Shopping for Time (Review and Giveaway)

Shopping for Time Book Cover“…making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).

A review of Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and NOT Be Overwhelmed, by Carolyn Mahaney, Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore, and Janelle Bradshaw.

This practical book is just as delightful and solidly biblical as everything else I have read by Carolyn Mahaney. She and her daughters declare their purpose in the book’s introduction:

“…We have also learned from God’s Word that it is possible to deal with life’s demands without becoming overwhelmed, miserable, and exhausted. We can surmount the numerous responsibilities that threaten to wear us down. More than that, we can actually do all that God has called us to do.”

It sounds incredible, but they really do lay out a plan that will enable us to peacefully accomplish all that God has ordained for us to do. The Mahaney ladies start with Ephesians 5:15-16, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Building on the message of these verses, they encourage us “to live like we shop – carefully.”

“We’re to approach life the same way we go after bargains. We need to discern the best opportunities life has to offer. Then we must seize these opportunities and make them our highest priorities. Every day presents us with countless options for how to spend our time. However, only some are truly great deals. Only a few things are really important.

“Our job is to figure out what these prime deals are – these key opportunities – and devote all our time and energy to them. This means choosing not to do a thousand other things. It means saying no to a lot of enticing options.”

After a brief discussion of the many seasons of a woman’s life, the authors go on to outline five main tips to help us move beyond “just looking” as we live our lives.

  • Rise early. (Sounds scary, but they make a very convincing case for their recommendation, and even address the objections of those who insist they are not a “morning person.” I have seen the proof of this tip in my own life over the years. This early hour helps facilitate a time of Bible reading and prayer each day, and also allows you to serve your husband and children more effectively.)
  • Sit still. Make time in God’s Word and prayer a priority. Don’t think you can live life without the sustenance of this communion with Him. Suggestions are given for getting started and for being creative during the season when infants and small children make this especially challenging.
  • Sit and plan. This tip recommends taking a personal retreat at regular intervals. The purpose is not “me time,” but a time for study, prayer, and evaluation. It might be an hour or two alone on a park bench or an overnight stay in a plush hotel. The point is simply to have time alone for reviewing priorities, evaluating  how you are doing, and pinpointing areas that need to change. A “Sit-and-Plan Strategy” is even offered as one way to approach this time.

This is the tip that has influenced my life the most, aiding me in regularly stopping to evaluate the direction my life is going. (A side benefit of reading this book grew from the Mahaneys’ description of their family vacation “Outlet Day.” We thought this outing sounded so fun, that it has become an annual tradition with all my daughters and daughters-in-law. We look forward each year to a weekend at the beach, with an Outlet Day as part of the activities!)

  • Consider people. This tip focuses on being more intentional and purposeful in our relationships, and offers counsel on friends to choose and friends to leave.
  • Plan to depend. Fifteen minutes of planning at the outset of each day will help us use time most wisely and avoid procrastination. The book comes to a close with a discussion of formal and informal planning systems, advice for dealing with interruptions (or “sovereign deliveries,” as they label them), a reminder that we can do nothing outside of our complete dependence on God, and a call to use the time God has given us in a way that will bring His “well done” when we stand before Him and give an account for the way we have lived our lives.

I read this book for the first time when it first came out in 2007. I’ve re-read it again since then, and writing this review has me all revved up to re-read it again! I’ve not engaged in a full-fledged personal retreat for quite awhile. It’s time to reevaluate as I enter a new, done-with-homeschooling stage of my life.

I can’t imagine a woman who would not benefit in some way from reading this book. It’s an easy 94-page read with life-changing potential!

Enter our giveaway of Shopping for Time by sharing one time-saving tip in the comment section. You can enter as many times as you would like by offering separate time-saving tips in separate comments. We will randomly select a winner on July 20!

« « Previous post| Next post » »


  1. I rise one hour before everyone else in order to prepare for the day…spiritually and physically. I can definitely tell the difference on the days I choose to sleep longer rather than rising early!

  2. I would love to have this, as I think I could be a better “shopper.”

  3. I double some recipes (such as pizza dough) and make enough for two meals. Just that little bit of extra effort frees up time on the following day.

  4. I’ve learned to delegate more and more chores to my very able-bodied children! For example, by having them put fresh sheets on their own beds once a week and put away their own clean laundry, it allows me to focus on other household duties.

  5. Waking before all others in the house, while it is still dark and quiet, gives me some uninterrupted time to read the Bible and pray, read email, blogs, and news, etc. By the time everyone is awake, I move away from the computer and focus on the daily tasks at hand.

  6. I use the time while folding laundry or doing the dishes to have the children read to me, play a verbal game with them or just spend quality time with them!

  7. I get up early with my husband. We have our quiet time then are able to talk about the day to come before our three blessings wake up.

  8. Make doctor’s appointments for first thing in the morning. Run errands and grocery shop early morning also. Do everything you can during off-hours to save LOTS of time (and stress!).

  9. Cook dinner while returning phone calls.

  10. Scan documents into computer files. As long as the files are organized, you’ll be able to access them quicker than paper files.

  11. Pre-sort your laundry as soon as they get dirty. Have separate baskets for your whites, coloreds, woolens, and delicates.

  12. After washing, hang your clothes or put them away on a drying rack right away. This will save you a lot of time during ironing; some items naturally dry without creases when they’re hung to dry.

  13. While using kitchen utensils during food preparation, have a tub of hot water nearby to slip them into. Pre-soaking means that washing your utensils will require less time because most of the gunk has already softened and will easily come off.

  14. I clean the bathroom while my child is taking her bath at night, and I keep some hand weights under the bathroom counter and also do upper body exercises while she is in the bath.

  15. Buying everything you need in one go also saves you plenty of time when you reduce the number of times that you have to go to the grocery store. Getting a month’s supply of soap and laundry detergent, for example, means that you won’t have to go back and forth after every few days to re-stock.

  16. Try shopping online. This saves traveling time, buying time, and queuing time in a store. This will only be effective, though, if you are familiar with your grocery list and the layout of your online store.

  17. Always have your email accessible to you. You can do this by creating a shortcut tab to your mailbox in your browser window.

  18. One “tip” that has really saved my time and sanity is to make a meal plan. I plan out all the meals we will eat for each month in advance. Then when it is time to make dinner I don’t have to think about it or look frantically around the kitchen for the ingredients. It has really saved me!!

  19. When it comes to seeing your friends and relatives, instead of seeing them individually, you can invite them over all at the same time to visit you for a simple gathering or during a special occasion, like your birthday.

  20. Another time saver is to make meals in the crock pot! I have a few crock pot recipes that involve nothing more than dumping all the ingredients in the pot. No chopping, sauteing, pre cooking! Wonderful! And you can do it all in the morning and have a delicious hot meal at dinner time!

  21. Saturday night…. the kids are bathed, clothes ironed, shoes set out, so that Sunday mornings go as smoothly as possible!!

  22. Sadly, it would save a nice chunk of time to get off the computer and stop doing this!! LOL!

  23. Set a timer when you get on the computer. A “quick email check” can quickly turn into an hour long browsing if you are not careful.

  24. Make a month’s worth of menu plans at one time. Write out a complete weekly grocery list for each week at the same time. Right before you shop, cross off the things you already have. (It also helps to write all of your items in the order you come to them in the store. That way, you don’t spend time running back to the produce section for the lettuce you didn’t notice squeezed between the hot dogs and the tortillas on your list.)

  25. I’ve been suffering from a severe case of “baby brain” for the last 5 years. I cannot seem to hold a thought. So I carry a notebook around (or use the white board in our kitchen) to keep track of things I need to do, items I need to buy or topics I want to research. It helps to just write it down and then work on it when I finish the task I am already working on. (I am the easily-distracted sort…)

  26. Here is my time saving tip: I brown about 6 lbs of ground turkey all at once in my largest skillet. After it is drained and rinsed in hot water (to further remove grease,) I divide it up into 1lb portions and freeze. Actually you get less shrinkage with ground turkey than beef, so it goes farther. Then I freeze each portion in a separated container. When a recipe called for ground meat, just defrost and add to the other ingredients. It makes putting recipes together much quicker and you only have to clean up the greasy mess once!

  27. When I think about it, I will pray and ask God for specific wisdom for things I don’t know what to do with as I sort through the stuff that piles up. He has some really good ideas! =)

  28. I also prefer to get up before everyone else to have my time with the Lord. I get so distracted with surrounding noises when the kids are up. The day is definitely better when I have a peaceful “quiet time.”

  29. Menu planning/organized grocery list is a must!

  30. Handle mail only once. Take all envelopes and junk straight to the trash can, files papers (or at least have a place/folder for “to file” papers), and pay bills or place in “bills to pay” location that is exclusively for them. All grocery ads and catalogs go in a shopping bag that gets cleaned out periodically. Voila! No junk paper sitting out anywhere.

    Another time saver is a master shopping list for your household needs. Laminated, you simply check off what you need as you run out. This can be done separately for special stores that are out of the way, such as a bulk store or farm stand you love. When hubby is driving that way, your list will be ready for him.

    Thirdly, make it your rule to never say “yes” until you talk to your husband.

    Loving this thread and would LOVE to have this book to read and share with friends.

  31. We get everyone one of those mess bags that you can buy at Wal-Mart to wash lingerie or other delicates in. Each child has one with their name on it (or two) that they keep in their room or hamper. They put their white socks in it when they are dirty. When it starts to get full (or once a week) we wash them with white clothes. Everybody’s socks come out pre-sorted and it saves tons of time. Each child can then take their own socks and sort. I don’t do this with colored socks as they are much easier to find the match in a large pile of socks (from eight people), but this could be done also.

  32. I cook my meat, and prepare as many meals as I can ahead of time, so each dinner time I have only 15 minutes of prep time remaining. The meat, and meals are ready in the freezer waiting to be thawed in the morning, and I can make the salad and sides while the meal is heating.

  33. Computer time and Internet can eat my time up if I cam not careful. Keeping a running list of everything I need to do and look up on the computer helps me to have a once (or twice) a day computer time without wasting too much time. If I don’t, something will pop into my head and I’ll rush to the computer “before I forget to do it”, leaving something else undone. Inevitably, one search leads to another and another and an hour goes quickly by and my original chore left undone.

  34. I simply make a to do list and I check it off as I go. I try to accomplish the ones that have the most priority first and then if I don’t finish the rest, I add it to tomorrows list. Thanks for the entry!

  35. Thank you for this opportunity – I am always looking for ways to manage my home better 🙂

  36. Use your freezer!! Double meals that freeze well and freeze half. Throw a whole bag of frozen chicken breast into the crockpot, cover with water, and cook. shred and put into individual serving bags and freeze. Brown large amounts of hamburger meat at once and divide into 1 or 2 pound freezer bags. Having meat already cooked for all your chicken and beef meals saves SO much time! And keep an inventory of how much precooked meat and freezer meals are in your freezer so when it starts getting low you can have a “cooking day” and restock!

  37. I lOve these ideas! Especially sorting socks in bags before washing! My tip is to do chores completely in one room then move on. So many times I see something that needs to be Put away in another room and then go to that room only to find something else that needs to be done forgetting what I was first doing. Keeping a basket to put the stuff in as I clean would help.

  38. I have learned that many hands do make light work! I try to train my little ones at a young age to be helpful around the house.

  39. One of my best time saving tip is that I address any discipline issues with my children as they arise. I do not ignore them or put them off until later. I use the tools for character training from your website. Because of this there is minimal fuss with chores, shopping and each other. This has been one of the greatest blessing in my house. It is amazing how much time it will free up.

  40. I have a menu planned out for four weeks. It includes our favorite meals and one night a week for leftovers. I often change a meal or two a week if there is something else we would like, but this plan gives me something to fall back on when I’m too busy to plan a menu and grocery list.

  41. I listen to the Bible while I am doing other work in the kitchen or bedrooms on my iPad. Faith comes by hearing!

  42. I have a 4 month old, and I find that doing as much as I can to prepare her bottles ahead of time really helps, especially for those middle of the night feedings. It also helps me to be ready for those spur-of-the-moment trips out of the house. I can just grab the prepared water bottles, pre-measured formula, and clean bottle and hit the door!

  43. Meal planning is such a time saver for me. It saves my husband from the dreaded question each night of “What do you want for supper?” When I spend 30 minutes, plan meals and make a grocery list of things needed for the recipes, I save time during the week by knowing what we are eating and in my weekly shopping. It doesn’t hurt that I usually spend less at the grocery store when I plan too!

  44. Another time saver I use, although it might be along a different train of thought… when I know that we are going to be pressed for time, I begin talking to my 6 year old son several hours ahead of time, explaining the scenario and what I will need him to do to help us be on time. I don’t harp on it or nag, but I do remind him as it comes up in conversation. So by the time “crunch time” arrives, he has heard the plan several times and there is not as much arguing and searching for shoes…

  45. Love the ideas – especially the socks one!
    For shopping, I print out a standard grocery list which includes warehouse club, grocery store, hardware store, common specialty stores, with items listed in the order they appear in the store. I print out a stack of them and attach them to the refrigerator with magnet clips. As we get low on something, I circle it on the list or have a child do it. My son even keeps a pen with the list. At shopping time, I pull off the top sheet, fold it, and put it in my purse. I date the list, so that I don’t get confused if I leave an old list in my purse 🙂 When I start my new list, I transfer anything that didn’t get purchased the previous week to the new list (but sometimes I mess up here).

  46. I also use a Bible app on my Android phone. When I am in a doctor’s office or another place where I have to wait, I use this to catch up (or get ahead) on my Bible reading or Sunday School lesson studies. I can change translations, highlight passages, and make notes on bookmarked Scripture. It really helps!

  47. Planning out my menus for the week and making shopping lists saves me lots of time and headaches!

    This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance to win!

  48. I plan out a menu for 1-2 months. I keep a standard menu on my computer which I can easily print out and have “default” lunch & dinner ideas. Next to the “planned” menu item column, I have a blank column for listing what we actually ate, in case we eat something different. Also, this helps with remembering to eat leftovers as much as possible, because I highlight any meals with food left over and can easily see which day we ate that. (Sometimes little containers of leftovers get buried in the back of the refrigerator, only to be discovered when they’re too old to eat 🙂

  49. Cooking & freezing meat ahead of time, as others have said. I freeze browned hamburger and shredded, cooked chicken – oh, so helpful! I know some people even add onions while cooking their hamburger to save more time later.

  50. Know what your FASTEST MEAL is. Sometimes, as plans change, I may need to come up with a dinner very quickly, so I try to keep the items for my fastest meal on hand always.

  51. Thanks for the chance to win! I always shop with a list, as it saves me both time and money. 🙂

  52. Keep a standard packing list for vacations, listing items by person, if that’s helpful. On the way home from a trip, jot down notes of items on your list you really didn’t need and other items you wish you had had. I also list meal and snack ideas for our trip, whether it’s a driving & motel trip or camping and cooking over an open fire – my favorite!

  53. I have a morning list to get done, a list for each portion of the day…when it is written down, I can conquer the list. When it is an idea, I can weasel my way out of it. I bought the Maxwell’s ‘Manager’s of Their Chores’ book, and made a chorepack for myself. I don’ t always actually wear it, but they are my ‘list’!

  54. I know someone who keeps a basket for ITEMS TO BE RETURNED/ DELIVERED TO OTHERS, especially for taking to church on Sunday. It also helps to label each item with the name of the person to receive it, so that children can deliver the items, once you’re at church.

    Keeping a container/basket/bag for items to be returned to the library, items to return to stores (write these on your grocery list too), etc. can be helpful too.

  55. I am simplifying by getting rid of things we don’t use, and organizing the things we are keeping. I know this is no new revelation for many, but it is a learning process for me. As I work through different rooms of the house, it is much easier to find what I need, so I don’ t waste time looking for things!!!

  56. Use a menu-planning software to store favorite recipes, create weekly menus, and print out grocery shopping lists.

  57. Keep an inventory of items that are stored in your home or elsewhere, so you know what box to look in and where it’s located. Label the outside of the box to match your inventory (number each box).

    Don’t keep too much stuff, because you’ll just end up spending way too much time MANAGING YOUR STUFF! That’s what I’m facing. I’m working through and clearing out some of it, and wow, does that help!

  58. Keep in your purse a current list of children’s clothes & shoe sizes and what items they need in their wardrobe, so that when you come across a garage sale, you are prepared to buy only what you really need.

  59. I also ‘save time’ by doing that which is best. When I leave the floor washing to wait until later because a little boy obviously needs a story and cuddle, I have time later to do it, because his needs are met and then he is happily playing. And I am happy too! If I push on to do the floor, or whatever, when a child’s need for something, even if it is ‘just’ an emotional need, is obvious, the floor washing and child issues take MUCH more time.

  60. Trying to stay on top of the cleaning and organizing (windows, closets, floors, kids rooms/drawers, cupboards) takes much less time than letting these tasks turn into monsterous tasks. I know, because I have been there, done that!

  61. When traveling in the car, carry a portable potty. You can even make one yourself.

    Always carry baby wipes in the car, even if you’re past the diaper stage.

  62. I make double-batches of food when I can. Then I just pull it out and heat it up!

  63. I would love to win this book- I asked for the Loving the Little Years that you reviewed for Mother’s Day and am thoroughly enjoying it- I’m sure this would be a hit for me too!
    1. I often cook once, eat twice (or thrice!) and use the crock pot.
    2. Setting clothes out the night before (or choices of clothes for older ones) if we are going somewhere in the morning gets us out the door faster.
    3. I try to have the kitchen sink empty of dishes in the evening before I goto bed, it makes morning less stressful and oldest DD 8 can usually handle breakfast dishes.
    4. I try to get up before the kids but right now I’m nursing a baby so I’m in the “sleep when the baby sleeps” stage.

    Thanks so much for your ministry- we have always enjoyed and gleaned from each of your products we’ve been privledged to read, see, or own!!

  64. I try to cook and freeze ahead. Still working on it!

  65. I have started getting up early to do my workouts so that I have more time in the evenings to cook, clean and just spend with my family.

  66. On Sunday night I look at our calendar for the week and all the activities that are planned. I send hubby an email with a break-down of where we will be everyday for the week/what we will be doing/events and it is a huge help. He can plan around things we are doing together as a family and we usually avoid schedule conflicts.

    LOVE your blog! Every post is a treasure!

  67. I always keep books, vocabulary cards and math flashcards in my purse and in the car. One child can read to me or practice other lessons while we wait for the others to get out of dentist appointments, sporting practice etc. We use that otherwise wasted time wisely.

  68. I am starting to see time saved for myself as my children are learning to help in household chores. For my 6-year-old, I have made a cleaning bathroom checklist and put in a page protector to keep under the sink with the cleaning supplies. I walked through the steps with her a few times to train her, but now all I have to say is “Time to clean the bathroom!” and she can handle it all herself, saving me 10 or 15 minutes that I can spend on other household chores! The key was helping her do it until she could do everything properly alone.

  69. Definitely meal planning! My number one time saver these days!

  70. I keep a running list of what meals we eat during each month. Then the next time I plan meals for that month, I already have the bulk of my meals planned and simply need to “put them on the calendar.” By buying all but perishable items on one shopping trip, it keeps me from spending extra and then I don’t have to make many trips to the store with the little ones in tow! 🙂

  71. There have been some great ideas shared! One thing I try to do often is double (or triple) recipes that I’m making so I can put some into the freezer for a good, home-cooked, yet quick meal on a day that we need something in a jiffy!

  72. Sadly, I don’t have any tips. I have become a night owl in caring for one of our children who has a chronic illness. And have realized that overnight care has kept her much healthier than not.
    My dear hubby has said that I have become quite good at micro-managing my daughter’s care. He just wishes I could do so with the rest of the house. (yikes!)
    But rising early is very difficult for me.

    That said, I do try to make lists. Not always successfully. There are many days I get so caught up in the ‘stuff’ of the day. The usual stuff, kid taxi, this is the season of road trips so packing/laundry etc. And then there are other days, especially when I am on the schedule at church, whether for prayer, communion speaker, worship leader etc. that I tend to wholly focus on that and neglect the basic stuff of the house.
    neither is good. need balance.

    need to catch myself up on the comments and glean from your wonderful readers. 🙂

  73. I’ve learned a lot just by reading these comments! One of my favorite ways to save time is by menu planning, making one shopping trip for 2 weeks’ worth of food, and organizing my shopping list by the store aisle (roughly) so I am not wasting time running back and forth all over the store!

  74. I laminated a grocery list arranged by my particular grocery store so when I make my list, I check what I need, go aisle by aisle & check off what I got. It makes shopping so much faster! No more reading through my paper list to see if I got everything on my list from that aisle. I can easily see what I need from each aisle, what I found & what I need to go elsewhere to find.

  75. I think the most important time-saving technique I’ve had to learn is to limit movies/TV shows and “socializing” on the computer. Earlier in our marriage I had time for stuff like that, but now it’s either that or reading if I’m going to fit in all the demands of our growing family.

    I haven’t read any of the Mahaney’s books and this one sounds like a good one for me right now!

  76. Time saving tip #2: keep a stocked pantry (including building blocks for meals in the freezer like taco meat or spaghetti sauce) and have enough recipes that use those ingredients that you can slack off on meal planning and still eat home cooked food. There’s a wide variety of recipes that can be simplified to use the kinds of things you can keep on hand.

  77. If you have a baby, breastfeed! It’s a myth that breastfeeding is more time-consuming. When baby’s hungry, I just sit down with him and nurse him- no prep, no cleanup. And during the time he’s nursing, I get a few minutes to catch my breath & relax, and I can use that time to mentally regroup and plan what I’m going to do next.

  78. I try not to log onto facebook or let myself read blogs until the kids are in bed and my “downtime” starts. These are real time-suckers for me if I do them during the day.

  79. Keep everything in its place and teach the children to do the same. It’s such a time waster to spend 10 minutes each time you are looking for something because it was not put away in the right place.

  80. On our “Town Day” we use CD’s in the car for Bible study time. It’s an hour drive to town so this allows for a long listening time.

  81. Train children from the beginning so they know what is expected of them. It’s a time waster to have to stop constantly to address bad behavior when it much of it could have been avoided with proper training early on.

  82. Get enough sleep! When I’m sleep deprived and exhausted, I drag my feet all day long and it wastes time. I find if I get enough sleep, I’m more alert, quicker. and much more efficient.

  83. One of my favorites is one my husband thought up. Amongst all the craziness of leaving for a vacation, right before we leave, we all clean house like crazy people so it looks awesome when we return. You have no idea how good it feels to walk in to a clean welcoming home (our home) after an exhausting vacation with little ones. I know we have tons to unpack and wash so not having to battle pre-vacation mess with post-vacation mess makes those few cleaning moments before the trip worth it.

  84. My husband and I are both night owls and really enjoy our together time in the evenings after the kids go to bed. I find that if I can spare a few minutes to spruce the kitchen up before bed it’ll lift my spirits in the morning at breakfast when things seem to move so slowly.

  85. Analyze what times there seems to be the most tension and think about how you can streamline it and take out as many variables and bumps you possibly can. An example for us is Sunday morning. We have to get up early to travel to our church. So if I can go in and pick out what we all will wear the next day and set out breakfast bowls the night before we can get out the door quicker.

  86. A favorite way to save time is to make up extra when preparing dinner and freeze it! I love buying myself extra time in the afternoon to knit or sew or crochet or read, and knowing that all I have to do is warm up our dinner is a great way to do so. 🙂

  87. Fairly consistent scheduling is a great time saver, the kids know what is coming next and I know when I will have time to do my chores. It takes the guesswork out and also removes lots of frustration which saves lots of time when you avoid those battles 🙂 I also find that if you take that extra time to teach your child how to do various chores, they can then take over freeing you up for more important things.

  88. A time saving tip we do in our home: Double the recipe that you are making. This creates either leftovers for another meal or else a meal that can be frozen and taken out on one of those days when you’re on the run. It’s wonderful not to have the dilemma of what to make or else picking up something fast foodish which doesn’t necessarily fit a person’s eating plans.

  89. Teach your children to help while they are young.

  90. make double what you need and freeze 1/2 for later

  91. use a crockpot

  92. I try to make sandwiches for the kids’ school lunches on Sunday and freeze an entire weeks worth so it is one less thing to do on school mornings.

  93. if you like to bake, make up batches of the dry ingredients and store them in individual containers/baggies.

  94. I post the bible verses I am trying to memorize in my bathroom so I can review them while I brush my teeth, do my makeup, dry my hair, etc.

  95. organize your clothes as you hang them, it makes it easier to find stuff when you need it.

  96. Make snack size bags of crackers, fruit, cut veggies, etc. so my kids or I can grab a bag and go.

  97. Establish a place for commonly used items. And enforce the “return to the right place” rule. Much time is wasted and when no one knows where the scissors are 🙂

  98. prepare the night before if you have to go somewhere early the next day. I get the diaper bag stocked, clothes picked out and the van loaded as much as possible.

  99. I try to prepare breakfast as much as possible in advance the night before.

  100. Meal planning, meal planning, meal planning!! This is something I am still working at, but my week is definitely smoother if a plan our meals ahead.

  101. Create buckets/baskets/containers for specific events/activities. I have one for swim stuff (bathtowels and bathuing suits); one for kids drawing/coloring; one for picnics; one for baseball; etc. Much time is saved when you can go get one container with all the needed items. Also consider using a large tote bag where appropriate – grab and go out the door in a flash!

  102. Time Save for Large Families: We have 4 young boys; 2 in each bedroom. Each room has one laundry bin. When washing/drying, the laundry is not mixed between rooms. This saves time sorting clothes among 4 children. Not sure how well this go over when they are teens 😉

  103. I found it helps to pack my daughter’s diaper bag the night before we go anywhere.

  104. When looking through a magazine, rip out the pages that interest you. There are two variations/options: 1) skim mag and rip out to read thoroughly later – lighter to carry around to appointments and read while you wait. 2) rip out pages and file for future reference. Its easy to find an article in a folder marked with a category than sifting through magazines!

  105. I cook/freeze meat ahead of time to make meal times more of a breeze!

  106. I also keep a weekly/upcoming events notes on my white board in my kitchen. My white board is also my prayer requests/ praise list so as I spend time doing dishes/cooking/etc. I can rejoice in God’s goodness and bring request’s to Him!

  107. Time is saved when only correspondence is in your e-mail inbox. Create a separate email account for shoppping/retailers. P.S. This will save you money too becuase if you are too busy to look at the email box for shopping, you wont be tempted by all the sale items 🙂

  108. Read Christian books, magazines, etc. while waiting during child’s activities. This allows more time for getting in the “real” word during quiet time. Planning a menu for the week helps too, and spouse can get involved in the shopping or cooking more easily as well. These two hints are very helpful to me in making time more purposeful.

  109. Double a recipe and freeze half! One for tonight and one for later on those dr appointment/errand-filled days

  110. If you are not a morning person & have to get up early to be somewhere, plan ahead the night before by laying out clothes for you & whoever you get ready (i.e. children and you can have the children do their own) also if you have stuff to take with you, pack as much of that as you can. This saves so much on running around like a chicken with your head cut off the next morning and you’re less likely to forget something that was suppose to go with you.

  111. I like to set out all the clothes, non-perishable food, dishes & diaper bag the night before we have something early in the morning like church, a trip or early appointment!

  112. We plan out our daily errands so that we get everything done in that area before crossing town or going back home. We try to arrange the times so that we don’t have to back track.

  113. I have a “master list” of all the staples we most frequently use… I made it on my computer so it’s easy to read & it’s sectioned according to how things are located in our favorite grocery store to save time as well. Each week I pull out my list, check off what I need & quantity!

  114. I hang all my shirts even kid shirts in the closet so I don’t have to worry about me folding them all and them unfolding them all just to get 1 shirt. LOL. And it leaves room in the bedroom for more playroom. All undies go in the bathroom under the sink for easy after bath time dressing. 🙂

  115. I love my Swiffer duster and Clorox cleaning wipes which help me is saving time with the upkeep of the house…I’m REALLY interested in reading about the personal retreat mentioned in the book. PICK ME!

  116. I do all the ironing on one day when the kids are napping when I want to save time. And as someone mentioned before, I make double of certain recipes…especially to pull out for breakfast on Sunday’s when everything can be so rushed and hectic.

  117. One time-saving tip I have stumbled across accidentally–buy in bulk! Since I have been buying more and more in bulk (and preserving food bought in bulk) because of my large family, I don’t have to go to the store as often. Since a trip to the store is 45 minutes in just drive time, I save at least a couple of hours by not making a trip every week.

  118. Sometimes its best to just get up and do it, then plan plan schedule schedule. Just do it.

  119. I used to spend a lot of time doing laundry with 4 kids. I got each child a hamper and washed their clothes seperately. It helps with sorting and trying to figure out what belongs to whom. As I fold the clothes I sort them by category which makes putting away a breeze.

  120. I do many of the things already listed. I also have learned to let my kids help put away the clean clothes. You would not believe how much time this saves me. When they help, they run back and forth with an armload each time. Even the toddler gets in on the action taking one little outfit a time to her dresser.

  121. I keep a magnetic pad on my fridge so I can jot down what is getting low before it runs out. This way there are no special trips to the store, no forgetting what u ran out of, and not having to spend alot of time trying to compose a list. I’m analytical too and know my store routine so I write my list in the order of back of store to front so I don’t have to “go back” and get something I forgot. I also have a separate column for other store items that are not in grocery so I can get those first, who wants melted ice cream? 😉

  122. ok, time saving tip. Um, use a mattress protection pad under your potty training toddler’s sheets. That is lame, I know, but I am looking to you all to learn. Thanks for the giveaway.

  123. I hang our shirts and trousers on the line ON THEIR HANGERS! Many things can go straight into the wardrobe from the line (without ironing!) if they are hung on a hanger instead of pegged up. My Mum always did this, but I have only recently tried it- it really works!

  124. I’ve cut out idols in my life and learned that “me” time was an idol.

  125. To save time I do weekly meal planning with a grocery list. Then we only buy what is on the list (if possible). I also presort my laundry and have taught my children to “do the laundry”. I am working on getting up early and not having a” line drip” for my email/computer. God is really convicting me about the computer time! So He will help me and I will follow.

  126. Getting up early is probably the most important thing I can think of. And that’s hard for this night owl to say!

  127. CROCKPOT, is my best friend , especially during the school year.

  128. Train the children to obey you at the first request. Letting them ignore you, whine, argue and resist will suck up lots of time over the day and leave you tired out. The same goes for bed time. Train them to go straight to bed at bed time instead of the 2 hour fight.

    I could have made this more than one post to increase my odds, but I’m shopping for time! 🙂



  129. return phone calls while on a walk

  130. When making dinner, I know what my meals are going to be the next few days so if I need cheese for the next 2 nights I grate enough for both recipes, same goes with cutting up veggies, etc.

  131. I will put together outfits for the week so when the kids get up they can grab their own clothes for the day. Sometimes they pick the wrong shirt with the wrong shorts but I try not to make a big deal about it 🙂

  132. I find that I save time when I don’t put off the things that I know I have to do, such as dishes, and folding the laundry. It never takes as long as I think that it will to get these things done, but when I put them off, they tend to pile up and the job lasts much longer. 🙂

  133. This book looks great! Thank you for the opportunity to win it.

    One way I (sometimes) manage time is by using the same time for 2 tasks eg listening to a child read to me while I have a cup of tea; or learning/reviewing a memory verse while kneading bread etc.

  134. Christina Blalock

    My husband and I have bought in bulk when we can and stored it at home. This saves money, I never run out of things like wheat, oats, rice, meats, etc. And my grocery trips are shorter because I have less to buy when I go. We also stockpile items when they are on sale 🙂

  135. I try to “give a portion to my handmaidens” each morning. Washing machine, dryer, crockpot, empty dishwasher-the kids have simple jobs first thing in the morning as well.

  136. Planning meals a week in advance, and using the Crockpot quite often! 🙂 Thank you for the nice review and giveaway!

  137. I use a master list of the aisles at my local shopping centre and then break up my shopping list into the correct aisles. I only go down the aisles on my list and hence save time and money as I am less prone to adding “additional” items into my trolley.

  138. I read and article once about shopping lists. It really changed my life. I now have 3 magnetic lists on my refrigerator. Above one list is the name of the grocery store. Above the second list is the name of …. a store like target or walmart or kmarts. Above the third list is a name of a warehouse type store like Sams or Costco.

    So, when ever I discover that I need to buy something, I put it on the correct list. When I leave to go to that store, the list is already made! Yeaa! Better yet, I’m not looking all over a combined list looking for what to buy since everything on that list is only for that store. 🙂

  139. We have one place for the children’s books and a separate place for library books. The library books go on a small shelf that is located at the intersection of the start of the hallway to leave (easy to see on the way out the door) and the living room.

    The children are trained to look at the book after reading it and then return it to the proper area. This way, we are not spending time (and money) looking for lost libary books.

  140. In order to share this one, I will have to confess that I have trouble organizing papers. It’s really bad. The ones that are bills, to do lists, new project, papers from the insurance that I need to call and ask about, etc. You know, the pile that most people either put into a box or they use folders and possibly a file cabinet. Not me. It doesn’t work. So…

    I bought a wall pocket chart – a very LArge pocket chart. Each pocket holds 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper and there are 27 pockets! So now, one is labeled bills, doctors papers, etc. I can SEE the labels! So now I remember what to do and papers are not getting lost in a “To do pile”.

  141. I learned a tip from Elizabeth Elliot years ago on her radio broadcast, Gateway To Joy. She stated that we should read a newspaper standing. All important news is easily read in a short period of time – all other text is mostly time-consuming fluff. I suppose we could transfer Mrs. Gren’s advice to modern literacy as well; reading our email and Facebook page while standing.

  142. I clean the bathroom while my little children are bathing!

  143. Cook extra ground meat and freeze it for meals at another time.

  144. I order a lot of things online so I don’t spend time driving all over town looking for things. Also, order from a food co-op!

  145. Streamline breakfast or other regular activities by storing consistently used items near the place where they will be used. For example, my coffee and filters (which I use nearly every morning) are in the cupboard right above the coffee maker, stored with the plastic containers instead of the food pantry.

  146. This is a funny one…but for those who use little potty’s for potty training it is a great tip and time saver. I always put a coffee filter in our little potty. It fits perfect and then when the ‘poo’ is in there, I just carefully pull out the filter and let the poo fall in the toilet. Throw away the filter and the bottom of the little potty is still clean!!! Yay!

  147. Limit online time, like visiting FB only once a day or *gasp* only on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s. ; ) Also, use a program like Google Reader to facilitate reading blogs you like to follow (blogs like this one!).

  148. As much as possible, buy bulk. It helps diminish your shopping time and sometimes your budget! Along with that, make a master list of items you buy regularly along with several spaces for additional ones. Print off several, then stick them on your refrigerator. If an reg. item is needed, just check/circle it. Add any other non-reg. items to list. I’ve found that I’m much more efficient when I list shop.

  149. Thanks, Shanna, for the potty training tip. We’re about to embark on the potty training journey. This will come in handy.

    P.S. I, too, clean my bathroom while my kids are taking baths. I sweep it before calling them, so I can use any spilled bathwater to wipe up the floor. ; )

  150. I do my grocery lists on the computer. I have a master list for Costco of everything we buy there. I just highlight and change the color of type to red for those items that we need and keep those that we don’t need black. It makes it easy to figure out what we need when the entire list is right there in front of me. I also have a regular weekly grocery list with all our usual weekly items already on it. Then I just have to add whatever specific items I want to buy for that particular week’s meals.

  151. The “me time” issue is one I struggle with daily. To balance between selfishness and much needed re energising is tough!

  152. After reading the blogs, I wonder how one could shop online for groceries?

  153. How do I do it when I have 8 children and no outside help, like with family or grandparents? It’d tough to be an island.

  154. My favorite, at least at this point, time saving practices is to clip coupons while my husband drives. That time is often spent just sitting, so it’s a great way to tackle a more mundane task and I have great company while doing it.

  155. This books sounds great! One trick I’ve found is a clothing shelf…a couple of years ago, I found a fabric hanging shelf – the kind often used for sweaters – at a discount store. These are in bright colors and each shelf is labeled (Monday through Saturday). I bought one for each of my boys. When I do laundry, I put a complete outfit in for each day. Each morning, they pull out an outfit and get ready – no last minute searching for socks or debating about which shirt to wear.

  156. Jessica Perea (Mom of 5)

    Starting dinner in the morning leaves me with more time for my husband when he comes home from work, and we aren’t scrambling to have dinner ready.

  157. Jessica Perea (Mom of 5)

    Simply being organized is my biggest time saver!

  158. Jessica Perea (Mom of 5)

    Laying out clothes the night before a big day. Seems like it takes so much more time in the morning if we don’t do this simple task.

  159. As a mom of little ones… I don’t get much time for grooming, so while the kids are in the tub, I take time to do those special things for myself, like pluck my eyebrows!!! 🙂

  160. I buy 10+ pounds of ground beef at a time and brown it all but 1-2 pounds (to use for meatloaf, meatballs, etc.). Then I put 2 cups in freezer bags. Makes it super fast and easy to make spaghetti, tacos, hamburger veggie soup, etc. Sometimes I even get fancy and throw in a chopped onion to the beef. This not only saves time, but money as it is always cheaper to buy beef in bulk.

  161. I make up dry mixes of the foods my family likes most. I make my own ranch dressing (no MSG) so I make 10 packets at once of the seasonings. I’ll make several bathes of cornbread mix, muffin mix, pancake mix, etc. You do not need a special cookbook to do this; while you have out the ingredients for what you are making, just put the dry portion in a baggie so it is ready to go for next time. Then all you will need is the wet ingredients. Saves time and money.

  162. I am trying out something new for homeschooling this year. I am copying, planning, and getting everything together that I need for the coming up school year. I have 36 folders (one for each week) and all copies and workbook pages are put into the appropriate week. I’ve got my plans done as far as what needs to be done each week, and all that needs to be done is to write down what day we did them on. This should save loads of planning time each week.

  163. I try to do one load of laundry 5 days a week. This way the wash doesn’t pile up and we always have clean clothes to wear. I also have my little boys put away and fold their own clothes. I have had to let go of perfectionism and realize that the clothes are not going into the drawer folded just the way I like it.

  164. One time saving time that has helped me on ” big” grocery day is to take a few minutes before I leave to organize my list and stops. I go through and turn my one grocery list into several shorter lists organized by store and then put those stores and other stops in an efficient order. This way I waste less gas running back and forth over the same ground and I’m less likely to forget to stop at the library while I’m next to Spicer’s. While it takes an extra 10 minutes before leaving the house, it has saved me untold hours of running “back” to somewhere I was just next-door-to because I forgot a particular item was only at that one store, if that makes any sense.

  165. Most morning we wake up to a healthy, filling warm breakfast by starting it in the crock pot the night before. Having breakfast done before we even get up gives us a great jump on the day, it is especially great for Sunday mornings. On days that we have somewhere to go we have the little children eat on a sheet on the kitchen floor so that when we’re done we can shake the sheet out in the back yard, this saves time because we don’t have to sweep or wash down the table and chairs, just shake out the sheet and toss it in the laundry :)!

  166. “Less (things) is best” is my motto for saving time and energy!

  167. I take a few moments every Thursday, when I get next weeks flyers, and write a menu for the following week and a shopping list. Makes for an easier week. especially when the children ask what’s for snack . I say go look at the menu list.

  168. assign chores many hands make light work:)

  169. “The purpose is not “me time,” but a time for study, prayer, and evaluation.” This has sold me on the book. Thanks.

    As for a time-saving tip…schedule. I just re-started this about a week ago and, goodness, but I’ve got a lot done. 🙂 I don’t even know why I stopped before. Guess I thought my life was too busy. Yeah, that’s kinda ironic. 😀 If I can also recommend another book, an e-book called 31 Days to Clean. It’s really helped me get a right focus of why I ought to be doing what I’m supposed to be doing. What an impact this has had on my house AND my life.

  170. I rise before the family, and pray while driving to the gym, followed by a quick grocery stop on the way home, just in time for waking kids and breakfast to be made.

  171. Delegating chores to the child(ren) that can do them.

  172. Have older children care for younger children while I plan when I can not get away to plan.

  173. Once a month, I try to take all the kids to their grandparents for a Retreat Day where they can sound the day enjoying each other while I use the quiet time to plan, clean or catch up on reading. That may change this year as I am expecting a new baby any day now and the older 2 children will be going out on different days once a month to learn to cook/sew. The 3rd oldest just wants to go out & spend time with them alone. Child #4 would probably prefer to have at least 1 sibling with her if she went over there.

  174. Pack the diaper bag on Saturday!

  175. Lay out and Iron all church clothing on Saturday evening. Everyone gets baths on Satuday night also.

  176. Group all errands into one day out only if possible and prepare for hunger to strike by packing snacks and water bottles for the kids. Make the day fun as possible.

  177. Facilitate voice mail and email. Prioritze. Return calls that need a response or just give a quick text for a short answer. I prefer email or texts because I can schedule responses when I am not taking care of the children (like after their bedtimes or during naptime).

  178. I started having my son put away his own laundry when he was 4 and now have the second son at 2 1/2 doing his own laundry also. I had a friend who couldn’t imagine her children doing this as things might be wrinkled or put away wrong. To me it saves time, teaches him to do it, and I don’t care if he has wrinkles, he’s a kid!

  179. Have a daily written schedule–my kids like looking at this throughout the day to see what’s coming up. When the kids are in a class/program, I bring paperwork to sort thru/complete while they’re in the class. It’s a great feeling to finish paperwork without interrupting my time with them. Menu plan, grocery shop once a week, and have a “clean out the refrigerator” night for dinner once a week.

  180. Having a general daily schedule helps me to save time because I’m not always wondering what to do next and am able to keep up on the household tasks that are important to my family.

  181. Making sure I exercise most days of the week ends up saving time because I have more energy and feel more alert when I’m getting that consistent physical exertion.

  182. As a stay-at-home-mom with a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old, it can be easy to not have enough time to have deep, meaningful friendships with other women, which can be so beneficial to my family as I process through life, experience the Lord’s challenging in my life through their encouragement and find comfort in others feeling the same ways I am. So I’ve started combining my evening exercise with meeting up with friends by planning to either walk from my house with them to a local trail or meeting up with them at the trail. That way we are able to get in both our exercise and some social time at the same time.

  183. Although it may seem counterintuitive, I’ve found that I save time (and heartache) by taking naps in the afternoon when my 1-year-old and 2-year-old nap. I do lose out on having those extra 1-2 hours of time to do things around the house, but it ends up being better for us all in that I’m much more productive once awake and am also less prone to be irritable with my girls when I am well rested (a trait I’ve experienced since I was a child).

  184. My toddler is a slow and picky eater. Instead of wasting time by hovering over her and nagging her to eat what’s in front of her, not play with her food etc. I use that time to empty or load the dishwasher.

  185. Instead of spending a lot of time (and gas) going to every store that has something on sale that I want, I’ve started price matching at Wal-mart.

  186. I try to take clothes out of the dryer as soon as they are done versus leaving them in over night and having to wait for the dryer to run for a few more minutes to unwrinkle them and/or make sure they are dry (and not just cold because they’ve been in the cold basement all night).

  187. We rarely have evening or weekend plans (other than going to church) which means we don’t waste a lot of time commuting, getting ready to go places etc. Which means more time to spend together as a family and get things done around the house.

  188. I lay down for 20-30 minutes during my daughters nap so that I have the energy to stay up for a couple of hours after she goes to bed so I can have some “me” time, spend time with my husband or work on a house project.

  189. I make a double batch of our favorite dishes and freeze them for an easy dinner in the future. Or sometimes we just eat all of it over the course of a few days, but that means I can skip a night of cooking.

  190. We don’t have a landline which means I avoid wasting time on the phone with salespeople. My cell phone is usually on silent so I am not interrupted by calls on there either. I just check it from time to time and if I can, respond to the voice mail by text or email versus making a phone call since that is often less time consuming.

  191. Whenever there is a good sale on something we use a lot (ie cream soups, spaghetti sauce) I stock up. My goal is to never have to run to the grocery store for an ingredient for whatever I’m cooking that night.

  192. I soak dishes as we use them so I don’t have to spend time scrubbing away hardened leftovers later.

  193. I closed my regular facebook account several years ago as being on there was a major time drainer. I now have a facebook account that does not have any of my personal information (so nobody tries to friend me) that I only use to get coupons from companies.

  194. I created a separate email address that I use when I register for special offers/coupons from companies so that I don’t have to waste time sorting through junk mail in my main email inbox.

  195. I boil chicken on the stove and use some of it in that evenings dish and freeze the rest in a one quart bag so it’s ready to go for another meal.

  196. We made our daughters baby food in bulk and froze it in ice cube trays. So we could defrost cubes as needed and didn’t have to worry about making her meals 3 times a day.

  197. I recently took the time to go through the Favorites on my computer, delete the ones I no longer need and sort most of the rest of them into folders. I haven’t taken the time to count how many favorites I have, but it is A LOT! And it was time consuming trying to find the exact one I was looking for, so having them organized in folders has saved me a lot of time.

  198. I sweep while my daughter eats in her high chair. She loves to watch me sweep and it allows me to clean up the bits of food that she drops while feeding herself in a timely fashion versus letting them dry on the floor and having to go back and soak them before I can scrape them off the floor.

  199. I definately get up early, spend time in the Word and get started on my work early. THE earlier I start, the more I get done!

  200. I listen to Bible Teachings while folding laundry

  201. I always try to cook all my grd. meats and boneless chicken as soon as they come home from the store, then all I have to do is grab bag from the freezer, defrost and it’s ready for casseroles, salads, etc..

  202. Always try accomplishing two things at the same time

  203. I just recently read the Maxwell’s, Managers of Their Chores. We have begun t0 implement the chorepacks, and I am already seeing time free up for me!

  204. Last week I needed to bake three cakes for a supper. By planning a little I could mix them in the same bowl without needing to wash it between the mixes.

  205. Routine!! I am so bad at it but I am trying, I so need this book!

  206. Freezer Cooking and Make-ahead meal save a lot of time.

  207. I follow a lot of blogs… Google Reader saves me so much time!

  208. Shop with a grocery list… it keeps you focused so that you aren’t wandering aimlessly through the store.

  209. Include the kids! Even at two, I would fill a sink of water and let my son “wash dishes” while I cooked dinner– water play and cooking at the same time!

  210. I make a plan at the begining of the day– it helps me stay focused