13 Essential Time-Savers for Busy Moms

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13 Essential Time-Savers for Busy Moms: Here are 13 great time saving tips to help you better manage and make more time in your busy schedule! #hacks #momhacks #lifehacks #productivity #momlife

As moms, we’re responsible for an often overwhelming amount of things, people and information. Life gets busier every day and extra time is almost impossible to find!

Here are some of my favorite time saving tips for busy moms that should help you free up some time in your schedule. You could maybe even use that time on yourself! *GASP!*

Woman using an e-pen to write on a tablet screen, which shcows a weekly planner page.

SCHEDULING

1. Use a Calendar for All the Things!

Schedule all of your family’s appointments, events, practices, deadlines, celebrations, etc. on a shared calendar, and set up reminders for everyone. Add reminders of things that you’ll need for these events too. Like to make sure uniforms are washed by a certain day, or an item is bought ahead of time.

I found this super helpful for documenting medical referral deadlines. Conflicting information from doctor’s offices and the insurance company was giving me quite a headache.  Now I have quick access to the referral information when I need it, and I’ll be reminded of the expiration date well ahead of time.

Schedule in your own items including to-do’s, exercise or sleep time, etc., and send “meetings” to family members if they need to be notified that you’ll be unavailable.  Sometimes even if you have a calendar, that doesn’t guarantee people will check it without getting some type of notification. (Side-eyeing my husband here.)

We use Google Calendar in our home and my husband and I share our calendars with each other. Google Calendar has even been helpful in reminding my retired father of family events, as we can invite him and it’ll go on his calendar, then he’ll get a reminder. There are other apps or web-based programs out there though, like the Cozi Family Organizer.

2. Have a Morning and Evening Schedule at Home

Since the Professor and I both work 40+ hour jobs outside the home, there are only a few hours left every evening to get things done. We know who is responsible for doing what, and things get done in a somewhat timely manner without confusion.

3. Use an App

Do you need to keep track of allergy symptoms, your monthly cycle, when you take or give medications, or other health-related information? There are apps for each of those that can help you record and remind you to keep up with all of it!  Check out the Google Play app store or Apple App Store for apps that can make these things easier on you.

Open laptop, mouse, camera and flowers in vase sitting on a wooden tabletop.

AUTOMATE THE THINGS!

Why work when you don’t have to? We should take advantage of how much time technology can save us.

4. Auto-refill for Prescriptions

This has been a HUGE time saver for me! I used to forget to refill things until I was suddenly out and then, wouldn’t you know, my prescription had expired too.  I’d miss a few doses of my allergy medications and be a mess!

Now, I have an automatic refill schedule set up and the refill process begins a week beforehand.  If a new prescription is needed, there’s plenty of time to get that. If you can pick a pharmacy location that’s convenient for easy pick up, or one that delivers, that’s even better!

5. Amazon Subscribe and Save

How often have you gone to use something at home and found out it was the last one? If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’re eligible for Subscribe and Save. Once it’s set up, Subscribe and Save automatically sends you the particular items you’ve ordered on a set frequency, for example, every month.

Subscribe and Save can make sure you don’t run out of something before you replenish it, and it’ll also save you money. The more items you’re subscribed to, the larger discount you get! Lots of items are eligible, like toilet paper, soap, diapers, and more.

If you don’t have an Amazon Prime account, you can try Amazon Prime FREE for 30 days!

6. Direct Deposit and Auto-Pay

If your employer doesn’t already directly deposit your check into your bank account, ask them about it. Any bills that you can set up to be auto-paid either directly through your bank account or a credit card can save you lots of future time. Also, you won’t have to pay any “accidental” late fees because your payment will always be on time!

To save additional money and time, talk to your bank about automatically transferring money into your savings account each month. Your employer may also have programs to help you save money and automatically deposit some of your paycheck into a retirement account.  Once set up, the less you have to think about!

7. E-cards

Unless you already have a great system set up for remembering birthdays and anniversaries of everyone, I highly recommend sending e-cards.  E-cards reduce clutter, are better for the environment, and save you time!  The best part? Your friend or loved one won’t miss out on a card from you because you were too busy and forgot! (I am totally guilty of getting the card, filling it out, then accidentally not mailing it!)

You can still personalize your cards with what you want to say, and sometimes include pictures, videos or audio recording! If you schedule your cards in advance (this may cost a fee in some cases), you may actually send out more cards since they’re easy, electronic and you aren’t having to pay for each one.  Check out this list of free e-card sites to try.

Red shopping cart at grocery store.

SHOPPING

8. Amazon Shopping

Let’s face it, Amazon has become essential to our existence (kind of scary, right?). Would you rather be able to shop for a clown nose for your child’s school play costume in your pj’s at midnight, or be faced with having to actually get dressed and go to a store for that?

The convenience of buying things with Amazon is pretty wonderful. With Prime, it’s even better. In fact, they have a special plan for families called Amazon Family.  You can get 20% off diaper subscriptions, exclusive deals and coupons, free 2 day shipping on tons of items, unlimited photo storage, video and music streaming, and soo much more! They have an Amazon Family 30-Day FREE Trial too, give it a try today!

9. Use Grocery Pick Up or Delivery

There are tons of options for grocery pick up and delivery out there! If you live in an area where Amazon offers Amazon Fresh, or use Prime Pantry, it can really help you out when you don’t have time to stop by somewhere. Depending on your location, Walmart, Sam’s, Costco, and several other grocery stores also offer curbside pick up, or delivery with a fee through a service like Shipt or Instacart.  Look for online codes to save on your first order if you haven’t used these services yet.

Some think that paying extra for delivery is a splurge. Honestly though, a delivery fee can be well worth it. You have better ways to use your time and energy than pouring them into a soul-sucking trip to the grocery store!

10. Meal Planning

Meal planning has got to be the bane of my existence right now. I’ve cried when trying to meal plan before y’all, I’m not even kidding! Having to balance food allergies, what people want to eat vs. what’s actually healthy for them: “Why can’t the chips ending in “O’s” be their own healthy food group?” (that’s me saying that BTW, lol!), and what’s actually easy to make in 30 minutes or less is a mental, emotional, and physical struggle.

I need to work harder on this because when you’re prepared and have a plan, dinner time flows well and there’s no stressing about food!  I’ve gotten into a rut and I’m going to give the free version of Prepear a try and see how that works for us. If you have any magic meal planning secrets that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments!

Bottom Line: Don’t be like me, meal plan and save some of your sanity!

11. Buy in Bulk

If you have room in your home and access to a warehouse store like Sam’s Club, Costco, or BJ’s, buying in bulk can save you both time and money.  Not to mention that these stores often offer other items at a discount, like gasoline, vacations, eyeglasses, homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, etc.

You can buy in bulk from other stores, both online (like Amazon or Jet) and in-store. I’ve heard in-store some places will also give you a discount, like at Trader Joe’s. A company’s website might also offer bulk amounts of an item for purchase.  For example, you can buy the “forever” toilet paper roll from Charmin.  (I am seriously SO interested in this!!)

12. Cook in Bulk or Double

If you have a large family, you cook in “bulk” all of the time.  Here I actually mean doubling a recipe while making dinner, and saving the extra for future meals.  We like to make additional servings of spaghetti and meatballs, mini-meatloaves, chicken and rice casserole, and use the extra for lunch or dinner another day.

You can also set aside time to cook several dishes, or prep for several dishes at once and freeze them for later.  Many people like to find recipes like this that work for an Instant Pot or crock-pot.

13. Wish Lists for Gift Buying

Keeping up with presents for family and friends is time-consuming. Don’t get me wrong, I love buying gifts for others, but it’s hard to keep up with what they might want.  Wishlists at Amazon Lists or Target, or Walmart help keep up with those things. That way when grandpa wants to know what Little J wants for his birthday or Christmas, he can check the wishlist.  Other cool Amazon features for gift ideas are the gift search filter and their most wished for items list.

OTHER HELPFUL IDEAS

  • Try to consolidate errands when you go out. We live in the “country” now, so making one trip into town also saves us money on gas.
  • You can’t be expected to remember everything, so don’t set yourself up for failure.  Make notes and use a note keeper like Evernote, Google Keep, or Microsoft OneNote to keep track of things when you’re on the go.  Google Keep is kind of like my mobile bullet journal and I love it!
  • Is cleaning the house a nightmare for you?  What better way to spend your money than hiring a service to clean your house for you?  This will save you time to use on other more important things.If you can afford it, at least do it once a month and get your family to pitch in on keeping the house clean the rest of the time. You’ll be teaching responsibility, raising conscientious individuals, and bringing the family together all at the same time!
  • Do you have family close by, good friends or neighbors who you’re friends with?  Help each other out by trading child care, grocery pick-ups if one of you are already going out, or form a meal exchange group.

 

FINALLY…

If you think you’ve done everything you can and still feel like you don’t have time to breathe: look at your calendar and decide what you can SAY NO TO.

What’s truly essential?  Did you feel guilted into volunteering for something?  Do your children have to be in that many afterschool activities?  Can your spouse or someone else take on something for you?

You and your time are valuable. You don’t have to be responsible for everything. Most moms shoulder the load of the “invisible labor,” all of the work it takes to keep a household and family going, and the physical and emotional toll is simply exhausting!  It’s even been shown to be damaging to a woman’s mental health!

Don’t undervalue yourself, or feel guilty when you’re trying to get something done for yourself- or just want some quiet time!

What are your best time-saving tips as a mom?  Please share and help another mother out!


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