Hacks for a Better, Easier, Healthier, Everything in 2017

hsd-3953Breezy Mama Editor Lan has some amazing picks for making life a little breezier in 2017 (including a ride service for kids)! From Lan:

Forced to slow down because of back surgery, I had time to take a hard look at my work-life juggling act. I knew I could do better at saving money, saving time, even carve out time for myself. After polling some girlfriends on how they do it, I’m sharing some hacks that will make 2017 even better:

As my daughter got older, helping her with her homework, especially math, became another job. After months of tears, raised voices, and slammed doors, I was able to persuade her to work with a math tutor through Launch.

For a less expensive alternative, a college girlfriend engaged a high school student to teach her middle schooler math. “I pay $20 an hour instead of $120 and he knows how the teacher teaches the material so it is consistent,” she said.

Earn money back
Who wouldn’t want to earn money back for simply shopping? A friend signed up for Earny, a personal assistant bot that automatically helps you get money back when shopping via Chase and Citibank credit cards. They request on your behalf money back on purchases by taking advantage of the price protection benefits offered by credit cards and some e-commerce stores.

An extra set of hands and wheels
Nearly 140 million Americans in 2014 commuted an average of 26 minutes each way to work, according to the U.S. Census. That’s nearly five hours each week. That doesn’t factor in the trips parents make shuttling their kids to and from school and after school activities. That’s weeks of our lives spent commuting!

Lucky California parents can turn to ride services geared towards kids like HopSkipDrive, which was started by three working moms. Parents can sign up for a ride with a CareDriver who has been extensively vetted, fingerprinted and background checked. They will receive notifications of pickups and drop-offs, are provided with personalized code words for pickups and can rely on a live customer service team to address any issues.

Party planning
In an effort to stay involved with my children’s schooling, I signed up to be a class parent. One of the tasks: planning the parent potluck party. Between the emails inviting parents, asking parents about their food donations, RSVPs, etc., I was spending too much time organizing this event.

A girlfriend said she cut her party planning time in half with a new app called Funnster. The app lets you select from a variety of parties or create your own and in one platform, helps you send out the invitation, collect RSVPs, find out who is bringing what, who is donating money, even orders a cleaning service for the next day.

Maximize shopping time
After determining that I make a supermarket run once a day, I bit the bullet and automated purchases of necessities such as paper towels, toilet paper, and cleaning sprays. It helped that online supermarket shopping has gotten easier thanks to new players like Amazon. I personally prefer to support local so I’ve been testing out Fairway.

When ordering online for delivery, it was also easier to buy items in bulk. A girlfriend says she cut down her breakfast duties by cooking large quantities of steel cooked oats in the slow cooker, packaging them in portion-sized containers and freezing them for later use during the week. She also froze other breakfast foods including pancakes and frittatas.

What are your favorite hacks to save time, money and sweat?

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