What busy mama doesn’t want to save time and money? None that I know! With these 10 simple time saving tips for the busy mama, you will do just that. Save time, money, and be on the fast track to a more organized life.
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- Make ahead spice mixes.
- Simple meal plans and grocery list.
- Crockpot dinners, be sure to use a crockpot with a timer so your food is never overcooked.
- Make ahead freezer meals for busy week nights.
- Meal prep
- Use left overs for lunches.
- Buy pantry staples in bulk.
- Put your bills on auto pay.
- Plan, plan, plan!
- Clean the bathroom while your child is taking a bath.
MAKE AHEAD SPICE MIXED
This one save me tons of time! Anyone who knows me, knows that I love The Whole30. If you are familiar with The Whole30 then you know we use lots of spices. Homemade pork Italian sausage, Beef barbacoa, Taco mix, and so many more. Having a spice mix that you prepared ahead of time cuts down prep time. I use baby food jars that I soak and clean the labels off to store my spice mixes. Soon I will be upgrading to a spice rack that I will be reusing. Be sure to follow me so you can see how the spice rack project turns out!
This one for me saves tons of time. Not only in the grocery store but during the week as well. Each week, or how ever often you shop be sure to sit down and make a meal plan. It does not have to be complicated, make it as simple or fancy as you like. If you have members of the family with dietary restrictions this one is a must! Every night when you go to cook dinner, you know exactly what you are making and have everything you need. No more running to the grocery store for one more thing you thought you had. My shopping list and meal plan get done at the same time. I do a quick check of the pantry and fridge, that way I can make my list accordingly.
Here is a sample meal plan and grocery list. Please note that you will always have a few items you need for your meal plan. This list reflects that. This meal plan is dinner only. Each one of my meals is served with a loaded green salad. Full of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, shredded cheese and more!
SAMPLE MEAL PLAN
- Monday– Shepherds pie & green salad (hubby takes left overs the next day for lunch, plus we have some for the boys and I).
- Tuesday-Spaghetti squash with fresh herbed sauce and Italian sausage. I usually serve with with garlic toast or bead and green salad. Again, left overs go with hubby for lunch.
- Wednesday– Chicken fingers, baked potatoes, and green salad.
- Thursday– Left over night! Everyone usually gets something different, as there aren’t tons of each food item left.
- Friday– Crockpot enchilada chicken, rice, and green salad.
- Saturday– Take out! We are usually busy and on the go most weekends.
- Sunday– Cashew chicken, steamed broccoli, green salad. Plenty of left overs for hubby to take for lunch. Two days worth usually.
SAMPLE GROCERY LIST
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 5 lb bag russet potatoes
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1 lb ground pork
- French bread
- 5 lbs chicken breast
- Fresh or frozen broccoli
- Salad kids or 2-3 bags of lettuce or 2 heads of lettuce
- Cherry tomatoes
- 3 cans garbanzo beans
- 1 small bag shredded cheese
- 1 lb cucumbers
- 2 cans medium black olives
Everything else like spices, rice, butter and so on we have in our pantry. Your list will always be like that as well, if you plan meals according to the way you usually eat. We eat mostly Whole30 dinners.
Busy moms don’t always have time to cook every evening. This time saving tip takes almost all time time out of preparing dinner. I use a crockpot with a timer so my meals are never overcooked. Like this one found on amazon. A few minutes to prep in the morning before heading out the door and you are welcomed home with the smell of a delicious home cooked meal!
Make ahead freezer meals are great! Before the birth of our second son, I prepped freezer meals. Let me tell you, it saved my life! If it wasn’t for the meals I had prepped, we would have ended up with fast food most nights after hubby went back to work. There are tons of freezer meal recipes online. Just take one day out of the month and plan to make freezer meals. Make sure you start with a clean kitchen for a faster prep. Most freezer meal plans will tell you everything you will need.
Meal prep saved me when I went back to work after the birth of our eldest son. Each week I would prep meals for lunch and dinner. If you do this, plan to have a prep session every 3-4 days. Prepared meals only last 5 days at the most in the fridge under perfect conditions. You can prep more meals at once if you plan to freeze some. I prefer my meals only be in the fridge 3 days at the most. The great thing is you can prep for dinner, lunch, or both. Fully cooked meals for dinner or you can prep by chopping veggies and other ingredients. Be sure to have lots of containers for meal prep. 6 Pack fitness reusable meal prep containers are great for lunches. They are very durable and you can freeze them as well! I use mine all the time. They are also leak proof.
USE LEFT OVERS FOR LUNCH
This is one tip we use almost every night. Left overs always go with hubby for lunch the next day. When you clean up dinner, you prep a lunch at the same time! Win win! Super easy and quick.
BUY IN BULK
Buy all your panty staples in bulk when you can Think items like, pasta sauce, rice, beans, canned goods, sugar, flour, or in our case eggs and potatoes as well. All these items can be bought in bulk, saves you time and money. You save time by not needing to add these to your shopping list every time you go to the store. You save money by buying in bulk. We shop at Costco once or twice a month.
USE AUTO PAY
If you can, this one is great. A lot of companies will actually give you a discount for using autopay. You save time by not needing to sit down and figure out what exactly you need to pay each week. And the best part is, you save money! No late bills equals no late fees. This one always got us before autopay. You forget about a bill, then they charge you.
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN
Planning out the week or even just the day saves time. Layout clothes for the kids the night before at bedtime. Layout your clothes for the next day. Make a schedule and stick to it. Make a list and refer back to it. Forgotten tasks take up extra time at the end of the day. Plan, meals, plan chores, plan shopping tips, plan your day in general. You will see how a well planned day saves time, especially with little ones.
CLEAN THE BATHROOM WHILE YOUR CHILD TAKES A BATH
For us, this one saves tons of time! We don’t use any nasty chemical cleaners, so a nice clean while the kids are in the bath helps cut down clean time during the week. Multitasking at its finest.