a blog about parenting, home daycare, adoption and life in general.
Life In General

Mom Hacks That My Family Loves

Running a household with kids in tow is all about managing priorities.  As much as Facebook would have us believe otherwise, no woman can do it all and survive.  Tasks must be triaged, chores must be delegated, activities must be capped, and family members must come first.

The Coldwater Fall Fair

Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about helping things run a little more smoothly around here, while keeping our priorities intact.  Here are some of my favourite Mom Hacks that get the job done quickly, without sacrificing the things that really matter.

Crock Pot Dinners:

I am terrible at meal planning.  I have such a hard time remembering to take meat out of the freezer in time to thaw it for dinner.  So, I started cooking it from frozen.  That’s right, I throw a frozen chicken or roast in the crock pot straight up.  I add about a cup of liquid (broth, gravy mixture, water, whatever …), some pre-washed mini potatoes and several handfuls of baby carrots, and cook it on high for 5-ish hours.  Viola – dinner is ready when you are, and it took just 5 minutes to make!

Fresh Bread:

You probably already know how you can buy frozen bread dough that’s ready to bake … IMG_20140430_075326096right after you let it thaw, rise for an hour, grease the pan, and preheat the oven.  But what you may not know is that you can put that same dough straight from the freezer into a greased loaf pan, cover it with plastic wrap, and leave it on the kitchen counter for the day to thaw and rise while you’re at work.  When you get home from work, take off the plastic wrap and put the pan straight in the oven at 350F for 20-30 minutes.  You’ll have fresh, hot bread to go with that Crock Pot Dinner!

IMG_20140430_155835622

Fresh Cookies:

Back when I was young and ambitious, I started the tradition of making homemade cookies for the kids everyday after school.  They love the idea of coming home to fresh cookies, and while it’s not the healthiest snack, it makes them happy.  I quickly realized that I couldn’t keep that tradition up everyday without cutting some corners.  So now, I buy store-bought dough, the kind that you can just slice and bake.  Many schools and organizations also sell pre-made cookie dough as a fundraiser.  What better way to support the community while saving your time!

IMG_20140430_160012635

Go Bag:

We keep a Go Bag in our van all the time.  It has all of the things we may need while we’re out.  When the kids were smaller, it had a first aid kit, extra diapers, wipes, extra clothing, and lots of plastic bags.  As they got older, we’ve changed it up to add flashlights, sunscreen and bug repellant, along with lots of extra Band-Aids.  The kids each have Bug Out Bags that contain more personal items (bathing suits, etc), but our Go Bag has proved invaluable on many occasions.  And it means that when we get sidetracked with spontaneous adventures, we’re ready!

Bug-Out Bags - Our grab & go bags for day trips or overnight trips.

Individual Laundry Baskets:

Everyone in our family has their own laundry basket, which means that each load of laundry belongs to only one person.  That immediately eliminates the unnecessary step of sorting clean laundry, and that makes my life MUCH easier!  It also makes teaching the kids to do their own laundry a natural progression rather than a complete change in routine.

Minimal Prep Fruits and Veggies:

Apples, grapes, baby carrots, berries, mini potatoes, clementines, snap peas — they all require very little prep, which makes them a huge time saver!  They’re also all super easy to pack for lunches, making them one of my favourite short-cuts ;-).

Brownie & Cake Mixes:

Because nobody really cares whether those Bake Sale squares are from scratch or not.  They’re going to buy them 1) because they have lots of icing and their kid wants one or 2) to support the cause.  Box mixes are a perfect way to save time and dishes – most are one bowl affairs.

We’ve all got ways of making life easier with a family to manage. 

What are your favourite hacks and shortcuts?

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!

8 Comments

  1. Amy Ditmore

    I saw brownies and cake mixes and just remembered I need two things for a bake sale this week :/ lol. I use my crockpot a lot too and also cook from frozen many times. I like the cookie dough idea too, I’m thinking now about making my cookie dough ahead of time and finding a way to keep it in rolls in my fridge!!! Maybe…

  2. Amanda

    These are all some really great mom hacks. I am all about crock pot dinners but for baked goods I typically rely on the store. And since I am a much better cook than baker, I’m sure the kids and other potential customers would appreciate my choice. Thanks for sharing that all of us moms can’t do it all–and that it is OKAY.

  3. Sicorra@NotNowMomsBusy

    Yes, I love my crockpot. Such a time saver. And I remember as a kid, sorting through the family laundry when it was time to put all the clean clothes away. How smart of you to have everyone have their own laundry basket.
    Go check out Sicorra@NotNowMomsBusy’s latest post! Working Out With Your SpouseMy Profile

  4. Donna Ward

    Love each one of your hacks – wish I had thought of the fresh cookies for my little one – and having the ‘Go Bag’ is a fab idea!

  5. Nickida

    I don’t remember the last time I made a fresh loaf of bread and I think I’m going to make one this weekend. I just loved when I was a child and my mom would bake us fresh bread and we would get a hot slice with some butter. Oh now I’m hungry. LOL. Great tips.
    Go check out Nickida’s latest post! Top Mates Finishing Sauce Review #TopMatesMy Profile

  6. Mommy Pehpot

    These are great hacks! I love the go bag idea and the pre made doughs! I wish there is something like that here in my country.

  7. Danielle Des

    These will all come in handy one day when I have my own family. But, I think I can start on the dinner though 🙂

  8. Cara (@StylishGeek)

    I am so addicted to hacks! It started when I started subscribing to ‘Real Simple’ and they started featuring hacks. My favorite one is using a clothes dryer fabric softener sheet and putting them inside the shoes so that the shoes always have a fresh scent! Still use this hack until today!

Comments are now closed.