Now that school is in session and we have a new puppy – yes, it is like having a new baby in some ways! – I find that I am scrambling to get things done on time – or, actually, to get things done at all.
I am being greedy and selfish with this series of posts as I blog about time savers. I am breaking this subject down into various areas: kitchen, home, kids, work and more. I feel that our lives are crazy in a variety of areas, and often we have to prioritize: today we have to get kids to soccer and dance so we’ll eat fast food, or tonight is a work appointment so I’ll skip doing laundry/answering the phone/paying the bills.
When I threw out my query on this subject I received an enormous amount of wonderful tips for keeping your busy life somewhat organized. So, I hope that these tips help you as you go through your hectic life – and if you have any tips to add, I would love to hear them. Right now I need all the help I can get!
Suzy Martin, author of Enjoy the Ride: Tools, Tips, and Inspiration for the Most Common Parenting Challenges and Sleep Tight: Help Your Child Attain a Good Night’s Rest in Three Days, suggested the following to help cut back time in the kitchen:
- Make things in double or even triple batches and spend a morning
cooking a ton of things so you have to do limited work the next few
- Prepare two dinners and freeze enough for two more dinners.
- Prepare most of breakfast the next morning so all you need is assemble.
- Use your freezer! Bake 2 whole chickens, shred, and freeze in portions
sizes for next meal. Freeze half a batch of cookies after you eat the
- Meal swap with someone. You each pick a day during the week to make a
double-batch of a meal and then give one portion to the other family so
for one day they don’t have to cook!
Kristen Cole, Media Relations Director at Smith College, writes:
- When you empty the dishwasher, stack the clean cutlery and plates for the
next meal on the kitchen table. Why put them in the cabinet overnight? (And if you have been following my posts on chores, what a great chore to give your child at the end of the day – prepare the table for breakfast in the morning!)
Brenda J. Ponichtera, RD, author of Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas,AND Quick & Healthy Volume II, offers these suggestions:
- Write out menus, using quick, but healthy, recipes that your family
enjoys, with the idea of using them over and over again. Keep them on
file cards for easy reference. (see Lasagne recipe below for a start)
- Plan on “cooking once and serving twice”. So choose a recipe or two where you can have leftovers for another meal.(see below for a start)
- Ask family members to help put away groceries. Sharing the work load
will help save you time and it will also teach a valuable lesson to
children. (Again, a great chore for those children who are helping around the house!)
Ponichtera also believes what I believe: Shop once per week to cut back on time and money, and go with a grocery list and coupons in hand. I use the weekly flyers to prepare a low cost menu; while this does take a little time up front, it saves a lot of time (not to mention money) when I shop.