Prev Next
Meredith checks out the NEW Gain Fling in the Moonlight Breeze scent.

Simplifying Laundry for our Busy Family

By Heather Sanders

This post is underwritten by P&G.

I work from home full-time and I homeschool my kids, so to say I need life to be as efficient as possible is an understatement.

As a homeschool parent, I pour into my kids’ education as a teacher, facilitator and resource provider. While academics are an obvious part of my role in their lives, it doesn’t stop there. I am also raising responsible household managers who will stand on their own two feet one day; fully capable of the daily skills independent adults need to know.

Emelie, my older daughter (17), has been responsible for the kids’ laundry for the last two years, but this year we flipped tasks; meaning it was time for Meredith (13) to take on the kids’ laundry. Not only is she responsible for the sorting, washing, drying, and tending to “special care” items, but also for keeping us stocked with the required laundry supplies: detergent, oxygen bleach, dryer sheets, and stain removers.

While the kids were all still very young, it probably seemed to them as though our household cleaning products appeared (as if by magic) for them to use in the kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms. As they’ve grown older (read: and can write legibly on the grocery/toiletry/supplies list), I’ve given them the responsibility of recording what they’ve used up, as well as keep an eye on what products need to be replaced in the near future.

Obviously, the time this saves me adds up, but even more importantly, maintaining a home is a skill all three kids will need throughout their lives.

Emelie has accompanied me to Target to purchase toiletries for several years now; so, when she began driving last year, I transferred the task of our bi-monthly household shopping trips to her.

Recently, Meredith has joined her, and though I cannot say they are always the most expedient shoppers, they have been taught to read labels and, at the very least, know the importance of being smart shoppers.

Both girls have grown up understanding our commitment to the budget, but now that they are older, we give them freedom to take advantage of unexpected savings, and even, to comparison shop.

Gain Flings Original Scent vs. Moonlight Breeze

As sisters raised in the same household, they share a lot of the same practicalities, but frequently, their individual preferences differ. For instance, all white vs. print paper towels, floral vs. fruit scented shampoo or soap, and most recently, Original Scent vs. Moonlight Breeze scented Gain Flings.

Most of the time I’m available via text to make the final decision, but sometimes the girls are left to sort it out on their own, as in the following re-enactment of a recent shopping trip where the girls picked up a few household items.

Gain Flings Simplifies Laundry for Busy Families from Heather Sanders on Vimeo.

Once my younger daughter Meredith (the daughter whose arm is not in a sling) learned that Gain Flings included Febreze, she was sold. This is a child who asked for Febreze in her Christmas stocking for years (no lie), and kept a few bottles (different fragrances, of course) to freshen up her room multiple times a day. She also frequently chased the dogs around the house spraying them. Honestly, I did not discourage this practice as I was often too busy to get them to the groomer on a regular schedule.

Though she was probably 4 or 5 then, Meredith could not say “Febreze”, but instead called the air freshener, “FreezeBreeze”, which stuck in her brain and our family’s vernacular. Years later, it is not uncommon to see “FreezeBreeze” written on the Target list.

One thing both girls (and I) agree upon is that Gain Flings may come in small packages, but their overall effect is anything but small for our busy family.

One of my biggest laundry room complaints includes the mess made by the kids who let the detergent drip down the side of the bottle. So naturally, beyond the fresh scents, what I love most about Gain Flings is that it’s a ONE STOP, NO MESS process.

The kids simply toss in ONE Fling for a small to medium load or TWO for a large or XL load. That’s it. NO MORE MESSES!

The NEW Gain Flings make boot socks smell divine - just ask Meredith.

Also? Gain Flings makes boot socks smell divine (the odor removal power of Febreze WITH the extra cleaning power of Oxi Boost does the trick) – just ask Meredith.

It’s a 3-in-1 product y’all.

The NEW Gain Flings are one of those products that simplify living in a house of 5 where laundry is a constant battle!


This post is sponsored by P&G. Save on NEW Gain Flings and Tide Pods at Target.


About the Author

Heather Sanders

About the Author: Heather Sanders is a freelance writer living in Huntsville, a smallish town on the...

About the Author: Heather Sanders is a freelance writer living in Huntsville, a smallish town on the tail-end of the East Texas Pineywoods. She and her husband Jeff have three kids: Emelie, Meredith, and Kenny.

icon icon
chat bubble icon


  • IrishCream

    February 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    It may be simple to use, but the ingredients list is pretty scary. Not friendly to the environment, and several of their ingredients are rough on people with respiratory sensitivities.

    • Karen

      February 28, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      I am astonished that you had the only comment on the chemicals. We use a scoop of Charlie’s Soap or Rockin’ Green plus a scoop of OxiClean (the “free” version). They are either cheaper or same price as main brands and I don’t see how dishing out a scoop is so challenging that tossing in a chemical filled pouch seems like a better option. I have taught my 4 year old to use the scooper just fine. We don’t use dryer sheets or fabric softeners (more money savers) and have observed zero difference in how our clothes turn out. Except they don’t smell like roses. Just unscented.

    • Whitney B

      March 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      I’ve got my first baby on the way, and obviously I can’t use scented pods on his laundry (even if they do smell divine!) Are there any options in Sensitive Skin, Fragrance Free, or Baby?

  • Cheryl S.

    February 26, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Would love to get that $300 card. What little things do I do that make a big difference? Hmm. I save myself time by setting up breakfasts the night before, getting everything ready so it’s grab and go during our hectic mornings!

  • Annie S

    February 26, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    In our house- working mom, work from home dad, toddler and a septuagenarian-making a dinner for 6 instead of 4 makes lunches so much easier!
    Simply by cooking a slightly larger evening meal means that there is a plate of leftovers for someone to snag for lunch the next day. Plus if we have an unexpected guest, say a neighbor, friend or relative passing through, we have enough to share a meal with no more effort.

  • Kim

    February 26, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I have separate laundry hampers for whites and darks so the sorting is already done before laundry day!

  • Ally

    February 26, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    I buy everyone socks that will match any sock, so I don’t have to bother matching them while I put away laundry. It saves me SO much time. 

  • Kristin

    February 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Two little things that go a long way:
    1) After organizing laundry the night before, I bring the basket down and set it on the kitchen table to make absolutely sure I see it when I get home from work and remember to throw everything in the wash. 
    2) Prep-cooking on the weekend. Dicing peppers and onions and getting all of the food down to baby-size really saves my brain during the week AND ensures that we save money by not needing to order out.

  • Casey

    February 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    We’ve got a little basket in the fridge labeled “EAT ME FIRST!” that keeps all of our about-to-expire items. I go through the fridge once a week to weed out the older stuff and this helps us not to miss/waste anything!

    • Heather Sanders

      February 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Casey – I LOVE THIS IDEA. It makes so much sense, but I’ve never thought to do it. This is one I’m going to implement, thanks!

  • Michelle

    February 26, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Meal planning & using Peapod. Saves me a lot of time each night trying to figure out what I’m making and doing. Takes a little bit to get into, but once I’m in a routine it’s perfect.

  • Jeanette

    February 26, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    I have multiple hampers for whites, darks, and delicates so my laundry is pre sorted. I also have Windex touch up cleaner and tilex in each bathroom that we use throughout the week so cleaning the bathroom is that much easier on the weekends.

  • Elissa

    February 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Using color coded hampers. Everyone throws their own clothes in according to color: whites, darks, brights, delicates. That way I can just dump and wash rather than sort through everyone’s stuff. 

  • Amy

    February 26, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I have one basket for all missing socks. Missing a sock? There’s a good chance you only have to look in the basket and not in every nook and cranny around the house.

  • Kimberly M

    February 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    We sort our trash and recycling immediately rather than waiting for dump day to go through the bins.  Saves so much time the day we haul everything away (once every 5-6 weeks) and only takes an extra minute or two to sort. Plus it saves on our trash bill – the more we can recycle, the less we pay for what’s actually trash (plus it helps our environment one tiny step at a time.)

  • Rachel

    February 26, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I bake double batches of dinner and freeze half.

  • Lisa

    February 26, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I keep cleaning supplies in each bathroom. When the kids are in the tub, I can easily wipe down a toilet or countertop while the kids are splashing around – while keeping an eye on them of course.

  • Denise Winston

    February 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    I remove pantry items from their original bag/box and put into clear containers. For some odd reason the kids use less at one time. Cereal, oatmeal, crackers, etc all have a container. It keeps clutter, clean up and finding empty boxes to a minimum as well. Would love to try the new Gain!

  • Kristine Laird

    February 26, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I do the dishes every morning, a load of laundry each day and one whole room each weekday. It is SO EASY if I keep up with (1 hour a day tops!). It leaves me plenty of time to work on school during the day, my clean freak husband doesn’t have more work to do when he gets home and my kids have a safe environment to play in. Then we get to relax in our nice clean home all weekend long!

  • JR

    February 26, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    I put all of my items that cannot be dried in a delicates bag that can be set aside after the wash cycle.  That way, if my husband is doing laundry and I am not home he doesn’t accidentally dry my “hang dry” items. A lot of my clothes don’t have tags to read washing directions.

    • Heather Sanders

      February 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      JR – GREAT idea! We’ve talked through how to tackle “special care” items, but honestly, my husband is the one who throws them in the dryer, not the kids.

  • Stefanie Johnson

    February 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I have a bunch of little things I do throughout the week that make life so much easier!! We decided that we will have a chore to complete every day after work so over the weekend we get to have fun instead of clean all day long! Monday is dust day, Tuesday we vacuum and mop, Wednesdays are the dreaded bathroom cleaning days, Thursdays we wash the dogs and Fridays are spent doing whatever is left to do before we have fun! I also wash a load of laundry every 1-2 days to keep up with it. I also spend a couple hours Sunday night batch cooking for lunches for the week…every extra minute of sleep in the morning helps!

  • juliana

    February 26, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Hum…I’d say dishes daily b/c it’s quicker than once or twice a week but I don’t always manage that…so we’ll go with cooking multiple servings at one time and having lunch all week!

  • Karen

    February 26, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    We meal plan and cook enough for lunch for the grownups each day.

  • Jessie C.

    February 26, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I do weekly meal planning to make sure we eat healthy and not to waste food while staying on budget.

  • mere

    February 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    I ask about my kid’s day before asking about homework. Somehow, just getting the chance to unload first makes the work go more smoothly.

  • Krystle

    February 26, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    I prep our morning smoothies ahead of time so I just have to throw it all in the blender at once.

  • df

    February 26, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Love the skills you’ve imparted to your kids and so this post was a great read. I’m with at least one other reader here on being aghast at the contents of this product. We make our own laundry detergent and I’ve had my kids help me in this (though I’m no nearly so good on the routines as you sound to be!).

  • lisa W

    February 26, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Would love the gift card. I think having a specific task for each day (i.e dusting on Fridays) is a little thing that goes a long way 🙂

  • Swaddle

    February 26, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    I always like to keep things organize around the house. I know when things are properly located in a certain area, then when it’s time to look them it…I know they will be there and I don’t have to spend hours or days looking for them. Recently, it has been our tax documents. We file them away in the office throughout the year and then when it’s tax time we bring out all the documents and don’t have to go searching around the house for lost receipts or something. A great time saver in the long run.

  • Laurie

    February 26, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I set out my clothes the night before and pre-pack any to go items.

  • Brandy

    February 26, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    I try to use the little moments throughout the day that would otherwise be spent just standing/sitting around. For example, when I’m heating up something in the microwave, instead of just standing idly in the kitchen, I’ll use that minute or two to unload a few dishes, wipe down my counters, or even do some jumping jacks. If I’m watching TV, I’ll fold the laundry at the same time, and if a commercial comes on, I’ll use those few minutes to get up and move around. Sometimes I might pick up some toys, or do some quick dusting. I try to do this anytime throughout the day when I would otherwise be doing nothing, and it really adds up and frees up my time in the evenings for “me” time. Plus, I like to make a game out of it, and try to accomplish x amount before the timer goes off or the show comes back on!

  • Lauren

    February 26, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    I cook a huge pot of soup up at the beginning of the week and put it into meal-sized canning jars. Makes it so easy to eat a healthy meal in minutes, and the jars make it easy to take the soup to work too for lunchtime. Way less expensive than eating out and really something to look forward to with our frigid midwestern winters!

  • Laura

    February 26, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    We have a “command center” near the door where all of our bags, carkeys, purse, diaperbag, hats, mittens, coats, etc are placed as we come through the door. No searching around for things as we’re hurrying to get the kids out the door.

    I loved reading all the comments on this one – it’s one of the most helpful comment sections I’ve seen. I must write some of these tricks down & start using them!

  • Ada Miller

    February 26, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    well I try to clip as much coupons I can but our area doesn’t get a lot of good ones like some areas do. I use my coupons to get good sales at the drug stores to help save money which has helped out financially a lot & something I enjoy doing. by the way I enjoyed reading your post about the girls responsibility & will definetly be putting those things to use for our boys. anything I can do that will help them be responsible children to teach them the way of life I’m all about. thanks for the added bonus of the chance to win.

  • Kathleen

    February 27, 2014 at 1:00 am

    I comvinced my 5yo that pairing socks and folding kitchen towels was a fun togetherness activity…

  • Shannon R

    February 27, 2014 at 1:26 am

    I do a lot of little things that go a long way, but for now, I think of starting the dishwasher every night so we start the day with a clean kitchen and ready to go. I also think of my 3 week rotation of chore charts so all the daily household chores get taken care of on a regular basis. So many things!

  • Aimeeeee

    February 27, 2014 at 2:09 am

    My best time saving tip is when tidying the house I use a basket and pick up all the items through the house for each room in turn. Ie: all the cups, mugs, misc items for the kitchen. Then I put those all away. Then all the items that belong in the study. Then our bedroom. Then the nursery. It savesme making multiple trips to each room!

  • Erin

    February 27, 2014 at 6:45 am

    Meal planning has made a huge difference in my life! Having everything I need for a weeks worth of meals in the house makes it easy to cook after work and avoid eating out. I also always make enough to have leftovers for lunch.

  • jan

    February 27, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Little things that go a long way: stocking the fridge with fruits and veggies and making a bigggg salad for lunch at work every day!

  • Stefanie

    February 27, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I keep shopping lists for each store we go to (Target, grocery, drugstore, etc.) on a Google drive that everyone in my household has access to. If you use something up, you add it to the list. That way, our shopping lists are ready to go when we go to the store and we don’t forget anything.

    • Heather Sanders

      February 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      Stefanie – YES! YES! I was thinking of a shared app of some sort since the girls, Jeff and I have iPhones, but this is an option as well. Plus, I can maintain it on my computer throughout the school day (quick updates instead of having to “type” it all with my thumbs). Fantastic. Thank you!

  • Liberty

    February 27, 2014 at 10:52 am

    We try to do as much meal prep ahead of time so that when the busy supper time comes, and we are tired after a long day, supper is as easy as possible to make.

  • Danyelle

    February 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I try to utilize the slow cooker as often as possible.

  • Kira

    February 27, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Until recently, we were involved in an activity that kept us away from home on weekends. I keep my toiletry bag packed at all times, including an extra toothbrush and travel size everything. That way, when I’m running around the house packing at the last minute, I know that everything I need to stay clean is already there!

  • caitlingreene

    February 27, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    I always buy in bulk anything that doesn’t spoil. It takes planning but it makes my life easier to only have to buy things every 6 months rather then every week and I have found the “investment” helps get my regular grocery bill down quite a bit 

  • Jean

    February 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I try to buy my houshold items separately then my groceries during my lunch hour. I have a Target and a Walmart each within walking distance. So I am able to save time during my grocery shopping and money.

  • Michele

    February 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    My timesaver is ordering as much as possible online. The less time I spend in a store with my 3 yr old the better off everyone is.

    • Heather Sanders

      February 28, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Michele – I remember those days all too well. Mine are 17, 13 and 11 and I STILL order online to save time. Old habits die hard!

  • Jak

    February 27, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I put a rectangular container in my old refrigerator. Anything that might fall through the wire shelves goes in it. No more tomato paste tubes tangled in the shelves! I keep cheese sticks and hard boiled eggs in it too for quick snacks.

  • Jordan Troublefield

    February 27, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Each week i meal plan and make ready to eat snacks and put them in the fridge. I also sort my laundry out by color so when i am busy i can throw a load in the wash real quick and go about my day. Little things like that make such big differences when you are always on the go!

  • Laura 6

    February 27, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I set clothes for myself and my son the night before, so our mornings go a little quicker. I also pack my work bag and purse, and make sure I have lunches and snacks for each of us.

  • Kelli Burke-Sanchez

    February 27, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    I try to make extra of whatever I am cooking for dinner;  it keeps the hubby and kiddo happy when they want a quick snack!  Would love to win that card also…good luck to all 🙂

  • Christina

    February 27, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    What little things do you do that go a long way?
    I set clothes out the night before
    I sort clothes and start a load every other night
    I set out breakfast dishes at night
    I menu plan and make sure I set out ingredients the morning of so my hubby can help in meal prep.

  • Autumn

    February 27, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I use a lingerie bag to put all of my toddler’s dirty socks in so I can find them when the load comes out of the dryer at the end.  Lot less lost socks this way.  When I was nursing by cloth breast pads went in there too.  (Now we use the nursing pads as coasters)

  • Gwynne johnson

    February 28, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Freeze soup leftover then add veggies when heating it!

  • Andee

    February 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    We try to do as much housework on the weekends so that the week can be free for schoolwork/family time.

  • Chrysta

    February 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    We use reusable containers and pack lunches everyday.  It saves so much money!

  • Iris

    February 28, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    One of the biggest things I do that makes a difference for me in the mornings is setting out, the night before, the clothes my boys will be wearing the next day. It’s such a time saver not to be looking around for clothes when we are usually running late. 

  • Samantha

    February 28, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I crockpot large batches of food, even if it’s just for two people, and then I freeze the rest. We travel a lot, and it feels SO great to have a homemade dinner on hand in the freezer when we get home from a long trip!

  • Laura

    February 28, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I try to never leave the kitchen messy at night. It feels so good to get up in the morning and walk into a clean kitchen to grab that glorious cup of coffee.

  • Amy Ball

    March 1, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I keep 2 small boxes on my stairs that my kids’ clean socks go in. No pair ever seems to make it out if the dryer together and I feel like I spend forever going up and down stairs either matching or getting socks bc both my kids take them off while we’re home. So then when we need to go out the door we can’t find at least one of them and I’m back upstairs for another pair

  • Matti

    March 1, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    My favorite “little thing” is when we put silverware in the dishwasher, we group like utensils in the same slot (all forks in one, all knives in another, etc) – it takes no time at all to do it, but you’d be surprised how much time it saves when putting utensils away!!

  • Danielle

    March 1, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Folding clothes into ‘outfits’ (pants and shirt) for my 2 year old and 8 month old saves me lots of time in the morning!

  • Kristyl

    March 1, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Laundry every Sunday, no matter what. Wash, dry, fold, put away, including bedding and towels. It’s a pain but such a good way to start the week

  • Michaela

    March 2, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    I don’t think I’d try the Gain, since I’ve been making my own laundry soap, but I would love the Target gift card!

  • Virginia

    March 3, 2014 at 4:08 am

    To help make grocery shopping easier, my husband and I share access to a grocery app.  Anytime I’m going to make a run to the store, I call or text him to make sure that anything he wants in on the list!  

    It makes life so much easier.  And as any Mom can tell you, a trip to Target alone is almost a mini-vacation.  I could certainly do some damage with that gift card.  😉

  • melisss bowser

    March 3, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Do you ever have the little plastic packages stuck to your clothes when they don’t dissolve properly. I had trouble with the tide pods so I’m hesitant to try the gain ones.

    • Heather Sanders

      March 3, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      Melissa – No, only used them for a month now, but I haven’t seen that happen yet.

  • Kellie

    March 3, 2014 at 9:41 am

    I double check my son’s bag and get it ready for the next day the night before. Besides his juice, he is all set to go. I will put his clothes out so daddy can easily get him dressed in matching outfit. 

  • Chelsea

    March 3, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Before I have several days of work, I make rice, pasta, cous cous, something simple that can be used in various ways and will last several days. This way I have a big chunk of the meal done beforehand!

  • Bettina

    March 3, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I have a long subscription list with Amazon so that a lot of the staples we use (cat food, dog food, coffee, etc.) come once a month, at a discounted price, and I don’t have to worry about it when I go to the store.

    • Heather Sanders

      March 3, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      I am an Amazon junkie (Prime Member, even) and I’ve never thought of doing this. YOU ARE SO SMART. Thank you for the tips!

  • Wendy Young

    March 3, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I create a two week meal plan including snacks so that I don’t have to worry from day to day what I am going to cook. It makes it easy on the kids too because thy know what to get out for snacks and lunch without nagging me.

  • Kelly Massman

    March 3, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Only go to the grocery store every two weeks to save money! thanks kmassman gmail

  • Molly

    March 3, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I prep the ingredients for our favorite easy recipes and freeze them ready-to-go for easy weeknight meals.

  • Jennifer K. C.

    March 4, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Little things that go a long way. Making a grocery list and meal planning for sure!

  • Mami2jcn

    March 4, 2014 at 11:08 am

    I clip coupons to help cut our grocery bill.

  • Katherine T

    March 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    One little thing I do is make sure to plan what meals my household is having a week in advance, so that we’re not scrambling to come up with something on a weeknight. 

  • AlyssaM

    March 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Meal planning is a big part of our week running smoothly.  So is starting the weekend with the house already clean and laundry done.  We’re all a lot happier if we don’t have to deal with those things on the weekend.

  • Rachel

    March 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    I have a big wall calendar that shows what everyone is doing when. I sit down once a week and input the schedule into my smart phone’s google calendar that way it shows up on my phone and my husband’s. That way there’s no confusion or forgotten reminders.

  • Jessie

    March 4, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I make bottles ahead of time for my 3 month old. It cuts down on the time he’s unhappy and fussing because he’s suddenly starving (even though he’s right on schedule for eating!) Easy to do and cuts out a lot of stress for both of us.

  • Elleny

    March 5, 2014 at 1:20 am

    I make sure to take time for myself each day to exercise and relax.

  • Chris

    March 5, 2014 at 11:58 am

    The little things that I do that go a long way: well I think there are many things that help our family of six keep it together. The organization that I use everyday helps so much!! I also think that in a different though that all of the time spent with my children one on one is going to make a big difference in thier lives : )

  • Sharon

    March 5, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Making extra portions for dinner so leftovers can become lunches!

  • Jessica w

    March 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    making larger dinners at home so we have left overs for lunches

  • Rachel C

    March 6, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    A little thing we do is sweep the floor after every meal. It only takes a minute, but if you go a day without sweeping it is gross!

  • Lehua

    March 7, 2014 at 1:37 am

    I make a pitcher of tea with one tea bag instead of per cup. If I don’t finish it, it goes in the fridge for iced tea. That may sound “cheap”, but those darn tea bags add up!$
    Also, the kiddos are pretty quick to do a clean up when they know I’m making their afternoon snack;)

  • Kristina in GA

    March 7, 2014 at 9:57 am

    My biggest time saver this year has been has been meal prep. I have several recipes (soups, lasagna, casseroles, etc) that I double or triple up on when I make them and freeze the extras for another time. Also like to prepare and cook big batches of meatballs and chicken breast, which I divide into meal/recipe-sized portions and have ready to use. This has really helped my family eat better. A lot less grabbing takeout when you have a home cooked dinner that can just be heated in the oven or prepared with very little prep.
    I also keeping running list for separate stores (grocery, Target, online). That way when I get ready to make my monthly trip/order I know what we need so I’m not wasting trips.

  • Erin

    March 7, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    I like to sort my silverware as it’s going INTO the dishwasher.  This makes the task of putting it away much quicker.

  • cocobean

    March 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    as a family of 3, even a small batch of baked goods will either go bad or worse, go into my mouth. I’ve started freezing half of things I bake as soon as it’s cooled… it means we can enjoy what we have – and a treat close to fresh later. And I can bake without worrying that I will have to give up all other food or exercise 10 hours to make up for it!

  • Shawna

    March 8, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    A little over a year ago, I started planning our meals for the month. This makes sure we aren’t eating the same thing every week and it makes it so easy for me to know what to pull out of the freezer!

  • Karen

    March 9, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    I make a HUGE version of something on Sunday.  Usually a casserole, stew, or chili.  We can eat it for lunches or dinners all week.

  • Lora W.

    March 10, 2014 at 7:23 am

    I am the organizer of the Girls’ Night Out for my friends. Everyone is so busy. We are a difficult group to get together but it is so worth it for our mental health.

  • Sarah M

    March 10, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    One thing I do that goes a long way is cut up most of our vegetables in advance. That ensures that whenever I need them, I just grab them and go as far as cooking, snacks, whatever. Perhaps because it’s a chore I don’t like doing, but it makes life much easier in the moment!
    Sarah M

  • Nicole P

    March 11, 2014 at 5:03 am

    My husband and I use the app Wunderlist to keep shared grocery, shopping, and other lists. Saves time and makes communication and getting things done easier! 

  • kelli w

    March 11, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I really try to keep up with clearing out the extras in different rooms. By keeping less stuff (knick knacks, old books we don’t want anymore, etc), it’s so much easier to clean up! 

  • Shon

    March 11, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    We all pick out our outfits for the next day the night before, and make lunches the night before also.

  • Katherine

    March 12, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I make the bed every day, even if I’m running late. A messy bed makes everything else look way worse. 

  • Aly

    March 12, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Make and freeze meals ahead of time 🙂

  • Annie

    March 12, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I wipe down the sink/counter in the bathroom every morning as I’m finishing getting ready and then grab a new hand towel. It makes bathroom cleaning easier if things are done regularly. And while I’m getting ready in the morning, I’ll sometimes throw in a load of laundry. My husband can throw it in the dryer when he gets up and we sometimes actually stay on top of it! 

  • Joanna

    March 12, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I cut up and cook most of my vegetables the day I buy them, so I can toss them into meals or lunches during the week – I eat more veggies and they’re less likely to go bad.

  • Allison

    March 12, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Setting our dishwasher to run overnight and loading up the coffee pot so it’s ready to go when we wake up makes mornings so much easier!

  • Brooke

    March 12, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I always throw away junk mail and sort the rest as soon as I get it. I’ve let it stack before, and not only does it make a huge mess, it is easy to miss important letters, like wedding invitations and bills.

  • Amber

    March 12, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I have a landing spot on the kitchen island for all the mail and junk we bring in every day. As soon as I get a chance (before dinner) I go through the mail and sort out the junk.

  • Kristen

    March 12, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I make sure the groceries are bought and the kitchen is all clean on Sunday so that I will be ready to cook all week.

  • Brittany

    March 12, 2014 at 11:43 am

    This might sound obvious to most homemakers, but I’ve just recently discovered the one-a-day method for managing laundry.  I used to spend my whole Sunday trying to catch up on laundry before the work week.  Now I put a load in every morning before I leave, and hang or tumble dry them as soon as I get home.  The hardest part is making myself put the clothes away before bedtime!

  • Liz

    March 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I try to do all of the dishes (or load/run the dishwasher) before I go to bed.  It makes such a difference to start the day without dirty dishes in the sink.

  • Roseanna

    March 12, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I try to make sure that the kitchen is clean before I go to bed.

  • Kimmie

    March 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    I try to make sure the dirty dishes are in the dishwasher & run it and have the kids put away their clutter in the living room. If a mess doesn’t hit me in the face first thing in the morning I feel so much better about the day.

  • Bethany West

    March 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I just have my husband do the laundry. Works like a charm!

  • Jesabes

    March 12, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Always starting a load of laundry before bed!

  • LivLaughEat

    March 12, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Menu planning. Friday night/Saturday morning, I figure out what we’re eating the next week. I pull the recipe cards and check what ingredients we have/need to get. I mark up when each meat needs to be defrosted, when to prep veggies, etc. It’s totally OCD and takes time but being able to come home from work (2 work outside the home parents) and quickly cook and eat dinner makes a huge difference in my sanity. 

  • Erica

    March 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I bring the laundry downstairs (our washer is on the first floor) the night before I want to start washing.  That way I don’t have to juggle it and our toddler in the morning when my laundry motivation is already low!

  • Sabra

    March 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I recently stopped sorting my clothes by color after hearing on a podcast that adding white vinegar to a load will keep the colors from running. I tried it – and it works! Occasionally I’ll do a load of all whites so I can brighten them with an oxygen cleaner, but for the most part I don’t worry about sorting anymore.

  • Jillian

    March 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I do a weekly cookup on Sunday nights during which I prep basic ingredients for meal creation (pre-cooked proteins, sauces and veggies) as well as whatever baked goods, soups and pre-made meals are needed for the week.  I spend twenty minutes making the list, and breaking everything down into step-by-step instructions to ensure efficient overlap in production, and then I turn up the music and spend two hours in the kitchen.  At the end of the evening, I usually have enough components for my husband to put together meals quickly on weeknights, plus I have soups, salads and proteins for my own lunch, as well as grain free baked goods for my corn-and-gluten-sensitive son.  I post a list on the fridge door of EVERYTHING available, too, so I can remember all week what a cooking ninja I am.

  • Stephanie

    March 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I make lunches the night before. I don’t know how I would get out the door otherwise.

  • Andi

    March 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Cleaning the kitchen before bed, makes a huge difference the next day. 

  • Alexandra

    March 12, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    One little thing we do is buy meats in bulk, and then portion them into freezer bags so we have portioned meal options for a few weeks at a time. That way grocery trips are easier, and it saves money. 

  • Katherine

    March 12, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I have a cleaning schedule and routine: Mondays I do laundry, Tuesdays I iron and vacuum, Wednesday I clean the bathroom, etc. It works well for me to stay on top of everything and divides the work up throughout the week. Between this and a quick straightening up every night before bed, everything stays pretty clean!

  • sioux

    March 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    we have separate bins in our linen closet for laundry – darks/lights/towels & sheets . that way everything is pre-sorted!

  • Ioana

    March 12, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Menu planning after my husband goes and buys our protein (okay, meat) for the week.

  • Helen

    March 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I have a great smartphone app that functions as my meal planner, grocery list and “OMG what on earth can I cook with the junk in my pantry and freezer” savior. It has been saving my grocery bill and reducing food waste!

  • Jo

    March 12, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    We try to “clean” a room every night so that we do not have any cleaning to do on the weekends .. which frees us up to have family time! 

  • Brandi Young

    March 12, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I don’t do anything and everything to save money b/c time is money too, and doing everything yourself can end up costing you in the long run. But I do small things such as but large packs (cheaper value size) of chicken and ground beef, cook them and freeze them in smaller portions. This way I save money on buying bulk, and time when making dinner during the week. I also try to make multiple meals if cooking one that is freezable, such as lasagna. Not really much more effort, tons of time saved.

  • Steph

    March 12, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Meal planning has helped my family so much and it only takes at most thirty minutes to do two weeks worth. We went from 20 minutes of the “what do you want to eat?” game to all being on the same page every day.

  • Eva

    March 13, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Cook one thing a night for big meals

  • Jenni

    March 13, 2014 at 12:52 am

    My husband constantly travels for work, and I work FT, so when I doing the single-mom thing during the week with my daughter, I try to plan a lot of stuff in advance.
    – Full work week outfits and meals are picked out, prepped and planned on Sundays.
    – On weekdays, pajamas are put in the bathroom in the morning, sippy cups and snacks for the car are on the kitchen counter for the next day.
    – Toys and books are kept in the kitchen so she can play while I cook/clean.
    It’s all about efficiency throughout the week!

  • Maria Wicks

    March 13, 2014 at 4:48 am

    I try to get all my girls’ school outfits together for the week on the weekends.  Clothes, hair accessories, socks, shoes.  That saves time in the morning or in the evening from having to pick out an outfit.  This way they just get the clothes and get dressed.  

  • Jodie

    March 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I keep constant reminders going on my iphone.  I have one for groceries, target and random to-dos.  When I think of something to do (inevitably while I’m walking to or from a meeting) I plop it in the right list so when I finally am at the store, I remember to buy the salt we are out of.

  • Annie

    March 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    A little but important thing is recognizing that I can’t do it all!  On days that I pack in everything I could possibly do I end up way too exhausted.  Prioritizing is the most important thing!  

  • Annie

    March 13, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    A little, but important thing is recognizing that I can’t do it all!  On days that I pack in everything I could possibly do I end up way too exhausted.  Prioritizing is the most important thing!  

  • Denise Anderson

    March 13, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I advance menu plan, Lay out clothes the night before and prepack lunches…

  • Anna Whiston-Donaldson

    March 13, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    A little thing that goes a long way for me is storing plastic grocery bags in the bottom of the trashcans, so that when I throw a bag of trash out, I have another bag waiting.

  • Natalie S.

    March 13, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    A little thing I do is make the bed each day. It just sets the tone for getting things done and makes it nicer to get into each night. Takes less than a minute but makes such a difference!

  • Katherine in NC

    March 13, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    I do laundry everyday so that I don’t get behind and have to do more than one load on a catch up day. If I’m going to be extremely busy one day I will gather everyone’s clothes and put them in the washer and set the timer to turn it on an hour before I get up the next day. This way all I have to do is put them in the dryer and procrastinate folding them.

  • Elizabeth

    March 14, 2014 at 12:14 am

    a little thing that goes a long way Colin clean the kitchen tonight, make the bed every morning available in the Car.

  • Kristyl

    March 14, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Meal plan and grocery shop on Sundays

  • Mary

    March 14, 2014 at 6:43 am

    I put all my toddlers (healthy!) snacks on the lowest pantry shelf with little bowls next to them and she helps herself when she’s hungry. She’s a bottomless pit so it keeps me from being interrupted constantly and gives her some autonomy as well. WIN WIN.

    • Heather Sanders

      March 14, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      Kristyl – We do this too now – well, except its on Saturday. I started it because of the Whole30 Program I’m currently in, but wow…it makes the biggest difference!

  • Joy

    March 14, 2014 at 8:00 am

    I have my little girls make sure their clothes are right-side out and socks are not bunched up or folded over. Saves me a ton of time both for washing and folding.

  • Ann

    March 14, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I keep rags handy to wipe down surfaces. So much less waste than paper towels, and more effective.

  • LBH

    March 14, 2014 at 10:53 am

    One of the things I do is to assign sock duty to my five year old. It’s his job to find any socks and try and match them. It’s like a game (for now).

  • Jenn S

    March 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    i do laundry nearly every day…that way i don’t get buried in it on the weekends!

  • Marissa

    March 14, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I try and make double bathes of food to freeze to make those busy nights easier and I sort the laundry as clothing is put into the baskets.  Saves a lot of time for our family of 6.

  • Stephanie

    March 14, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Awesome give away! We have bins for our toddlers toys in the living room so he can help clean up, or we can quickly toss them in to clear the room for company. Bonus: he thinks the bins are hats and walks around looking like an old school robot.

  • Eden

    March 15, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I try to menu-plan every week and right now I’m on a freezer meal kick. I’ll choose an easy crockpot recipe and then multiply it by 5 or 6 (I have two crockpots) to freeze. Of course when you’re feeding a family 7, you’ll have less to freeze than you might think.

  • Dawn

    March 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I bake batches of bran muffins(which I freeze) and granola on the weekend to make breakfast/snacks easy for the week. I also have a general check list posted in the school room for my daughters’ daily assignments and in the bathroom and bedroom for chores. This helps my 3 girls be able to self-check whether they have truly completed their chores as I have taught them. I found that if I asked “Have you done your chores,” my children generally say “Yes.”  However, the results might not be what I was looking for. 🙂 Now I just ask “Have you completed the check-list,” and they take off to make sure. It’s easier on everyone and there is less negativity. The joy of clearly stated expectations! 

  • Katie

    March 16, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I’ve recently come back to power cooking–making several huge meals on the weekend that can be both lunch and dinners during the following week.  I’ve also taught my four year old to fold and put away her own laundry and unload the dishwasher, both of which she can do while I’m cooking or washing dishes and she’s so proud to be helping!

  • Sarah

    March 16, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    One thing I do is to use the time delay on my washer.  I put everything in and set it so it will be finished just before I get home from work.  That way I can just transfer the freshly washed clothes to the drier and be ahead on the laundry!

  • Rachel C

    March 17, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I try to plan our meals out for the week and then I know what’s available for each night, which nights we’ll have leftovers, etc. It has saved my sanity more than I thought possible!

  • Rosie

    March 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    My biggest little thing is preparing packed lunches the night before. Not only can I sleep longer in the morning (!), but my lunches are healthier and more balanced if I don’t pack them while groggy.

  • Kristin Shaw

    March 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I am reading some of the tips above and getting some great ideas. I also like to plan meals for the week and can be ready for activities and everything; plus, I like slow-cooked meals and really have to think ahead for those.

  • Andee

    March 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Laying out my outfit the night before makes a huge difference 

  • Katie

    March 17, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    With three busy 20 somethings in our house, we just write what grocery or household items (paper towels for example) on a white board on the fridge. When it’s time to go to the store, we just snap a picture of the list with our phone and walk out the door!

  • Miss B

    March 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I have a few cooking and baking shortcuts. Whenever I make cookie dough, I always use a scoop to make uniform dough balls which I immediately freeze for about an hour on a cookie sheet. Then I put all the dough balls in a freezer bag to use as needed. That way, we don’t waste anything or overeat. It’s rather nice to be able to bake up just a few cookies on a whim. Or, eat frozen cookie dough anytime you want!

  • Bonnie

    March 17, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    We sort laundry- and pretreat stains – into lights/darks/pants as we take off clothes. We also have a separate mini-hamper in the bathroom for towels, and one by the kitchen for rags and napkins and other random bits. This way our laundry is always sorted for us as it happens. 🙂

  • Lisa M

    March 17, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I cook in batches so that I have many meals prepared and frozen so that on days I don’t have much time to cook there is always something to eat.

  • Meg

    March 17, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Plan ahead! At the end of every day make time for tomorrow. I learned the hard way about what happens when I’m not prepared!

  • Wendy

    March 18, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Our meal plan keeps us on budget and cuts out any last minute freak-outs over what to fix for dinner.

  • karen b.

    March 18, 2014 at 1:56 am

    i finally started sorting laundry out according to person instead of colors a few months ago — it saves so much time since my 2-year-old and 4-year-old are close in size, and it would take FOREVER to sort tag-by-tag once they were dry.

  • Melissa b

    March 19, 2014 at 7:36 am

    I try to organize what needs to be done at the beginning of the week and divide it among the days. I also use the time delay function on my washing machine in the morning so my clothes are ready for the dryer when I come home but not musty smelling from sitting damp all day.

  • Andrea

    March 19, 2014 at 11:39 am

    We roast two whole chickens each month and freeze them in portions. This lets us pull out what we need for individual dinners without me having to worry about prep time.

  • missysoupy

    March 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Color coded laundry hampers definitely makes things go faster for us. Sorting your clothes when you toss them in the hamper seems so much less time consuming than weeding through everyone’s dirty duds on wash day (ahem, every day).

  • Manda

    March 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Microwave egg stone, bagged spinach, and sandwich slices of cheese – gourmet breakfast in 2 minutes

  • Carol

    March 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I buy in bulk in portion stuff out when i come home from the store and having a type 1 diabetic teen boy who is always hungry I always make a little extra at dinner so he has a 1/2 meal when he gets home so he doesn’t look for less healthy options I’ve got on hand for my pregnancy cravings!

  • Claire

    March 21, 2014 at 12:08 am

    I sew my own clothes! It lets me save money and preserve my own sense of fashion.

  • Tate

    March 21, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I make a batch of soup every week and portion it out into quart sized freezer bags.  Easy lunches and lazy day dinners.

  • Rachel

    March 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I get the coffee ready the night before!

  • LeahLeah80

    March 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I keep a trashcan (lined with trash bag) in my van – apx. 8 gallon size. It gets emptied a couple times a week, at least. From empty juice bags, to broken toys, to cleaning out mess from backpacks, it is SO helpful! The roll of scented trash bags even stays in the van, so that I can replace it any time it gets full when my busy family is out and about. 

  • Alison Wood

    March 23, 2014 at 3:55 am

    To make our life more simple, we do cleaning bursts throughout the day. One in the morning, one before naps and one before bedtime. It helps keep all the little messes at bay and a little less overwhelming! We have six kiddos in this house ages 12 all the way down to three, so it stays busy!

  • Katy

    March 23, 2014 at 7:29 am

    With an infant in the house every extra second counts (towards sleep, of course)! I keep a little set of diapers, wipes and hand sanitizer in every room so I can change a diaper anywhere and fast!

  • Paola

    March 23, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I cook using the slow cooker as much as possible so we have leftovers for lunch the next day and/or to freezer. This helps save time & also money! 
    Would love to get the gift card!

  • Katie

    March 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I grocery shop for the week very early on Sunday mornings. I never have to go to the shop again during the week – it is amazing! I used to be one of those people that would stop at the store every day – so time consuming and annoying! Now I shop for everything at once, prep it all and have it ready for the week! I waste less, am annoyed less and have way more time!

  • Tamara

    March 23, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    I use the Evernote app to organize and prepare for EVERYTHING. I have a meal plan excel sheet of rotating recipes that helps me plan the whole week, each week as well.

  • Becca

    March 24, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I wash certain items on certain days of the week and it never backs too far up.

  • LadyWeaver

    March 25, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Mu husband and I make it a point to do groceries together.

    We don’t always get to see each other a lot with our current schedules, so we make it a point to do this every week. We get coffee at Starbucks and then wander around Target for a bit and eventually end up with a cart full of food. It sounds silly, but it’s something I look forward too every week! 

  • nicole dz

    March 26, 2014 at 1:36 am

    we have a weekly board in the kitchen and each kid whenever a dinner, lunch, or breakfast idea comes to mind they right it down under each category for the next week, then we all sit down as a family and vote on meals and the I prepare some of them ahead of time, and such. That way everyone is included and getting something they want. Its a great idea for large households. And saves time so you not scrambling for a meal or running out to get something to eat or for an ingredient at the store.

  • Birdiebee

    March 27, 2014 at 4:22 am

    I stopped using drying sheets due to the expenses and kiddo allergies.  I now have a bowl sitting on top of the dryer with different colored wool balls for each family member.  When someone in the house uses the dryer, they pull their colored wool dryer balls out of the bowl and put in the dryer with their wet clothes.  This makes everyone’s life easier as well as healthier laundry and savings in the pocket.

  • Kristen

    March 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I empty the dishwasher every morning, do at least 1 load of laundry a day and clean my floors at night so at least they start out the day clean!

  • Samantha Jo campen

    March 27, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I fill the bottom of our garbage cans with more garbage bags. Saves time and no one can claim laziness for not refilling the can!

  • Jennifer

    March 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I keep a sharpie and roll of masking tape next to the fridge so that I can label and date every Tupperware that goes in. Saves us from the random rummaging for leftovers and claims that we have nothing to eat! Also eliminates leftovers from lingering for too long.

  • Jorge Lopez

    March 27, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Iron all my weekly work cloths on Sunday to take advantage of the extra time to sleep more. 😉

  • Michelle Smith

    March 27, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Every night I wash, dry, fold, and put away one load of laundry. It is never a large load since doing this every night keeps the hamper in check! After I put away the folded laundry I always feel like I made a small dent in the everyday responsibilities of life that we all juggle. 

  • Trish F

    March 28, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I definitely try to “clean as I go” while cooking – it makes a HUGE difference! Since I work during the day but want my fam to have a home cooked meal, I do as much prep work either the night before once the kiddo’s are asleep, or I use my lunch break to do meal prep – that way when we’re all together in the evening, we can spend more time together and less time in the kitchen.

  • Naomi

    March 31, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I clean as I go while cooking but I haven’t managed to deal with the one load of laundry daily so that my weekends aren’t consumed with sorting, folding and stowing. Need to work on that.

  • Laurene Nelson

    March 31, 2014 at 11:53 am

    The little things I do that go a long way are definitely having a 3 pocket sorting hamper in my laundry room. Everyone in my household knows to bring their dirty close in and sort by whites, darks, and “funny colors”. It makes for quick loading of the washer.

    I also try and plan my meals for the week with a menu app that also gives you a shopping list for ingredients. Quick and easy.

  • Alesha

    March 31, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    My girls (4 & 6) love to have eggs for breakfast.  Let’s be honest….mornings are hairy in our house.  I wish I could be one of those moms who serve a hot breakfast every morning but that just an’t happening.  So twice a week we make (together) spinach, bacon and egg fritatas that lasts for 2 mornings.  On Wednesday they get their breakfast ready (which is either cereal or toast).  

    Ready made healthy breakfast is what makes our morning run a little smoothie.  

    Thanks for the opportunity to win!  🙂