health

9 time-saving tips you need right now.

Because let’s be honest, women this busy need all the extra time they can get!

 

 

Getting three kids ready for school each day involves a mad morning scramble and a last minute dash out of the house.

On a good day, the kids have had breakfast and my teeth have been brushed.

On a bad day, we share a packet of biscuits in the car and chewing gum replaces teeth brushing.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Coles Online. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

Now I’ve made some necessary changes. Here are my top nine ways to save you some time each week:

1.   DVD and my cross trainer

Last January I joined a gym. What followed was a wonderful three months of multiple exercise classes while the kids went to school. I was a total gym junkie. Then in April I returned to work. It was a dream job and I have no regrets in accepting it, however gone was any time I had to exercise. I invested in a cross trainer for home and some brilliant work out DVDs. I also cancelled my gym membership.

Nowadays, not only do I get to maintain my fitness, but my kids join in during my work out DVDs too. They are damn cute as they attempt push-ups and star jumps. I’m setting a great example of good health for them and we are together the whole time.

They bring your groceries to YOU!

2.   Use your time wisely, shop groceries

online

I used to love grocery shopping. But I just don’t have time in my day. Before picking up the groceries, the kids and I would start off with coffee/babycino before going to the fruit market first, the grocery store second and the deli third. It was the highlight of our week, shopping and planning out our meals and snacks. Now I shop online. It saves me hours each week and is so convenient (I can even do it from my iPad while on the train from work). Even if I did suddenly have plenty of time to grocery shop in person, I would never go back. I am an online shopping convert.

3.   Retail therapy

As much as I love shopping clothes, the time it takes just doesn’t fit in with my schedule anymore. So I go online.

I have a fairly good idea of what size I am and which styles suit me. All my clothes shopping takes place online on my iPhone while I’m on the bus so I can save hours of time doing it in person.

When I do shop in person, it’s for the kids. They are old enough now to have quite a few opinions about what they wear. Philip likes anything army inspired, scary or left-of centre. Giovanni likes bright, bright colours. Caterina is a princess. She prefers elaborate dresses but will wear pants and t-shirts if they have butterflies or sparkles on them.

4.   Sunday is Chef time

My Sunday routine is to have the groceries delivered in the morning and then I cook up a storm. I make pasta sauce, soup, boil up green beans and potatoes, cut and freeze bread rolls for school lunches and crumb meat and chicken. I make some pizza dough and cupcakes and muffins. It all goes in the freezer and fridge and is used during the week for snacks, lunches and dinners. It’s so easy to boil up some spaghetti for dinner when you have the sauce ready in the freezer.

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At home facials are a time saver and also allow you a little bit of ‘me’ time.

5.   I am my own beautician

Before having kids, I would spend hours at the hairdresser and beautician. They both became good friends. They knew me better than some of my long-term friends and I them. I no longer have hours to spend getting my hair and nails done. Don’t get me wrong – I love pampering myself but I just don’t have the time. I still get my hair done but nothing that takes too long.

I do facials at home and the kids think it’s hilarious to see me with face masks on. My son in particular helps me wax my legs. It’s his job to count, “One, two three” before I rip off each strip and he laughs at my pain.

6.   Lunches aren’t packed in the mornings at my place

The only fruit Philip eats at school is red delicious apples and the only flavour of chips he eats at school is salt and vinegar. For Giovanni, it’s bananas and chicken chips. Thank goodness Caterina’s preschool makes all her meals. Each Sunday night, I pack the boys recesses for the next week or so. I pack enough fruit and chip combos to see them through for at least five days and cut and freeze their favourite bread rolls for lunch.

7.   The year of saying “no”

Unfortunately, I say no to a lot of invitations these days. I wish I could spend hours with my friends over coffee and lunch at restaurants, but it just doesn’t get to happen with all the juggling I do. For my friends who have kids, I get us all together for a kid-friendly movie. We get to catch up and spend time with our children. For my friends who don’t have kids, they pop over my house for coffee or a drink or once a month I’ll sneak out of the house after the kids are in bed for a quick catch up.

8.   The five-minute cleaner

Who has time to clean the house for four hours twice a week? I’ve become a clean-as-I-go kind of girl. I wash dishes as I go, cleaning up the kitchen while I cook so I’m not left with a huge pile of dishes after dinner. I give the bathroom a quick clean twice a week before or after my shower. I sweep up the floor while the kids brush their teeth. I make the beds as soon as we get out of them.

Like everyone, I don’t enjoy cleaning the house but knowing I only have to do five minutes is a brilliant way to get me away from my favourite TV show to get a bit of housework done. It becomes a bit of a game to see how much you can do during a commercial break. Mummy on fast-forward…is how I like to think of it!

“Teach your children to help themselves.”

9.   Teach your children to help themselves

My children are nine, five and four so they are all capable of taking care of themselves. I just step in when they need help. Philip, who is nine, can pretty much do most things for himself and prepare himself simple meals like baked beans on toast. I’m working with Giovanni and Caterina on selecting clothes without dumping the contents of their wardrobe on the floor. One day they’ll be old enough to bring me a snack or even make me coffee…one day…

What are your top time-saving tips?

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