Thursday, April 23, 2015

Favorite Household Shortcuts

In this season of life with young children and my husband's busy youth ministry schedule, time for household chores is always in short supply. I recently started thinking, "What can I do to make running my household a bit easier?" Below are my favorite "household shortcuts." I will be posting more later on, so stay tuned!

1. Fold less laundry. Yes, you heard me.

Underwear was my first no-fold experiment. I thought, "Who cares if this looks wrinkly?" Turns out it never does because it's so stretchy!

I gradually stopped folding washcloths and kitchen towels, too. Just stick 'em in the drawer, and no one will be the wiser! The only problem with this could be if yours won't fit in the storage space unfolded. I have one drawer for towels and one for rags, so mine fit fine.

Then one day I read this post about a lady who stopped folding her kids' clothes. I decided to try it. Turns out, kids' clothing items are so small they really don't look very wrinkled! When putting away their laundry, I just lay each item flat and make one stack of shirts, one of pants/shorts, and one of PJs for each child. Then I put them in the appropriate drawer.

I still fold mine and my husband's t-shirts and pants. If I could figure out a way around this without them looking super wrinkly, I would!

2. Cook meat in bulk.

Y'all, I really hate cooking meat. Raw meat is gross! I wanted to figure out a way to do it less often, so here's what I came up with.

We mainly eat ground beef and chicken. I started buying them in 5 pound packages, cooking it all at once, then dividing the meat equally into 5 jars or bags (a pound per container) and putting it in the freezer.

For the ground beef, I chop 3-5 onions (depending on the size), then add all the meat and brown it. Drain off the grease and it's done! This is so versatile. You can add it to spaghetti sauce or casseroles, put in taco seasonings and beans for Mexican night, or make a quick chili with it. The possibilities are endless. You could certainly cook it without the onions, but we like them and it also stretches the meat a little further.

For the chicken, I buy 5 pounds of breasts and lay it all out on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, add S & P and whatever seasoning you like. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes or until done. Then chop it up and put it in bags. I like to add mine to casserole and Alfredo sauce. Shout out to my sister Stephanie for this tip. These days, I've been even lazier and just buy the grocery store rotisserie chickens and shred them up!

This shortcut saves me so much time and I can throw dinner together in a snap. It is an especially great idea for when you're pregnant and cooking meat is a huge challenge. Get your husband to help you with this once every couple weeks and you won't have to deal with it.

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