I love saving money. It gives me more of a thrill than spending it. Lately, I’ve become more of a time-saving junkie. Midlife has me wanting to focus on the things I want to focus on. Call me crazy, but I have reached a point in my life where I just don’t choose to spend my time on such things as lugging huge bags of dog food from the pet store to my car. If I can get someone to bring that stuff to my door, for FREE, sign me up!
So here are some ideas and companies I use and trust and believe in. I do not receive compensation for any of these ideas. I value you and so I’m sharing my life with you.
Amazon Subscribe & Save
My sweet sister-in-love introduced me to Amazon Subscribe & Save. She opened my eyes to this new world where I could have necessities show up on my doorstep without me even thinking about it. WHHHHAAAA?? Maybe I was just late to the party here, but hey, this truly is a party! She said she had her toilet paper delivered automatically!!
I was literally running to the computer to get this started. You can find it from your Amazon account under Accounts and Lists. From there click on Your Subscribe & Save Items.
So I am now subscribed to things like toilet paper, other paper products, laundry detergent, even air conditioner filters! These are things that we need every month or two anyway. AND, you can always change the shipment dates, depending on your use of the products.
Here’s the kicker, the more you buy, the cheaper the products are! The more you add to your automatic shipments, the greater the discount.
I. LOVE. THIS.
On a side note: I’ve heard of Amazon Fresh, which offers fresh produce delivery. I do not have this in my area, but if you do, let me know what you think in the comments.
(Sign up for my free printable Empty Nest ? Twenty Ways to Redefine Yourself at the bottom of this post.)
My two dogs seem to eat a ridiculous amount of food. Lugging a 50 lb bag of food through the pet store and then to my car is not my idea of fun. I would regularly put off this chore until the last minute. Then I found Chewy.com. Much like Amazon Subscribe & Save, Chewy has an automatic shipment option that is fantastic.
I sign up for automatic shipments, also receiving a discount, and the food shows up on my doorstep. No lugging involved.
Before each shipment, I receive an email that my order is being prepared, so I have a few days to change it if I need to. I can also change the ship date.
In the words of Martha Stewart, “It’s a good thing!!”
My sister introduced me to Audible.com years ago. Running a busy web business, she spent most of her time sitting in front of a computer, and would listen to countless books on Audible instead of music in the background.
Talk about double tasking! Sign me up!
You start out getting your first month free!
After that, For a small fee, $14.94/mo, you can purchase and download one title every month. Do you know how much an audible version of any book costs? It’s usually more than the digital version, running between $20-$30.
My membership is $14.95/mo. It gets me one title of any price. Then, I then get 30% off any additional titles I buy that month plus 2 free Audible Original titles.
I love making use of otherwise wasted time, like driving or flying, by listening books!!
Here’s a cool perk: I can EXCHANGE any book I don’t love!!! So cool!
She Reads Truth – Online Bible Study
If you enjoy Bible studies but haven’t discovered SheReadsTruth.com, you need to check it out.
SheReadsTruth.com is a worldwide community of women committed to reading the Bible every day. They produce 15 studies every year, and the daily studies go through both Old Testament and New Testament books. At the end of each daily devotional about the current chapter(s), you can comment and be a part of a Christ-following community.
If you login on your computer, everything is free. I love to sit down at my desk and have a short Bible reading and devotional at my fingertips, as well as an instant community of women who want to learn and glean from each other. You can also subscribe to daily emails that contain the daily reading. So many options!
SheReadsTruth.com also offers a mobile app that includes the full Bible that is also free for download. There is a small fee to access the daily studies there, usually around $1.99.
Tip for the men in your life: There is also a HeReadsTruth.com with the same offerings.
Do you plan you meals every week? Let me just say that this discipline is my number one time saver. I lose so much brain power in trying to come up with a meal at the last minute! Then, I will usually have to run to the store for things I don’t have on hand, wasting even more time, and more brain power. And my brain power is not overflowing these days.
Pick a day of the week, preferably the day before you shop for groceries, and plan your weekly meals. It’s just that simple. As you’re planning, make a grocery list for your shopping. This also save time in the grocery store!
You can even shop on line and pick up your groceries there, or have them delivered.
If you absolutely hate planning meals, let EMeals do it for you. I love this company. Dave Ramsey introduced me to Emeals.com years ago when I tuned in to his radio show. It meets a huge need in my life, and it’s just fantastic.
Emeals offers literally every possible diet and budget option available, including clean eating, vegan, low-carb, gluten-free, and paleo. There’s even kid-friendly and budget plans.
You can try it for 14 days FREE!
If you subscribe, for about only $60/yr you pick your plan and download and print (if you want) the recipes and the grocery list!! YESSS! For about a dollar/week, your weekly meal plan is DONE!
I need to say, too, that my family, which is sometimes picky, has raved about the meals we’ve used. There’s only been a few dishes that all of us didn’t love.
To use Emeals, register and then determine what plan you’d like to try. No worries though, you can always change your plan. From there you just download and print the recipes and grocery lists.
You can also access your account on mobile account which gives you your interactive grocery list! As you check off your list, it disappears! So cool!
And – BEST PERK – you can send your list to your favorite store for pickup later! Emeals is linked to Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Kroger, and Walmart. How ’bout that?
(Sign up for my free printable Empty Nest ? Twenty Ways to Redefine Yourself at the bottom of this post.)
Slow Cooker Meals
The Crockpot, or now Instapot, is my absolute favorite way to feed my family. What can be better than throwing a few things into a pot, push a button, and several hours later, there’s dinner.
Wintertime is perfect to try new soups and stews, but I use my slow cooker year round.
I am also a big fan of having a meal warm and ready at varying times during the dinner time rush. With crazy schedules, the slow cooker offers time-saving convenience without sacrificing homemade goodness.
Tip: On top of all their other plans, Emeals offers a slow cooker plan!!
Automatic Bill Pay
As a child, I remember my mother sitting on the couch at the end of the month with her stack of bills, checkbook, and calculator. She spent hours there, or so it seemed, writing out checks, addressing envelopes, and licking stamps.
Today, most, if not all, financial entities now offer online bill paying. This becomes even more advantageous as the price of stamps increases. My bank offers a window (within my account) showing what bills are scheduled to be paid, so I can make sure the money is there.
Automatic online bill paying is one step further into the techno world of convenience. I prefer setting up automatic bills through my bank, because I can see when they are scheduled to be paid. If I pay my Verizon bill through Verizon, for example, I don’t have the visual reminder that it’s about to be paid.
Bills that are not recurring are also paid online through my bank with just a few clicks (and no trip to the post office for stamps). The biggest perk? No longer do we need to know how to balance a checkbook!
I only have a few monthly bills that vary from month to month, which have to be paid individually, but automatically paying those bills that are the same every month drastically cuts my time required for bill paying.
Hooray for the freedom of paying bills without actually having to pay bills! HA!
How are you doing on the budgeting front? With retirement right around the corner, this issue needs to be on the forefront of our midlife brains. Enter Mvelopes.com.
Back before the internet, in our premarital counseling, my hubby and I were introduced to the concept of envelope budgeting. The idea was that you’d pull out cash at the beginning of the month for expenses and spending money. When the money was gone from the envelope, you didn’t spend anymore. Simple logic.
Mvelopes is built on that idea, except the envelopes are digital, and easily accessible from the app on your phone. It’s a secure budgeting tool that we first used shortly after it was available, probably 10 years ago.
Once you set up your budget, your (digital) envelopes are there ready to be ‘funded’ with income at the beginning of the month (or whenever you decide).
Every day or few days, you then get on the website or app and assign the purchase to an envelope, which digitally takes the funds out of it. From my phone I can see how much money is in each ‘envelope’. This is so easy, and keeps me on track with our family budget.
You can try it FREE for a month! You can choose from 3 plans after that. The Basic plan is only $4/mo. We’ve found this is also a great way to teach young adult kids how to budget in a real life scenario.
Mvelopes makes monthly budgeting so quick and easy! Take a look!
Just this year I have discovered the world of fitness workouts from my mobile device. I love them.
I have just resigned my gym membership after a few months because I could not get there. It’s cold here, ok? I love staying in my warm bedroom to workout. It’s so easy to literally roll out of bed and open the app on my phone.
There are many fitness apps to choose from on the App Store, including lots which are based on a 7-Minute Workout. You should try them out see which one works best for you.
My favorite is called Weight Loss Fitness, it’s free and you can find it on the app store. It is circuit based, meaning every exercise is only 30 second long. I programmed in my age, weight and problem area I needed to work on. It then gives me a new workout every day, and if I miss a day or two, it adjusts them accordingly and tells me so. It also a music option which you just turn on if so desired.
I can tell you that I’m not a fitness guru. Instead, I am more of the mindset of ‘I know I need to workout, because menopause’, so I do it. I call it a bonus if I can delete from my day the roundtrip driving time to the gym.
So there you have it, my life in a nutshell. Actually, these suggestions are enabling me to have a life.
Ladies, we are at the crossroads of the best days of our lives, with menopause and empty nesting on the horizon. These time savers will help you focus on your new passions and opportunities that you finally are able to launch!
My friends, if you enjoyed this post, I’d be honored if you’d share it with a friend or pin it on Pinterest!
P.S. Don’t forget! Sign up for my free printable Empty Nest ? Twenty Ways to Redefine Yourself just below.