12 Shortcuts That Are Worth the Splurge

12 Shortcuts That Are Worth the Splurge

How much will you pay for convenience? Sometimes a little goes a long way.

By Leah Maxwell

Nothing beats the rush of scoring a good deal, but when you’re a time-strapped parent, a close second is the surge of joy that comes when you pay a little bit extra in exchange for a whole lot of convenience. If you’ve ever reached over the block of on-sale cheddar to get to the pricey bag of pre-shredded stuff, this is the list for you. Here are 12 shortcuts worth splurging on to make your busy life so much easier.

1. Squeeze pouches. Don’t let anyone try to convince you that the money you save making your own baby purees beats the ease of grab-and-go fruit and veggie pouches. And raise your hand if you’re still giving these to your school-aged kids because they’re just so darn great (and sometimes the only produce they eat all week)!

2. Coffee shop coffee. If you spend your days doing things for other people, ordering your coffee instead of brewing it at home is a small price to pay for the luxury of having someone wait on you for a change.

3. Prepared chicken. Whether you prefer your chicken rotisserie-roasted or grilled, cubed, and flash-frozen in a bag, I think we can all agree that these options are way less gross than buying it raw and dealing with “chicken hands.”

4. Cleaning wipes. Not only do they make it easier for you to tackle messes in a flash, they also make it easier for older kids to clean up after themselves, which is priceless!

5. Pre-minced garlic and ginger. There’s not a single-use kitchen gadget in the world that can compete with the simplicity of getting garlic and ginger straight from the jar or tube.

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6. Ready-to-eat beets. Buying them precooked and peeled in the produce section means your hands won’t look like murder weapons for the next 24 hours.

7. Grocery pickup. Wait, you’re telling me I can pay a few dollars to have someone shop for my groceries and then load them into my car so I don’t have to drag my kids whining and wailing through the aisles? Is this real life or heaven?


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8. Prepared vegetables. From baby carrots to pre-chopped peppers to salad in a bag, if paying extra makes it easier to eat your veggies, the cost is well worth it. And while you’re at it, why not just buy the entire salad already assembled? It’s true that some things taste better when someone else makes them.

9. Food delivery boxes. These can be expensive, but consider that avoiding the store entirely can save money because you won’t be tempted to make impulse purchases. Plus, if you’ve paid a ton for your food, you’ll be less likely to let it sit in your fridge and become a science experiment.

10. Single-serving “guilt” foods. Sometimes all you want is a tiny bit of guacamole or chocolate-hazelnut spread. Because you know that if you buy it in larger containers, you’re just going to eat the whole thing in one sitting. (Burp.)

11. Peeled and deveined shrimp. Take a second to read up on shrimp anatomy and then tell me it’s not worth the extra money to pretend vein-in shrimp doesn’t exist.

12. Convenient parking. Some days it’s worth it to pay extra to park closer to your destination. And some days that day is every day.

What are your favorite splurge-worthy shortcuts?

Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

Image ©iStock.com/baona

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