tips for the busy

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Working a full time desk job, running an online business, and taking care of a 10 month old has got me bizzzeeeee…  During the week I leave for the office around 7a and don’t get back home until after I pick up the baby from daycare at 6p.  From there it’s a mad dash to get Denton fed and ready for bed, dinner made, the house picked up, and ready for work the next day.  Yes, the hubs is there to help, but he’s also got a day job, side biz, and extracurriculars too.  HOW DO PEOPLE DO IT?!?!

Here are some tips and tricks that have really helped me stay sane…

1. Keep lists.

I keep a list in “Notes” on my phone of:  (i) Things to do, and (ii) Things to get.  It sounds basic I know, but it’s a MUST.

In the “to do” section I add things like “pick up laundry after Thursday”, “schedule Bisou’s vet appt in March”, “measure and order blinds”, “Nordstrom returns”, etc.  These are the things I need to remember to do, but don’t want my brain cluttered thinking about them.

And even more helpful I think is the “things to get” list, which I have subdivided into:  (i) groceries, and (ii) other stuffs.  If I’m rummaging through the kitchen and realize we’re out of salt, or eggs, soy milk, or heaven forbid coffee — it goes on the list.  Toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning solutions, diapers, wipes, printer ink — whatever we’re running low on, it goes on the list as soon as I notice it.  Which brings me to my next tip…

2. Amazon Prime.

If you don’t already have it, spend the $100 and get Amazon Prime. It’s worth it for the free and fast shipping alone, and it comes with music and video streaming perks too!

Once a week or so, take that “things to get” list and use it to place an order via Amazon Prime.  Voila!  It shows up at your door a day or two later — sometimes even faster!

3. Instacart.

To tackle the groceries part of my list, I turn to Instacart.  Instacart is an app that you can download and use to place grocery orders at your local market.  Simply shop the grocery store online, and then they package it all up for you and deliver it to your door on the date and time you request— OMG SO AWESOME, RIGHT?!!  Yes, there’s a small charge, and yes I always tip the driver, but for me it is SO WORTH IT.  Grocery shopping is among my least favorite chores.  ughhh.  yuck.

4.  Slow Cooker Freezer Meals.

Yup.  That’s how I cook these days.  I also like the dinner kit services (see my review of Blue Apron, Gobble, and Hello Fresh here), but those still take some effort and on week nights that’s hard for me.

If you don’t know, a “slow cooker freezer meal” is a bag of ingredients that you can pull from the freezer in the morning before heading out to work, dump the contents into a slow cooker or crockpot, and cook on low for ~8 hours.  Then when you walk into the door that evening, after a long full day, you’re welcomed by the smell of a home cooked meal that can be served up with minimal effort.  It’s genius.

A few weeks ago, out of hunger desperation, I was googling freezer meal recipes and stumbled across this gem from a fellow blogger.  It’s 8 pages of super easy slow cooker freezer meal recipes and a master grocery list in printable format.  IT’S LIKE I HIT THE JACKPOT! Click here and print it now!!  I shed a tear of joy on the spot.  I immediately filled my virtual Instacart cart and had the groceries delivered first thing Saturday morning.

Here’s the menu: chicken teriyaki (x2), chicken chili (x2), honey dijon pork and green beans, hot pepper pork and butternut squash, beef fajitas, and pepperoncini shredded beef.

If you follow the grocery list and recipes, you’ll end up with 8 freezer bag meals, each with about 3-6 servings, depending on appetites.  I spent about $120 on the ingredients (including some extras), so it breaks down to roughly $15 per meal, or $3 per serving.  Not bad IMO!

5. Lay out your clothes.

And finally, I lay out my outfits for the next couple of days the night before.  I like to have  at least 2 outfits on the ready so I have options to fit the weather and/or my mood.  This saves me a signifiant amount of time in the mornings and I cannot recommend it enough!!  No longer am I trying things on and throwing them on the floor.  My outfit options are hanging there, ready to go, I just have to pick.Targetdress1

What are your tips and tricks??  Please share, I’d love to hear them!!

xoxo
-ash

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