time for other things, more important things we want to do like play with our kids, have a date night or curl up with a good book.
The following are 10 hacks that I use to save time. Take a look and see which ones you can implement into your day to free up more minutes.
#1 Grocery Pickup
This one might be my favorite time-saving hack of all (not to mention also a great hack for saving money, meal planning, shopping with kids and more!).
I have never cared for how much of my time grocery shopping takes up. It’s not that it’s a terrible thing to do – I just have so many other things to do that it’s just one more thing I wish wasn’t on my to-list!
One of my most favorite things I have started using is the FREE Walmart Pickup service. Using this has saved me so much time!
I shop using the app (usually while I’m watching TV so there’s a bonus right there!) and then submit my order.
When I pick up my groceries I don’t even have to get out of the car. And now that I have a baby, that part is sooo nice!
Seriously folks, if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a try! I can now get so many other things done by having that hour back that I used to spend shopping.
There are other grocery stores that also have a pickup service that might work well for you. I use Walmart’s because I live in a small town without a lot of other options. And, oh yeah, once again, it’s FREE!
When I lived in Madison, WI, I had previously used Woodman’s pickup service, and though still convenient, it was not free.
But if a paid service is the only option for you, take a look at your budget and see if you can make it work. It will be so worth it if you can!
#2 Look up the aisles where items are located before you go to store
Now if you decide not to use a grocery pickup service (or need to go inside to pick up a few random things) then using the store’s app could save you a lot of time when you’re shopping.
When I’m inside Walmart and I’m not sure where an item is, I will look it up on the app and it will tell me the aisle the item is in. The app also has a map of the store, which shows me exactly where the aisle is located. (Woohoo! No more walking up and down every aisle looking completely lost!)
I also use to use Woodman’s app when I would shop there. (If you have ever been to a Woodman’s then you know that store is huge! It was so helpful to use the app.)
Of course I don’t know if your preferred grocery store has the app option, but it’s worth looking.
And to make your shopping trip even faster, consider looking up the aisle number before you even leave your house. You can write down the aisle right next to the item on your shopping list and then you know exactly where to go first!
#3 Set a timer to clean
Let’s be real here – cleaning can take a up lot of time.
Way. Too. Much. Time.
Of course there are things we can do to keep our place cleaner in the first place: put things away right after being used, wipe down the bathroom counter and mirror at the end of every night, have less clutter, etc. But one of my favorite time-saving cleaning hacks is to set a timer.
I love to use timers because they make me move a lot faster. And it’s even better when other people join in on the fun (by the way, as a former teacher, I know how much kids love to “play beat the clock!”).
If you are short on time but really need to clean, set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes. Then see how much you (and your family if they’re around) can get cleaned up before the timer goes off.
Setting a timer like this will help you get a lot more done in a short time!
#4 Use as few dishes as possible
The sooner I can get cleaned up after dinner, the better! So I like to try and use as few dishes as possible when cooking so I have less to clean up later.
For example, I try and use the same knife to cut multiple ingredients. Or instead of having separate salad bowls, I like to put the salad on the dinner plates if there’s room. And whenever I can, I use fewer measuring cups. If something calls for a cup of one one item and half a cup of a different ingredient, just use the half cup measuring cup for both items.
You get the idea. The less dishes you have to clean after dinner the sooner you can relax with you loved ones in front of your favorite family show or for a game night!
And while we’re talking about dishes, I also try to clean as many as possible before dinner is even on the table. If I have a few minutes while something simmers on the stove or bakes in the oven, I do my best to wash every dish I am already finished with while I have the time.
I love when my kitchen looks really clean by the time we all sit down at dinner!
#5 Never leave a room empty-handed
Anytime you get out of your car, take as much with you as you can. Whether it’s bags from shopping or garbage from fast food, grabbing it and putting it where it goes right away will save you from having to go back to do it later.
Also do the same anytime you leave a room. Being in the habit of never leaving a room empty-handed (and then putting whatever you grabbed in it’s proper “home”) will make your place look cleaner, help keep you organized, and once again, save you the time of having to double back to take care of it at another time.
#6 Don’t separate clothes
I’m sure the laundry police will be knocking on my door for this one, but I almost never separate my clothes when doing laundry (gasp!). And you know what, my clothes are just fine!
Now, in all honesty, I don’t have a lot of white clothes. And the few that I do have might be a little whiter had I washed them separately.
And I am careful with some red items the first few times I wash them but most just go in my main load (I do wash my red sheets separately).
I also wash the baby’s clothes with our clothes (with using his detergent and no dryer sheets). That way I end up doing a load of laundry every couple of days, instead of spending hours one day doing many loads, and I get everyone’s clothes done at one time.
If you can’t stomach the idea of not separating your clothes, then first know you are normal! And then think about having different laundry baskets for separated clothes. That way at the end of the day when you’re putting laundry in the hamper, you can put whites in the whites laundry basket, colors in the colors and so on (depending on how you like to separate them).
#7 Don’t wash your hair everyday
This might gross some of you out, but I only wash my hair two or three times a week (I still like to shower daily).
Unless you use a lot of product in your hair or your hair tends to be super oily, washing it everyday just isn’t necessary.
From what I’ve read, it’s not even healthy to wash it everyday (mine has been sooo much healthier since I stopped washing it so much). That’s the real reason I stopped washing it everyday. But, as a bonus, it saves me time in the morning as well!
#8 Instead of meal prepping, make double
Taking a few hours on a Sunday to meal prep could most certainly save you time during the week because all of your meals will be ready to go.
But I have yet to actually take a day to get that done. I want to! And I hope to one day. But as of this post, I still have not.
What I do instead is try to make double or triple whatever I’m cooking. That way I have something for lunch the next day as well as leftovers for dinner later in the week.
Sometimes I will even freeze lunch size portions of whatever I made for us so lunches are ready to go for later time (chili and soups are my favorite for this).
#9 Keep pantry staples on hand
There are many times I decide to bake cookies or make a certain meal out of the blue and I love when I already have everything on hand I need to make it.
When that happens, I don’t have to waste time going to the store and I can just make whatever it is. (Honestly, the thought of having to go to the store just to make that recipe would likely make me lose my motivation to make it in the first place).
I try my best to keep certain items in my pantry at all times so I can often make something spontaneously. And I’m pretty good at adding something to my shopping list once we’re running low (a good hack for you to also make a habit so you never run out of something you need!).
Here is a list of 50 pantry staples you might want to consider keeping on hand so you make many recipes spontaneously.
#10 Have a list of recipes ready to go without having to go to the store
Similarly to hack #9, having a list of recipes and their ingredients on hand at all times is also a great way to avoid having to waste time unexpectedly going to the store.
Of course I’m not talking about extravagant meals, but for those times when you are short on time and need to make something quick to eat, being prepared will really help you out.
For an idea of recipes and the ingredients you need to keep on hand, check out Quick and Easy Recipes You Can Make for Unexpected Company Without Going to the Store.
Finding little ways here and there can add to big minutes being saved. What kinds of time saving hacks do you use? I am always looking for more ideas so please hit reply and let me know what time-saver hacks work well for you! 🙂
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