Running errands is something we all have to do on a regular basis. It may not be your favorite task, it certainly isn’t mine, but it is necessary. A little planning on the front end can save time in your busy schedule as well as keeping more money in your pocket in terms of fuel consumption at the least.
Due to innovations in technology, a lot of our tasks can be done online via electronic device. Shopping online saves time by finding the specific item you’re looking for without in-person store shopping. Purchases can be delivered to your home, which is a huge timesaver that doesn’t require running errands.
Sale notices and discounts received in your email inbox can save money on purchases that you need at the time. The operative phrase being ‘you need at the time’. Don’t fall into the trap of buying things you don’t need due to an enticing sale email.
Many tasks can be done online, but not everything. For those tasks, running errands is a requirement. It’s a little difficult to put gas in your car, or fill up a gas can for your mower online. Closing on a new home requires signing a whole bunch of documents in-person.
Doctors and dentist appointments, veterinary appointments, medical tests, choosing plants for your garden, or choosing a live tree to put up at Christmas are some tasks that require in-person visits, or running errands.
As mentioned above, a little planning on the front end can save time in your busy schedule as well as keeping more money in your pocket. The strategy shown below is intended to give you a starting point to create a plan specific to your needs. If you have other thoughts on the topic of creating a plan for running errands, please share them in the comments box below.
Creating a plan
- Schedule a date/time for running errands based your availability.
- List all your errands.
- Prioritize each errand based on dependencies; ie., scheduled appointments, business operating hours, expiring discounts/coupons.
- Put the business name beside each errand.
- Map the route you will take starting from your house based on the priorities set above.
- As you schedule your errands, take drive time into account.
- Cash payments may require an ATM visit first.
- Expiring coupons & discounts.
- Bringing a cooler when picking up perishable items.
- When mapping your route, take the overall shortest route to save fuel consumption.
- Spreading out errands over multiple days if your list is extensive.