Back to School Hacks for Busy Moms
Thank you Brawny® Tear-A-Square® for sponsoring this post. Think of all the ways you can Put a Square There!
Back to school season is almost upon us, and this year I’m determined to get ahead of the game! I’ve been prepping and planning and getting organized so I’m not still scrambling to get my life together in October. Here are my top back to school hacks for moms!
Prep Breakfast the Night Before
Nothing slows us down more in the morning than trying to figure out breakfast. I keep quick and easy options on hand, like frozen waffles, yogurt, cereal, and breakfast bars. But I also try to keep the freezer stocked with breakfast foods that I cook in advance:
- pancakes (usually made for dinner and I freeze extras)
- egg “muffins”
- breakfast sandwiches
- fruit smoothies
- and a new one I plan to try: breakfast burritos
Being able to microwave a ready-made breakfast saves us a lot of time, and helps to keep their tummies full until lunch!
We also save dishes by using Brawny® Tear-A-Square® paper towels instead of a plate. A quarter sheet is the perfect size to hold a waffle, and clean up is quick and easy!
Lunch Station in the Fridge
We have one shelf in our fridge dedicated to kids’ lunch items and snacks. Any leftovers from dinner go here, as well as grab-and-go lunch items, such as sandwich fixings, yogurt, and fruit.
I also have a list of lunch ideas on the side of the fridge for easy reference. We ultimately fall into the sandwich rut and need a reminder of non-traditional lunch ideas for variety! You can find my list of non-sandwich lunches here.
I also keep a stash of extra plastic forks and spoons in our utensil drawer for the kids to use as needed. I occasionally slip in a note or joke of the day for a fun surprise. And they make sure to grab a Brawny® Tear-A-Square® paper towel before zipping up their lunch box! The bigger kids take a half sheet and the little ones use a quarter sheet (although sometimes the little ones end up making the bigger messes!!).
DIY Snacks in the Pantry
Isn’t it funny how most of my hacks revolve around food? Streamlining meals and snacks just seem to make my day so much easier! But I digress…
My kiddos love being independent and always want to find their own snacks. Truthfully, I get tired of hearing, “Mom, I’m HUNGRY.”
So I help them to help themselves.
We have a snack station in the pantry with single serve crackers, cookies, pretzels, nuts, fruit snacks, and granola bars. The kids know they are only to get ONE snack per day (we learned that we needed that rule the hard way). Otherwise they are welcome to help themselves to additional fruit, veggies, meat and cheese from the lunch station in the fridge.
The plates and bowls are out of reach of little fingers in our house, but paper towels are handy for them to clean up their own messes. I’ve taught them to only use as much as they need, so they Tear-A-Square® to match the size of the mess. Rarely do we need a whole sheet to clean up a spill!
We work hard to reduce the waste in our home, so it’s important for me to educate my littles on that at an early age. I love that Brawny® Tear-A-Square® paper towels can be used in full, half, or quarter sheet sizes. No more using a whole paper towel for a small spill — but we still have the strength of Brawny® no matter what size we use!
Stock up on Supplies for the Whole Year!
Let’s be honest – most moms don’t love the chaos of back to school shopping. But one thing we can appreciate: stocking up on our favorite items in August so we always have what we need on hand!
I shop for everything that’s on our school’s back to school list, but I also buy extras. I know that one pack of crayons, paper, or pencils will likely run out before summer. I go ahead and buy one or two extras so that I can easily toss them into the backpack mid-year, or so we make sure to have things on hand at home for homework or school projects.
I also try to do a little extra for our teachers! As a former educator, I know how much teachers spend on classroom supplies. It’s such a nice surprise when parents are able to send in extra supplies, especially when there may be some students who are unable to bring in everything on the list.
Paper towels are on our supply list, and I want to send some that are strong enough for big kid messes! Our teachers will be happy to use Brawny® Tear-A-Square® paper towels in the classroom, so they can use exactly the right size every time.
What are your best back to school hacks? I’d love for you to share in a comment!