Welcome to Homemaking Tips Tuesdays where contributing writers share helpful homemaking tips so you can feel more successful caring for your home and family.

{This week, post by: Tricia}

4 homemaking short cuts for busy moms.

Life is hectic.  I thought it would get less busy once my children got bigger.  After all, they’re bigger.  They can do things on their own like grab their own snacks, pour their own juice, dress themselves and do chores.

Instead, life just got more complicated.  If it’s not school, it’s tutoring or after school lessons, fitting in exercise, play-time, quality time, meal time and the list goes on.

So, what’s a busy mom to do?  Take some short cuts.  Here are a few of my short cuts for busy moms.

Short cuts for busy moms

#1.  Baking

You know when your child tells you the night before the big bake sale that they promised you’d contribute something?  Don’t panic.  If you have a box of cake mix in your cupboard, a couple of eggs and some vegetable oil, you have all the makings of the easiest cookies you will ever make.

Cake Mix Cookies Recipe:

1 box cake mix

1/3 cup of vegetable oil (I admit I’ve resorted to using olive oil and it worked just fine)

2 eggs

Chocolate chips – optional

Directions:  Add all ingredients to your mix bowl and mix until blended.  Batter will be thick like cookie dough, just maybe a little wetter.

Drop by teaspoon full onto cookie sheet (I use aluminum foil for quick clean up) and bake at 375 degrees for 7 – 10 minutes.

Easily makes 24 cookies.



One night I was desperate for an easy to make snack idea for my children’s lunches the next day.  The cupboard was a little bare so I was grasping at straws when I saw the package of tart shells in my freezer.  I quickly checked to make sure I had jam and voila an idea was born.   I now try to always keep a stock of tart shells in the freezer.


1 package of frozen tart shells

Approx 1 cup  of strawberry or raspberry jam

1 egg – beaten in  a bowl


Separate the tart shells from the package and set out on the counter.  Allow to thaw for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, gently loosen the tart shells from the foil pan and lay on clean counter.  You can then gently coax the shells to lay somewhat flat.

Drop a teaspoon of jam onto each shell and brush egg mixture along the edges of the pastry.

Fold the pastry over until you have a half moon mini pie.

Using a floured fork, you can pinch the edges together, poke a few holes across the top with the fork and place on a baking sheet.

Again, parchment paper or aluminum foil work great for easy clean up.  If you like, you can even brush the egg wash over the top of the pie and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.


#2.  Dinner time:  Cook once, eat twice

It’s important to our family to sit down and eat a meal together every night.  However, a hectic schedule can sometimes mean that we’re running to the drive-thru.  Which means we’re not only killing our budget but we’re also eating unhealthy food.

So, we started to prepare extra food so that we’d purposely have leftovers. This way we’d get a minimum of two meals out of it.

When I make lasagna, I simply make two and freeze the second for another night.  

Baked chicken dinner one night turns into chicken fajita’s the next. 

Sunday roast beef dinner becomes broccoli beef stir fry later in the week. 

You would be surprised that by just having the protein cooked and ready to go in your fridge that it suddenly doesn’t seem so overwhelming to pull a dinner together.  After all, how hard is it to throw together some vegetables and put a pot of rice on?


#3.  Laundry

Let’s face it, laundry will always be one of those chores that’s time consuming. There are not a lot of ways to save time on laundry but pre-sorting does help.

We have 3 separate laundry baskets – 1 for lights, 1 for darks and 1 for towels.  This way there is no digging through dirty laundry to sort.

Maybe you like to iron.  I don’t.  At least not for a whole houseful of people.  Instead, I make sure I take my clothes out of the dryer as soon as possible and I hang all our shirts.  Well, mine and my husbands.  The kids don’t care if their shirts are wrinkled.


#4.  Cleaning

Delegate, delegate, delegate.  I can’t stress this enough.  Up until this past year I rarely asked my children for their help because they’d whine and complain and some days I just wasn’t up to listening to it.  That is, until I realized that the more it became a habit for them to help, the less they whined or complained.  Instead it became the normal routine.  Now when I come home to a messy kitchen and bags of groceries to put away, I get each child to tackle a different chore and suddenly the weight of having to do it all myself is gone.

Another thing we like to do is take one day a week and tackle all the big chores, like vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms etc.  With a family of 5 it doesn’t take long to get the house whipped into shape and with the bigger jobs done, it’s easier to maintain the rest of the week.

No matter how old a child is, there are chores kids can do to help.  Which is why I’m thankful we’ve switched to non-toxic cleaners like Thieves Household Cleaner.  I don’t have to worry about what kind of chemicals my children are breathing in or being exposed to, I save money and my house smells fresh and clean.  I buy my Thieves Household Cleaner here.


At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how things get done.  Whether you’ve made that meal from scratch or picked up a rotisserie chicken on the way home.  Whatever you can do to make life just a little bit easier is fine by me.

homemaking tips tuesday

Do you have any mom shortcuts?  Please share them in the comments.

4 homemaking short cuts for busy moms.

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tricia-profileTricia aka “Zee Maid” is a wife and mother of three. A lover of all things Jane Austen and a budding potter, she also runs her own retail business, online business and blogs over at In the Mommy Trenches.  As if that wasn’t enough, she has also taken on homeschooling her three children this year.