4 time saving tips this week

In order to have fun with your kids and take advantage of great learning opportunities in your home, you need TIME! And who has time these days?

As I admitted in my last post, I am forever surrounded by a mountain of laundry and dishes and errands, and although I try to incorporate my kids into these daily tasks in a fun way, most of the time these chores just seem to steal my time and our fun. I hate that. So I’m trying to figure out ways to simplify all the tasks that we just have to do. I’m trying to find ways to somehow give my family and myself a little more time.

Here are 4 things that I'm loving right now because they are saving me time!

1.          Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock App:

I am a more pleasant person all day long if I’ve had a few minutes to check email, put in my contacts and get ready for the day before my kids come bounding into my room. It is SO HARD to wake up in the morning though! I happened to read this blog post by Crystal Gaines at MoneySavingMom.com and decided to give the sleep app she recommended a try.

Basically, you place your phone on your nightstand and the app uses your phone’s built-in microphone to track your sleep cycles throughout the night. You set the alarm clock to go off at some point during a half hour window (5:30-6:00 for example). The alarm will go off when you are in a light state of sleep during this window, making it easier for you to wake up.

Sounds crazy, but seriously, it works. I have found that I wake up much more easily when I use this app. Since using it, I'm feeling more rested, get out of bed more quickly and am a better mom to my kids when they get up. I love it.

2.          GatheredTable.com:

I’ve been meal-planning on this website for about a month now and am loving it. Each week you create a menu (or they can create one for you) based on recipes they have in their database. You drag and drop recipes onto your weekly calendar. After you’ve made your meal plan for the week, they give you your grocery list! I am a little obsessed with this site because…

  • The recipes are super simple and require very few ingredients. I’ve made most full meals in 15-20 minutes. (Not including time in the oven or on the grill.)
  • The grocery list is created for me, with specific quantities for each ingredient. We are wasting so much less food because of this.
  • My kids love looking at our weekly printed menu to see what we're having for dinner each night.
 
 

 

3.          Amazon Prime Now App:

I’ve never been much of an online shopper but this app has changed my ways.

Here’s how it works… Friday I do my meal-planning and make a grocery list. I then open my Amazon Prime Now App and do the majority of my grocery shopping. (I’m finding that in my area they have 90% of the brands that we buy and a great selection of organic products, but we still go to the farmer’s market every week because I love buying local produce from local farms.) After you place your order, groceries are delivered during the time frame you select!

Delivery is free but they do charge a 10% tip for each order. Despite this, I’m finding that we are saving money because we are only buying what’s on our grocery list and nothing extra.  I’m also able to add things to the app throughout the week as they run out, so I’m not forgetting to pick things up any more and that’s resulting in less grocery trips. I have had a couple of mistakes made during deliveries, but Amazon's customer service was great, and always resolved the issue.

This app is saving me time and saving me money. Can't ask for much more than that! (Just FYI – You need to be an Amazon Prime member to use this app.) 

 

4.          Planet Box:

I am so excited about these lunch boxes. It’s a little ridiculous. But they are worth the excitement because they have seriously cut down on my nightly dishes and saved me a lot of time! When packing lunches, I used to use multiple containers to pack everything in each person’s lunch bag. Now, each family member’s lunch is packed in one container. So… instead of washing 10 containers and lids each night (I’m not exaggerating. All of my boys are big eaters.), I’m just washing one lunch box for each person! Life changing. 

I also love that the PlanetBox is stainless steel, easy to open, helps me determine portion size, makes eating lunch fun and keeps everything in its compartment. Pictured below are the two lunch box types that we own: Launch and Rover.

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Pictures from PlanetBox.com

Pictures from PlanetBox.com

What are you doing this week to save time? Please share - I could use the tips! Anything for that mountain of laundry??