By Stephanie Vuolo, TLC
Once upon a time I loved to shop, especially those little errands that involved out of the way storefronts. However, now I avoid being in my car dealing with traffic while trying to keep a busy toddler entertained at all costs. It turns out it is possible to maintain a busy household with a well-stocked kitchen, and not devote my life to daily errand running. In an effort to keep my to-do list as short and simple as possible, I've come up with a few tactics to increase efficiency when it comes to shopping so I can spend time doing more valuable things- such as working out or playing with my daughter.
1. Pair it with something fun. I'm able to combine most errands to shops in my neighborhood with a visit to the playground with my daughter. Not only am I able to support small, local businesses, but I can also drop off dry cleaning, take care of all my banking, pick up supplies at the pharmacy, and visit the hardware store without relying on my car or getting stuck in traffic. It's also more fun to do these small errands with my daughter to show her what responsibilities there are outside of our house that our family needs to tend to. She looks forward to these small errands because she gets to stay active the entire time and we celebrate our success with time on the playground.
2. Have it scheduled. A major time saver involves doing our largest grocery shopping trip on a monthly basis and having a community suported agriculture box (CSA) delivered to our home each week with fresh produce. I can also add grocery items to our CSA delivery or swing by our local market for an item or two if we need it urgently. Having a fully stocked pantry and being able to rely on a fresh produce gives me a head start on being prepared to make meals most days of the week. I also take advantage of Amazon's online subscription service to have supplements and diapers delivered on a schedule so I don't need to remember to buy them. The less I have to keep track of the easier my life has become. Therefore, I'm always on the lookout for a good shortcut.
3. Your computer can take care of it. The truth is that shopping online saves me the most time. I can always find what I need at the touch of my fingertips, which saves me schlepping around town when I'm in need of a specific item --such as a special light bulb. I love to take advantage of free shipping and other discounts whenever possible, however saving time is my biggest motivator. My time is valuable and gas is expensive, so even though I sometimes pay a little bit more for an item or for shipping it's worth it at the end of the day.
Photo Credit: epSos.de/ Creative Commons