So my first couple of Q4’s I was so far away from Mother Of the Year. There is a lot of pressure during Q4; you can almost hear the tick, tick, tick of the clock counting down until Christmas. Having done this for several years now, we have picked up some tips for making it through Q4 without having pizza 3,494 times.
- Use online shopping for your groceries. We do this with Walmart and Kroger (Fry’s). I am sure it saves us easily 10 hours a month on groceries. It also keeps the stress from prompting the impulse buys of sweets and snacks. With these services you just place an online order and go pick it up. Some of these stores take the items they know you buy from your loyalty card and pre-load it into your account. While I was thoroughly creeped out, it saved me a lot of time.
- Instacart- We just tried this program for the first time today! It was great. Costco came straight to our door. We have had a busy week so avoiding that extra trip allowed me to spend some much needed time with my family. They charge about 10% of the order plus a delivery fee- so you need your business to be generating consistent money to justify this. However, compared to ordering out- it would save quite a bit of money. The stores that are available vary by area, so your milage may vary. If you use that link, you get $10 off groceries, and I think I get something too.
- We use our pressure cooker probably 5 out of 7 nights a week. Freezer meals are great, but I never have time to make them. The electric pressure cooker/Instapot allows us to make a scratch dinner in less than 30 minutes even if we forgot to defrost the meat. Some of our favorite meals are from Bob Warden’s Great Food Fast, I mean so good you won’t want to go out delicious!
- Delivery- There is a time and a place for everything. Sometimes you just need to order out food. Services like Postmates, UberEats, and Door Dash has kept me alive on many trips where I was just too tired or busy to get something to eat. They bring the food straight to you. There are even some restaurants that you can get party trays for big gatherings so we can have a social life without cooking.
- Freezer Meals- If your family is small enough that the pan or pot you are making it in allows making a double batch of your food early in Q4 and start freezing it. This way when you don’t have time to work you can just reheat a meal.
- Ask for help- If your mom is always asking what she can do, let her know she can bring over dinner. This is the time of year to call in ALL of the favors! Every person you helped move, that you picked up from the airport, etc. Ask them if they can pick up your kids from school, bring over a roast, anything to help you have a few more minutes.
- Cut down Christmas card time- use a service like Postable, Handwrytten, or Send Out Cards to save you a ton of time from handwriting. I know this isn’t technically food related, but Christmas cards seem to be a big stress point for a lot of people, so I am adding it in.
I hope these quick tips can help you! They have saved us thousands of hours over the last few years.