Handy tips for an easy evening with the family

Woman enjoys film on sofa with kids

When you've got a big day planned, nothing provides more comfort than knowing you have an easy evening ahead. Evenings when dinner practically makes itself and the house is already fairly clean. Evenings when you're free to snuggle up with the kids and enjoy a good film. Bliss!

It may seem impossible when you’re juggling everything during the day, but Sky Store asked Mumsnetters to share their tips for easy evenings and relaxing once the sun's gone down. Here's what they said…

Let the oven do all the work
An oven door opens

“My tip for an easy evening is pizza in the oven and Friends on Netflix. Just ignore all the housework because you've probably worked very long hours and want to spend some time with the kids.”

Two birds, one to-do list
To Do List and cup of coffee

“Every morning, I make a list of all the tasks that need doing when I get home from work. I add to it throughout the day if I remember anything else. Then when I get home, I cross reference anything that can be multi-tasked eg. Put the washing on whilst in the kitchen doing dinner (that's two things crossed off list!). Change bedding and hang washing up whilst DS is in the bath (three things crossed off the list!). Anything after that can wait for tomorrow.”

Get your tools to do some teamwork
Woman places dishes in dishwasher

“The best way to make your evening easy is to lump similar jobs together. If the washing machine and dishwasher are next to each other, just do them together.”

Nothing wrong with a bit of bribery
Boy rolls in bed in blue pyjamas

“PJs on as early as possible. I have been known to bribe my kids with a bit of TV after they get their PJs on. That always helps.”

Get lost in the zone
No Mobile Phones warning

“If we are sitting down to watch a film together or a meal together, all mobile phones and gadgets have to be put to one side.”

Make it irresistible
Michael Jackson eats popcorn

“I love movie nights. In our house even our teenager comes and sits down for a movie in the evening. We eat pizza, garlic bread, ice cream and snacks. Oh, and the lights have to be off. Don’t forget the pyjamas and comfy blankets. Perfect. Even my 14-year-old loves it so it can’t be too bad.”

Avoid the baggage
Pencil case and folder in one

“I make it easy by cooking a meal that's really quick. Spaghetti and garlic bread usually. Then we do a bag check so there's no sudden homework to deal with later on when we're all comfy.”

Take it slow
Beef stew inside a slow cooker

“I make things easier by using a slow cooker. Usually goes on around lunch time and most of the dishes are done before we've even eaten. This saves so much time later on in the evening!”

Four hands are better than two
GBBO Kitchen hug

“When DH helps with the cooking and dishes, they're done in half the time. Which means extra time for lazing on the sofa with a snuggly blanket.”

Jacket potatoes for the win
Jacket Potatoes

“Jacket potatoes in the oven while homework's being done – add beans and cheese when they're cooked, then bath time before we settle down for a movie or two – job done.”

Check out ideas for baked potato fillings here. And handy slow-cooker recipes here.

Got any more easy evening tips? Join the conversation here