I don’t care for grocery shopping or paying bills and I don’t like laundry. I don’t love standing in lines. I don’t love spending money. I don’t love having to make a thousand decisions about one bag of corn. And I definitely don’t like feeling bound to my home and a task.
So over the past few years, I’ve tried to come up with ways to make these things fun and feel minimal. Obviously the easiest way to do that would be to send the laundry out and have the groceries delivered. But I work in a school, y’all. I’m looking for every way I can to save money. All of these things getting done and feeling that way rely very heavily on my Saturday morning schedule.
Saturday Morning Schedule
Note: I get paid on Saturdays, which is how this schedule came into being (more on that to come).
My Saturday morning schedule actually starts during the week. All week long I write down the bills I have to pay and the things I want from the grocery store. I keep them on sticky notes in my planner. This took a long time for me to get used to but I kept leaving the grocery store without essential things like soap.
On Friday night I sort my clothes before I get into bed, no matter what time I get home and I put the first load (whites) into the laundry basket. This is essential. The clothes on the floor both remind me and obligate me to the laundry; the laundry in the basket means I have no excuse.
7:30 or 8am – Saturday morning I’m usually awake by 7:30 but not alive yet. My work schedule means I’m up around 6am on the weekdays, so I’ve started using that to my advantage. 7:30, still in my jammies, I take the first load downstairs to the washer (my apartment has one set of machines for the whole building). Sometimes I set the alarm and go back to sleep until the first load is washed. But usually, I make a cup of tea or coffee and sit down at the kitchen table and pay bills. This way, the money is out of my account and I know what I have left for groceries and the rest of life.
8am – Put whites in the dryer, add the next load, set a timer. Then I grab my laptop, a notepad, my planner, a calculator and my warm morning drink.
I’ve paid the bills, so now I need to figure out how much money I have for the week. What’s coming up? I need to get a seven year old a birthday present. Winter’s on it’s way and I donated my boots last year. Am I too old to be a fairy princess for Halloween? I take all these questions into consideration and formulate my budget.
9am – Pull out the whites and put the next load in the dryer. Depending on the season and the week, I might have two more loads to do. I do more laundry in the summer than in the winter. And in the summer I wash sheets every week, while in the winter it’s more like every other (judge if you want; laundry costs $1.75 to wash or dry and that adds up quick). This week I’m washing sheets, so I take the sheets off before I start folding.
Then, I take my list I’ve been writing down all week and merge it with new things. I use my planner to tell me how much cooking I’m going to have to do – are there work lunches? date nights? classes? I write everything down that I might want. Then, I look it all up.
This process is painstaking, which is why I do it at the kitchen table. The view makes me hate it less.
I’ve learned to turn my grocery list into a quiet game I play with myself in the morning. How low can I get the cost while still feeding the cat and myself? I go through the sale ad, look up prices, find coupons. It becomes a math game, but it didn’t start out that way. It came about because of necessity – I was broke but still needed to eat. Now I’m not rich, but I’m less broke and still need to eat.
10am – pull the second load, fold it and go to the grocery store. Depending on the length of grocery list, I might have put another load in the washer at 9am and done a mad dash through the grocery store (more on that to come). Mine’s a little longer this week, so I’m going to ask my mom if I can do a load at her house since she lives by the cheaper grocery store. This way I’m not that annoying neighbor who leaves their clothes in the dryer for two hours after it’s done drying.
Why on earth would you use your Saturday morning for this instead of cartoons and brunch and sleeping more?
Because I also have Sunday morning and my Sunday will be so much more enjoyable if this is all done.
Also, sometimes I do it on Sunday if my Saturday is busy or even if I really just don’t feel like it. Planning this for Saturday means I have a day of grace. Plus I’m usually done by noon, so it’s not like the whole day is shot.
What I’ve learned from doing this
(1) I can use my overwhelming Lutheran guilt for good: I can guilt myself into getting my laundry done by leaving it on the floor. That’s much better than letting that same guilt lead me into unhealthy relationships, work habits or thoughts.
(2) On rainy or snowy mornings, I keep the lights low so I’m still enjoying the gentleness of the rain. On sunny mornings, I open all the curtains and turn on more lights to I feel invigorated by the outside world. It makes the task less daunting to have nature on my side.
(3) We’re really only talking about four hours of life. If I did all of this separately, we’d be talking about six to ten hours. Smashing all of this together means it’s over and done with in one fell swoop.
(4) I hate when people leave their clothes in the washer or dryer for long periods of time and so I try not to be that person. I didn’t know that about myself until I realized the problem I had with laundry was that I felt like I couldn’t leave my apartment while I had clothes in.
(5) I’m definitely not too old to be a fairy princess for Halloween.