9 Back to School Tips for the Busy Family That You Can Use All-Year Long!
Back to School Tips for the Busy Family!
School is rapidly approaching, which means I need to start getting back into gear. Back to school season is always super busy for us. Sports, school, homework, and family time all seem to compete for each other. To make everyone’s lives easier, I work hard to keep things simple, where I can. For the busy families out there, these back to school tips are for you.
1. Use local conveniences like truLOCAL
One thing I noticed that takes up a lot of my time is the many trips I make to the grocery store every week. I discovered that all those small trips I was making throughout the week added up to a large amount of time. We mostly need to run to the store to get more meat mid-week because, well, we love our meat. We often run out and that means I need to drive to the store and pick up more for the rest of the week.
Plus, I believe that back to school season means we should keep our diet as healthy as possible. That means cooking exclusively at home and skipping take-out. Which leads me to consider numerous local and natural health options to keep our diet on track.
It is a meat-delivery subscription service that is based in Ontario. They provide high-end meat that does not have any antibiotics or hormones added.
truLOCAL is the perfect service for the busy family. You get to shop local and clean locally sourced meat is delivered right to your front door. They have a variety of products that will make your life that much easier.
They offer two different sized boxes, a small and a regular, and they can each be customized with what types of meat that you want in it.
The small box will hold up to eighteen individual portions, while the regular box will hold up to forty individual portions.
You can choose from different cuts of steaks, fish, different cuts of chicken, multiple types of sausage, pork, bacon, beef, lamb, buffalo, and elk. They arrive in a styrofoam cooler with dry ice, so they arrive frozen. You can set aside what you will cook right away to defrost in the fridge and put away the rest in the freezer.
It’s that simple.
You can customize each box with a click of a button and it’s awesome that I have the choice to order the same meat for the next box or switch it up with something new.
Once I go on and place my order, I then decide what I want to make with the meat for each meal and create a shopping list. I go to the store one time, pick up what I need for my meals for the week, and head home to relax and have fun with my family.
I chose filet mignon, buffalo burgers, chicken burgers, ground turkey, chicken thighs, and breasts. Also, if you order on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday before 5, everything will be delivered the next day anywhere in Ontario. How awesome is that?
I think it’s safe to say that truLOCAL has taken away the stress of meat shopping. They have also made my life easier because I don’t need one more thing to worry about during the school year. I can stock up and just hit up my freezer, not the store.
If you’re wondering how it tastes? Well, one word. DELICIOUS. You can definitely taste the freshness and since they come individually wrapped, it makes it easier to portion control. That’s one of the best parts besides the juiciness and flavour!
2. Start the new schedule now
I don’t think there is anything quite more abrupt than starting a schedule right away. Take your time easing into your new back to school schedule. I try to get the kids started on their new schedule at least two weeks before school starts. That way they have a head start at early mornings and a semblance of their usual back to school schedules.
3. Stay in Sync
One of the keys to success in family organization is communication. Having all the vital and important information in one place can do wonders for efficiency. That’s why a central hub or board for families are so popular. For us, since we are all iPhone users, we use a digital calendar to add special information, events, and appointments and it shoots out a notification to all of us. We even set it up to remind us closer to the dates. It also lets us respond or send messages to each other and helps us stay in sync. A good idea is to add the school’s calendar events to your calendar too.
4. Take short cuts where possible
Listen, taking shortcuts doesn’t make you a bad parent, it makes you a smart one. Do some batch cooking on the weekends, so you can be saner during the week. Create a carpool with other parents, so you’re not literally running on fumes. Create a budget, so your finances stay running smooth. These “short cuts” will help you keep your sanity through back to school season and beyond.
5. Make a Meal Plan
Before you head to the market, make sure you’ve mapped out the meals you will be eating for the week. Grab a binder, print out your favourite recipes and collect them as you try them. Rotate as much as you can. Try to choose meals that use common ingredients so they can go a long way and not be wasted. Start with a simple meal for the first day of the week. Prepare meals that will leave you with leftovers, this makes lunch prep easier! Once you have this down, you just need to repeat it next week. I don’t even need to worry about the dreaded “what’s for dinner” question from my family or myself every night because I know what we are going to have.
6. Adopt Sunday Night Meal Prep
I know that I mentioned batch cooking above but, if you’re like me and are on a never-ending quest to get healthy or if you are trying to maintain, that often means different meals than the kids. While we usually tend to eat the same types of food, meat and veggies and long-lasting starches can get boring for kids. So, while we don’t indulge in the pasta, pizzas and more, Darasak and I meal prep. This is where truLOCAL came in handy with individual packaging. It helps us stay in check and not over cook.
We usually cook steak, chicken, and fish with either rice, potato or sweet potato and lots of veggies. We put them in individual containers and have them in the fridge to grab and go. No excuses on eating better. For the kids, we pack their lunches on Sundays too. Prepare snacks they can grab like cut veggies and fruits, cheese, yogurts, hummus or guac packages. Giving them choices also encourages them to eat what they choose.
We like to make breakfast options too, like muffins or egg and ham muffins, hard boiled eggs, and any meat and potato lunches they want to take for the week on Sunday. It makes life so much easier when you have an organized fridge stocked with ready to eat food.
7. Do Night Time Prep
For some reason, my family does much better when we prep at night. We’re not the best morning people, so trying to get things around in the morning can be a true nightmare. By doing prep at night, I can keep my household running smoothly. Packing lunches, laying out clothes, and putting important paperwork in backpacks are all ways we can prep our stuff at night.
If you want to be a bit more pro-active you can do what we do. We have hanging organizers with different compartments in the girls’ closet. We’ve labeled them Monday-Friday and on Sunday night, they will pick out their outfits for the week and place them in the designated compartment. Boom! They’re ready for the school week!
8. Pick a Designated Homework Zone
Choose a spot in the house that is quiet and away from distractions and set-up a spot where the kids can get their homework done. We have desks in both of the girls’ rooms that are stocked with pens, pencils, markers, crayons and pencil crayons, scissors etc. This way, they are ready to take on assignments and have a quiet place to get it done.
9. Keep Up the Fun!
I know that the carefree summer days are coming to an end but, that doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop on weekends or on homework-free nights. Plan fun activities to do with your family as usual. This helps kids to take a break from a regimented schedule and lets them just be kids. Plus, I’m sure you need the break too!
Time to Slay All Year!
One of the best ways to make life easier is getting your meals planned, meal prep and using a service like truLOCAL to keep you stocked up.
For more information, visit truLOCAL and plan out your box. Believe me, you’ll love the ease of it and fewer trips to the store. Even Maverick loves them!
Get social and check them out on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for their latest updates!
I find that I am more efficient when I have a plan and hopefully these back to school tips can help you find yours. Even if it’s a small change, it can make a big difference!
Do you have any back to school tips for busy families?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.
His meal looks totally delicious,thanks for the tips ! !
It’s very good! You’re welcome!
I think keeping it fun is a tip you can apply to almost anything, and you should! Keeping things fun keeps the family happy and happy to be around each other.
I totally agree with you!
I’ve never heard of this brand, but we used to order our meats years ago, and it really saved a lot of time when grocery shopping. These are great tips to use year round.
Glad you liked the tips! Check them out!
Trulocal sounds like a great company. I will have to look into making an order to give it a try. I like to meal plan during the week. Sunday is our meal prep day.
Great company, great products!
These are great ideas for making the school year a little easier. I need to be better about planning meals, and this service makes it even easier! I have such a tough time staying organized, I could really use this.
Check it out! You’ll love it!
Looks good to me! I love subscription food boxes – so convenient and much easier to put a great meal together for the family! The meat looks scrumptious! I will go check them out – I love that it is all locally sourced!
The meat is very delicious! Go check it out!
That looks delicious. This will save you a lot of time from going to the grocery store a few times a week. I wish there was a subscription box like this here.
It definitely will!
That food looks great. What a great way to try local stuff, I love services like these, I need to look into it.
The quality of the product is amazing and their services is too!
These are all some great tips. I think that service sounds great. The food sure looks amazing!
Thanks and it was so easy to whip up.
Family meals can be a real challenge when school starts up again. After school during the week we have dance, soccer and swimming going on four out of the five days. Add in homework and my wife and I’s 9 to 5 jobs and that is a lot going on during the week. This service looks like it could really help with putting together a family meal. I like the hormone and antiobiotic free angle too!
That is definitely a lot to handle. This can help for sure.
I have been getting my meat delivered to my home and it awesome. It tastes yummy and saves me a trip to the store. I will have to see if this company delivers to me.
It is so helpful.
OMGosh you puppy is sooo adorable. Squeeeeee. I have not heard of the TruLocal brand of delivered meals. I love that their are so many options out there for healthy meal alternatives for those who are really short on time.
Why thank-you, he is a ham.
I keep seeing all these fun food plans that make life easier. We haven’t tried them yet but I am on board if it makes my life easier. 🙂
They really do make life easier.
Holy Moly those steaks look AMAZING!! These are all great tips to use for the whole year!
Yes, all year long!
We’ve been considering a box service like this for the super busy schedules, but haven’t jumped on it just yet! I just emailed this link to my boyfriend to see when he wakes up and hopefully he jumps in with it (he’s the cook in our house)
Awesome, hope it works for you.
What a great time of the year, this time of year is always busy for everyone!
Hmm, sure is.
Sounds like a great company! I love suporting local farmers. I always buy meats with no hormone or antibiotic added.
Then this is for you!
Love all the tips. I plan our meals and it definitely saves us time and money. A meat-delivery subscription sounds great. Gotta love the convenience.
Yes, super convenient and meal-planning is a must.
I didn’t know about this service. I’m definitely trying it very soon. It is so convenient and also it looks very delicious what you cooked. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks so much!
I’ve read several surprising subscriptions that I thought wasn’t a thing and here I am surprised once again. It’s great that this meat delivery subscription is convenient especially since things are getting busy with school nearing.
Yes, it makes our routine easier.
Okay now I’m hungry. What a great concept! I need to check out truLocal, yum.
It really is a cool service.
I keep meaning to start a meal plan and something always gets me sidetracked. Thanks for the reminder and I can’t wait to check out truLOCAL
Awesome, hope you like it when you give it a try.
That beef looks awesome! This TrueLocal sounds like a great service. It’s really high quality.
It really is and it tastes great!
Those meals look delicious! It sure would take a load off of my plate note needing to go in stores quite as much!
Yes, it saves a lot of time in the long run.
This sounds like a great service. Meat delivery is perfect for moms like me who can go out any time to buy meat.
Yes, it is so convenient.
These are great tips for the transition to the new school year. i know my kids are so excited for the first day. We can’t wait to get back into the routine!
To be honest, we are looking forward to the routine.
Meal Plan doesn’t really work for me. I cook whatever my kids and hubby is in the mood for. These are great tips though.
Thanks for sharing.
This is so neat! I love shopping local but do not have the time to go shopping often., so this would be perfect for us.
Yes, it would be perfect.
I have never heard of TruLocal before! Seems like a great way for busy parents to plan their dinner ideas.
It’s awesome and the quality of the meat is on point!
These are great tips!! The night time prep is something I need to work on.
Glad you like the tips! Prepping helps so much especially when you’re busy.
Honestly i always hear myself saying we need to eat better but i got to change….but it’s so easy to eat poorly
You can do it Kathy! You have the mindset just set a goal and work extremely had towards it!
I sure wish truLocal was based here in NYC where I live, I don’t really have a decent butcher shop anywhere near me and having great cuts of meat delivered sounds like a great timesaver to me!
It saves so much time! It’s a really great service and I hope you could find something similar in your area.
Thanks for the tips. I do try to follow most of them, but sometimes it’s hard when things interrupt my schedule.
A great new service to learn about! Great post!
Glad you enjoyed it!
I’ve signed up for a meal service and I love the variety we can choose from!
The photos are great you can see how moist and tender the meat is!
Glad you liked the pictures Kathy! =)