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Time Savers for busy mums

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by jodidi, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. I'm lazier - I lift it from the freezer, stick it in micro frozen, blast til it's bubbling then leave to cool. If little man is v hungry I sometimes turf the lava-hot dinner onto a dinner plate, spread out with a knife, it cools it quicker.
     
  2. I'm tempted by the meal planning thing, but dh does most of the cooking so it would be down to him to do it, and he likes to just create stuff. Seeing as it's his thing I'll just leave him to it.
    I freeze soup for lo (we didn't use purees as we did BLW) in breastmilk storage bags as you can lie them flat and then they are ultra thin and defrost really quickly.
     
  3. I do that 4 week meal planner off mumsnet! I swear by it now i'm back at work. We don't really get bored by it as there's different things fro each of the 4 weeks - i try to do chicken/fish/red meat/veggie each week but the sauce etc is different. It's a lot easier now as LO eats what we eat, he's just turned 1. It's actually made us eat a lot healthier - no salt etc. Also it does save on shopping as we just get what we need for the week.
     
  4. MLT

    MLT

    We are in the middle of my second week of the planner and I'm actually going to be sitting down on Sunday and planning another two weeks. Writing a weekly food plan is lovely and simple, and yes I was concerned about being stuck to a rota, but I dont really feel like that. And I have made some simple changes if I feel like it in the evening.
    I think I said before that I had only done a two week plan, but I think this worked for my free flowing self. It also showed flaws in my first week plan (way to complex cooking), and I am really happy I ignored my fears and tried it.
    I am not kidding, SLOW COOKERS ARE MY FRIEND. I have had a meetings yesterday and today, and so have used mine yesterday and today. So simple and so easy and I have dinner and lunch sorted. It is simply put it all in, turn it on and off you go. REALLY. I'm trying out a few different recipes from Mumsnet so that I can add them to future food plans. If you not sure, see if you can borrow one, down load any recipe you find on the net and make it one Saturday. I promise you will be converted. I am currently puttng a slow cooked meal into my meal plan once a week.


     
  5. MLT if you like your slow cooker this book is great http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultimate-Slow-Cooker-Delicious-Recipes/dp/0600618951/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1308167992&sr=8-2 and only £6.50 on amazon, I try and do one slow cook meal a week and there's loads of nice ones in here.
    On other tips - frozen mixed veg and frozen chopped spinache are my friends for quick week night cooking. I love the Anabel Karmel popeye pasta recipe, the sauce is just chopped spinach (I use frozen blasted for a minute in the microwave) in a pan with a **** of butter then as it sizzles add a spoon of soft cheese, and a bit of grated cheese, optional basil, a dash of milk if it's a bit thick. mix with pasta, dinner done in about 10 min (less for baby pasta) if OH is out I make extra and eat it too.
    Learning how to programme my oven, not actually hard and now I can put potatoes in there in the morning and set so they are cooked as I come home, nicer than microwaving I think. Sometimes I just set the oven to come on 15 minutes before I come home so I can just get tea in a bit quicker.
    I also find giving myself a '10 minute tidy up' after LO goes to bed, I literally set the oven timer and dash around for 10 minutes doing as much as I can, then when the timer stops, I stop, whether it is tidy or not, far better than being slow and never stopping all evening.
     
  6. I've looked at the meal planners, and whilst it's a fab idea, the thought of cooking so many new dishes in one week (if you followed one religiously) would surely be time consuming? I have always written a list of meals for the coming week and done my internet shop accordingly, altho I have to keep it under wraps and give my OH an illusion of choice otherwise he gets a bit stressy! I usually aim to cook one new meal a month so am slowly adding to my repetoire of about 20 or so meals that I churn out, altho not on a strict roat basis.
    Having a small baby has made me realise that I store stuff in the wrong places. I am forever having to pop out of rooms to fetch stuff which is less than ideal as LO is getting more and more mobile. As an example, my underwear was kept in a cupboard on the landing and my toiletries were in the bedroom! So, my top tip would be to store stuff in the place you need it! I'm currently having a big sort out and I hope to end up with less stuff generally, so less to clean (or clean around) and less to tidy.
    But the best time saver is definitely having an OH who deals with all the laundry, including ironing. Altho it can get a bit disheartening when the only time he requests that I take my clothes off is to make a full wash!!!!
     
  7. Not one for the environmentally minded but I keep Dettol wipes and other cleaning stuff all round the house so that if baby happens to be happily playing eg in his room, I can quickly clean the surfaces. I also often clean the bathroom while he is having his bath - it is so small that he is always within reach, clean the shower while I'm in it and hoover with him in a sling.
     
  8. LOL!! I would be delighted ;-)) Bless Oh though- he has done his own washing tonight as he's going away for a week tomorrow, for work :-(( I am going to get a slow cooker book from the library tomorrow and begin some research!
     
  9. You could always make double and freeze half for later in the month. I'm a bit tight for freezer space but always have a bit of bolognese sauce or something hiding in there.
    My problem is I get stuck for ideas for meals. I hate the idea of buying a big packet of something to use a teeny bit in one recipe, as I have the tiniest kitchen ever with hardly any cupboard space.
     
  10. MLT

    MLT

    Meal planning - I didn't realise there was two ways of doing it. I plan my own meals for the week, using a callender and then print them up. My OH is currently loving it as I've been baking a bit. (one miz micorwave chocolate cake. Nothing domestic goddess I'm happy to say!) What I am realising on week 3 of this meal planning thing is that I actually only really want to cook a proper meal once during the week. I'm also really happy with soups etc for lunch so I don't have to knock myself out on 3 course meals.
    Freezer space - glitterkid I hear you on that. I bought a new freezer when I was pregnant without looking at it. Was away when it was delivered so it was already in use (and dirty!) when I realised it would be to small. I do a lot of wet things (sauces and soups) go into ice cupe trays and get frozen. Everything else is just spilling out of the sides. I promise myself that when I move out of my 1 bed room flat I will buy a big one.
     
  11. I plan the meals for the week and buy all the stuff in the weekly shop, but still sit and rack my brains every weekend trying to think of meals- I guess the difference if I had a 2 or 4 week meal planner would be that I knew exactly what i was going to cook and what I needed to buy! I came home half an hour early last week one day and cooked up two portions of chili and two of spag bog. We had one of each last week and the remaining two are in the freezer! If i have any energy tonight (OH away, and LO has just gone to bed) I will cook some soup I think! Keep the tips coming ladies- it's a good thread!
     
  12. Maybe we should start a meal planning thread? We could each write down our 7 main meals for the week and then use each others as inspiration for our own the following week? It should prob go on the cookery forum but if we called it mum's meal planner I'm sure we could get away with it! Let me know if you fancy it and I'll be brave and start it with my weeks meals....
     
  13. Wormburger- great idea, thanks! (As long as your user ID has nothing to do with the food you dish up, lol!)
     
  14. Sounds like a great idea wormburger. I'd love some inspiration as we're stuck in a bit of a rut at the moment.
     
  15. I have started the thread but someone else needs to put their meals in now cause mine are not very interesting! Clematis, the username is from a childhood nickname so don't panic!
    I've thought of another time saving thing, I've got a birthday book recently which has a monthly card where you record all the birthdays and store cards too in each months section. I intend to check at the beginning of each month and go out and buy and write all the cards in plenty of time, but who knows whether that will happen! I also have a present drawer where I put things as I buy them, either for specific people or if I see a good offer on nice smellies or kids books so I always have stuff to hand. I also 're-gift' stuff but I don't know if that's a bit rude!
     
  16. I also have one of those birthday books. Got it about 3 years ago for christmas, and started the year with really good intentions, but it lasted til May (my birthday) then I sort of lost interest and it's been gathering dust ever since [​IMG]
    I have a present drawer too, it was really useful when my eldest was invited to every child's party in the class. I used to buy generic toys/games in sales so I could look as if I'd spent more money than I had, and then dd was allowed to choose for a particular child out of the drawer. I regift things too, and think it's only rude if people realise you've done it.
     
  17. I like the idea of the card thing - i love all things stationery related.

    Not so much a time saver, i'm sure it's done by loads of people, but quite handy. I put some wipes in a resealable bag, then put those into another bag with a nappy and keep it in glove boxes in my car, husband's car, handbag, etc. Handy if you're nipping out but not lugging a changing bag.


     
  18. Since having a baby my house is far less dusty because I when I see it I whip out a baby wipe and done! Not very eco but a lifesaver when you see the incriminating layer 2 mins before guests/MIL comes round!
     
  19. blueone

    blueone New commenter

    A great time saving device that i bought for 69p the other day was a feather duster!! May sound a bit strange but my cleaning routine consisted of spending time on my hands and knees with wipes, cleaning the dusty areas and then going over them with a dry cloth to make them shine. But the feather duster is so much easier and quicker and i only have to go over surfaces once and they are done. oh and it makes the LO laugh too!
    I too struggle with ideas for meals. Apart from spag bol, i dont know what else to freeze?? I did make fajitas last night tho and i thought if i made them when i went back to school i could chop up all of the onions, peppers, chicken etc the night before and keep them in the fridge for the next day to fry. Maybe something to do on a sunday night for monday? also im going to shop on line for food too :)

     

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