The “Friday Five” series shows five things that could help save you time or money – or help you get more organized.
1. Annual passes for local museums and attractions
My kids are lucky, living so close to fun attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Legoland and Sea World. When I was growing up outside of D.C., it was the National Zoo and the Smithsonian (and they are free!), but no matter where you live there are fun museums and theme parks for your family to enjoy. I think some people shy away from these places fearing the cost. My solution? Buy annual passes! With the exception of Disney parks, they don’t cost much more than a one-day pass and offer other perks (parking and food discounts, etc.) to members. The other advantage is you can go for a few hours and get out of there before the crowds and not feel like you have to stay all day because you want to get your money’s worth.
2. Lorac Behind the Scences Eye Primer
I love eye shadow, but it makes me crazy when it creases or fades. Before I found this product, my eye makeup would look great when I left the house in the morning, but not as great by the end of the day. I started using this primer a few years ago and no longer had this problem. It helps keep eyeliner in place too. It costs $21, but it lasts forever (six months using it every day) and saves times since there is no need to reapply makeup if you’re going out that night. (side note: I use Dior eye shadow and they work great together)
3. Tarte Poreless Perfecting Primer
I guess you could say I’m into primer right now, which is interesting considering it takes an extra step (and therefore some time). The thing is it takes an extra 15 seconds, but saves you so much more when your makeup looks good all day/night. I am at work at 7:00 a.m. and this awesome product helps my makeup (Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation) look good until I wash my face at night. I have fairly oily skin, so this is impressive. It costs $30, but one tube lasts six months, and like the foundation brush I mentioned a while back, it makes your makeup go further, so it saves money in the long run, too!
4. Intuit QuickBooks Online
I have many friends who are business owners, from direct sales consultants to Etsy shop owners and large businesses with many employees. Last year when I started my business I wanted an easy way to keep track of income and expenses, so I turned to Intuit. Their online version of QuickBooks is easy, inexpensive and organizes everything for in a user-friendly interface. I have a business bank account, which is linked to QuickBooks, so every purchase/deposit is automatically uploaded. All I have to do is log in every once in a while and click on drop downs to categorize the transactions. It took me all of five minutes to export reports for my CPA, and though it costs $12.95/month (which is a business expense for tax purposes), it saves so much time I’d pay more for the convenience alone (don’t tell Intuit though). They also offer a 30-day free trial, so check it out to see if it works for you!
5. Shout Free Stain Remover
I’ve been a fan of Shout for years, but more so in recent months as Clay now plays flag football, basketball and baseball. I don’t have time to do laundry every day, but if I let the dirt/grass/food sit on his clothes until laundry day, they’d be ruined. I spray them (pretty much every night) with Shout and they’re good for up to a week. I like this new “Free” version – no strong fragrances. It takes five seconds, costs $3 and saves his clothes. Couldn’t live without it!