Top Ten Hacks for making family life easier, cheaper and less stressful
- Mums Tips
- Parenting Skills
- Published on Tuesday, 19 September 2023 12:04
- Last Updated on 31 October 2023
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
Starting her Instagram account during the lockdown and after the birth of her twins, busy mum Casey wanted to make real connections with other mums. Casey’s cost-effective and fun hacks have earned her over 200k Instagram followers, including Mrs Hinch & Stacey Solomon.
Casey joins us to share her Top Ten Hacks for making family life easier, cheaper and less stressful.
- You can spend a fortune on drinks in coffee shops; my kids and I love Costa’s mango and passion fruit cooler. Here’s how you make it for just 26p a cup:
-First, keep your Costa plastic up and wash it out for reuse.
-Grab some Vimto -no added sugar. Real Fruit passion fruit & mango squash, add frozen mango chunks, water and ice and blend.
- Coffee shop’s clear plastic to-go cups with lids also work great for taking snacks to the cinema (pop some nachos in there) or to minimise mess and spills when the kids are doing art projects – by adding paint to the cups and putting the lids on.
- Cleaning up after the children have been doing crafts? A quick and easy hack for clearing up glitter spillages is to use a piece of Play-Doh.
- I love an art caddy -they are inexpensive and have so many uses – pop the kid’s snacks in them in the car to keep mess to a minimum or pack them with popcorn and sweets for a movie night at home.
- My Flask Hot Lunch Hack is perfect for days out – just bring hot dog rolls and decanted sauces. Add boiling water to your insulated flask, then add the hot dog sausages; a regular flask will hold up to 7. They should stay hot for up to 6 hours. Drain safely before eating.
6.’Are we there yet?’ – Keep the kids entertained while travelling or out for dinner. – metal lunch boxes can be purchased very cheaply. Add Velcro dots on the inside lid, attach Lego ‘slabs’ and pop the Lego in the deeper section of the lunch box. The boxes also work great for building with magnetic blocks.
- Another handy hack for keeping the kids entertained on long car journeys:
Take the headrest off one of the front seats. Place a sandwich bag on the headrest and then replace the headrest, making sure the zip part of the bag is pointing downwards so you can insert and retrieve your phone easily. If you have a new style headrest and you cannot remove it, just make two holes in the top of the sandwich bag, thread some string or ribbon through and tie them. This way, the kids can watch shows hands-free and use wireless Bluetooth headphones.
- Getting children to eat enough veg is always a struggle, so I love making my Veg Shots. We have a passata dish like pasta at least twice a week, there are so many hidden vegetables in my Veg Shots – and they are so cheap & easy to make. Use six tomatoes Three courgettes, one onion, three carrots and half a clove of garlic – cook on 200c fan for around 35min. Then add half a jar of passata and blend until there are no lumps. Freeze in a cake tin, then pop them out and add to a freezer bag. This saves time during the week, and it is a great ‘hidden veg’ hack for fussy eaters.
- Lunch box Hack – Gone are the days when we had soggy sandwiches! Give your child a warm lunch by
heating the flask first, then reheating some peas and popping them in; cook some chicken strips or nuggets and add those on top (alternatively, fish fingers would also work, although they tend to lose heat quicker). Five hours on, the food is still warm and a good temperature for kids to eat and enjoy.
- A quick & healthy breakfast hack: Did you know you can poach an egg in the microwave by placing it in a jug and filling it up just under halfway with cold water. It takes from 1.10 to 1.40, depending on your microwave, so check it every 30 seconds. The water should be cloudy when it’s done. This is perfect for busy mornings.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums