1. buy a crock pot and use it. Year round, I use this handy kitchen tool before I leave for work to create delicious and nutritious meals for me & PC. I cook chicken, beef and soups in it. 20 minutes in the morning keeps me from stressing over what to have for dinner when I get home. And, best of all, when curling season starts (2 weeks ago), I use it so I don't have to rush home to cook dinner on an early draw night. :)
tonight; beef curry w/ lentils and baby carrots. It took 12 minutes to put together, 7 hours on low and it'll be yummy central when I get home!
2. stock your pantry. Mine is stocked pretty well. I have found a new love in my pantry though: Penzey's stock in a jar. It's concentrated bouillon, basically, for beef, chicken and veggies. I love that the little jar is like 10 cans of stock, but takes up less space. We have lentils, barley, rice, couscous, and quinoa in the house at all times; add chicken with some spice rub and you have dinner.
3. keep the house tidy. It really does matter. For example, on Sunday, I spent a good part of the day tidying the house and I have to say: it's easier for me to currently find and put things away. I'm invested in keeping the house clean (PC is too and if not, after reading this, he will be) and organized b/c I'm not exhausted just looking at the mess around the house.
4. I *love* my to-do lists. I make them at work, I make them at home... they are my "thing."
5. Grocery shop together. PC and I have been grocery shopping together since we moved in together 5 years ago. It's something that we both do to 1) keep ourselves on track (no 4 boxes of ice cream sandwiches) and 2) it engages both of us in the process of selecting our meals.
6. Buy in bulk. Not everything and certainly not all the time. I buy poultry in bulk. I go once a month to my chicken guy in Cambridge and spend $30 and get my chicken for the month. I get thighs, legs, breasts, whole chickens and quarters. And, when I get home, I freeze them in "meal" sizes, in ziplock bags, with the item indicated on the front in sharpie marker.
7. Keep things where you need them. All my spices are the right of my stove b/c that's where I need them. It's not where you need them, it's where *I* need them.
8. try it before you buy it. This is in terms of crafts for me, as I tend to hop into a new hobby all willy nilly and with a $200 investment. No more. I like to sew/quilt and knit. I'm not really into paper crafts, beading, etc.
9. Shop the stash first. I have a lot of stash yarn. I'm slowly working my way through it. When I want to run to the LYS to get new yarn, I head to the back room first in my house. And I shop the stash.
10. Give and get hugs. This simplifies my life b/c it reminds me of what is most important: family & friends. This morning, I hugged PC twice just b/c I needed to be close to him and he gives great hugs. And, luckily for him, I do too!