Try these tips to streamline your routines & get started with managing your mommy mayhem today!
As a working mom, you juggle so many things. Swipe my top tips & tools for saving your sanity:
Scheduling & Productivity
One of the biggest challenges I face is keeping up with the endless list of to-do’s, reminders, appointments, shopping lists…I could go on but I bet you know exactly what I mean. I have found that utilizing web-based tools allow me to refer back to them wherever I happen to be.
I use Google Calendars across all my devices, but have separate ones set up for different life areas – the cool feature here is the ability to view all or some of your calendars at once, but they remain color-coded so I can determine must-do items versus what I can choose to eliminate. You can even share calendars with other people, so if both you and your spouse set one up, it is super simple to schedule family events! If you use Gmail, then you can add events directly to your calendar from an email.
Trello* is another one of my favorite tools for tracking to-dos. I have the add-on in my Gmail (totally FREE) to allow me to create new task cards directly from an email. Since I have the app on both my phone and my computer, I am able to add new tasks and review my to-dos at any time! I also have a Trello board setup to keep track of all of my blog ideas and tasks.
Once, I spent two days looking for my keys and didn’t find them until I was loading the dishwasher – my daughter had put them in the sink and they were hidden under all of my dirty dishes!!! I was determined to make sure that never happened again, so I invested in a Tile key tracker. Seriously – this was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I have been giving them as gifts to everyone I know ever since!
Groceries & Meal Planning
Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you know that meal planning is THE BIG THING right now. My first thought was that if I am already strapped for time, there is no way I can fit something like this into my life – it’s way too complex. Well, I recently jumped on the bandwagon after tiring of eating pizza and takeout almost every night, and I cannot believe I did not try it sooner!
I was not brave enough to try and create my own plan out of thin air (nor do any of us have that kind of time) so I bought 10 Meals In An Hour from one of my favorite productivity blogs, Living Well Spending Less. Not only does it have weekly plans and shopping lists already put together, but it walks you through the freezer prep steps for each recipe! I have some pretty picky eaters at my house, and I was impressed that the recipes were suited for all of us to enjoy.
Another meal planning miracle has been the advent of the online grocery shopping services. I use Kroger ClickList because it is so close to my house, but Walmart has also recently introduced a similar service. I save money by not having my kids ask for something on every single aisle, and now I no longer have to spend my entire lunch break grocery shopping! I just add items to my shopping list as I think of them, and once per week place an order to pickup. They put the groceries in the car for you, so no need to wrestle with shoes and carseats and cranky kiddos.
I recently enrolled in Crystal Paine’s Grocery University and it has made a huge difference in the way I shop. I thought I was doing a good job saving money on groceries, but this has saved me money AND I spend less time trying to find good deals.
Education & Entertainment
I currently spend over 10 hours per week commuting & have recently found a way to maximize that time. As an avid reader B.K. (before kids), I am always disappointed when I cannot find time to read any of the great books I hear about.
I went back & forth over whether I wanted to spend the money for an audiobook service, but I signed up for the free trial and haven’t looked back. I now can listen to my books at work, in the car, or while I am doing dishes.
Another great option is to subscribe to podcasts on your favorite topics or by your favorite authors. Until I got on ITunes and started looking, I did not realize how many options there were! You can get parenting tips, meditations, inspiration, business advice, you name it and there is a podcast for it. Even better, you can access your (FREE) podcast subscriptions from your phone or computer, and download them for offline listening.
If you are currently enrolled in any online courses or thinking about joining one, many of the teaching platforms are available via your mobile device so you can listen and watch your courses while waiting at the dentist, on your lunch break, or while you are cooking dinner. I love that I can keep up with my learning without being tied to my computer!
Last but not least, shopping!!!!
Yes, we live by a budget, and yes, I am a sucker for a good deal as much as you are, but sometimes convenience is more important than scouring all of the sale ads to find the best price.
When I am looking for a last minute gift or if we end up needing to order take-out AGAIN, I will hop on Groupon Local to check for any great deals. When you purchase a Groupon, it is added to your account for use instantly. Recently, I needed to order some sympathy flowers, so I checked on Groupon* before I placed my order and ended up saving $30! There are usually great deals for seasonal and kids activities as well, so I tend to check here for discounted admission before we head out the door.
Amazon is a total lifesaver for moms everywhere. We don’t use the diaper subscription anymore, as my youngest is potty trained, but never having to worry about running out of diapers or forgetting to buy more was priceless. I still use the Subscribe & Save feature for items that we use regularly – air filters are a great example -I know it is time to change them when they show up on that month’s order! Having an Amazon Prime subscription came in handy recently when I didn’t have time to go shop for an upcoming birthday gift, and it arrived just in time for the party!
If you aren’t waiting until the last minute to shop, Zulily is an incredible site. I am in love with name brands, and now that we are on a budget, I can still get them in my price range with Zulily. They feature different brands every day (don’t sign up for daily notifications your you might become a shopaholic!), and you can set it up to be notified when brands you are looking for become available. They have amazing customer service, so if anything ever goes wrong, you can be confident they will make it right. That’s the kind of guarantee I need in my life. Even better, you get $15 in referral credit if you share your link & one of your friends signs up!
- Feeding Your Family
- Crystal Paine Grocery University*