Making Life Easier - a few simple hacks

I've been looking for ways to simplify my life and makes things easier (always a good goal) and I've run into a few great ideas lately that I wanted to share here.

I had no idea this was even a thing until I saw someone post about it on Instagram. Not every Walmart grocery store participates so you will need to enter your info on the site to see if there's a store near you offering pickup. Man, I wish this had been around when my kids were little! All you have to do is place your order online (usually a day or more in advance) and then schedule your pickup time frame. When you are on your way, you give them a call. You pull into a pickup spot and call them to let them know you are there. Then they bring the groceries out and put them in your car. It's fabulous! I haven't shopped at Walmart in years because I generally hate the experience there. I swear they only keep two lanes open at most, but this has been a whole different ballgame. The service has been wonderful! I'm sold! You should be able to use the code REALEASY to get $10 off your first order. I'm not an affiliate or anything so it doesn't matter if you use this link or not.

An interesting note - we buy a lot of organic items so I wasn't sure how that would work with Walmart, but I've been able to find quite a few through this service. And they even have antibiotic-free chicken. I'm hoping they will add more selections like these as time goes on.

This is another thing I had no idea about. When they loaded the groceries in my car at Walmart, they showed me the savings number to enter online. I didn't know what they were talking about so they told me about savings catcher. You just use this website and enter the receipt number and if the prices go lower, you will get money back. So far, I have received almost $10 in credits that I can use on a future order. Easy!

I've been an Amazon Prime member for several years now and I wouldn't want to be without my Prime! However, I've been turned off on the idea of Amazon pantry because of the $5.99 shipping charge. I figured if I was paying all that money for Prime, why did I still have to pay more for pantry shipping? I still kind of feel that way, but I decided to give it a try and I was really surprised at how much you can fit in that box. I ordered a ton of grocery products that you can't order regularly on Amazon and many of them were specialty items that wouldn't be available through Walmart either. We try to eat as many organic and natural items as possible due to several food allergies so it's great to be able to order those things through Amazon. Between picking up my groceries at Walmart and ordering a big pantry box now and then from Amazon, I've really cut down on my trips to the grocery store. Hooray for that!

I've surprised myself in the past few months with how many books I've read using the Kindle app. I've always been a fan of "real" books and have resisted the e-reader thing, but I'm hooked now. However, I was always bummed when I would finish a book while lying in bed and then not be able to just buy another one in the Kindle or even Amazon shopping app. It seemed like the only way to really get more books for my Kindle was to login on my computer or try to navigate the site through Safari. There are reasons for this that are explained in this article. There are also a few different ways around it like adding the Kindle store to your home screen on your phone or iPad. I'm so happy I found these tips! 

This is a big one for me - prepaid priority mail supplies. Seriously, these are awesome! You order the priority mail envelopes and/or boxes that you want to use and they print your return address and the postage right on them. Then all you have to do is fill them and mail them. No waiting at the post office. No weighing packages to figure out postage. They aren't cheap, but mailing packages has gotten pretty expensive in general and I find that for the amount of stuff I can fit in these, it really is worth it. The post office mails your order to you and you have your own little shipping center all ready to go. These have been a lifesaver for sending things to my missionary!

Bonus tip #1 - Use the USPS app and scan the label of the package before you send it. Then you can track the package and even see when it is delivered.

Bonus tip #2 - Plan ahead (usually about a day in advance) and schedule a pickup for your mail carrier to pick up the package you are planning to send. You already have the postage all taken care of, now just leave it out for your carrier and it will be on it's way!

I love figuring out ways to make life run a little smoother. We live in an amazing time and we are so lucky to have all of these conveniences!