As a busy mom who works at home and has three kids, I can say with absolute certainty that running errands is my least favorite thing to spend time doing. When I was younger and pre-kids, I loved running errands. I could spend what seemed like hours wandering down the aisles of Target and meticulously picking all of the items I would put in my grocery cart.
Now, I try to jam errands in between everything else I need to get done, and getting the kids ready to leave the house seems like it adds an extra hour to everything I do. Once I get to my destination, it then becomes like an obstacle course to get everything I need while my kids go in different directions.
I’m constantly on a quest to make errand-running not only easier but spend less time doing it, and below are some tips I’ve come up with in the process.
Choose One-Stop Stores
Whenever possible, I try to go to places where I can buy everything my family needs for the week in one place. I like to be able to buy groceries, toiletries, cosmetics, men’s hair products for my husband, cleaning products and just about everything else needed to run a household in one place. I used to prefer breaking up my shopping because the total bill can get hefty pretty quickly, but ultimately, it’s worth the time savings.
Also, I do as much of my shopping online as is reasonably possible, particularly for specialty products that can be tough to find in stores and may require trips to several different retailers.
If I can’t get everything I need in one shop, I’ll usually group my errands, so I’m doing it in one big batch, rather than having to do it over several days. Friday or Saturday afternoons are usually my errand time, so I’ll do all of my shopping and other tasks at one time and get it finished, so I don’t have to think about it again for a week.
Something else I like, although it’s not always the perfect option, is local grocery pickup. I can pick out everything online, and it helps me save money because I’m not tempted to buy things I don’t need. Then, I drive to the grocery store and pick it up.
This is a good option when I’m super crunched for time, but I do tend to like to pick out my own food, so it’s not always my go-to.
Amazon Subscribe & Save
If you really want to cut those errands out, particularly in the winter when the weather is terrible, and you don’t want to take the little ones out, Amazon Subscribe & Save is a great convenience. You can set up a delivery schedule, and you also get a discount automatically when you sign up for the service.
The more you order every month, the more of a discount you get.
Finally, if you do have to go out, I would say always make a list of everything. I get very overwhelmed and flustered without a list, and I also overspend, so before you pack the little ones up, have your lists handy.