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A couple of weeks ago, I shared 9 super-simple ways to save an hour a day.
But why stop at just nine???
If you want to streamline your life — to spend less time on the must-do’s and more time on the stuff that enriches you — then I’ve got you covered.
Today, I’ve got 8 more ways you can reclaim your time and save another hour!
1. Maintain your home.
Okay, unless you find home repair and housework relaxing, this one probably doesn’t sound like fun — or like a great time-saver. But the truth is that big messes take longer to clean up than a bunch of little messes. And they tend to be more expensive too!
So get yourself organized in keeping your home well-maintained. Schedule regular maintenance for your car, HVAC system, etc. Stick to a cleaning routine so you can wipe easily instead of scrubbing relentlessly. As a bonus, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that your house is safe, sanitary, and welcoming to loved ones.
2. Skip the store.
Do you find yourself running to the store when your sick kids have just one box of tissues left? What about spending hours every year schlepping dry foods, paper products, dog food, and more from the supermarket to your home?
Stop the madness. Stocking your pantry with online shopping is an excellent way to have ship-to-your-door convenience and save money.
Not convinced? Check out my blog post series on some of the great online shopping options available to you.
3. And skip the post office.
Waiting in lines is a waste of time. And, depending on how far away your post office is, getting there can be a major time suck. So how can you get the postal supplies and services you need?
- Buy stamps online. Want to pick up some basic Forever stamps? Or some holiday stamps? Or — if you’re like me — a pack of Star Trek stamps??? Order a bunch of sheets online. They’ll last you for a while and maximize the benefit of the shipping cost.
- Get your boxes for free. Visit the USPS website to get completely free packs of Priority Mail boxes sent directly to your home. Use some shipping tape to assemble your boxes, and you’re good to go.
- Print your shipping labels at home. Ready to ship? Check out the USPS Click-and-Ship service to print out a prepaid shipping label at home. Here’s a tip: You don’t need to buy label paper; just print these out on a regular piece of paper. Then, cut and affix to your package.
4. Have an errands day.
Task batching is a superb way to save time.
Instead of stopping at the grocery store three times a week or even every day to pick up dinner ingredients, tackle your shopping on a single day. Loop in not just your food purchases but that trip to the drug store, that clothing exchange at the department store, and so on.
5. Keep your favorite foods at home.
When my son was just a baby, those long nights transformed my husband into a coffee maniac. He had a bunch of gift cards in his pocket, but we constantly found ourselves stopping at — or making special trips to — whatever Dunkin Donuts we could find.
So, for his first Father’s Day, my husband received — from our son! — a home coffee machine. Nothing fancy, but it saved us tons of time in coffee runs.
Instead of running out to grab your favorites, make or keep them at home whenever possible! Stock up on pantry staples. Keep a box of brownie mix tucked away for that sudden sweet tooth. And freeze that leftover pizza to enjoy later.
6. Use a meal plan.
If order to make your food shopping a once-a-week activity, it’s essential that you have a plan for the week before you go.
Creating a weekly meal plan doesn’t have to be complicated or include fussy foods. Instead, use it to maximize the benefit of your grocery store’s sales and have a ready answer to the “Mom, what’s for dinner?” question. Plus, knowing what meal is coming down the pike will give you plenty of time to defrost necessary ingredients so you’re ready to cook the day of!
7. Love simple meals.
When my husband and I were first married, he spent a ton of hours studying for professional exams while I handled the meal prep. With plenty of time on my hands and a love of cooking, I made it my mission to whip up one brand-new (and usually time-consuming) dish every week.
It was fun while it lasted, but — these days — I limit my fussy meals whenever possible. Instead, our family opts for quick, delicious, and healthy foods.
Simple doesn’t have to be boring! In fact, if you’re a foodie, you can absolutely designate days when you’ll enjoy more elaborate meals. But 30-minute meals, slow cooker dinners, grab-and-go breakfasts, and more can easily save you at least an hour per day.
8. And love your leftovers.
Hands own, leftovers are one of the biggest time savers we use at my house.
The key is knowing what foods and reheating methods to use in order to make your foods taste fresh and not a day old.
For instance, poultry transforms into inedible rubber when nuked in the microwave or blasted in a screaming-hot oven. Instead, cover your oven-safe dish with foil and pop it into a low-temperature oven — 200 to 250 degrees — until your meat is warm but still juicy.
See if you can double almost every meal you make, so you have to cook for only half the week!
Got your own tip for saving an hour a week? Share it in the comments!