Busy Family in the Kitchen
Timesaving Sanity Savers for Busy Families
Ever feel like your busy schedule just keeps getting crazier? With only 24 hours in a day, there’s got to be a way to make every minute count—and still keep your wits. To start—take a look at your current routine, and you might find ways where even a small change can help make a difference and save you some time. Here are some ideas to help maximize your precious minutes.

Easy tricks when you’re on-the-go

- Keep your car stocked with supplies. When you’ve got the kids in tow, it seems you never have enough arms to carry all the things you need in one load. Rather than making multiple trips back and forth, keep a stash of kid essentials that stays in the car—from a spare diaper bag with extra diapers, wipes, and change of clothing, to a mini toy box of travel-ready toys for the kiddos.

- Paying full price is for fools! You’ll be ready to do some serious shopping and saving armed with your coupon binder. Create one with the Avery Mini Binder, and organize the contents with accessories such as Avery Mini Business Card Pages to tuck your coupons and store discount cards inside. For larger coupons and online printouts, Avery Mini Binder Pockets provide ample room for letter-sized sheets folded in half.

Nifty tips for snacks and meals

It’s all about eating right, not eating rushed. Here’s how you can prepare fixins that still pack a nutritious punch. Pre-package snacks in small bags and containers so they’re ready to grab and go.  

- Individual servings of cereal, crackers, dried fruit, and nuts can be stored in your pantry, while veggies, cheese, fruit and other perishables can be kept in your fridge, in snack-size portions and ready when you need them.

- Shorten up your daily meal prep time by making meals in bulk once a week. By doubling or tripling your recipes, you can create multiple batches at once. Just freeze the extra and label with freezer-safe Avery I.D. Labels. Include a “use by” date, and quick instructions for reheating so anybody can defrost, heat, and serve.

- Need to fix dinner but no time to run to the store? Try a recipe search engine, such as www.supercook.com, which brings up recipes based on ingredients you have at home.  

Simple ways to handle the home

Is your household as busy as a bee(hive)? Try these sweet tips to keep your home and family organized. - No more overlapping schedules or double-booking—a household activity calendar can keep track of busy family schedules, all in one place. Create a family “command center” in a high-traffic spot at home, so everyone can see what’s going on at a glance.

- Use “upstairs/downstairs” baskets. Tired of running up and down the stairs, only to remember items you’ve left behind? Keep a laundry basket or crate at the top and foot of the stairs, then add items that need to be taken upstairs or downstairs during the course of the day. You’ll be able to minimize the number of trips you take (unless you want to burn the calories, of course).

- Make a home reference book of important contacts. List emergency numbers (such as poison control), numbers of friends and family, and even Mr. Fix-it’s phone number all in one binder. Keep by the household phone, home office, or any place that’s easy to access.

When you find a more efficient way of doing things, you can make the most of your time without making drastic changes. And the more time you save means more time you can spend with your family and your friends—and even a little more time for yourself.