7 Ways For Mom Entrepreneurs To Save Time, Money & Sanity

I don’t normally write these “life balance” posts but now that my kids are back in school, my life’s gotten a little crazier.  And if you’re the average mom entrepreneur, I figure yours has too.

Like me, you’re juggling a lot. A L O T.

Business.  Family.  Pet.  Grocery shopping.  Cleaning.  Budget.  Cooking. Schedules.  Lots of schedules.

Most days, I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve forgotten something verrrrry important.  And some days, I have.

I miss doctor appointments.  I leave The Dude outside until 8pm, only realizing it when I hear him barking.  I forget to buy the key ingredient in a recipe I’m making for dinner — like ground meat for meatballs.  I lose Hope and Grace’s lunch forms that need to be signed and returned yesterday.  I forget to put the coffee pot under the drip after hitting “Brew” and don’t know it until Hope says, “Um, Mama? There’s coffee all over the counter.”

So I know what you’re going through. That’s why I’m writing this post. To help you by sharing a few things that’ve made my life much easier.  Things that may take an upfront time and money investment, but things that save me HUGE time, money and sanity in the long run.  Things that help me manage my every day life better so I can put my cape on and be…The Mogul Mom (insert Superhero music here). LOL. :mrgreen: Let me know how you like them.

1.  Menu Planning — I used to D R E A D planning weekly dinners. I loathed it. I avoided it. I hated it. Then, I read an article on Simple Mom about menu planning that changed my attitude. So I created a menu plan for my family.

I bought a pack of index cards and wrote down thirty dinners on them, like dinnertime flash cards. I listed the recipe on the front of the index card and the ingredients on the back of the card.  Now, of course this took some time to do initially — but it’s saved me SO much time and sanity every week since.  My son Brendan has multiple food allergies (chicken, turkey, tuna, peanuts and tree nuts) that make meal planning difficult. Having thirty “Brendan-safe” dinner recipes on hand makes my life so much easier and saves infinite time and sanity.

So, go grab your favorite cookbooks (I love Ina Garten and Bobby Flay) or all the recipes you’ve torn out of magazines and spend a few hours writing complete dinners down on your index cards. By complete, I mean full meals — main course and all the side fixins like roasted pork tenderloin, sauteed cabbage and chunky homemade applesauce.  Or spaghetti and meatballs with Caesar salad. Once you have your thirty dinnertime flash cards written, put them in a shoebox, file box or Ziploc bag.

Then, each week, choose seven of those thirty dinners for your weekly menu. Write the dinner down by day on your family calendar and you’ll avoid my least favorite question: “What are we having for dinner?”.   😆

Next, take your seven dinner cards and flip them over to the ingredient side. Now you’re ready for…

2. Grocery Shopping — I created a Google Docs Grocery List Spreadsheet that’s organized by store aisle.  I take my weekly dinner cards, flip ’em over to the ingredients side and enter the ingredients onto my grocery list spreadsheet along with the other weekly items I’ll need (school lunches, snacks, cleaning products, etc).  This saves me so much time because I keep weekly purchases (diapers, coffee, apples, yogurt) on the spreadsheet permanently (no rewriting them every week) and because it’s organized by aisle, it prevents forgetfulness and backtracking — now, I whiz through my grocery shopping, crossing things off my printed list as I go.  My grocery list spreadsheet saves me a ton of money because I only buy what’s on the list — no impulse purchases, no forgetting what I need.  And if I forget my list, no problem — I can log into my Google account on my iPhone and use that while I shop! My grocery list spreadsheet is for Whole Foods but you can create one for whatever market you go to.  See my list here and feel free to save a copy for yourself.

A little “market” humor:  Last Friday, my husband, who works for a large investments company, came home from work looking miserable.  After he moped around for awhile, I said, “What’s wrong?” and he answered, “The market’s killing me.”  My six year old Gracie said, “You didn’t even GO to the market today, Daddy.”  LOL! 🙂

3. Children’s Weekly Outfit Planning — This idea originally came from an American Girl book that my daughter Hope was reading last summer called Clutter Control.  The book suggested buying a 6-compartment hanging sweater bag to organize your outfits for the week.  We purchased two sweater bags last year and have been using them ever since. The girls even decorated each shelf with a picture they drew. 😉

Hope's uniformsHope and Grace are in fourth and first grade (Brendan just turned three) and each Sunday, we pick out five days worth of uniform outfits, including underpants and socks, and place them on the first five shelves of the hanging sweater bags.

Grace's uniformsThis simple idea from Clutter Control has made my life (and theirs) easier and our mornings less stressful. I no longer have to pull clean clothes from the dryer and race upstairs with them each morning. I no longer have to calm a freaked-out Hope when she can’t decide what to wear. I no longer have to have to spend ten minutes every evening laying out tomorrow’s outfit for Grace.  Like most good ideas, this one from Clutter Control is small and simple but offers big rewards in time and sanity saved.

4. Caffeine Planning — If you’re a coffee (or tea) drinker, skip the trips to Starbucks and save time and money by making your coffee ahead of time one of two ways.

Make your own coffeeFor hot coffee, program your coffee pot to brew about 30 minutes before you wake up — then it’s ready when you are.  Just be sure to add the coffee and water before programming it.  Oh, and don’t forget to put the actual pot under the drip either. 😉

For iced coffee, brew a full pot of coffee on Sunday, sweeten it while it’s hot and then refrigerate it.  Then, pour yourself a cup of icy coffee each morning, add milk and you’re ready to go.

I brew 12 cups of water with 9 tablespoons of Whole Foods Organic Southern Italian Espresso Grind Coffee Dark Roast. Then I add 4 tablespoons of sugar while it’s still hot. I pop it in the fridge and my husband and I drink it all week.

The can of coffee costs $12 each week but saves us $30 a week. If my husband and I each bought a cup of iced coffee every day, it would cost us about $42 per week.  Making it at home saves us time and money–it can do the same for you. I’ve actually come to love my own homebrew (also the title of one of my favorite 311 songs) more than Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or Honeydew.

5. A Mogul Uniform — If you work from home, pick a “uniform” for yourself – the same basic outfit and makeup — and wear it every day.  This saves time and really gives your brain a much-needed rest, especially if you’re caring for a newborn & the unavoidable sleep deprivation that comes with it.  Search Dealigg for money-saving coupons from stores like Gap, Nordstrom, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, and Lands End and stock up on your uniform “basics”.  You’ll look great every day without even thinking about it. You can even buy a hanging sweater bag for yourself and set out your outfits for the week. 😉

My current uniform basics are:

Joe’s Jeans in “The Muse”:  I love these jeans because they have a higher rise–perfect for moms with a pooch slight belly. 🙄  Joe’s Jeans has great customer service too–they’ll help you select the style that is just right for you, your body and your lifestyle.  They might be pricey, but they last –and look great– forever and you can wear them with a t-shirt by day and dress them up at night with a gorgeous jewel-toned top, some bling and a nice pair of heels. Cost per wear, people…cost per wear. 😉

Gap Long & Lean JeansGap Long & Lean Jeans: I love these because they come in petite sizes (I’m only 5′ 4″) and they’re only $59.  Gap recently redesigned their jeans and they’re better than ever — the softest denim in so many styles and colors.  I’ve been wearing Long & Leans since I saw Oprah wearing them on the cover of her magazine back in 2003.

Tops from Three Dots, Talbots, (don’t laugh) Target and J. Crew: I have about a dozen tops that all look the same (if you ask my husband) and chances are, they come from one of these stores. I like three-quarter sleeve, boatneck tops in neutrals like navy, black, grey or brown.

Shoes:  I wear two pairs of shoes 365 days a year. Seriously. During the summer (or until there’s frost), you can find me in Fit Flops. Once the temperature drops below 32 degrees, I’ll be wearing my Ugg Classic Short. (I do wear the occasional pair of adorable orange or periwinkle heels from J. Crew.)

Undergarments: My bras are Victoria’s Secret Body by Victoria and my underpants are Hanky Panky Original Lace Thong. (The most comfortable, wearable thong I’ve found.)

Makeup — I wear the following every day:

  • Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Beige Ivory
  • Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Loose Powder in Pale Yellow
  • Bobbi Brown Creamy Lipcolor in Nude Pink
  • Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Powder Pink
  • MAC Eye Shadow in Shroom
  • Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Stone
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Espresso Ink
  • Cover Girl Volume Exact Mascara in Very Black

Pick your uniform and simplify your life.

6. Pet Care — I love my dog, The Dude.  But as cute as he is,  he’s high maintenance.  He doesn’t have a shedding “season” — he sheds 365 days a year.  His fur blows around my hardwood floors like tumbleweed.

Furminator DeShedding ToolLuckily, Furminator, a company whose tagline is  “Love your pet, hate the shedding?” found me and The Dude on Twitter after hearing me complain about his constant shedding.  Furminator kindly sent The Dude their flagship product, the Furminator deShedding Tool and some awesome Waterless deShedding Shampoo.  I brought The Dude outside, sprayed on the waterless shampoo and went to work with the Furminator. You wouldn’t believe the fur that came off that fuzzy cutie pie.  It was incredible.  The Furminator quickly and easily grabbed all the fur that was about to be shed and the waterless shampoo made The Dude smell heavenly.  We left an enormous pile of The Dude’s fur behind for the birds to pad their winter nests. 😉 Thanks to Furminator, The Dude’s shedding has decreased and my house no longer resembles the wild West.

Like my son Brendan, The Dude also suffers from multiple food allergies — oats, beets, yeast and honey — all of which are commonly found in dog food. The Dude eats an all-natural dog food called Simple Solutions made by Wellness Pet.  It’s really difficult to find and the one store near me that carried it recently closed. Enter K9Cuisine, a quickly growing organic pet food company that offers free shipping, free returns and best of all — auto ship. K9Cuisine is a triple threat,  saving huge time, money and sanity for moms with pets.  No more lugging back-breaking bags of pet food in your shopping cart and no more exorbitant shipping fees when you buy online. K9Cuisine is a mogul mom’s best friend.

7. Rosie the Robot — When I was little, The Jetsons was one of my favorite shows.  It was so damn cool — Judy’s outfits, George’s spaceship and Jane’s ample shopping allowance.  When I became a mom, well, that’s when I really began to appreciate The Jetsons — what could possibly be cooler than Rosie the Robot?

Roomba 610iRobot’s Roomba and Scooba, that’s what.  Though they come with a hefty price tag (about $400 each), they are truly worth every penny.   Roomba, the vacuum cleaning robot,  scours hardwoods, ceramic tile and carpets,  never once complaining that he just did this yesterday.  He picks up crumbs, dog fur, dust and whatever else falls in his path.  While I’m cooking dinner,  picking up the girls at school or out in the yard playing with Brendan, he cleans under chairs, couches, buffets and dining tables.  I love, love, love Roomba — and if iRobot hadn’t generously given “him” to me, I would happily shell out $400 for him. He comes equipped with two dust bins and a new “Max Mode” feature designed for extra large messes like the ones you’ll find at my house. 😉   Complete with an accessory storage case holding extra brushes, filters, cleaning tools and Virtual Wall Lighthouses, the iRobot Roomba 610 Professional Series ensures that high traffic areas stay clean while you tend to other things, like your kids or your growing business.

Scooba Floor Washing Robot, Roomba’s follow-up companion, is iRobot’s answer to traditional, messy, brown-water, back-breaking floor mopping.

Scooba sweeps, scrubs, mops, and even dries sealed hardwood and tile floors. Like Roomba,  Scooba’s robot brain lets it map out your room, navigate obstacles, and know when it’s cleaned the whole room.

Once you’ve cleared your room of Legos, hair elastics, books, Barbie shoes, Webkinz and puzzle pieces,  Scooba is really simple to get going. You pour two ounces of either the specially-made Clorox cleaning solution that comes with Scooba or, my favorite, white vinegar — I have three kids and a dog and I’m into green-cleaning — measured with the supplied measuring cup— into the clean-water tank and then fill it to the lip with warm, clean water.  iRobot states that the solution will clean a 200-square-foot room before the cleaning solution/water mixture needs replacing. I had to fill the tank twice to clean a super-dirty ceramic tile kitchen floor that hadn’t been properly washed in ages. Scooba took about 90 minutes to clean it and got through dirt, dog drool, maple syrup, apple juice, milk, spilled Amoxicillin, red wine and I wiped the sludge off Scooba’s squeegee to prove it.

One of my favorite features of Roomba and Scooba is that they can be programmed to clean your floors at a set time each day.  Roomba even has a little “dock” that he takes off and returns to each time he vacuums.

My entire family loves iRobot’s Roomba and Scooba — as you’ll notice, we refer to them as “he”. 😉 My son talks to them like they’re people, asking them to “watch this” when he does tricks and telling them to “tut up” (shut up) when he’s trying to watch a favorite TV show.  Roomba and Scooba have made it possible to have a clean house, despite having three children and a big, furry dog.

Like I said, Roomba and Scooba  may be pricey, but they have been a real life saver for me, saving me countless hours of cleaning, crippling backache and precious sanity.  And if you start making your coffee at home, you can save up your money to buy iRobot’s wonder vacuums in just a few months.

I hope you’ve found a few ways to save time, money and sanity in your own busy life as a mom entrepreneur.  Leave me a comment to let me know which of the seven ways has changed your life.

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Heather Allard

Heather Allard is a mom of three kids + one big rescue dog. She's a wellness buff, an essential oil educator with dōTERRA, and a self-professed “entrepreneur to the core”.
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64 Comments

  1. Tanya Malott

    Not only do I LOVE this post! (and will email to several friends!!) but I am SO GLAD you mentioned Joe’s jeans!! For years I have invested in their stock (which has been doing terribly) because I believe in their PRODUCT. I wish they would stop marketing to trendy teeny boppers, and realize that working moms could be their bestest friends. Now my partner and son agree! My very skinny son loves them, his curvy mom loves them, and the impossible to fit man in my life loves them because they are stretchy.

    I too hate the “what’s for dinner” question, and I am so stealing your Whole Foods aisle chart!

    I am so tempted to get a Roomba.

    Can you please give me a solution for the never ending battle of matching socks? We have a massive bin of unmatched socks that no one (including me) wants to deal with. I just want to throw them all out (but I can’t stand the waste)

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Tanya! I’ve noticed the same thing about Joe’s – I just ordered another pair but had a hard time finding one with a rise higher than 8″. 🙂

      I spent some time over the summer creating a dinner spreadsheet with links to all the recipes and it’s made my life so much easier – here’s the link if you’d like to check it out.

      Unfortunately, I don’t have a sock solution. Maybe you could use them for crafts so you don’t have to throw them out?

      Thanks for your comment!! 🙂
      Heather

      Reply
  2. Richel

    OMG!!!! WOW!!!! These are great ideas!!! I love the meals and shopping stuff. I am printing the list and going to start using yours! The other thing that I do is print my coupons from Target (I also get weekly ones sent to my phone) and clip my newspaper coupons and then put them in a large manila envelope with the list taped to the front. That way everything is there and organized. Since I only by the non “list” items as a treat if they are on sale, I make sure I just look at the weekly ad to see what’s on sale and then pop those coupons in. This system has saved me so much money….one time $200!!! Like you said you only buy what is on the list or in my case what is on the list and “treats” are only with a coupon. Thanks for the post!!! Need all the help I can get! I have a 4 year old, 2 year old and three month old, am a full time masters degree student, wife and am starting a business!!!

    Reply
  3. Janelle

    You are fabulous!!! That was so detailed yet simple lol. I wish I could be that organized with “daily life” I mean sheesh the grocery store isles are worked out with the food items my word lady! Anywho I want to try out the working out the meals as I loveeeee to cook an dwell maybe get my daughter Veona her clothes set aside each week 🙂 What fun! Thanks
    ~Always
    http://www.dinnercraftmovie.blogspot.com

    Reply
  4. Jenn

    This is the first article of yours I’ve read and I so wish I’d found you sooner!! I’ll definitely be checking the archives and following you regularly now! 🙂

    Great ideas too. I’m a single mom so any help in saving time and money is much appreciated!! I currently work a “real” job to pay bills and such while I’m attempting to kick-start my “real” job of photography (currently only on weekends and by appointment only).

    Reply
  5. Maggie Hardy

    You are a genius! I love the index card / dinner plan idea…”what’s for dinner?” is my least favorite question 🙂

    Reply
  6. Patricia Barnett

    Every time I read one of your posts by the time I get to the end I’m usually smiling; I enjoy your writing. My daughter and I do our business together, so I don’t have children at home (only seven grandchildren in and out), but she has four, with the oldest in first grade. You have some really good ideas, so I’m making for sure she reads this. Will have to keep a Scooba in mind for Christmas!

    Thanks, Patricia

    Reply
  7. Hannah Coloson

    Brilliant, Heather!
    (Curious – what type of Fit Flops do you wear)??
    Thanks so much,
    Hannah (at PitchRate.com)

    Reply
  8. Carley Knobloch

    Heather— from Furminators to Hanky Pankys, you are nothing if not thorough. 🙂
    As usual, a comprehensive list bursting full of stuff you could do RIGHT NOW to make sense of your chaotic life! So many of these lists are high concept, “mindset” stuff… definitely a piece of the puzzle, but a good mindset will NOT help you mop the floors!!! And so comforting of you include that, in spite of all your sage wisdom, that you still flood the counters with coffee. 😀
    P.S. I wear Hanky Pankys AND own a Furminator, and I’m not sure if I could live without either.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Carley – I try, I try. ;D

      I love sharing real-world advice with product specific information for all the other mom entrepreneurs out there who’re flooding their counters and frazzled by what to wear.

      Heather
      p.s. you just need to get a Roomba and a Dyson handheld and you’ll be SET. 😀

      Reply
  9. tara

    Oh my gosh!!! This meal planning idea is awesome!!! And flipping it over for the grocery list! Brilliant!!!
    AND it’s a fun crafty thing to do!!
    Wow, I’m so getting to work on this.
    Thanks for the wonderful ideas.

    Reply
  10. Marla ~ Owner : New Dimension Wood Design

    Such wonderful ideas! Us busy and often overwhelmed gals in business must stick together! I appreciate the time you have taken to share your ideas that work for you! Thanks & blessings to you & yours <3

    Reply
  11. Meredith craftyGAgal Crosby

    Getting a Roomba now for sure…
    Great tips, love them all. I do many, my coffee is always made the night before..I have a timer but rarely use it b/c I am known to wake up before the alarm, so I push it then head to the bathroom, but then it is hot a fresh. I am gonna try the iced coffee in fridge one.
    Great post!
    Love earlier post who said Mom brought one to her house…anyone is free to bring one to my house to demo… lol… or just clean.
    .-= Meredith craftyGAgal Crosby´s last blog ..Pretty is as Pretty Does or Maybe Even Dresses =-.

    Reply
  12. Kathryn Korostoff

    I also use Peapod (my grocery srore’s online shopping and delivery service) to simplify weekly shopping/meal planning. Peapod saves all of my past orders–so when I place my weekly order I just go online, select my previous order, quickly check off what items I need to restock, and I am done. I cook the same 10 dinners or so most of the time, so Peapod already has all of my common items stored. The deleivery charge is $9 plus I always tip–very worth it to save trips to the grocery store. Now I just go once a week or so for a super quick stop at the store I buy fish and steak (which I do prefer to pick out myself).
    .-= Kathryn Korostoff´s last blog ..Using Customer Feedback to Inform Product Design Decisions =-.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Kathryn,
      Yes, I’ve used Peapod before too and you’re right–it saves a lot of time. It also prevents impulse purchases since there’s no gum, candy and magazines at the checkout. Hee.

      Thanks for your comment.
      Heather

      Reply
  13. karen

    My mom brought her Roomba yesterday to my house, turned it on in my daughter’s room and closed the door…just to demonstrate how great it is. I think she was trying to “tell” me something about my cleaning ability. I don’t know if I should be ‘glad’ or ‘sad’.

    Anyway, guess what she’s giving me for my birthday?

    Thanks for the tips!
    .-= karen´s last blog ..We have two winners for the Sponsorship Giveaway! =-.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Karen,
      OMG-I love your mom!! LOL. My cleaning ability pales in comparison to my mom’s too. 😉 SO cool that she’s giving you Roomba for your birthday!!!! ENJOY it.

      Heather

      Reply
  14. Holly - The Work at Home Woman

    What an awesome post!

    I’ve started using Menu For The Week, meal planning system and I absolutely love it! It gives you seven meals along with a shopping list and it saves me so much time. I don’t have to think, ponder or plan it’s all right there in front of me. And my grocery shopping is so much more focused.

    I love the planning the clothes for the week too and coming up with a Mogul Mom uniform, except I want a bunch of Juicy track suits in all different colors – lol!

    I need to check out the Scooba too. Thanks Heather for all the great info!
    .-= Holly – The Work at Home Woman´s last blog ..10 People You Should Follow on Twitter =-.

    Reply
  15. Susan

    These are awesome tips!!! I thought I was on my way to being fairly organized and “together”, you make me look like a crazy lunatic!! But I will say it is funny that I know what you are wearing under those GAP jeans!! THANK YOU!!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Moms…..get your juices flowing! =-.

    Reply
  16. Liseth

    This is so funny! I woke up feeling like this today and recaping my forgetfulness and the things I must not overlooked today.
    I am really really thinking about the rumba! The doggy may hated but it will certainly keep my shedding hair (due to breastfeeding) tidy!
    Thanks for sharing these great tips.
    Liseth
    .-= Liseth´s last blog ..When is it too much WAAY too Much??!! =-.

    Reply
  17. Sara

    Actually, http://orgjunkie.com is a great menu planning site. I steal other mom’s menu plans (Mr. Linky) – pick and choose from several. It’s actually kind of fun to browse them, a look into how others live – or at least what they are having for dinner. 🙂 When I get creative and come up with my own dinner menu for the week, I can post it and it drives a bunch of traffic to my site. I actually came up with one for this week – and used Heather’s handy grocery list Google Doc. I feel so organized!

    Reply
  18. Katrina Glen

    Wow this was just what I needed today…it is the 2nd week of school and life is super busy …I love the 6 garment holder…that is something I am going to look at and I also love the meal planning…I find that once I have written something down I don’t have to think about it again…I play at menu planning but need to do it all the time. I teach classes about enjoying the moment and if we are a little more organised life is certainly easier to be enjoyed.

    Reply
  19. Tracy Young

    Wow Heather! I thought I was organized but you have me beat hands down. I wanted to share a quick tip that has helped my family avoid panic in the mornings.

    When kids get dressed in the morning have them put on an oversized (adult) t-shirt over their school clothes. That way if something spills at breakfast such as gooey jam or cereal milk, it lands on the t-shirt and not their clothes. T-shirt comes off clothes are still clean/dry. I’m definitely going to use your dinner card idea. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Tracy Young´s last blog ..Avoid Crying over Spilled Milk =-.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Tracy,
      Don’t let this post fool you…I’m still not that organized. But I’m trying…and sharing what works!! 🙂

      Thanks for your “messy food” tip. That would work well for arts & crafts too! 🙂

      Heather

      Reply
  20. Sara

    Love the Google Doc grocery list. I’ll be putting that to use today. Now I just need your 30 meals. 🙂

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Sara,
      Hahahaha…you’d probably find them pretty boring. My sons food allergies leave us with not much besides red meat and pasta. Hee.

      Glad you like the spreadsheet!! 🙂
      Heather

      Reply
  21. Catherine Choi

    Wow,
    I’m so glad I took the time to read this post – I had the “i’m too busy feeling” before I read it and now I’m all ” it IS possible to have enough time for all this -she GETS it!”! I have been menu planning on my own excel spreadsheet for the last 3 weeks and it has been awesome but you’ve just stepped it up a notch. And I need me a Roomba!!!
    And a coffemaker with a timer!
    Thank you!!!
    Catherine

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Catherine–I TOTALLY “get it”. Thank you for taking the time to read it. I know it was a L O N G one. LOL. I almost put a “read time” on it like Tim Ferriss does. Hahaha…

      Roomba + automatic coffee maker = heaven 🙂

      Heather

      Reply
  22. Amy

    I LOVE the menu planning advice! This is one “organizational” aspect I’ve never been good at because my husband is the one who actually does the cooking (but I do the buying). So we have never been able to get this part together. I’m going to make a “date” to sit down with him and make up these cards. Then we can pick them out together each week. LOVE IT!
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Giant Deals Week of 9/13-9/19 =-.

    Reply
  23. Gail Gray

    Love your ideas…you are right on with so many products! I have always admired the Roomba from a distance ($ keeping me at bay) but also was never sure if it would work on my crazy flagstone floor. I have a great indoor/outdoor look, but it is very hard to find tools to keep it clean. I wound up with the Hoover All Terrain Steam Cleaner. I do have to push and pull the steamer, but it beats scrubbing/mopping the floor. The steamer was an investment, but worth its weight in gold for keeping my floors clean!

    My latest post (today…perfect timing) is about taking time to make time…fits in well with your post!
    Gail’s last blog…
    http://tinyurl.com/qv2t2t
    .-= Gail Gray´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Hi Gail,
      That’s just it–you have the upfront investment of time and money, but your return is even more time and money! 🙂

      Off to check out your post…
      Heather

      Reply
  24. LeNesha

    OK, so you just seriously solved a major problem that I’ve been experiencing with my daughter! It takes my daughter an hour each morning to shower, brush her teeth, find clothes and get dressed. 65% of her time is spent looking for clothes. Most days she realizes that the clothes she’s looking for is dirty. Mornings like this are so disorganized and frustrating because I have to supervise her and finally mandate that she has 2 more minutes to put on clean clothes or else…So, tomorrow after work, I am heading down to the local target, picking up a weekly outfit planner system and she’s gonna get herself together every Sunday. Love it!

    The menu planning and targeted grocery shopping is such a time and money saver. Another tip is to prepare extra of certain dishes when you prepare a meal. Freeze the extra in single serve dishes that can be pulled out of freezer at a later date, heated up and enjoyed on those days that you want to play hooky on cooking. Soups and pasta bakes work well for this.

    And finally, I’ve looked at Roombas a year ago and was kinda skeptical about how well they’d clean my floors. Glad to hear that you like yours and that it does a good job Heather, especially since you’ve got a dog. So if it works well for you, it should work super well for me since I don’t have any pets.

    Ciao
    .-= LeNesha´s last blog ..Turning Back is Not an Option =-.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      It will change your life, LeNesha. 😉

      Heather

      Reply
  25. elina

    guess what? roombas and scubas are on major sale at gilt.com now
    .-= elina´s last blog ..Oh, I Almost Forgot! =-.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Sweet! Thanks Elina!! That’s awesome!

      Heather

      Reply
  26. Jennifer @ Kiddie Blanket

    Wow, those are some great tips! Especially like the hanging sweater bag. 2 weeks ago, we started preparing the outfits the night before – and that has already saved us a lot of time. I’m eager to try a week’s worth! Thanks!
    .-= Jennifer @ Kiddie Blanket´s last blog ..New designs for our toddler blankets =-.

    Reply
  27. Kris

    I don’t often pop in and leave a comment but wanted to let you know I read up on your site as much as possible so I don’t miss anything! If I can’t get to the site immediately, I label the email to make sure I get back to it =)

    As always, thanks so much for all the awesome tips- they truely do help….where else can you get such great advise on business and family?!

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Kris-
      Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know that–I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

      You’re quite welcome–we mom entrepreneurs have to stick together and share our tips, tricks and tactics!! 🙂

      Heather

      Reply
  28. Erika Berry

    Love it Heather! I am a meal planner and when I do it it’s so awesome when I don’t…..I like your system. I put my menu on a white board. Something so simple, but it reminds me what I am mking for dinner. I am going to do the hanging sweater boxes. Great post. All of this will be great when I have to go out of town on business…Best, Erika

    Reply
  29. Liz Jenkins

    On my list today was to stop and get some more of my “uniform” of khaki’s, comfortable denim & funky tennis shoes for fall. I love the uniform idea for work. When I see clients, I need to be comfortable and able to move but also still look semi-professional. My work “uniform” does this for me and totally simplifies getting ready to see clients. My home “uniform” though, embarrassingly, is whatever I slept in!
    Excellent list – and a great reminder that a little foresight and planning can make life so much easier.
    I have to say that I have blown through 2 roombas and they just haven’t worked for me. We have 4 pets and the time I had to take to untangle the pet hair from the guts of it was such a hassle that I ended up throwing one out when it bit the dust and giving the other away. Maybe there is a pet version now but I just didn’t have very good luck with mine. I love the idea of the scooba though-I hate washing the floors – maybe I’ll have to invest in one of those.
    Great tips – you really spoke to me as planning ahead is what makes my life work!
    .-= Liz Jenkins´s last blog ..Priority Setting: FREE Special Report! =-.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Liz,
      You’re right–there is a new Roomba with a larger dust bin and greater capacity to clean really dirty floors–that’s the one I have. It’s called the 610 Professional Series. My kids and dog are professional floor dirtiers and I think this was made for them. LOL!

      Thanks for your comment!
      Heather

      Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Liz,

      I just heard from iRobot that they DO now have a Roomba that is just for pet owners. Check it out!

      Heather

      Reply
  30. Michelle Hesse

    Awesome ideas. Although I cant wear jeans, I have comfy cotton pants that also can be t-shirt or nice shirt attire. And I, too, am not a big shoe person! I have loafers (very casual 1 and dressy 1), dress shoes, and sneakers. Basic make-up is just eye liner and foundation. IF I am going to do more than errands I will put on some lip gloss and blush. LOL I’ve become very comfy and plain since I had my daughter, but I really dont care! I have had to become very frugal since hubby and I lost our jobs 1.5 yrs ago. (we then moved across state to be near family and hubby got a job right away -Thank God-and I decided to stay home-saves big money on daycare cost!!) But I am going to try to start my own online store to get SOME extra money because I dont want to live in this apartment much longer!
    Hm, seems I am rattling on and on. Sorry!
    Thanks again for the article!

    Reply
  31. Heather Allard

    Erika & Heidi,
    I’m so glad you liked the post — makes me so happy!

    Heidi–I agree with you about “back to school” energy. 🙂 So fun!

    Heather

    Reply
  32. Heidi Farmer

    I LOVE this post! So many great ideas and inspiration. Thanks also for letting me in on the Scooba – I’ve heard of the Roomba, but hadn’t realized there was an equally brilliant mopping machine. (And I’m severely jealous that you received these for free!)
    It’s amazing how all this back-to-school energy manifests into so many organizational projects at home! Thanks for the tips!
    .-= Heidi Farmer´s last blog ..One Incredible Family Basement… =-.

    Reply
  33. Shannon

    Heather, This is exactly what I needed to start off our 2nd week of school! Thank you!!

    Reply
  34. Kitty

    Great tips! I love the weekly clothing planner. With 4 kids (3 of whom I help plan) – this is a great idea that would save time thinking in the morning!
    .-= Kitty´s last blog ..LaborKit Review and Giveaway =-.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Kitty,
      The weekly clothing planner has really changed our lives–I know you’ll love it!

      Heather

      Reply
  35. Laura

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I love the meal planning and shopping tips.

    Reply
  36. elina

    so funny heather! we wear the same jeans and your whole wardrobe sounds basically like mine
    .-= elina´s last blog ..Oh, I Almost Forgot! =-.

    Reply
  37. Eileen

    My husband has learned the reality of my growing business, so we talked. Now, he cooks supper most of the time, and is learning to get creative.

    He does all the grocery shopping, errands, putting gas in the vehicles, and has to clean his own bathroom.

    I involve him in working on my business in different aspects from helping me think through planning and decisions to picking up the next gaylord of beads for my weighted blankets.

    I involve him in making decisions about my time, such as this weekend. Do I finish the financials for the grant I’m getting or do I accompany him and his buddies & their parters for the weekend away. He has been calling me and telling me that he’s having a great time, and can’t wait to see the finished proposal.

    I used to be a single parent, so the previous didn’t apply. But, delegating to children works too, not with begging, but with teaching and by taking away privileges until the chore is done regularly for x days.

    I have always involved as many people as I can. We all help each other with all sorts of things. “Many hands makes work light.”

    Eileen.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Eileen,
      My mother says the same thing: Many hands make light work. It’s true! Thanks for sharing your ideas about what’s worked.

      Heather

      Reply
  38. Cindy

    This is why I read The Mogul Mom — you give great advice, backed up by personal experience and research, and communicate it clearly, just when we need it most! I already do a couple of the things you recommend — homebrew coffee (recently found French Roast and 100% Columbian by Eight O’Clock Coffee to be good, less expensive alternatives to Starbucks); meal planning & uniform theory. But I TRULY appreciate the specific fashion and makeup tips, as well as the Roomba & Scooba ideas. I had toyed with the idea of buying a Roomba for my best friend last Christmas (she & I both have multiple kids & dogs & cats) but wondered if it was worth the $$$. Now I know! So this year it’s going on both our Christmas lists, plus the Scooba, which I didn’t even know about. Thanks for a great post!

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Aw, thanks Cindy! I always hesitate to write the “life” posts but now I’m glad I did. 😉

      Roomba & Scooba are part of our family now–LOVE them. I know you will too when Santa brings them. 😉

      Heather

      Reply
  39. Linda Lenzi

    For me the uniform was key. I waste more time trying to figure out what to wear. Some days I get lazy and wear my jogging suit….it is that day that I always run into someone. Simplifying my look with a uniform comfort fit is brillant. Thank you….more than you know.

    Reply
  40. Kateyboo

    What a great post! Being a first time mother I am finding that my days just fly by and I always seem to try and pack too much into it!

    I have to write EVERYTHING down now – otherwise there is no hope of remembering it later!
    .-= Kateyboo´s last blog ..Mom Blogs =-.

    Reply
  41. Ros

    Awesome tips Heather! Going out tomorrow to get a hanging sweater bag–this will save me a ton of time in the mornings. Coffee accidents I can relate to–either I forget the filter or the water. It’s probably because I’m usually half awake. =) We also started making our own iced coffee and surprisingly, it’s sooo good. We haven’t missed our trips to Starbucks, but occasionally indulge in a McCafe mocha.

    Your uniform basics are so appealing–makes for a stylish pulled-together look without the fuss. Love that! Thanks for sharing your clever time and money tips (and Hanky Panky Thongs). =)

    Reply
  42. Carla

    Love your meal planning system! You get two for one – easy meal planning plus you stock your recipe box. Totally stealing this idea =)
    .-= Carla´s last blog ..Soul Searching =-.

    Reply

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