Advanced search

To ask for your ultimate life hacks/time saving ideas/easiest recipes/money saving tips all in one go.

(401 Posts)
shakeituntilyoumakeit Thu 23-Jan-20 18:31:46

I’ve been unwell and off work for a money and the combination of getting back on my feet and January and kids and school and washing and ALL OF THE THINGS to be a bit much at the moment and need some ideas on how to make life easier.

I’ve just started making overnight oats for everyone which is very cheap, very quick, vegan, a nice kids activity for them to learn to chop fruit and pick what they want and thought of the time I could have saved over the years. This combined with the fact it’s really healthy and it’s a nice activity to do with the kids made me want to reach out for hive mind collective wisdom.

What am I missing! I’m looking for your smuggest tips!

cricketmum84 Thu 23-Jan-20 18:41:50

Mine is meal planning!

I order all my fruit and veg from a local company on a Friday to be delivered on a Monday and use that as the basis of my meals. I plan on a weekend every evening meal (both veggie and meat Cos my family are awkward) and work lunches for me and make a shopping list from that plan.

No more staring into the fridge on an evening trying to decide what to cook and no more throwing unused food away at the end of the week Cos we have only bought what we needed.

Lippy1234 Thu 23-Jan-20 18:44:27

Time saving-I never iron.

shakeituntilyoumakeit Thu 23-Jan-20 20:51:32

Meal planning yes I’m trying to do that as much as I can and I’ve never ironed anyway!

StillWeRise Thu 23-Jan-20 20:55:14

that's always the trouble with these threads, I am already doing nearly all the things that get suggested

Didntwanttochangemyname Thu 23-Jan-20 20:55:17

I've just stated meal planning and it's saving us a fortune and makes life so much easier.

I set the kids clothes out for the next day at bedtime, it takes away having to think about it in the morning.

mulkshake Thu 23-Jan-20 21:07:58

I have a little toiletries type bag with tissues, lip balm, hand sanitiser, coin purse, pen, tampons, a few lollipops, phone chargers etc etc that I move from handbag to handbag. Sometimes I need a nice bag, sometimes I need a backpack/whatever - I just take the mini bag out of one bag and put it in the one I'm using.

shakeituntilyoumakeit Thu 23-Jan-20 21:10:59

ooh That’s a good one

Nottalotta Thu 23-Jan-20 21:19:13

I iron school uniform on Sundays, and then fold both childrens clothes in to outfits and put on a shelf. So ds1 has 5 x school uniforms. Ds2 has 3 x outfits plus 2 x pre school uniforms for the days he goes there. Each set has everything, including vest, socks and pants.

Load the car up the night before, so I have already put tomorrow's coats and school bags etc in the car.

Put out breakfast bowls spoons and cups for dc (they are 2 and4 so I do this for them to save time and mess)

Rose789 Thu 23-Jan-20 21:31:57

How old are the kids?
It might be an idea to set some family rules. Even if it’s just the kids putting their clothes in the laundry hamper. Each morning grab an armful and put it in the machine before do anything else. By the time breakfast is done and the kids are ready it’ll be ready to hang up.
Take it easy on yourself you’re not well don’t try to do much and accept any and all help that is offered by people in real life

isthistoonosy Thu 23-Jan-20 21:32:57

Me, OH, 2 kids who are 5 and 6.
Kids prep their own dressing chair each night, and hsve done since they were 2 and 3 yrs old.

Meals are planned min 1 week at a time, with space to add ideas, we use this when planning the next weeks meals.

Clothes ie Jean's, jumpers are re worn, aprons are used when cooking etc, and kids are responsible for putting clothes in their basket and emptying their basket into the main one. They tend to let us know if the main one is full.

Kids have lots of games they can play together without our input and know that sometimes we have to work from home.

We have a step stool in the hall so kids can get their own things down and hang them up (work in progress) when they come home.
Clear easy routine in the morning wake 45 min before we need to go - dress, teeth, simple breakfast, books/ newspaper if time (they like this, so it is a good incentive), and we recently found out that music to wake up makes us all much calmer and happier.

LooseleafTea Thu 23-Jan-20 21:34:27

I like eating puddings but not making them. My lazy way of making crumble is melt the butter and stir in sugar and flour or oats as saves having to rub it in

recrudescence Thu 23-Jan-20 21:39:26

Save time, toiletries and hot water by only having a shower/bath every other day.

Save water, electricity and detergent by giving your clothes a good sniff before you put them in the laundry basket - wear them again if they don’t pong.

coconuttelegraph Thu 23-Jan-20 21:39:32

that's always the trouble with these threads, I am already doing nearly all the things that get suggested

I know what you mean, I always hope for something new but I find the suggestions are obvious or appear on every tip thread, fingers crossed☺

Copperblack Thu 23-Jan-20 21:40:47

I keep all family admin and paperwork in a folder and take it with me if I know I’m going to be hanging around somewhere, such as hospital appointment, I get loads done. I even have a mini stationery set with stapler etc.

Retroflex Thu 23-Jan-20 21:47:57

I have a chest freezer which I use after batch cooking for the entire month in a single weekend. Then it's just a case of buying fresh salad ingredients to have with a lasagne which is already "made" and just needs to be warmed in the oven.

I also have large glass airtight containers which are full of "staples" when it comes to dry ingredients, lentils, rice, pearl barley etc, and I use them to "bulk out' other meals, for example adding them to casseroles and stews, by doing this, it costs less per portion, but remains extremely filling.

I enjoy cooking, and find that buying" in bulk" works out cheaper than buying only when you want a specific meal, as often the ingredients in my recipes can be used in other recipes which prevents food wastage. I also put individual portions in the freezer, so I'm not defrosting more than I need at any time.

I don't buy prepackaged "convenience" foods, as I've said in another thread, I don't even own a microwave. I find a lot of these "microwave meals" are full of additives and preservatives, and they are very expensive for low quality foods, in small portions, which I doubt would satisfy a hungry appetite. Portions typically aren't one size fits all, a child and an adult with a physically demanding lifestyle will need different things.

dementedma Thu 23-Jan-20 21:51:11

Freeze whole chillies and roots of ginger and just grate from frozen when needed. So much easier.

When boiling pasta, chuck in a couple of eggs (in their shells). Cool, and keep in the fridge and then take to work for breakfast the next day.

Glasses steam up when reading in the bath? Dunk them in the bath water for a few seconds and then dry. They don’t steam up again.

Cut old towels, cotton vests into scraps and use as reusable make up remover pads. Just bung in the washing machine with laundry and re-use.

JayeAshe Thu 23-Jan-20 21:52:37

Just a teeny tiny hint , if you have a paper money-off coupon associated with a loyalty card, use an elastic band to fasten the coupon to the card so it's there when you want it.

poshme Thu 23-Jan-20 21:54:05

Have 2 washing baskets- 1 white, 1 black. Kids are trained to put stuff into correct basket so I don't have to sort washing into different colours before throwing into the machine.

shakeituntilyoumakeit Thu 23-Jan-20 21:54:39

OMG THE SCHOOL BAGS IN THE CAR IS GENIUS. But we sometimes walk and sometimes drive. What I should actually do is have them ready on their pegs at least

bringbackspanishflu Thu 23-Jan-20 21:54:48

Frozen fruit for the overnight oats much nicer

Frozen prechopped onions, mushrooms etc

Prep plan meals

Clean as you go

UndertheCedartree Thu 23-Jan-20 21:56:37

@shakeituntilyoumakeit - how do you make your overnight oats?

ferntwist Thu 23-Jan-20 21:59:21

Can I ask what everyone makes and stores their overnight oats in? One of the trendy mason jars? Or ordinary Tupperware plastic tubs? Or something totally different?

cricketmum84 Thu 23-Jan-20 21:59:31

Whenever you make something like a chilli, pasta, curry. Casserole etc etc make sure you do an extra portion. Freeze in Tupperware for an easy lunch or dinner when you don't have the energy to cook.

Bonus points if you don't label it up and have no idea what you are getting 😂

TheDarkPassenger Thu 23-Jan-20 22:00:20

Is it just me or are eggs too dirty to put in with pasta? Ours are almost 100% certain to have chicken shit or arse feathers stuck to them 😐

Love these threads though, although I only dream of being able to batch cook! I end up forgetting what’s in the freezer so we cook fresh every night. I need to sort this out, might look at chest freezers

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »