What: Running Errands
Why: Stressed out, not enough time, too long of lines, too many things to do, you name it. Errand running can be stressful. In fact, it can be an absolute time killer if you are not organized before you head out the door. There are easy steps you can take in order to minimize your time spent running errands, while creating more time for the things you want to do (assuming running errands isn’t one of them).
1. Keep a running list (make it visible) of all of the places you need to go.
2. Use a paper clip or baggy to hold all of the papers needed for your errand day (coupons, checks, deposit slips, etc.)
3. Prepare the day before by organizing all of your coupons, returns, exchanges, and donations.
4. Run all of your errands at once. You will save time and gas by grouping them together. Be conscious of where you need to go – organize your errand trip to minimize your driving time.
5. Get all of your groceries at one time, once a week. Also, buying in bulk and meal planning helps decrease the number of trips to the grocery store.
6. Take along a cooler if you have more errands to run after you go to the grocery store to keep frozen and cold foods cold.
7. Consider running your errands when stores and banks are the least busy. Weekends are probably not the best choice.
8. Keep a pad of paper in your purse so that if an errand idea comes to mind, you can quickly write it down, to prevent you from forgetting about it later and then needing to make a special trip.
9. Minimize the number of trips by using the internet. By using online banking and shopping online, you can minimize the number of trips to the store or bank.
Confession of the Day: When we lived in a bigger town, I would be quick to jump in the car and run into the grocery for one item. I would find myself doing this multiple times a week; after awhile, I realized how much time I spent going to the store, to just get 1 or 2 items. Now living in a smaller town, where the nearest grocery store is at least 10 minutes away (ma and pa store), I think twice about stepping out the door. I now organize all of my errands into one morning or afternoon, on days when I have to be in town anyways. It definitely takes some planning, but it has greatly saved on gas. During the week, I keep a tablet of paper on our refrigerator and write down all of the things we need as I think of them, and all of the places I need to go. I then paper clip all of the papers I need, to that list, so when I am ready to run my errands, everything I need is right there. Living with less, means living with less stress, minimizing the time spent on chores we would rather not do, and making sure we take care of the precious time we do have.
How do you save time running errands?