We are all getting busier and busier and I find that there seems to be much fewer hours to get things done once the clocks go back (30th October at 2 am - don't forget!).
As busy parents it's good to have some tricks up your sleeve to get things done in double quick time, especially if you're juggling work commitments with the kids' social life and after school activities.
And getting things done quicker means more time to spend together as a family.
Nature's Finest, who make a variety of tasty potted fruits in juice are searching for Britain's Most Fruitful Family in a fabulous competition they are running on their Facebook page.
They recognise that family time is precious, but with parents often exhausted at the end of a working day and children focused on gadgets we forget to spend just five minutes together. So Nature’s Finest is on a mission to find and champion families who use simple solutions or life hacks to ensure time is spent together.
To enter the competition, families are being asked to send in the life hacks that help them to spend more time together as a family, encouraging others to try the same and embrace a fruit-ful lifestyle.
Inspired by the brand itself, Nature’s Finest offers a variety of tasty Potted fruit only in juice, with no added sugar. Making eating fruit on the go or at home a simple and easy task.
The competition runs from 24th October through to 28th November and the winning family with the best life hack will receive £1,000 worth of Sainsbury’s vouchers – ideal just before Christmas when food shopping bills get bigger.
Just leave your brilliant lifehack in the comments box on the Facebook competition post.
So how do we save time in the Hobbis household? Here's my 5 top tips.
* Invest in a slow cooker
Yes there's still a little prep time to make a warming beef stew or a veggie curry but there's nothing better than coming home to a hot meal that's just waiting to be dished up.
*Write out a weekly meal plan
If you can discipline yourself to do this you'll find you won't be hit by the 4 pm angst when you remember you're supposed to throw something together for tea.
Plus having a meal plan streamlines shopping, reduces your bills because you won't impulse buy and allows you to make better use of leftovers.
*Prepare lunchboxes the night before
You can bet the morning you're rushing to prepare a lunchbox is the time you'll discover muddy school uniform and need to get the iron out!
Make things easier by prepping the night before and sticking the whole lot in the fridge to keep cool. A Nature's Finest Fruit Pot makes a healthier snack / pud to slip in as well.
*Delegate some chores to the kids
There's no reason why kids can't lay a table, put shopping away or (at a sensible age) help with basic chopping and food preparation. I used to peel the potatoes for mum when I got home from school.
*Agree a sensible switch off time for gadgets
We know that we are supposed to turn off our gadgets at least an hour before turning in for the night so having a set switch off time means you have a few more precious moments to read stories, talk about your day and just cuddle.
*Have a homework timetable
If you can it's good to have a designated quiet area for your kids to do their homework. No TV, no music and no gadgets! It's also worth drawing up a basic homework timetable with the kids so that nothing gets forgotten.
This means checking their school bags when they get home on Friday afternoon because you can bet something will be remembered at 4 pm on Sunday.
You could also incentivise sticking to the timetable by offering a family treat as a reward. Depending on your budget this could be a meal out, a trip to the cinema, a walk to the park, a movie night at home or even playing a board game altogether. The point is to ensure more quality time together as a family.
I hope I've given you a few ideas and please take a look at the Nature's Finest Competition. I'm looking forward to learning more tips and tricks to make life just that little bit easier!
The Nature’s Finest product range includes: Peach, Tropical Fruit Salad, Mango, Pineapple and Mandarin in individual posts and sharing pots including Mango, Mandarin, Tropical Fruit Salad, Prunes, Peach, Pear, Pineapple. There are also larger fridge packs in Peach, Pear, Pear with Peach and Pineapple, Prunes and Tropical Fruit Salad.