Ten Time Saving Tips for Busy Parents #StarbucksApp

Finding just a few extra minutes a week can make all the difference to a busy stay-at-home mom.  It can be the difference between sanity and the edge, so I would love for you to add your own time saving to my own ten tips!

10. Book doctors, dentist and specialist appointments for the first available slot in the morning - and book well visits as far in advance as your doctors office will allow.  One of the things that I hate most is wasting time in waiting in the waiting room.

9. Keep a running list of your errands and try to group them together so that you can do all of the things you need to in one area of town on the same day.  I plan my errands around the kids activities, so that I can kill two birds with one stone when I drive them somewhere.

8. Know your grocery store - I write my grocery list by aisle - I know what my grocery store stocks in each aisle so that I can easily go down each aisle once and only once and not miss anything important.  I also follow a consistent pattern when I shop - partly to deal with Liam's OCD about the grocery store and partly because it helps keep me on track.  Since I try to shop primarily for unprocessed products, most of what I will be shopping for is on the outside ring - bakery, deli, fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, dairy and specialty organic - and then I quickly breeze through the center aisles to get things like flour, condiments etc...

7. And speaking of knowing your grocery store - a time AND money saving tip is to create a price book - use your knowledge of the grocery store to help you save money by tracking the prices you pay for your items - just write down the regular price and the dates that you get each item on sale... then you can see whether it goes on sale regularly or seasonally and can decide whether to stock up or get just one...  it also helps you track your consumption!

6. Have a routine and know when to break it... Having a routine is great, but spontaneity can sometimes save you time and money... just know when being flexible is right...

5. Make it a game- instead of procrastinating about getting things done around the house (my Achilles heel) I set my microwave and see just how much I can get done in a given time - it motivates me to work harder for that burst of time and I can see my accomplishments too!

4. Always have a book in your purse or your glove box.  This is made easier by technology, but just having something to do when you inevitably do have to wait helps you feel that your time isn't being wasted.

3. Plan your weekly menu out beside your weekly activity calendar - make sure that you have a quick and easy meal ready for nights that you will have little time, or throw something in the crock pot in the morning.

2. Also, one of the time saving things I do is to buy ground beef in bulk and cook it before I freeze it.  It makes adding meat to spaghetti sauce, whipping up tacos or adding hamburger to soup quick and easy!  I do the same thing with chicken breasts - I cook and slice them for adding to fajitas, salads, stir fries and more!  By pre-cooking the meat, I get some great quick and easy meals fast!

1. Get everyone ready the night before - I make lunches, make sure the kids bags are packed and everyone has everything for the following day before anyone heads to bed.  Mornings are way to chaotic to play where's the (fill in the blank) and it means that I can sleep soundly knowing everything is ready - of course sometimes the baby doesn't allow for the sleeping soundly part... but hopefully he'll get it eventually ;-)

In addition to my tips, I found a great time saving trip for heading to one of my favorite places:

Starbucks for Android™ and the Starbucks Card Mobile App for BlackBerry®, iPhone® or iPod® Touch have five core features:
  • Pay with your phone: Enjoy the fastest, more convenient way to pay at nearly 9,000 Starbucks locations.  Just download the app, enter your Starbucks Card number, scan and go.
  • Manage your card account: Access your Starbucks Card balance directly from your phone.
  • Reload your card balance: Use your smartphone to reload your Starbucks Card using any major credit card.
  • Check your My Starbucks Rewards status: Find out how close you are to earning your next free drink.
  • Find nearby Starbucks stores: Save time by finding a Starbucks store near you.
Now that I've shared my tips, please feel free to add yours to the comment section below - maybe between us we can save enough time for a coffee break at Starbucks!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”