I agree testing does suck they need to come up with a controller with a digital readout for everything that's on constantly. Pretty pricey piece of kit I would guess.
The way I do it is dependant on what's in my tank. For example I have 4 or 5 corals so they're not really going to take up much calcium and magnesium etc so I just do weekly water changes with a decent salt mix and RODI
water that I know is 0 TDS
or very close to. This rules out a lot of testing.
Leaving nitrate and phosphate. I use D&D. They are timely but very accurate.
If anything happens in my tank like a dead fish or something out of the blue I use the simple API test kit for ammo and trites. Rarely these get used except when I'm QT'ing.
Current tank 260g FOWLR.
Fish: Moorish Idol, Powder Blue Tang, Hippo Tang, J Emperor Angel, 3 Chromis, 2 Black & White Clowns, Yellow Tang,