1. Get ready for the day before it begins
While not an innovative tip, this one really works. Make sure all backpacks are filled and organized before bedtime. Choose outfits for yourself and the kids. Put everything, including socks and underwear, in a special place. Prepare the coffee pot, set the table, and pack as much of tomorrow’s lunches as is feasible before you turn in.
2. Shop once
Multiple trips to the grocery store create stress, waste time, and cost extra money. Plan your week’s menu ahead of time, and shop once. Giving your family a chance to suggest menu items is a great way to cut down on menu planning time.
3. Cook ahead
Try cooking some of your dinners ahead of schedule. For example, if you are planning on having a chicken casserole on Thursday, prepare it on Sunday and pour it into a freezer bag. Wednesday night, move it from the freezer to the refrigerator. When you get home from work on Thursday, simply pour the contents into a casserole dish and bake.
4. Take advantage of the crock pot
The crock pot is the busy mom’s best friend. Come home to roost beef, chili, and even “baked” chicken. Crockpot recipes are almost limitless on the Internet. If you pair the crock pot with a rice cooker, all you will need to add is a salad.
5. Assign chores
It is true that kids need playtime and time to do homework, but they also need to develop a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. Some things that you should delegate include feeding pets, washing dishes, putting away groceries, and sweeping the sidewalk.
6. Let the kids cook
When kids are older, they can cook one meal a week. The fare will not be gourmet, but you will appreciate the simple meals knowing you did not have to prepare them. If you are married, do not do all the cooking yourself. Your spouse can get in the game too.
7. Bag your receipts
Scouring trash baskets for a receipt when you discover that something must go back to the store is a time waster that frequently does not produce results. Of course, if a store takes back an item without a receipt, you will likely receive a drastically reduced price on the refund, costing you both money and time.
Avoid this situation by keeping a plastic bag in your purse. Put all receipts in the bag. At the end of the month, throw them out and begin again.
8. Make a to-do list
Yes, this tip is basic, but almost no other tool offers the time-saving help of a simple to-do list. Not only does this tool keep you focused, but it also allows other family members to cross items off for you. The list is most effective if you look at it and ask yourself this question: What is the best use of my time right now?
9. Do not overschedule
Much of what makes moms crazy is a ridiculous after-school schedule. Instead of taking your kids to extra-curricular activities every afternoon or evening, let each child choose only one activity. When you trim the schedule, you will save time, money, and sanity.