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Category Archives: Kitchen

Often afternoons are chaotic, with driving kids around to sports, getting them to do their homework or babies and toddlers at witching hour. In the chaos our focus isn’t 100%, which can then lead to rushing in the kitchen topped with kids young kids crying around our legs, which is when accidents can happen. Read further for tips to prevent accidents in the kitchen + an easy meatballs in tomato sauce and basil recipe.

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  • Julie

    I put my soup in the blender often and wondered why it always went everywhere, I had no idea it was because it was hot, I thought I put too much in the blender and could never work out the right amount for it not to explode. This recipe sounds delicious btw, going to give it a go.ReplyCancel

    • Rachel

      Use a stick blender in the pot. Once you keep it low to the base of the pot it won’t splash upReplyCancel

  • Lisa

    I put my daughter in a high chair next to me while I cook dinner and she nibbles on some of the vegetables I am preparing and plays with some toys.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Love this idea. Lisa!ReplyCancel

  • Kylie R

    I struggle with keeping my two occupied while I cook dinner, I don’t enjoy this time of day at all. So I look forward to learning more ideas.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Hope you are able to get lots of great tips. I love the idea of preparing while they are watching their favourite tv show.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa S

    I also try to get some prep done early in the day, or at least at about 3-3:30 while they are still happy to play or watch TV. I put dinner in the oven or thermomix and while it does it’s thing I give the younger two their bath. I find the trick is to feed the kids reasonably early – miss 4 and Miss one usually eat about 5pm, Miss 11 will often choose to eat with them. If I waited for hubby to get home they’d be totally past it. Then they are usually reasonably pleasant until bed time. Sometimes I get miss 11 to make a salad while the rest of the meal cooks

    But if I can’t get dinner started during the day, frozen fish, frozen veges or pre- made meatballs can be a life saver.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Great tips, Lisa! I did the same thing when mine were younger. Then once the kids were feed and bathed and in bed we would sit down and have our meal and talk about the day. It was so much easier.ReplyCancel

  • I am so glad that my children are old enough not to have to worry too much about when I’m cooking. It’s nice to be able to involve them in the cooking without to much concern. xxReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      I am loving this stage too, Nicole. Especially when my 12 year old wants to get it and do most of the cooking.:)ReplyCancel

  • Great recipe! I usually do the dinner prep at around 2pm before the children come home from school.Then I can just finish it off while overseeing homework/study etc and bath time when they were younger ?
    I agree with Lisa, dinnertime at 5pm makes all the difference with little ones!ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      I used to do the same thing when my kiddies were younger, it helps around 5pm when.:)ReplyCancel

  • Kat, is that watermelon potholder yours? If so, where did you get it????? it’s so stinkin’ cute!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - Kat's Assistant

    Hi Melanie, Kat got it from about a year age. I have had a look online and they seem to no longer stock them, which is a shame because it is just gorgeous!ReplyCancel

Do you have open packets in pantry you struggle to keep closed or tidy? I’ll show you how I keep all the little packets tidy and a fabulous new idea I’ve come across to keep the contents airtight.

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  • Lucy Williams

    Definitely the spices that aren’t in jars. All just shoved in a spice rack wherever they fit!ReplyCancel

  • Renaye Baldwin

    Everything feels chaotic at the moment. I think the cereals are definitely the worst though because the kids get into those all day long!ReplyCancel

  • Sharnee Snowden

    Definitely my baking area….I have containers but its the half used choc melts and oats that look messyReplyCancel

  • Chandini Gibson

    The kids snacks! So many packets and it’s so hard to keep it all sealed and organised.ReplyCancel

  • Beth Sullivan

    The most disorganized part of my pantry is the baking items shelf. The flour, salt, oats, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, chocolate chips, etc. look so messy and not uniform.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Hall

    The most disorganised shelf in my pantry would be the spare food shelf. The one with extra tins and bottles and packets. It doesn’t matter how I put things away I always can never find anything on that shelf!!!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Gray

    A cup of tea please, what type would you like, there’s the green, behind the peppermint, below the black, oh dear the camomile has spilt, how about green camomile?ReplyCancel

    • Michelle Kerr

      It would definitely have to be the baking shelf! Half used packets of nuts, baking chocolate;, dark, white, milk, coconut & many flours. I even need to own up to once having a nasty “flour mite” in my pantry – I’m sure if using Anylock, the flour mite would never return!ReplyCancel

  • Adele Hile

    At the moment the whole pantry, it seems to have gotten away from me lol. And where did I get all those sauces lol. the any lock rods look easy to use, Mmm time to get organised, the baking section needs workReplyCancel

  • meegan tighe

    My baking section is absolutely chaos, so many packets of open nuts,choc bits ,sprinkles …..the list goes onReplyCancel

  • Catherine

    I have far too many ‘bits and pieces’ strewn all over the shelves, spilling all over the place. Chaos!!!ReplyCancel

  • Leigh

    I have a community of open bags behind my tupperwares. I think the packets are all having a private party. I have tried using pegs but they seem to fall off.ReplyCancel

  • Chantelle Jones

    My freezer and pantry are on equals when it come to unorganised packets.ReplyCancel

  • Kirra

    My bags of open or extra nuts is the messiest bit of my pantry! These would be great! I store the extras in a container but all ways have spills. Thabks for the chance to win! ?ReplyCancel

  • Jess

    Our whole pantry is chaos!! We just moved house and it was all neat, but now the kids get in and pull things out, things just get thrown wherever..nothing has a place anymore. I must say though, we seem to have lots of open packs of different pastasReplyCancel

  • Naomi

    Definitely my baking shelf, packets, decorating things, candles everywhere. Just can’t seem to find the right containersReplyCancel

  • Liz

    My kitchen is original circa 1960s with no pantry, so we use the small cupboards intended for plates, cups etc as a pantry. The baking section is the most disorganised, as with very limited space it is all piled on top of each other. I almost always have to remove all of the contents to find what I am looking for!ReplyCancel

  • Toni-Matee

    My entire pantry and fridge are disastrousReplyCancel

  • my most unorganised is the whole damn lot. True.
    If i have to pick one area maybe the spices. Or cereal.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie

    I would have to say my spices Especially the little packets of spices as I have quite a few now that i don’t have containers for yet and it is something I seem to forget about until I go to use them.ReplyCancel

  • Shirley Hallion

    Like a previous comment, my herbs and spices. I like using the small jars but a whole packet doesn’t fit so I have a plastic container with half full packets sitting in zip lock bags. The herbs and spices still fall out of the original packaging into the zip lock bag. I’ve tried several types of plastic clips and bull dog clips but the “perfect” sealing option still eludes me….ReplyCancel

  • Lisa

    My most unorganized section would have to be snaxks. Half opened bags of chips, biscuits etc.ReplyCancel

  • Kate

    It’s a toss up between the kids snacks & the breakfast cereals! So many items & not enough containers!ReplyCancel

  • Di Jackson

    I have large open neck glass jars with screw top lids in a book case type space for everyday items to be close at hand and easy to check when supplies are running lowReplyCancel

  • Lorraine

    Nuts, pasta and cereals so I use pegs, bulldog clips, rubber bands or sticky tape but they are all fiddly!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Clark

    It m ay sound trite, but MY WHOLE PANTRY!! I need a make over, but to start these ANYLOCK sealing rods look amazing. My freezer is a mess with corn and peas, and there are always chips etc in the bottom of the pantry.
    HELP!! I need these!!!ReplyCancel

  • Nathalie

    Oh where do I start? The cereal is a serial disaster; the pasta is in a mess of bow ties, linguine and macaroni mayhem; the spices make me hot under the collar and the nuts are driving me, well, nuts! I need help!ReplyCancel

  • Moira B G

    The most disorganised area in our pantry is the spices that don’t fit in jars – peppercorns, extra packets of cumin and coriander, and star anise.
    The other area where I could really use some package closers like these is in our freezer. We have lots of half-used fruit and veggie packets there!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win.ReplyCancel

  • Tracey Brightfield

    My pasta, nuts and masterfoods packaging for sure. But then again, my boys make a ripe mess of the snacks drawer.ReplyCancel

  • sharon

    always the pantry, it starts off with good intentions but within two weeks we all just put things at the front and push the rest to the back and find alot of open packs and we double up on alot.ReplyCancel

  • Princess

    My hubby just loves munching on chips and nuts, we have a bunch of those packets. I will always have to ensure that those unfinished foods in the packet are sealed and if I run out of containers, I will used rubber band. Seeing this ANYLOCK feels like a relief coz I know foods will not be wasted.ReplyCancel

  • Ann Grant

    The remains of bags that don’t fit into my storage containers. These bags either sit on top of the full container waiting to be used or lie undisturbed for years in a big box on the pantry floor.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa

    My linen press is out of control. All messed up and nothing is accessible. Nightmare!ReplyCancel

  • Allison

    My rice and pasta drawer is the worst…I noticed last night that the rice was spilled everywhere and oh what a mess there was.ReplyCancel

  • Anna

    Mayhem in my pantry! Several varieties of rice – jasmin, arborio, brown and wild. It drives me nuts! And my many varieties of nuts – macadamia, pistachio, almond, cashew, peanut & pinenut drive me loopy! Yes kids fruit loops spill all over the floor along with rice bubbles, Cheerios and muesli! What am I to do? Help please!!!ReplyCancel

  • jane

    I have a drawer that contains spices only.Most are in little jars. However I cannot fit anymore jars so i have a dozen or so packets of things like sesame seeds, flax seed, dried shallots and so on. The contents come out all over the drawer and it ends up a big mess. I end up vacuuming (yes vacuuming) it all to clean the mess. Please help me!!!ReplyCancel

  • Angie

    My entire pantry, fridge/freezer needs help, so much stuff to sort. Please help meReplyCancel

  • Dinah

    FIVE of us! One teen is Vegan…soooo many packets of legumes and seeds! One teen is a health nut…soooo many packets of protein! One child is a sugar fiend….soooo many hidden packets of sweets! One is my hubby….soooo hopeless at closing things! One is me….bemused, befuddled and desperate for Alice Brady to move in! Help!!!ReplyCancel

  • Di Adams

    Definitely my spices cupboard.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Bonner

    We remodelled our kitchen when we extended and put the pantry under the stairs. Because it is out of sight, everything just gets ‘tossed in’. There is no rhyme or reason. Would love a whole week off to just sort it all out and put in proper shelves and the likeReplyCancel

  • Cassie

    Definitely my baking shelf! Nuts, choc chips, flour and sugar that won’t fit in the container ??ReplyCancel

  • Amanda

    My baking shelf is THE worst! I NEVER use a whole bag of things (choc chips, nuts, almond meal etc). I waste SO much, as when I get to baking again, the air has got into my opened bags ago I have to buy new packets-then the same process starts over again ? ANYLOCK bag seals look like THE best invention for me! ??ReplyCancel

  • Mariam

    My pasta and rice section definitely!! half used packets that get moved around and spill everywhere!ReplyCancel

  • Mellanie

    Biscuits, pasta, chips, cereals, nuts, spices, flour, sugar — all opened packets that I find so hard to keep fresh and accessible. And every time I see how disorganised they look just makes me cry, “waaaaah!”ReplyCancel

  • Donna Lovelock

    My freezer! My kids go hunting in there & I’ve got corn, peas, broad beans & who knows what else, all rolling around the bottom of the drawer.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren

    My baking section is chaos! A lot of open bags of ingredients that are only used in one or two recipes (I have every type of coconut you can imagine- shredded, dessicated, flaked, you name it!). I love the idea of being able to keep those ingredients fresh between baking sessions! :)ReplyCancel

  • Linda Miguel

    My left over herbs and spices. They have a container of their own to sit in until I need them, but they’re always spilling, mixing and making a mess!ReplyCancel

  • Simone

    My messiest area is the kids section half opened packets all the timeReplyCancel

  • Meline van Horrik

    usually the back of the pantry where I keep the not so often used bottles and packets of ingredients where I use them once or twice then they get shoved to the back behind the more frequently used items – out of sight out of mind until I do a clean out and they’ve expired…or worse…weevils! :(ReplyCancel

  • Wendy

    Having Bernini the 20 day challenge currently organised but I know my open bags of pasta always get away from me.ReplyCancel

    • Wendy

      Got to love auto correct, Bernini should have be been doingReplyCancel

  • Donna W

    My baking shelf = embarrassingReplyCancel

  • Amanda Withell

    great idea! So need these. My baking supplies are a mess. I normally use peg which really aren’t great. Fingers crossedReplyCancel

  • Monique

    I have an unusually deep pantry (80cm). It looks super-organised at the front but the back of my dry-goods shelf is a black hole where random opened packets of excess pasta, beans, coconut etc get thrown, sealed with clunky, inefficient bulldog clips! It’s messy and the clips don’t keep things fresh long; it’s a total afront to my anal-retentiveness!!ReplyCancel

  • Nikki

    I even went and had a peep at my pantry to try to work out which part was the messiest and it is a very tight competition! The winner(??) is the very top of the pantry where I try to hide my chocolate stash from the kids. Chocolate gets thrown up there in haste when I hear the sound of footsteps approaching. Unfortunately not always quickly enough…ReplyCancel

  • Chris

    My problem is putting cream biscuits in the same container as the plain biscuits it makes them soft so I keep having to throw them out and I keep breaking those cheap clips would love some Anylock sealing rods.ReplyCancel

  • Tina Elvy

    We have 7 in our family with a vegetarian and a health nut so have many packets of nuts seeds legumes beans assorted flours pastas rices noodles rice papers nori sheets oats and wholemeal cereals wholegrain wraps and crackers, rice cakes etc and while most are in containers I do have a lot of opened packets and items that go to the back of the pantry only to be found after the use by date is long gone :( Baking items and spices are also a problemReplyCancel

  • Natalie phillips

    My shelf that contains kids snacks, adult snacks and pasta, rice and ang other misc item.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa

    I know you said pantry – but for me it’s freezer! Peas, corn, chips all escape the opened packets and party on the bottom of my freezer, spilling out at any opportunity!ReplyCancel

  • Fiona Vila

    The messiest area in my pantry is the spices. I usually use sticky tape to reseal them. This doesn’t always hold and then they spill. I also try and put them into mini lunch bags.ReplyCancel

  • Sonny Gillingham

    PASTA! Oh my gosh, I have so many half empty bags of pasta floating around in the bottom on my pantry… and so many spillages. It is NOT pretty in there!ReplyCancel

  • Charmaine Hardy

    I have an “everyday” shelf in my pantry – items that are used everyday…and it is total chaos. Cereal packets not sealed properly, tea bags escaping from their box, biscuits going stale before their time, rice crackers that are like pieces of round cardboard and dont mention the dried apricots that are so dried out you could play ping pong with them! AnyLock sealing rods would save me from so much wasted food and dollars!ReplyCancel

  • Cassie

    Everywhere!!!! My pantry is the most untidy section of my house and it drives me crazy. Little fingers com in and help themselves to items and then shove it back in wherever it will fit. I end up clearing it out every 3 months to find packets of things I have kept buying because I thought it was out but really it was just hiding at the back of the pantry somewhere :(ReplyCancel

  • Diane Clifford

    The whole pantry needs attention but the worst shelf would have to be the baking shelf with the left over nuts, chocolate drops etc. I try to keep them in jars but this is not always successful. And I like to keep track of use-buy dates.ReplyCancel

  • Fiona

    It would have to be my freezer. Opened vegetables and fruits. Having basket draws in my freezer I find it hard to store.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie

    The spices are all over my pantry. Particularly those in bags. And then there is not enough room in my spice rack for all the bottles.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Basham

    My baking cupboard! All my flours, sugars, bread crumbs, cupcake toppings and sprinkles – its just a nightmare!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kylie

    My open packets! Nuts, pasta, rice, seeds, dried fruit… more pasta and rice that was lost under the other packets and probably stale anyway. Hence why I’m reading this article :-)ReplyCancel

  • Natalie

    My “baking area” half bags of flour, cocoa spilling out of boxes, food dye staining my shelves. I loaf organisation dough much!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa-Maree

    Oh its hard to narrow it down to the worst space! The kids snacks used to be. Lots of small (unstackable) items, and with four kids all having different preferences there is always loads of open packets.

    I think I have that solved with a snack trolley. Just a small cheapie 3 stacked baskets on rollers with everything they need to pack their lunches … bars, fruit cups, spoons, sandwich bags, bread and spreads. They wheel the trolley out, can see what they want and after the morning rush I wheel it back in.

    Now it’s the 3 or 4 open cereals that drive me mad. Bulky and hard for the kids to seal, and the pantry mouths just love to find their way in there! Looking for the perfect moth-proof cereal containers (that will hold the largest packet of weet bix)!ReplyCancel

  • Simone

    My baking/decorating bits and pieces. They don’t always come in a nice little container, you tend to only use them a handful of times every year, but they seem to take over. . . . . . .ReplyCancel

  • Susan

    I think the bulk storage is the hardest to organise eg extra paper towel, packets of biscuits and items I’ve got extra of when they were on special. Then there’s the baking section with all the food coloring and flours and sugars. Or maybe the kids snacks? Or the cereal? Or my spices? Well let’s face it the whole pantry is a shamozle, perhaps it’d be easier to move……..ReplyCancel

  • jess

    Definatly my baking shelf, im always baking yet there always seems to be a packet of plain flour that wont empty itself into the tupperware, or chocolate bits etc…! Would absolutly love to give these a go!ReplyCancel

  • Angela M

    The pan lids! I don’t know what to do with them.ReplyCancel

  • It would have to be my very top shelf where I keep all oil bottles, vinegars and whatever else is shoved up there and I must say the opened packets in my pantry dry me nuts.ReplyCancel

  • Kim

    It’s a tie between the bottles of food colouring and cake decoration items, bags of various nuts and seeds and the spice jars!ReplyCancel

  • Katie

    The worst part of our pantry is the ‘dry foods’ shelf, with everything from pasta and cereal to baking ingredients. It is also the shelf with the most pegs stolen from the washing line! My hope is that some Anylock sealing rods would remove the need for pegs – and therefore remove my toddler’s need to ‘rescue’ the pegs to put them back in the peg bucket.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Palmer

    My most disorganised spot in the cupboard is the dried fruit & nuts corner! All sorts of packets opened & unopened piled up! My kids love dried fruits & I love making bliss balls of all sorts so there’s a lot!ReplyCancel

  • Gemma Bertrand

    The worst area in our pantry is the bottom shelf. This is where bottles, packets and anything that doesn’t have a home gets stuffed in. I have organised the other shelves with containers and racks but half the problem is that I can’t see what I have down there so I end up buying more than what I need and can fit.ReplyCancel

  • Donna

    My baking shelf! All those little packets of hazelnuts, vanilla bean pods, choc bits and almond meal are currently ‘sealed’ with a peg! Needless to say they dont last so id love to try the Anylock sealing rods!ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Parsons

    My pantry is quite small so anything that does not fit on the shelves is stacked up, and I have to be careful of not starting an “avalanche” when I am searching for something. :)ReplyCancel

  • Becky

    The baking section and the snack area…open biscuits, crackers, popcorn, snack packs etc etc. half stale! because unless mum seals them somehow others don’t! LolReplyCancel

  • Lorraine Reynolds

    I have started using a lot of different flours, I am not GF but have found using less wheat makes me feel better. But you could never have enough containers for all the alternatives you seem to need – packets everywhere! I would love some of thes – to get my pegs back into the peg container.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Finch

    Definitely the corner where all the kids snack foods are. Little packets of chips, biscuits, muesli bars and fruit bars everywhere!!!ReplyCancel

  • Celia

    That section under the shelves! I shove everything under there and it’s spilling out onto the floor of my pantry so now there is no standing space and I am bending over stuff to reach shelf items!! I love your idea of the boxes for loose packets, must try that!ReplyCancel

  • Donna

    My entire pantry is always unorganised especially with teenagers opening packets eating some throwing leftovers back in with packet left openReplyCancel

  • Robyn

    my herbs and spices – so many different ones in tiny jars and packets,ReplyCancel

  • Kat these look amazing!

    My pantry really suffers in two areas – condiments jars (nothing anylock can do about those!) and cereals. Seems everyone in the house likes a different cereal and tastes change before finishing the box. Drives me bonkers!!ReplyCancel

  • Lea

    I hate to admit this, but my ENTIRE pantry is unorganised at the moment and it is driving me crazy!ReplyCancel

  • Emma

    My spice mixes! Half are in jars and others in packets, some too small to stack and packets to flimsy to stand up. Constant struggle.ReplyCancel

  • Rice flour, plain flour, icing sugar, self raising flour all over the place what is a person to do. Sweeping it up makes it look like a snow storm hit. I could throw in a couple of eggs and bake a cake out of it. There’s always a solution to every problem.ReplyCancel

  • Jacqui

    Definately my container cooking ingredients section, or my empty storage container cupboard.ReplyCancel

  • all of my baking and herb area is so untidy, I just shuff it back in and shut door quick.ReplyCancel

  • Sue

    Definitely my baking shelf to the point I sometimes get greeted by little pantry moths…time to clean out again and my. Frozen veggie draw in the freezer. Zip lock bags work here only when. Someone cLoses them properly. I love this new idea though and will be lookin out for them at my local shopping centre.ReplyCancel

  • I have too much stuff shoved in my pantry, so when I try to get to things at the back I make even more of a mess of the rest of it. I like the drawer idea.ReplyCancel

  • Wendy

    The whole pantry. I had such grand plans when we got a new kitchen of a perfectly organised pantry, however I seem to be the only one in the house with that visionReplyCancel

  • Jess Frisch

    The most disorganised part of my pantry in the lunch bags that all just get thrown in the bottom in a pile! Surely there’s a better way to store them!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    I call it the “random shelf”…since it’s where everything that doesn’t fit elsewhere goes. Gotta say this is much better than the rubber bands & clothes pegs I find myself using sometimes!ReplyCancel

  • Maree Staples

    My rices are the Bain of my pantry. One rice container, but several types of rice (Jasmine, Brown, Aborio. etc.)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah

    The most disorganised part of the pantry is the open packets of nuts – each family member eats a different type of nut!ReplyCancel

  • Lexi

    It’s a battle of baking ‘gear’ (fondants, food dyes, sprinkles, cutters) in my pantry versus the dreaded #pastagate. Anylock would save my San Remo spirals from spiralling out of control!ReplyCancel

  • Nicola Mouton

    The most disorganised part of my pantry is the top shelf. It has a load of random things that I don’t use very often like extra crockery, teapot, bilting machine.
    Everything else is neat and tidy and I have containers to put random open packets into when I need to. I’d love some Anylok sealing rods to seal them before I put them away.ReplyCancel

    • Nicola Mouton

      Darn spellcheck. Sorry Anylock.ReplyCancel

  • Vicki O'Neill

    The most disorganised area of my pantry is the “baking battleground!” It’s chock-a-block full of half-used packets of dried fruit, nuts, choc-chips, flours, sugars, you name it – it’s there…it’s open…it’s half-used. Drives me half-mad!ReplyCancel

  • Janine Bone

    Inbetween getting stuck and sidetracked from the current 20day challenge to decluttering my house, I love to eat, so that means lots of cooking and baking and feeding of others. When I’m pushed for time, I tend to stuff things back in the organized pantry, fridge and freezer, and undo the hard work I did to get it tidy in the first place. The items that get the messiest are these little packets that don’t have Tupperware houses, some surplus spices and too many varied chocolate chips (found Reese peanut butter chocolate chips the other day – soooo good in a cookie!). My trick has been to fold down the open packet and secure it with a rubber band. This works reasonably well most of the time, but is not ideal. I love these Anylock snaps! What a great idea! And then off to ikea to get some drawers to keep them all in! No more rubber bands for me!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca

    OMG I need these stat I have so many open packets and the go to waste because they either dry out or go stale. Even the veggies in the freezer sick of them getting frost bite, I’m going to get myself some of these.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca

    These would be great for my pantry as I am queen of open packets! This is by far the worst area of my pantry. I have baskets, bowls and containers of them!ReplyCancel

  • Amy w

    my disorganised area in the pantry is any bags that the kids have opened (usually lollies). You know when the bag rips so far down that you need to practically use sticky tape?
    I think the anylock seals will help close up the yummy contents and keep them fresh for ME!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mandy

    my disorganised area in the pantry is the shelf where we place all the packets for snacks! We seem to have endless snack items for home, shopping trips, schools, after school activities!ReplyCancel

  • Cathy

    OMG I am ashamed to say the whole thing! From the bottom to the top. I have a lack of storage space in my kitchen, so everything is shoved in the pantry. But it is on my todo list!ReplyCancel

  • Laura

    Definitely everything here too at the moment. Plus it doesn’t help that my pantry is so dark with no lighting…if I could get around to organising it I probably wouldn’t need to shop for months! Wouldn’t these make life a little simpler?! Thank you for the opportunity to win them.ReplyCancel

  • Angela

    It’s the spices for sure. Starting to follow an Ayurvedic diet has been great for my health because of all the spices that are added to cooking – but the number of them I need to keep on the go is huge! Spices go off too, if not sealed from the air.ReplyCancel

  • Karen

    The frozen veggies, every so often when I pull everything out of the freezer to clean there are peas, broad beans and even a corn cob on one occasion that had made a run for it!, I would love to be able to prevent such get-aways in the future…ReplyCancel

  • Wendy

    Wow, these seem such a great invention! For me, spices. Not enough containers for them. Also I have various types of gluten free flour that I use!ReplyCancel

  • Marg

    The baking area. I’m a terrible cook and feel sorry for my kids suffering my cooking but a bit of confidence and organisation in the baking section would go a long wayReplyCancel

  • Kim

    Definitely my herbs and spices section. I use heaps of different spices and have over 40 bags/little bottles in my spice cupboard and have resorted to using elastic bands that either disintergrate or you can’t put on tight enough to sealReplyCancel

  • Debbie-Lee

    Definitely it would be the shelf at my five year olds sight line, he climbs to get what he wants elsewhere and then just piles everything at eyesight …. oh the things I find opened/half eaten in there …… but I have to admit the whole thing is pretty shocking even with Tupperware and all the best of organising intentionsReplyCancel

  • Bev Lange

    Oh, for me it surely seems
    wishing for a pantry of my dreams.
    I can never get it right,
    it always looks a fright.
    Where is the worst to be?
    Everywhere you can see!
    Spices, cereals and flour,
    oh how I need your power :)
    Pretty please consider me
    or you will find me in my tree 😀ReplyCancel

  • Angela

    The most disorganised area in the pantry is the “small items” area mainly used for spices, stock cubes and packet teas- all are varying sizes, some prone to spoiling, and are hard to corral. The ikea plastic cabinets are a great idea (**note to self- “go to ikea”)!!ReplyCancel

  • Karlene Forrest

    The baking section. I always have too much plain flour but not enough SR. Or I have 2 bags of coconut already but buy a third because I didn’t think there was any…ReplyCancel

  • Corinne

    The baking area is the most organised! Flours, sugars, additives all have a place!ReplyCancel

  • Kerrie

    I find the hardest thing is to maintain a clean pantry. To ensure everything gets used and not forgotten.ReplyCancel

  • These look great! Yes, I hate open packets and yet never find time to put them all in cannisters etc. Worst part of my pantry is definitely the pasta / rice / couscous area at the moment.ReplyCancel

  • Kylie

    everything. I straighten up but by the end of the week it’s in chaos again. We don’t have a proper pantry, so it’s just corner cupboard under the bench with tins, oils, sauces and a few other stuff located in other cupboards. The stuff that are at the front often get scatted around and moved to the wrong shelf in an attempt to reach things at the back and the cupboard gets in more mess trying to locate something that has been left on the wrong shelf by someone elseReplyCancel

  • Melissa Xuereb

    These ties look great, would be a welcome help in my pantryReplyCancel

  • Jude

    I bought an 8 pack from Big W this am and tried them on my frozen peas and corn. I had to fold the packet over twice to get an airtight seal. It was slightly fiddlier doing the extra fold. They are more secure then a peg or rubber band and much neater.
    I never bother looking at non-pretty practical looking stuff like that in the shops that I haven’t had recommended by someone so thanks Kat. I think they are going to be really useful.ReplyCancel

  • Kaylene Griffin

    I use lots of containers in my pantry so the thing I find a problem is the left overs after filling up the containers. So I think the Anylock Sealing Rods would be great.ReplyCancel

  • Fiona

    I have a small section in my pantry for cans eg. tomatoes, corn etc. and I never seem to have enough space and then I get over flow. So even though I can’t use your new clips in this area of my pantry, I will certainly take your recommendation and get some they sound great – thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Julie c

    Definitely baking supplies that you only need a little of – brown sugar/ choc chip bits/ dried fruit/ nuts etc What a great idea!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie

    Definitely the extra packets of “overflow” items that don’t fit in their assigned containers! try as I might to use them first, sometimes its just not possible and it just all ends up a mess!ReplyCancel

  • bree

    With the recent diagnosis of Leukaemia, one of my child’s medicines crowd the pantry, whilst being beside my toddler, newborn’s and the adults medicines = chaos on a whole pantry shelf! I believe these Anylock products will work keeping the pills airtight. What a great invention!ReplyCancel

  • Kim

    For me it is the baking area – I do lots of different baking using varied types of Gluten Free Flours.ReplyCancel

  • Belinda

    The messy part of my pantry is the area between the floor and the roof.. I can never seem to sort it out properly!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy Kiel

    Has to be my frozen section, bags of peas & beans etc my laundry pegs just don’t seal them properly!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    We live in the country and I have a lot of problems with moths getting into my flours and cereals!! These sound like the solution! Fantastic idea, I would love not to have extra protein in the cereals 😉ReplyCancel

  • Christina

    Ice cream toppings….from open packets of sprinkles of every colour and kind to chocolate drops and cherrys in the fridge. If they are easy to use I could teach my husband as he is the main culpret at leaving packets undone!ReplyCancel

  • Helen

    It’s a toss up between the small packets of herbs and spices, the open packets of pasta, and the little containers of baking goods like choc chips and vanilla essence. Could definitely use some ideas for organising these areas.ReplyCancel

  • lynne adams

    I currently sharing my unit with my adult niece and her partner while they are saving for their own house. They moved in, together with an overabundant supply of herbs and spices which are currently housed in a cardboard box! Open packets, pegs, bulldog clips and sandwich bags are trying to conquer the mixed spices but to no avail. I think we need a solution and in a hurry.ReplyCancel

  • Joni

    The whole pantry… I’ve lost control and have pantry moths for the first time ever…errkkkReplyCancel

  • Christina

    Ice cream toppings….from open packets of sprinkles of every colour and kind to chocolate drops and cherrys in the fridge. If they are easy to use I could teach my husband as he is the main culprit at leaving packets undone!ReplyCancel

  • Marta

    Definitely the area where I keep the open packets like pasta, peanut, etc and also the section where I keep things like instant noodle packets, cans of tomato, tuna, coconut powder etc. I must use containers like Tupperware and plastic drawers like the one that you use from Ikea in this post. Love this Anylock product, seems to be very effective yet simple solution and a must for organizing pantry and to seal other open packets.ReplyCancel

  • Belinda

    All of it! With 4 boys and a hubby, no matter how nicely I organise the pantry, whenever they pull something it out it just gets shoved back in in any place. I dont know how many packets of food I have had to throw away as they havent been bothered to reseal them and they have gone stale or gotten pantry moths in, hopefully these are boy proof and will make it easier for them to seal bagsReplyCancel

  • Anastasia

    We just moved house (12th time in 12 years, gosh I hope this one will last!), so I’m back to reorganising all living spaces. My worst headache at the moment is the bathroom. It’s much smaller than we used to have and the cabinets weren’t planned smartly. The narrow cabinet below the sink drives me mad: it’s so narrow that all I can fit in is my makeup box but as there’s no shelf and I can’t fit one, the space above is a waste, and I have to stack things on top of each other – very annoying!
    Am tackling the storage room today, wish me luck!ReplyCancel

  • Anastasia

    Moving house is clearly not good for me – I can’t even read the question correctly :) ok, so it’s not about the most disorganised area of the house but the pantry… Well, my current one has very shallow shelves which makes it easy for my husband to find anything (men proof pantries should be made one can/jar/container deep) but hopeless for me trying to store anything. I guess the worst organised part now is the multiple packets of nuts, dried fruit etc. as they are all in small packets carefully tied around with elastic bands and the quantities are not enough to justify containers. Help!ReplyCancel

  • Mick G

    Where we keep the munchies – chip packets, nuts and lolly bagsReplyCancel

  • Tanya

    I follow the daily tips from Kat however I find my teenage children open packets and eat standing in the pantry. Of course they then leave the empty packet for me to deal with. So this becomes my most disorganised area, on the eye level shelf for everyone to see. Oh and if I am lucky they use a peg to seal the bag up so the contents don’t go stale.ReplyCancel

  • Naysie

    Def the baking section – all my flours/sugar are sorted with Tupperware, but the nuts/cocoa/choc bits/seeds/muesli etc are always such a mess no matter how I try to organise itReplyCancel

  • Helga Grenkowitz

    Various varieties of nuts and dried fruit because we mix ‘fruit & nuts’ ourselves to only have those we love.ReplyCancel

  • Ern

    The very bottom shelf, floor level where my totally anal wife thinks no one looks.
    BTW you can make these yourself, like we do. All you need is two straws and a pair of scissors. Youtube link for your reference Enjoy :)ReplyCancel

  • Kerry Santillo

    These would feel nice inserted into my backside.ReplyCancel

  • Julia Parker

    The small packets of recipe base mixes and herbs etc. I dont always use a whole packet at one time so always have open ones on the shelf.ReplyCancel

  • karina lee

    All those packets of half eaten chips, biscuits and lollies! They are scattered all over the pantry!ReplyCancel

  • Anne-Marie Marini

    Definitely my baking stuff & packet snacks.ReplyCancel

  • Jackie

    The kids school snacks. I have half packets galore! With 3 boys there’s forever little hands getting into new found snacks! With saying that, my freezer comes a very close second!ReplyCancel

  • Snacks area is regularly sabotaged by my family. Biscuits that do make it to a container are eaten and I find an empty container. But more annoying is the open packets just sitting there inviting ants, cockroaches, weevils. It would alot easier to simply Anylock the Gate!ReplyCancel

  • Maria P

    Definitely my pasta section. My family loves pasta and I have so many different types in my pantry and it’s a mess.ReplyCancel

  • Lorna M

    My baking shelf, packets of flour, sugars, assortment of nuts, dried fruits, chocolate bits, desiccated coconut, sprinkles, little bottles of colouring, the list goes on….Help!ReplyCancel

  • nicole tange

    Biscuits and snacks. So many opened packets and boxes opened from the kids raiding the pantry for something to nibble on. Drives me crazyReplyCancel

  • Leah

    All my bits and pieces for baking! Cocoa, chic chips, sugar, rice flour etc… they are always spilling out or spoiling before their time as they arent sealed properly. Would love to give Anylock a go!ReplyCancel

  • Chi

    The section with nuts and baking supplies!ReplyCancel

  • Liz

    My tea section! So many different packets of loose leaf tea, and they never all fit into their jars so I end up with half filled packets everywhere!ReplyCancel

  • sonia

    my most unorganised would be the bags of nuts that don’t fit into the jars, and the ones in my head. So much going on right now. Just trying to keep myself together.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda

    My baking corner! Pesky choc chips and hazelnuts rolling out of packets that tip over, brown sugar going hard when the air gets in too long and puffs of spilt flour whenever I move anything.ReplyCancel

  • jodie

    My disorganized area is the cereals area, there is only so much Cera that fits in the containers and then I have packets that are opened.ReplyCancel

  • Linda

    i have just moved house and trying to fit a 4 bedroom house contents into a 3 bedroom half filled already house. The whole kitchen is kaos. i cant find anything and have no room. The pantry would have to be the worst. It is very small and I have a lot of double ups of half opened packets.ReplyCancel

    • Pat

      Linda, I know your pain. We moved to a house with a smaller kitchen. Slowly consolidating (er eating) our way to a smaller pantry need. The tub in the 3rd picture above is a great way of helping you do this (have several myself), along with those drawers of Kate’s.ReplyCancel

  • Pat

    I put my half opened packets of like items in one large-enough Tupperware container. For singles that are usually leftovers from full containers, I fold them over tightly then secured with a double round of sticky tape. Found some Sea Salt and peppercorns while looking for some flour for those lovely muffins I made while breakfast was cooking on Sunday.
    Was trying out a recipe for homemade pasta in one pot. The only pasta I had was a kilo packet. Divided it into 4. Cooked one lot and bagged the other three lots for later experimenting. My first lot of experimenting was woeful and DH has named this dish GLUE, thanks to my heavy hand with the plain flour. So I am prepared with more pasta already to use. Just no ‘neat’ way to store the bags. I have Curry Glue for my lunch today. It was yummy! So here’s hoping the leftovers will be as good.ReplyCancel

  • Angela

    Definitely my cupboard in my large walk in panty. Its where all of those packets get stored. Usually I use an elastic band to keep them closed once open, but the Anylock idea sounds fantastic and one that would definitely be utilised in my pantry.ReplyCancel

  • Felicia

    Kids snacks!
    Slowly getting on top of things by being more organised in meal planning & therefore grocery buying. But buying bulk instead of multi packs of things means LOTS of open packets…
    These are a great invention!ReplyCancel

  • Rochelle

    My most disorganised area is my baking area! So mich half opened bags at the top of the cupboard that I can’t see.ReplyCancel

  • Alisha Lothringer

    My whole pantry!! I have added tiered shelving so at least I can see things however the baking section needs serious attention. Clips just don’t cut it, I am forever finding desiccated coconut, cacao,ReplyCancel

    • Alisha Lothringer

      My whole pantry!! I have added tiered shelving so at least I can see things however the baking section needs serious attention. Clips just don’t cut it, I am forever finding desiccated coconut, cacao powder and coconut sugar everywhere. We live in a small old home with a tiny pantry so I don’t have room for many containers plus the moths are always a problem. This reusable, space saving solution is a winner!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Mandy

    My most disorganised section of my pantry is the open packets of dry goods. If I put half used packets of biscuits in a container, the kids or hubby will just go and open another packet without looking first. So frustrating and messy having the open packets in the shelves.ReplyCancel

  • Narelle Mills

    Most definitely the open packets of pasta, biscuits or bread. Closely followed by the mountains of tinned food that get buried in the back of the pantry.ReplyCancel

  • Louise M

    The baking shelf, you only have to look sideways at it before a half open bag of flour comes tumbling down all over you!ReplyCancel

  • Lellyco

    The worst area is the snack section of our pantry. As the clips are in different colours I think I would give each child a different to make it easy for them to grab their packet, not someone else’s.ReplyCancel

  • Anastasia

    My spice section. It is so messy and crammed that I’m to scared to take them out and use them. Instead food has been tasting really bland lately with only salt and pepper being used these days for the family meals.ReplyCancel

  • charlotte

    Its a battle between pasta in the pantry and frozen fruit in the freezer…. i try to embrace the mixed fruit and pasta suprise!ReplyCancel

  • Deb

    Our most disorganised area – it’s hard to pick one! Think it’s an equal first position to breakfast cereals – everyone in the family has their own favourite – and the snacks with half eaten bags of popcorn. The Anylocks would be fabulous at helping with both of these problems!ReplyCancel

  • Shannan

    No particular as all areas are in caos and hard to find anything underneath the piles of stuff that gets shoved in thereReplyCancel

  • kELLY

    My area in need is all the half eaten packets of chips and snacks!!! ArgggReplyCancel

  • Oh definitely my baking shelf. Half packets of pine nuts, walnuts, hundreds and thousands, choc chips you name it. They get so lost and end up out of the packet and on the shelf the floor or in the bin. GrrrrReplyCancel


    the worst part is snacks pantry because we have lots of variety of snacks and it is impossible for me to put all the leftovers into the containerReplyCancel

  • Robin Langham

    I make up my own muesli for the family so there are always bags of oats, flaxseed, bran, nuts, sultanas etc loose in the pantry. This would have to be the most disorganised and messy shelf of my pantry.ReplyCancel

  • Ngaire

    My baking shelf is in constant need of organising – doesn’t seem to matter how well I sort stuff into labeled containers there’re always a few new ingredients that float around in half opened packets or get shoved to the back of the shelves! Save me!ReplyCancel

  • Deborah de Geeter

    My baking shelf needs organizing.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer B.

    Herbs in sachets. Where? Unknown.
    Spice packets loose wherever they’re thrown.
    There’s pantry mayhem! Things go splat…
    AnyLocks for MY SPICES would solve all that!ReplyCancel

  • Nicholle Sullivan

    Easy – cereals. Rice bubbles on the floor, weet bix exposed, stale cheerios and several packs of muesli. Sometimes they are still in their boxes, sometimes not, all are rarely sealed. Of a fairly shabby pantry this is a clear winner…..or loser!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha McVie

    I think my herbs and spices are my most disorganised, no matter how hard I try I always seem to have a sprinkling of basil or oregano decorating my pantry shelves :)ReplyCancel

  • Maddie

    My cereals- with 3 boys we always have multiple packets on the go! These devices would help no-end! Thank you for the chance to try them out :)ReplyCancel

  • Estella

    The baking/snacks section are all mixed up at the moment, lots of opened packs (not sealed properly) and we frequently find expired packs since the unused packs stay in the bottom of the ever-growing pile…ReplyCancel

  • Renee

    The whole pantry is a shambles….mostly the spicesReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    I don’t have a pantry. I only have 2 shelves in a corner cupboard that holds all our “pantry” items. So there’s an assortment of open pasta packets, dried fruits, spices etc all jumbled one on top of the other. Always fun when I put something in upside down and it all tumbles out everywhere. Oh to be more organised! And rich. I think if I was rich I would build a house with a big butlers pantry :-)ReplyCancel

  • Julia Mason

    Funnily enough, its the part were all the containers live! They are messy and mixed up!ReplyCancel

  • michelle

    All the little bags of spices in my pantry are a mess.ReplyCancel

  • Amy

    The messiest part of my pantry is the ‘baking section’ packets of sprinkles, 100s & 1000’s and decorations galore!ReplyCancel

  • Kristy

    My whole pantry is a mess at the moment. We have a horrible deep pantry which means that every time I need something I have to move stuff to get at it. The result is that things just get randomly chucked back in where ever they may fit. Storage of kids snacks such as the little packets of biscuits, sultanas and muesli bars is also a problem areaReplyCancel

  • Trish taylor

    Anywhere my twin boys can reach … They open my Tupperware containers and leave a corner open. The pantry moths had an early Christmas feast .ReplyCancel

  • Lu

    Snacks. Especially nuts and seeds.ReplyCancel

  • Amy Green

    My whole pantry is chaotic at the moment. I open it up everyday and just think to myself, “gosh I really need to do something about this!”.ReplyCancel

  • Kristi Murphy

    My whole pantry is a nightmare, i am forever cleaning up spilled pasta or cereal, with a house full of boys each time they go to the cupboard one of the horrible open bags always end up tipped overReplyCancel

  • Christine

    My most disorganised part of my pantry is the section containing condiment and stock etc.ReplyCancel

  • Molly

    Everywhere! But worst is baking section, choc bits, flour, sprinkles, vanilla etc!ReplyCancel

  • Nikki Sims-Chilton

    My spices – they are in original packets with rubber bands, in containers, in ziplock bags and some even have sticky taped packets.ReplyCancel

  • Natasha

    My pantry! I keep getting weevils in my pantry and they make a terrible messReplyCancel

  • Suellen

    I would have to say my baking section with opened packets. Such as coconut, icing sugar, bakers flour etc, that you only use a small amount but buy in a large bag.
    Also snacks, where the children leave the bags open.ReplyCancel

  • Jude

    I have been using the Anylock seals for over a week now and despite needing a double foldover for frozen peas and corn they have been perfect for all the other packets I have tried them on. I am really happy with them and would recommend them over pegs, rubber bands, IKEA clips … . In the 8 pack they didn’t have many suitable for small bags so my small baking stuff is still in a shoebox with rubber bands!ReplyCancel

  • Vicki O'Neill

    Thank you so much, Kat! I can’t wait to try the Anylock seals out. It will be so much better than using pegs, lacky bands & “el-cheapo” clips that don’t hold the seal tight enough or, worse still, break! Thank you once again for the prize. Kindest regards, VickiReplyCancel

Tips on how to stretch a meal to feed more, to satisfy hungry appetites, extra guests or want to create left overs.

Continue Reading...

  • Juli Szasz

    Usually by adding side dishes in fancy little plates. Its so easy to slice some shallots and put a selection of sauces or sour cream on those cute little Asian style plates and ramekins. Garnish the salad with some parsley, serve mini corn cobs on a platter on the side with a little dish of butter….ReplyCancel

    • Abby

      Some people have such commented some great ideas that I’m going to try! I like to add grated veges to most meals to stretch it out a bit and get my boys to eat more vegetables. If I’m making a stew or slow cooker meal, I love adding dumplings. They are so easy to make, just butter, flour and milk (I add fresh rosemary too) and dropReplyCancel

    • Abby

      Some people have such commented some great ideas that I’m going to try! I like to add grated veges to most meals to stretch it out a bit and get my boys to eat more vegetables. If I’m making a stew or slow cooker meal, I love adding dumplings. They are so easy to make, just butter, flour and milk (I add fresh rosemary too) and drop spoonfuls of mixturinto the poReplyCancel

    • Abby

      Some people have such commented some great ideas that I’m going to try! I like to add grated veges to most meals to stretch it out a bit and get my boys to eat more vegetables. If I’m making a stew or slow cooker meal, I love adding dumplings. They are so easy to make, just butter, flour and milk (I add fresh rosemary too) and drop spoonfuls of mixture into the pot for the lastReplyCancel

  • Mick G

    Little extras such as melted cheese topping, tasty sauces or side salads with additions such as croutons or special vinaigretteReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    If I am making a pasta dish – I stretch it to accommodate extra guests by adding an extra cup of pasta. Such a cost effective and easy way to make it go that bit further !
    I increase the amount of butter chicken by adding some diced pumpkin and diced potatoes and a cup of frozen peas to the mixture.
    Another idea is to serve the meals in the centre of the table – buffet style and let people serve themselves. Everyone will generally take a smallish serve as they can always go back for seconds. My children know that once they have put something on their plate – they are expected to eat it. No more throwing away plates of wasted food. Any leftovers are still on the main serving dishes and can be stored safely.
    We also offer dessert each night in our house. It doesn’t have to be fancy – something like tinned peaches and ice cream will help fill those hungry tummies.ReplyCancel

  • Penny M

    My kids always love a garlic bread side, but salad or extra roast vegies always goes a long way to making a meal a basic affair to a favourite! I love to add extra vegies into mince dishes, such as carrot, zucchini, mushroom chopped up small doesn’t bother the kids, makes it go further and just that bit better for everyone!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer B.

    Those TV chefs do it for a reason… To move up to ‘special’, it’s all in the GARNISHES!
    Pomegranate seeds over a green salad, dukkhah on poached eggs, segments of blood orange over BBQ meats and croutons in soups. The options are endless!ReplyCancel

  • CATHY Bowdler

    I usually end up feeding more than I cater for by adding extra vegies or extra salad. With the vegies it’s quick and easy to turn ordinary vegies into a wonderful vegie bake with some cheesy white sauce and a little extra cooking time. I’ll also make a dessert if we have unexpected mouths to feed. I always have dry ingredients in the pantry for a quick and easy caramel or chocolate self saucing pudding and it only takes a few minutes to prepare and 1/2 hour to bake.ReplyCancel

  • Jo Parks

    I always stretch my meals with Salads, Vegies or Garlic Bread, but my favourite trick is making the amount of rice I serve look double in size by combining Rice with cauliflower. I blitz my cauliflower to the same size as my rice and combine to serve. Sometimes I just use the “Cauliflower Rice” by itself, cook with coconut oil and it makes a delicious Fried Rice.ReplyCancel

  • Di

    Presentation. Arranging things nicely on the plate, just putting in that bit of extra effort to make the meal look as good as it tastes, always turns my family meals from simple to special (well at least that’s what hubby tells me). And it really doesn’t require any extra effort or time at all.ReplyCancel

  • Ern

    A sprig of home grown herb on top or on the side, and like magic simple to special with the snap of a twig.ReplyCancel

  • sonya

    I add herbs like coriander. Our whole family ADORES coriander and it makes our meals so much healthier and tastier.ReplyCancel

  • karina l

    I present my food nicely and add pretty garnishes to makes my simple dishes look a million bucks!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy

    To stretch a meal extra veg, pasta or rice. To make a meal a bit more special I fancy up the presentation or make a small change, a bit of grated cheese to make cheesy mash vs plain mash, etcReplyCancel

  • kds

    Cooking a home cooked meal from scratc takes my family meals from simple to special. When the whole family is at the table , talking and eating :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah

    I add a generous handful of porridge oats to any dishes with mince to stretch another serving out. Really good with bolognese/ragu type dishes and my kids don’t notice. Healthy too!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline

    One word… Candlelight!!! Makes even my dodgy cooking look good! Adds atmosphere, makes the mundane special and lets me say that the food is not “burnt” it’s “candle-kissed”!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Heather Mcdaniel

    We light candles 1 night a week. We also have themed meals which the kids love planningReplyCancel

  • Melissa

    I always add a little something special, whether it be trying to plate up like a pro chef (or make fun faces for the little one), add a sprinkle of herbs and.oil to garnish or an extra special home made sauceReplyCancel

  • clare dorey

    I always bulk meals up with veggies or bread of some kind, but to keep my kids really happy in summer we eat outside on the deck. Too easy! :)ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Bonner

    My children are 18 years and up, so we get together and have Family Dinner once a month. They take it in turns to decide and cook/order at my place. Without fail garlic bread is always on the menu! Garlic bread and togetherness make meals special at our place.ReplyCancel

  • Gabrielle

    I love to add homegrown fresh herbs.ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Atkins

    Love garlic bread and herb bread too. If we neeed to stretch a meal, we serve them as brushetta, before the meal. Top the bread with a mixture of diced tomato, red onion and basil. Drizzle of olive oil. Hey presto. This way the kids dont just fill up on bread they get some veg in as well. Smaller portion of meal to follow. Try adding avacado and corn as well. Yummo..Pan bread (with cheese) are also great for toasties for lunch. I put them in the sandwich press frozen, add fillings. Very quick and easy.ReplyCancel

  • Nikki Sims-Chilton

    Let Daddy cook – apparently it’s always better when he does it… *sighReplyCancel

  • Lynda Delaney

    Teenagers eat so much, it is unbelievable just how much they eat so I really have to add lots more vegetables to everything and rather than boring potatoes, I cut them into small pieces, cook them in the microwave and then pop into a frypan with a little oil and some herbs and paprika and toss them until coated and a little crunchy. My 12 year old son won’t normally eat potatoes but will if I do them like this.ReplyCancel

  • Carmel Corry

    We love simple food, so we make it special by sitting at the table together, using a clean table cloth, matching cutlery and plates, lots of conversation and laughs! We also use our fanciest glasses. No point them sitting in the cupboard gathering dust. Turns simple healthy food into a gourmet experienceReplyCancel

  • Pauline

    I find by adding lots of variety to our meals that everyone enjoys it so much more. I might add a small bowl of soup with garlic bread to start and then the main can be simpler with meat and a few vegetables. Or I may go vegetarian and do vegetable pancakes with chopped up salad vegetables, corn cobs even a bowl of steamed broccoli. My kids tend to eat everything if there is more variety and serving themselves from the dishes in the centre of the table. It just looks so delicious. Sweet potato chips is another side I use often. Add a nice candle to the table and your all set.ReplyCancel

  • if I’m making any dish with mince I add brown lentil or red kidney beans to the mix to make it go further. I add extra vegies or extra pasta. I dish up on slightly smaller plates to make the meal look bigger.ReplyCancel

  • Karen Van der Heijde

    Instead of doing just mash or plain baked potatoes I either do smashed baked potatoes with garlic and herbs over them or the whole potatoes that you slice almost through to the bottom and top with garlic butter then bake. Just makes it a little extra special and I love the garlic.ReplyCancel

  • Karen

    We always set the table…. sounds simple but it really makes an everyday meal feel more special, It also ensures that the four of us sit together to eat and chat about the day.ReplyCancel

  • annemarie

    I have started using my slow cooker for sides, one night will be bacon and garlic cheesy potato, cous cous salad, pumpkin mini pies. My kids love garlic bread so some nights they will have it as a side dish. My fav is creating lots of mince recipes from a basic recipe. I cook nachos, then tacos, lasagne, then spaghetti adding mushrooms, shepherds pie, then meat balls..a basic mince recipe that can create so many meals and no wasted left overs!ReplyCancel

  • Emily New

    I grate carrot, zucchini and onion into all my mince dishes (even hubby can’t see the extra veggies).
    I always have extra veggies in the freezer, to add to the fresh veggies.ReplyCancel

  • Liz

    When we cook with the kids or make something the kids love, we say it’s made in our own special restaurant Robinson Palms. The name of our street is Robinson.ReplyCancel

  • Joni

    I grow a few herbs and vegetables at home do I add in homemade bread that I make with the breadmaker but snip home grown rosemary, basil, garlic or parsley into the mix, or I make a side salad with home grown rocket, mizuma lettuce and cucumber. It’s quite time consuming with 4 growing kids to feed!ReplyCancel

  • Katie

    I make my meals special by cooking ahead and freezing so all I have to do is reheat and serve…special is the extra time I have with my boys because of my forward planning xReplyCancel

  • Laurina

    I like to change up how I serve meals by using different vegetables or salad instead. But each time making sure there is plenty of flavour because that is what will keep the boys coming back for more! I always sneak plenty of extra veg into meals as well!ReplyCancel

  • Zoe Morris

    Add a sprinkle to make it special. Special is a garnish. A sprinkle of parsley or Parmesan, a sprinkle of nuts to a salad or a halved cherry tomato to garnish. Simple ans special.ReplyCancel

  • kylie c

    We make dinners special by deciding as a family, we sit down and the kids all suggeat meals they would like to have. We compile these and come up with a meal plan, my 11yo girl picks two meals she would like to cook, and my 8yo son picks one meal, and my 6yo son picks one meal he would like to help with, and rhe 2yo picks one to help with. The kids being involved in the decision making is really special because it gives them the choice of what they would like to eat, what days we eat what, and shows them that there’s more then just cooking involved.
    When it comes to the meals, theres always special ways to display, like smiley faces, stacks of rice, we add grated farrot or zucchini to rice to bulk it out, add a vegetable, and give it a colourful appearance. When we have pasta bakes, lasagnes, or the like we do individual ones then a shared salad, or garlic bread.
    We don’t do desert every night but a couple of times a week as a special treat, but each night we do fruit after dinner, there’s been fruit faces, fruit kebabs, chocolate dipped fruit, fruit with yoghurt to dip.
    We keep dinners special by keeping them kid focused so they enjoy them and have positive eating experiences.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca

    To make our dinners stretch I’ll do extra veggies, or a salad, or some bread and butter My mother in law always adds oats and some water to her bolognaise to help it go further. If I have any I’ll use a garlic bread to fill them up too! :) My favorite EASY dessert stretcher is doing jelly in disposable cups. Only fill them half way and then serve with some fruit on top and whipped cream! :) YUMMY kids love them!!ReplyCancel

  • Lucy

    my family love when we get takeaway! Obviously we can’t always have it so I use takeaway containers to serve it up and when we do eat our takeaway we always put the “blue blanket” down on the floor and we have an inside picnicReplyCancel

  • Leanne

    I make meals special by adding lots of hidden vegetables to every meal. It makes me feel special knowing that my kids are getting lots of nutrients without me having to fight them to eat the good stuff.
    Of course if you ask my kids, they would say I make meals special by adding grated Parmesan cheese and garlic bread.ReplyCancel

  • Marg

    I put the individual components of the meal in separate containers for each child so they all have their own portion, no fighting, and make their meal how they want it. It always amazes me how doing this simple task turns meals into fun and the kids are full of ideas.ReplyCancel

  • Sonya N.

    Because I have two very young children, our simple meals are made special (and subsequently more edible!) by making pictures with our food. So spaghetti bolognese and meatballs will be turned into a face with crazy hair, broccoli and cauliflower will be turned into a forest, and sometimes we add purple food dye to mashed potato just to make it look weird! If I didn’t do such things to our meals I doubt my children would ever eat!ReplyCancel

  • Jules

    I find using herbs turns simple meals into special ones! Sweet potato and parsnip roasted in the oven with smoked paprika and olive oil has truly transformed our dinner plates, and the kids will now always eat their vegies! Ditto with using cumin to flavour roast potatoes. Herbs are key!ReplyCancel

  • Tracey Cross

    My kids think any meal where they can dish up for themselves is special, can be anything from take away to meat and vegies, it really doesn’t matter because they feel so grown up being allowed to decide what they want.ReplyCancel

  • cheryl

    To make my homemade meals, which is everyday, a bit more special I go through my collection of food photos either from the internet or magazines and try to present my food so it looks similar to the beautiful photos whenever I can. I just love lots of colour on a plate and then the look of broken bread along side it.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina McAliece

    I love making the La Famiglia Garlic bread into a quick & easy bruschetta as an entree! Delicious and stretches dinner perfectly!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa Ebert

    Sometimes when we get takeaway roast chicken instead if having hot chips and salad with it, I will cook up vegies and a potato bake and serve with garlic bread…La Famiglia of course its our fave. You don’t have to limit garlic bread to pasta meals….we have it as an accompaniment to a variety of dishes. Simple pleasures and delicious too ?ReplyCancel

  • Ariane

    My family get super excited if i serve garlic bread or a delicious suace with my mealReplyCancel

  • Janine Bone

    If you asked each of my family members what a special meal in our home means, these might be the responses you’d get… The question might spur my hubby to beg me to make his fave Mexican especiale which includes creamy prawn burritos with all the trimmings of guacamole, rice, beans and fresh salsa; my eldest daughter would loyally say that anything that Mummy makes is a special meal; my middle girl would say that she loves the meals that don’t require cutlery; and my little one would say that she loves to have spaghetti bolognaise for brekky, lunch and dinner. But if you ask me, what makes a family meal special in my home is when we are all here together, something that only happens a couple of times a week due to shift working parents. Having all 5 of us sitting at our scratched up old dining table, giggling and chatterboxing over the days events, speculating over tomorrow, and just being there. No matter the meal, boring or extravagant, my little 5-some, that’s what makes it special for me, xReplyCancel

  • Maria

    I was visiting a great aunt who was 93 years old, in Italy, whom I hadn’t seen in years. She had prepared lentil soup and apologised because it was a simple meal. But to me, it was very special as it was prepared with love and attention.ReplyCancel

  • Grace

    To make our simple family meals special, we have a vase of beautiful fresh flowers,(eg roses,azaleas, bird of paradise etc, from our garden) on the dining table . Our simple dishes are followed by our favourite desserts, fruit with ice cream and background soft popular music.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda

    To turn a meal from simple to special is to have dinner with the ones we love a little bit of extra effort in the place setting and table arrangements with everyone chipping in then adding fresh herbs to a meal to add zing and flavour and to make it really special is to cook one of the beautiful recipes that have been passed down through the generations not only do they taste great but we can reminisce about the people who no longer sit with us but remain forever in our thoughts.ReplyCancel

  • Tracey

    I have always added rice or pasta to the meal or served with it. Two minute noodles are handy for that extra stretch too as the younger children think them to be worms in dirt.
    Grated vegetables help too, this can be added to meals and children think they have gotten away with not having to eat so many veggies.
    I add veggies to the mince for spaghetti, my Italian daughter in law is shocked but my children grew up on it and love it.
    When making muffins or biscuits extras are frozen one so they stay fresh and some are left for work/school. There are times when the supply builds up and they are taken out as treats, they thaw quickly being small. So are ready for after dinner.
    One that my older children do it cook some rice or hopefully some leftover rice add a tin of a meal together eg: Heniz cans and this mixture is put on to flat bread rolled and placed in the sandwich maker to brown. This turns a tinned meal for 2 plus a 2 cups of rice and 6 flat breads into a hearty meal for 3 teenage boys with leftovers for younger children if they want it..ReplyCancel

    • Tracey

      What makes these meals special is that everyone helps in making them not just one person is left to make everything. It is the sharing of a simple meal that makes a difference.ReplyCancel

  • Alison

    We have culture night once a week. We cook a meal from a different country, learn a few quick facts about that country and eat it as they would ie with chopsticks etc. We also add candlelight to mix some nights! Lots of fun!!ReplyCancel

  • Pam

    My fourboys are veggie lovers. We have a huge bowl of green and yellow every night, and potatoes ( roasted, mashed or scalloped) fill up growing boys. Garlic bread disappears, and fried rice is another favorite. Leftovers just don’t happen very often

    Even better – they are learning to cook. I expect to retire and let them take over some day!ReplyCancel

  • Pam

    My four boys are veggie lovers. We have a huge bowl of green and yellow every night, and potatoes ( roasted, mashed or scalloped) fill up growing boys. Garlic bread disappears, and fried rice is another favorite. Leftovers just don’t happen very often

    Even better – they are learning to cook. I expect to retire and let them take over some day!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Maloney

    By letting my our pet cockatiel Mr Doodson, sit on my shoulder at dessert, who then whistles his heart out serenades us with tunes!ReplyCancel

  • Allison

    My top tip is to have hubby/daddy cook the meal – Seriously he is a way better cook and makes incredible seasoning combinations and from scratch sauces/dressing.
    We eat very simple meals – meat (lamb backstrap, chicken or steak are favourites) and we eat them grilled with salad/veg and rice/cous cous but the flavour & spice combinations my hubby comes up with makes the whole meal ‘new’.ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie

    We always sit at the table together, we take it in turns (youngest to eldest) to talk about our day and finish with the ‘best thing that happened to me today was’ ?ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    Sit at the table! Really hard to do with an adventerous 3 year old. But he helps me set the table, we use cloth napkins and I light a candle. Then we sing a quick blessing, he refuses to eat whatever I’ve cooked and runs off. So hubby and I bolt down our food and dream of the days when we can have nice civilised dinners. One day!ReplyCancel

  • Allison

    When I am trying to make a meal of salad and meat “shine” I usually add fruit to the meal for added flavour. Usually this consists of orange, pineapple and apple. I think it really freshens up the meal and makes it a little different to an ordinary salad.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Ooh that sounds yummy. I have never thought to add fruit to a salad. Will have to give it a try in tonight salad.:)ReplyCancel

  • I take my family meals from simple to special by:

    * Using an extra nice table cloth and/or extra nice placemats
    * Having 2-3 lit candles for ambiance
    * Setting the table properly, with everything in its proper spot
    * Ensuring an array of colours are served up (pleasing to the eye)
    * Playing soft music in the background
    * Continuing great conversation while awaiting home-made dessert.

    Works a treat every time!!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca

    for me, its all about the presentation….. funky shape plates, origami folded napkins, bread boards, fresh herbs topping the meal. I’ve even been known to present meatloaf looking like cupcakes (mince ‘cupcake’, mashed potato ‘icing’, sprinkled with parsley) kids loved itReplyCancel

  • Chris

    If my kids and grand kids call in unanounced on a Sunday which they often do I can stretch a bake dinner by cutting vegetables smaller and adding extra vegetables like corn on the cob and carrots and of course you can always have a side of garlic bread and desert. I always keep garlic bread in freezer it goes with any meal.ReplyCancel

  • Charmaine Hardy

    I make the family meals go from simple to special by adding a piece of FRUIT to the plate. An apple, orange, mandarin or grapes not only add colour to the plate but also help satisfy grumbling tummies. The kids often try to guess which fruit will be the special guest tonight.ReplyCancel

  • Raquel Stankovic

    We have now come up with a “Jaime Oliver” style of dishing up the sides – either a salad, garlic pizza or garlic bread dished up looking rustic on a chopping board – kids love everything and anything that is on here. It’s like a kid in a candy store :-)ReplyCancel

  • Kim

    To make meals more special I get the kids involved in the choice and preparation – it makes them appreciate how much time and effort go into meal planning, prep and cooking. They have more pride in the choices they make and the food we eat.ReplyCancel

  • Karlene Forrest

    Our 7 year olds makes every meal “special” by smothering it in tomato sauce. He won’t eat tomatoes. Or pasta sauce. Just tomato sauce.
    I make the rest of our family’s meal special with the addition of dessert.ReplyCancel

  • Helen Flockhart

    Although I’m a proud Aussie citizen, I’m a Scot so oatmeal is the great addition. I’m the great gran of a large family and our tradition is to make “the stranger’s portion” in case somebody extra drops by at dinner time. All soups, stews and savoury mince dishes start with skirlie. This is simply chopped onion and oatmeal browned in a little oil in a frypan. It has a nice nutty flavour. Remove from your pan to the pot you will cook your soup etc in before browning and sealing your meat to stop it becoming dry during cooking. I always make extra skirlie as we eat it on toast too! Barley in your soap increases your meal cheaply. Curried barley instead of rice occasionally. I married a Sicilian so it’s bread with everything there! An Italian loaf can feed a large number if you top a little olive spread, butter or brushed oil with a little cheese mixed with chopped parsley and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and either pop under the grill or in the oven.. It dresses the bread without being grilled cheese on toast. You’re not spending much money but delighting the eye! You can use baguette bread too. Increase the surface size by slicing the loaf on a diagonal slant. I have a large freezer container where leftover vegetables go, including any roasted ones. Any small amounts of roast meats too. I put a helping of skirlie and any barley left over. If the grandkids and their little ones visit, I can put these into a pot and have a tasty homemade soup on in a flash. Everything is already cooked. It just needs bringing to the boil. Need it quicker, defrost in the microwave. Cheese or garlic bread and this great gran can feed the brood well on my OAP!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie

    I am all about the garlic bread, and master 2 demands it nightly!
    I find the biggest hit with my family is when I create a meal that requires their input!
    So, for example: tacos. Having all the ingredients out on the lazy susan (I know!!!) so they can create their own meal masterpieces! it really takes a simple meal into a whole “event” and gets us all talking about new combinations, ingredients and it a great way for them to try new things (and for me to use up leftovers often too!) works for burgers, wraps, tacos, burritos, pizzas, even simple sides to another meal. its amazing how much good stuff they eat when it is their choice!ReplyCancel

  • Helen

    Fondue Friday! No one can be uncheered by simple bread, strawberries or marshmallows oozing with warm chocolate. Yum.ReplyCancel

  • Candice

    We have our kids help to make our meals special. Our 2 year old helps with mixing and grating veggies, while our 4 year old measures and chops with us. It takes longer to prepare, it”s a lot more mess and our pizza bases can occasionally be oval, but our meals are special.ReplyCancel

  • Lola

    We don’t eat “leftovers” we have a “dinner sampler”. A dinner sampler is a full meal made up of small portions of a variety of leftovers! Kids won’t touch leftovers but get excited over the dinner sampler.ReplyCancel

  • Anne-Marie Marini

    We always make everything from scratch with fresh ingredients. Including gravy & white sauce & present it nicely for the kids & make our own desserts.ReplyCancel

  • Mrs Caroline Matthews

    I like to turn my family meals from simple to special by making kumera,potato, garlic, cheeses and herb vegetable patties,dan dan noodles to traditional savoury mince, chicken meatloaf with 2 minute noodles, vegetables through lasagne and left over rice for fried rice.ReplyCancel

  • Pat

    My husband will not eat frozen leftovers, but since I re-named them to frozen dinners, he will eat them. I re-heat them in the microwave and serve up on a nice plate.
    When the kids were at that massive growth and hunger teen stage I was going through 750 gm of pasta per pasta meal. The children would never eat pumpkin or any mashed veg other than potato, so we combined them resulting in some fabulous colours. These days we have green mashed potato, then it was orange or yellow mashed potato. (Green being chopped parsley, orange was pumpkin and yellow was a smaller quantity of pumpkin)
    Was so used to making double batches of pikelets that I was quite surprised when I started having leftovers. ie the kids had grown up and weren’t ravishing hungry all the time.ReplyCancel

  • Anita

    As my husband is a shift worker we try to make dinner a fun and special time when we can be all together. My sons favourite daddy dinner time is our lounge room picnics. It can be with any usual dinnertime menu, or a “pick and mix” dinner. It is all done on the floor of the lounge room where we sit in a circle with the picnic rug and cushions. We even use our picnic set, plastic cutlery and all.ReplyCancel

  • Eva Kiraly

    A meal just isn’t a meal without the accompaniments, a plate of Garlic Bread and bowl of salad in the centre of the table makes all the difference!ReplyCancel

  • Renee

    A little love and thoughtfulness goes a long wayReplyCancel

  • cal potter

    With apple juice in wine glasses, we all dress up in our best princess costumes and dine to the sound of “the wheels on the bus”ReplyCancel

  • amy w

    I have ALWAYS added garlic bread. I have been known to cook pasta and roast dinners a lot so I can add garlic bread because I love it so much. But my favourite way to stretch a meal is with the la famiglia garlic bread slices. The nicely browned ones go to me, the medium ones go to hubby and the kids like them when the butter is just melted… Mmm yum!!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle

    Making stuff from scratch feels more special and homely. My kids love my flour tortillas and pizza bases that I make.ReplyCancel

  • Anita Mitchell

    Individualised side salads and yummy sauces always help; paprika sprinkled on the potatoes; butter and lemon on the beans. But the favourite way to signal a really special meal is to serve a homemade dessert! It can be as simple as a bikkie or a butter cake with vanilla icing; but home made is best.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Parker

    I try to make meals family friendly, something we all enjoy and by eating together as a familyReplyCancel

  • Alicia

    Add a side salad, rice, cous cous and/or garlic or cheesy mustard bread to make meals go that bit further. But I also add lots of hidden veg, fresh herbs into my dishes to ensure my family are getting all the nutrition they need, without even knowing it!!!ReplyCancel

  • Tanya

    I make more salads, for example, I had 3 extra adults over for dinner with the same amount of rissoles I generally feed just my family so I made a tomato salad, a quick noodle salad and then I sliced some pumpkin thin and brushed with maple syrup and roasted. It fed everyone easilyReplyCancel

  • Jacelle

    We make our meal time special every night with us all eating our meal together at the dining table. Dinner plates, cutlery, nice glasses and fabric napkins all seem so special in our fast paced lives. Sometimes the candles come out too!ReplyCancel

  • Kat

    A little green salad and fresh grated cheese makes any meal look good. A big plate of garlic bread in the middle of table for the family to gather around is great.ReplyCancel

  • We try to eat together as a family every night we can… And its always a win win when the garlic bread is served! I also like to use different sauces where possible and let the kids experience more flavour.ReplyCancel

  • add a bit of love to each meal and of course adding melted cheese goes a long way to achieving thisReplyCancel

  • Donna Germon

    I have 5 children who all like different things. To stretch our meals I get them involved. They help make salads they will eat, they help add extra vegies to dishes or they help make an extra part of the meal, like a fresh focaccia or flat bread. My son has recently started making fresh pasta and thoroughly enjoys it! We always serve our meals on platters on the table for everyone to help themselves.ReplyCancel

  • Kathie A

    I like to make our family meals extra special by:
    Setting the table
    Using the ‘specially polished’ cutlery
    Serving one of the family’s favourite meals…with garlic bread, of course
    Using wine glasses (even if they’re just filled with soft drink for the littlies)
    By having a calm, relaxed & thankful attitude! After all, we are all together, enjoying fab food & each other’s company :-)ReplyCancel

  • Gail

    I make a meal special by having some interesting prepared mason jar salads in several sizes ready to go ,just shake and pour gently onto the main plate , simply superb with lasagne , pasta bolognaise, casserole , fish , steak or chicken It has been a blessing having these jars all prepared ahead on a Sunday, ready for lunches and dinners for days ahead , they literally save me hours of prep time and make every meal so very special .
    & Thank you Kat for the idea!!ReplyCancel

  • Katie

    Often, it’s not the cooking skills or ingredients that makes meals special in our house but the process my husband and I do together every night. Menu planning, grocery shopping and all cooking are performed together. The laughs and teamwork make every meal special even on the occasion when we fail miserably. In fact it was these processes that helped us move from housemates to marriage.ReplyCancel

  • Laura Scriven

    We sit around the table every day,
    We learn and share that way!
    I like to try a new weekly dinner,
    Sometimes I make a winner!ReplyCancel

  • Jacky

    I add fresh herbs and spices: the colours and aromas make everything look and smell so delicious the whole family tucks in.ReplyCancel

9 Easy Steps To Maintain A Clean Kitchen, create a new routine to control the mess in your kitchen.

Continue Reading...

  • […] Make your bench and sink sparkle each night […]ReplyCancel

  • […] The Organised Housewife […]ReplyCancel

  • Thanks for the tips, from your various posts you are really organised and these little steps more often keep things clean and less effort involved in cleaning each time. I'm making a comment because I'm concerned about Spray and Wipe being used so often in an area where food is ingested by your family, in the kitchen and the dining area. If not for the environment I would like to urge you, as a stranger, to make the change to vinegar, for the health of yourself and your kids. The residual chemicals left behind after wiping it on the bench, in your sink and around where you eat might build up, and still be present when your kids put food down when you are not looking. I randomly won a Bosistos box of goodies a number of years ago and noticed they are a sponsor for you to speak at the 2011 Bloggers Conference. Perhaps they could give you a few products to try and review too? I used they spray oil on lots of stuff. If you are delaying the change for a feeling that the vinegar won't do as good a job there is also a product called Orange Power which is a natural cleaning spray. Citrus oil is really good at breaking down dirt and I use it at home and feel sage knowing it isn't dangerous to us. It could be a good transition product? Sorry for the long comment, I am going to subscribe to your blog and watch our lives change with organisation however needed make the comment about the Spray and Wipe. ReplyCancel

    • Katrina

      Hi Ann, thankyou so I am so happy to read your comment doesn't matter how long it is. I completely agree with you and I soon hope to transition over to a green home using vinegar, I will do it soon I promise :) Bosistos have sent me a great pack of goodies which I will be blogging about soon, I am loving their laundry powder. I am so glad that you are enjoying the website. Love hearing comments, keep them coming :) ReplyCancel

      • Jeanette Anderson

        great response from careful with some of the ‘natural oils’…they are often highly fragranced (particularly citrus oil…dlimonene) and can trigger asthma; strong perfume/odours are a major trigger for asthma

      • An alternative to store purchased ‘green’ cleaners is to get a large glass canning jar. Keep all your peelings from lemons/oranges/limes and keep in the fridge. Once the jar is full, fully cover contents with white vinegar. Let sit for 2-3 weeks before useing… and strain it before placing in your spray bottle. Natural cleaner at a fraction of the cost, and a fraction of the chemicals!ReplyCancel

      • Denise Cavanough

        Katrina, I so love there washing powder as well , I also use the eucalyptus spray as a disinfectant for bedding, pillows and so much more.ReplyCancel

    • Kirsten b

      I use lemon oil and water all through the house. If you look up neatfrreak on Facebook, she is brilliant for natural products.. Lemon oil does everything from kitchens to bathrooms to woodwork. Brilliant!! And when you get hot cleaning, you can spray it on your face!! :)ReplyCancel

      • Kate - Kat's Assistant

        Love natural products too.:) Lemon oil? i haven’t heard of that i will have to give it a try.ReplyCancel

  • Tanya

    How LOVELY to read! I very very much love to see how other people keep their homes, i like to hear you dotn wash every cup and dish as it apears and that you do one big lot at night….and i agree less clutter makes it look MUCH better where ever in the house you are :) You are a fresh breath of air for me…i very much need the inspiration..Thank you xox TReplyCancel

  • Jodie

    OK I am starting from the beginning :) I have my work cut out for me 😛ReplyCancel

  • Hi, I found you via Beyond the Baby. I wanted to comment on two things in particular.

    I don’t have a dishwasher and don’t like the clutter on my sink from all the little things used during the day. I place a large plastic basin under my sink and when a tea cup is used or such it is rinsed then placed in the basin under the sink. When the basin is full it is time to do a sink load.

    Another thought is that leaving your dishes to air dry may not be a good idea if there is a chance of any little puddles. I end up with cocky poo on my dishes if there any puddles for them to visit. Gross! Dishes get dried and put away straight away here. Guess it depends on your house and climate though. I am in a 100 year old house in northern NSW so it is warm enough to cockroaches to be prolific especially in summer.

    Best wishes

  • […] 1.  Let your dishes air dry over night […]ReplyCancel

  • Bronte

    You should try the Eureka Eucalyptus and citrus spray…smells so nice and doesn’t have any harsh chemicals, cleans up grease, helps with stubborn stains, disinfects surfaces…I love it.ReplyCancel

  • Emmatipper

    Hi Katrina. Save yourself even more time (and money) and use Enjo fibres instead.ReplyCancel

  • Jo

    Can I ask a dumb question? Did you say you put your sponges into the dishwasher? Do they not fall apart? And if not which ones do you use as I am sure mine would. Also I am interested in the vinegar alternative. Do you know what the ratio is?
    Thanks ReplyCancel

    • I use home brand sponges from woolworths and they don’t fall apart in the dishwasher. In the kitchen you can use pure vinegar in a spray bottle using a fine mist, or you can dilute if you would like 1 part vinegar to 1 part water.ReplyCancel

  • Jeanette Anderson

    hi there…try not to use sponges (they are highly unsustainable; meaning they disintegrate quickly…stock up on half a dozen good microfibre dishcloths..and you can wash and polish dry with your fibres)…and a green alternative is good because you don’t have to ‘spray, wipe and rinse off with warm water’ which is often in the fine print on the chemical spray and wipes…vinegar is a good alternative and of course my product; the Nature Direct Spray and Wipe…it’s one of our most popular concentrates! Happy cleaning!ReplyCancel

    • Microfibre clothes are a great idea Jeanette, yes since writing this post I have transitioned over to using vinegar, I need to write about it soon.ReplyCancel

  • Denise Toomey

    Hi Katrina, love reading your blog and all your tips – you really are an “organised housewife”!!! There are so many ideas and products around now for green cleaning but I’d like to share mine anyway. I have 2 spray bottles under the sink that I make up myself – one is equal parts water and metho (I buy the purple metho – it looks nice when made up in the spray bottle – with a teaspoon of water soluble lavender oil (approx 1 litre in total) for cleaning benches, stove top and sink, and glass table tops and the other is simply 1 litre of water with 1 teaspoon of water soluble lavender oil for my ironing spray. This is just magic. Lavender is well known as a calming and relaxing oil when used in oil burners but it also seems to relax fabric!! Just spray garments lightly prior to ironing for a beautiful finish. I recently surprised my niece when helping her with her housework with this little trick – she hadn’t had time to iron her doona cover so I said just put in on the bed, spray it with the lavender and water mixture and then smooth it out with your hands. She was amazed as all the wrinkles just disappeared – no ironing necessary. And everything smells so lovely. Some garments I just spray with the lavender and water and give a good shake and hang them and they don’t even need ironing. You do need a spray bottle that sprays a nice fine mist though so fabric is evenly moistened without becoming too wet. Cost wise it is extremely economical. Anyhoo, just wanted to share my tips for a change as I am always reading yours. Denise xx (PS The credit for this must be acknowledged as it is one of Shannon Lush’s – another cleaning guru)ReplyCancel

    • I love this tip, ooh the Lavender would definitely make the home smell beautiful. May I ask, where do you find the water soluble lavender oil? ReplyCancel

      • Cakebaker

        Eureka make a water soluble lavender oil…..I presume Chemist or health food shops would stock it.ReplyCancel

      • If you mix the oil with a little metho first, that acts as an emulsifier so it mixes in with the water when you add it :)ReplyCancel

    • Cakebaker

      Oooh this is the tip I was talking about on another comment…Shannan Lush’s ‘no ironing’ tip…from memory she talked a out buying the cheapest Lavender oil is that right?….

  • Narelle

    Thanks for the great tips. My kids dry the dishes as part of their weekly chores, and depending on the constituants of the wash up my oldest will often do the washing up also, minus any sharp objects. Vinegar is great for cleaning, I use it all the time. I like the tip about the basket for the kids things. I think I will use that, and not just for the kitchen. Thanks again.ReplyCancel

    • That’s great to get the kids involved, would be such a great help to you!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn

    Thank you for this post. For some reason it has given me an “I’m doing okay” feeling as this is exactly what I do. Why waste time wiping up when the dishes can drip dry!? It would be even better if hubby did them though! hahaha
    I read all your posts and find time to do some but not others, and I’m okay with that. Maybe when the kids are at school, I will find more time to do all the tasks etc. Love your work. ReplyCancel

    • That’s right, just find the tasks that suit you and that’s a great start Kathryn. Also tea towels harbour germs, so it’s much better for our dishes to drip dry. ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    I wash my dishes at night and leave in dish rack overnight then put away in morning and start all over i dont have a dishwasher ,would like one but that would mean im one cupboard down.ReplyCancel

    • I have a dishwasher, but find that I still wash every night, yes it would be hard to give up one cupboard. I am wanting a larger oven and would have to give up one, which is why I am putting it off.ReplyCancel

  • Josie Brady

    I just want to point out that vinegar is an acid, and could be damaging to bench tops. It is excellent for removing soap scum, a tip I learned from my builder brother.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Thanks Josie, i have caesar benches and i don’t use vinegar on them but find it fantastic for everything else in the house especially the toilets.:)ReplyCancel

  • Whoolp

    I did go through a phase of using vinegar but it has destroyed the surface of my kitchen table. the table is wood with some sort of varnish or something on top. it’s basically eating away at the varnish. it’s fine for bench tops though. Now i use the most environmentally friendly one i can find in the supermarket but they seem to keep changing them. i actually stumble across your blog when i was goggling Nature direct spray and wipe. i am yet to try it.
    hope this is helpful. 

    • Maria Wells

      You need to use vinegar mixed with OLIVE OIL when cleaning wood to protect it. I do not remember the proportions, but I am sure you can figure it out. We have used this for years and our wood looks fine.ReplyCancel

  • Snip

    Hi. I put a couple of drops (no more than about 2ml) of bleach in my dishwashing water. Keeps my washcloth white and disinfects everything… Also helps to keep the sponges disinfected and I replase them as soon as they start to discolour. So I don’t use anything else on my benchtops, just rinse the cloth in the dishwasing water. I also have 2 cloths, one for washing and one for wiping down. We do the kitchen as a family at night after dinner and put the dishwasher on. I just unpack an re-pack it in the morning. We only do dishes at night as I don’t put plastics or pots and pans in the dishwasher.ReplyCancel

  • If you **really** want it to shine & sparkle, or if you have grungy stained bits, tip a bit of Cream of Tartar on your stainless steel (works to cut grease on things like toasters ^ cannisters, too) & then rub at it with a damp cloth. I have never seen ANYTHING work better than that!ReplyCancel

  • Paula Kavanaugh

    What are benches? Is that what we refer to in the US as countertops?ReplyCancel

  • Roz

    A friend once told me that he would never have a dishwasher as “people who have dishwashers always have used items on the sink making it look untidy”. I love my dishwasher and have solved the problem of items that need to be hand washed by buying a cheap plastic washing dish that I keep in the bottom of my dishwasher during the day and all hand wash items hide in it until the evening wash up. It then hides on top of the bin in the under sink cupboard while the dishwasher runs and then is unpacked in the morning. Tidy kitchen – no mess on the sink and no excess washing up sessions!ReplyCancel

  • JennyCB

    I use a homemade ‘green’ spray on everything now. You just fill a spray bottle with water and add 10 drops of eucalyptus oil, 10 drops lavender oil & 10 drops of lemon oil. Make sure they are essential oils not just the fragrance because lavender & lemon oils have antibacterial properties to kill germs and eucalyptus oil will cut thru any grease. I use this spray in bathroom, kitchen, on floors, as a air freshener. Great value & I know it doesn’t have any chemicals which could harm the kiddies.ReplyCancel

    • that sounds like a great formula. I probably couldn’t use it as I have an allergy to anything with a strong scent.ReplyCancel

  • Yes, I don’t believe in horoscopes to tell me what to do in a day. But when I walk in a room and walk back out because I don’t know where to start I jump on your daily newsletter/blog. Thank you for the inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • verity

    theres a australian product called Safe4u vanilla fresh, which contains ethyl alcohol and vanilla, safe for use near food. I use it on all my kitchen surfaces. The vanilla fragrance lingers all day.ReplyCancel

  • Sheridan Ridley

    I love that you get the kids to help out and look after their own things. Some people look at me like I am mental when I say I get my kids to get their own snacks for little lunch, and make their own beds, and tidy their own toys!!
    I don’t dry my dishes either. Tea towels help spread bacteria. Just in case you want to justify it – which I do! lolReplyCancel

    • I’ve learnt that about the tea towels too Sheridan, perfect reason not to use them!ReplyCancel

  • Natasha

    Did you say you put your sponges in the dishwasher? Wow I’ve never heard of it, what a great idea! Thanks for all your ideas and inspiration, I love your blog :)ReplyCancel

  • Jacqui Russell

    You can save yourself even more time by giving the children the task of putting away all the clean dishes in the morning. In our house, our 9yo and just turned 7yo have to empty the dishwasher as part of their morning responsibility. This means I can get on with making lunches and putting the washing on while hubby makes breakfast and the children are taking responsibility for helping the morning run smoothly.ReplyCancel

  • Susan

    I just use microfiber and water for most things. I use a little Gumption or Enjo Marble Paste on harder to clean thing if I need to. We have a rule here “if it can’t go in the dishwasher, it can go in the bin”.ReplyCancel

  • Kerrie Fleming

    I do not own a dish washer so my dishes get done twice a day. First I soak them in very hot soapy water. I then disinfect all my benches and rubbish bin. Then I wipe the kitchen table ,and dust dinning room. Then it’s lounge Room and bedrooms. Beds are made rooms dusted then it’s back to the dishes wash and air dry. I then vacuum and mop my kitchen, bathroom , laundry and toilet floors. Using a spray bottle of disinfectant . When floors are dry almost immediately .i clean my mop dry my dishes an put them away. Whole house is cleaned in 45 Min. Unless interrupted . I do my washing every second day, to keep it up to date. So all in all I have the rest of the day to do ironing ewe, so my routine is not that different from yours. But I do like your extra tips ReplyCancel

  • Pearl


    I also used to let my dishes drip dry overnight. But then one night I found a cockroach in the dish rack, drinking water off the wet dishes … I now always dry my dishes!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Oh no!!! Pearl, you must have got a bit of a shock! I know i would have LOL Yes good idea to get them done that night and then you wake to a fresh, clean kitchen.:)ReplyCancel

  • […] Make your bench and sink sparkle […]ReplyCancel

  • Hannah

    We are currently building our first home and I am keeping a VERY in-depth list of what to clean when. It’s our first time with a dishwasher too so I want to make sure the kitchen is spotless and the dishwasher is clean. I often follow your example, so the dishwasher on once a day it is!ReplyCancel

  • I love the idea of cleaning the sponges in the dishwasher. That’s just genius! My mum has got this thing about waking up to a tidy kitchen too, and I have it too! I love getting up in the morning and everything being just so! xReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Thanks Sammie.:) I know exactly what you mean it just makes me feel happy in the morning when i go out to put the kettle on that everything is so lovely and tidy and a clean kitchen to prepare lunches for the day xReplyCancel

  • Jane

    Kat…. I just love it, love how you share with us the simplest tips that we just don’t think about, thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Yes, I always like a clean kitchen in the morning! you’ve inspired me to get my 7 year old to start helping now too!

    Thank you!
    Lou xReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      That’s wonderful Louise!.:)ReplyCancel

  • Waking up to a clean kitchen makes the morning start off so much better! Thanks for the tips.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      I agree with you 100% Ava. Makes for a nice calm start to the day.:)ReplyCancel

  • Really great tips for keeping the house clean! Thank you! I am a green maniac so it was a pleasure for me to read your article! I liked the section for dish washer cleaning – I clean with vinegar my washing machine! Greets!ReplyCancel

  • I am so glad you said when your kids were little you were just too tired to do them that night. I am currently in a phase/slump/rut of everything is too hard and I’m always so tired after almost 17 months of not sleeping through yet! Occasionally I get the energy and get the housework happening then someone gets sick. It’ll happen one day, and I can’t wait to wake up with a spring in my step.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      It does get like that Rachel, you must be exhausted, I hope it calms down for you soon. I have a lovely friend Katie from The Baby Sleep Company that shares tips on how to help bub sleep through the night, and check out her facebook page, she shares tips via video once a week.ReplyCancel

My top energy saving tips for essential household appliances. How your use of appliances can reduce the amount of energy you use.

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  • Julia K

    My washing machine ! I remember back in the sixties when my parents bought their first house. My mother could not afford a washing machine at first. We were a family of 6. Outer clothes were worn several times before washing and my mother would wash smaller items such as underwear by hand. One a week she would load the larger items into a shopping cart and WALK the 5 KILOMETRES to her sister’s house to use her machine. When I think I simply push a few buttons and it’s done – it makes me realise how easy we have some things these days !ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Wow that’s a full day of just washing! We forget how easy we have it these days with putting in a load of washing and walking away. I remember going to my great-grandparents house and nan having to do the washing in a big boiler out the back.ReplyCancel

  • Thanks for your tips, our energy bills are so high (and horrible!…) now… We must try to save energy, but I had not any ideas for it… Now I know how I might try to reduce expences for energy. Your ideas are great.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Fantastic, i hope you are able to get your bills down.:) It is usually just the little things we forget to turn off at the wall that can make so much difference.ReplyCancel

  • Kim

    Thanks Kat, for reposting the link. Getting worried when I was getting asked to rejoin several times! We used to have a ghastly twin tub machine, always overflowing!ReplyCancel

  • Kirsty

    I’m wondering where that average figure of 67 appliances per household comes from. I’d say we’ve got about half that. It seems like a rather high average.ReplyCancel

  • Helen

    My poor mum washed by hand until the day she passed away? I was one of six kids , mum, dad and my grandma !!! If that was not enough for my mum my two brothers were bedwetters until their late teens !!! I could never have coped with what my poor mum coped with !!!ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      I know exactly what you are saying, Helen. My grandmother was the same.:) xReplyCancel

Growing up I always remembered my grandmother cooking a roast every Sunday, it didn’t matter if she had a house full of guests or if she was cooking for two, without a doubt she would make a roast, it was her family tradition. It got me thinking about regular family meal ideas, and what other families do?

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  • Julia K

    I love cooking pork. One time I decided to see how far I could stretch out a pork roast. I purchased a large boneless pork roast on special then:
    Night 1 – Roast Pork and Vegetables
    After we had had dinner I chopped up the rest of the pork and froze it it two separate portions.
    Night 2 – I used the leftover vegetables from Night 1 and made a vegetable frittata which I served with salad.
    Night 3 – Using one of the packs of leftover pork – I made a stir fry which I served with rice.
    Night 4 – I ran the remaining pack of leftover pork through the food processor which made mince and I used this to make pork meatballs.
    By freezing the meat on the same night I cooked it – we weren’t eating pork three nights in a row.ReplyCancel

    • Kimberly

      That’s brilliant Julia!ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      This is amazing Julia! I love the variations of one piece of Pork! Pork meatballs sound so good.ReplyCancel

  • Jackie

    We have taco tuesday’s every 2nd Tuesday, we love it, so easy to make and the kids eat the lot.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Ooh i love Tacos! They are usually a Friday night dinner in our house.:)ReplyCancel

  • Crystal

    We do, whatever’s in the fridge or freezer Wednesdays and homemade pizza Fridays. I love that I don’t have to think about dinner on these days.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      I agree Crystal, a few less nights to think about is always a bonus!ReplyCancel

  • Growing up we would always have a roast on a Sunday night too! Mum was great at making crackling, but I’m still to master the art! It was absolutely fantastic meeting you in person over the weekend – you’re such an inspiration to me!ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      I am still to master the crackling as well, Lucy.:)
      Just passed on your message to Kat and she said it was lovely seeing you over the weekend too xReplyCancel

  • Jude

    Friday night is pizza and games night at our place. Pizza dough in the Thermomix is super easy. We don’t enjoy bought pizza bases much anymore. I whiz up two batches of dough so one goes in the freezer for next week – less cleaning dough off the Thermomix blades. I make the bases on rectangular biscuit trays. It uses the oven space much better. If we aren’t home on a Friday night my son will still have pizza if he can because he loves the Friday night tradition so much!ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Oh i just love pizza night in our house too! We usually do homemade pizza’s on a Saturday night. I’m with you Jude on preferring homemade over brought ones!ReplyCancel

I was looking after my friend’s son recently and made him a yummy lunch, then I started reminiscing, remembering making plates of fun food for my kids to help motivate them to eat. I didn’t have all the clever little dinnerware and gadgets that are now available. I’ve put together this list of Fun Baby & Toddler Feeding products just in case you didn’t know about them, all of these are available online.

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A delicious dinner the family will enjoy, fresh roast vegetables with chicken. Cooked in one dish so you don’t have to do a lot of washing up!

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  • I love the look of this one dish dinner – might give it a whirl with the fussy trio! xReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      It’s great and so much less mess to clean up, i love it.:)ReplyCancel

  • Di

    I rarely cook roasts they seem too hard. this looks delicious and love the idea of using more than just potato and pumpkin for the roast vegetables.ReplyCancel

  • LOVE LOVE that one dish chicken bake!!! YESSS! YUM!ReplyCancel

  • Yes! A wonderful idea with a one pot roast! I tried your mexican pasta bake and it was great!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      It’s an easy roast to make Kat (love your name!!) ooh teh mexican pasta is delicous, we love mexican here, so I am pleased you enjoyed it.ReplyCancel

      • I think i made the veggies to big and they were still very crunchy when I took the pan out of the oven. I might need to boil them a bit beforehand. But… the chicken was cooked perfectly!!! (I’ve had trouble with chicken in the past haha).ReplyCancel

  • Veronica

    looks yummy! What temp should I use for this one pls?ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Veronica, I have just adjusted the recipe and included cook at 180C. Hope you enjoy it xReplyCancel

  • Amy

    Yummo! Looks great. Will give this one a go for sure. Looks easy to prepare earlier in the day then throw in the oven after school pickup.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Exactly Amy! So nice and easy.:)ReplyCancel

  • Lisa

    This looks so good – I’ll be making this tomorrow night! I love the variety of mixed roasted vegies, even my fussy hubby should like this…soo much to choose from. The one pan is an added bonus! Thankyou :)ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Absolutely Lisa! I love that you can add whatever vegetabes you have in your fridge that need using up.ReplyCancel

  • Sonya

    Sorry – the chicken pieces were raw at 180’c for 40minutes – after 1hr I’ve taken it out & fried it in the frypan – the veggies are cooked thoughReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      ooh no Sonya, did you slice the pieces into thirds? If I would cook mine for 40 minutes they would dry out, sorry this didn’t work for you :(ReplyCancel

  • Jude

    I tried this one on the weekend. I loved relaxing while it cooked but it took half an hour more than the recipe said for the chicken to cook thoroughly. Adults and kids loved it – it has been printed and filed in my main recipe folder.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Fantastic Jude, glad to hear you all enjoyed it! I guess it just depends on different types of ovens and temperatures. It is great putting it all in the one dish and being able to go off and do something else while it is cooking away.:)ReplyCancel

It’s that time of year where we all tend to get the sniffles and sore throat, it’s flu season. Through winter I like to make sure I stock up with a few essentials for flu season for when the kids, hubby or I come down sick.

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  • Briony

    ive always wanted to be prepared when the kids are sick, but haven’t got around to it, this is great that you kat.ReplyCancel

  • Great list Kat! I always have lemon and ginger tea bags on hand. I prefer making it from fresh lemon and ginger, but when I don’t have them, a teabag and a swirl of honey help soothe the throat and get some vitamin C in at the same time.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      That sounds very soathing Lisa, I haven’t tried it before as I’m not a tea drinker, but I can imagine it would be reallyl nice on a sore throat, might get some to put in the pantry for the rest of the family :)ReplyCancel

  • I now swear by the Nature’s Own Triple Strength Garlic + Vitamin C + Horseradish tablets. Strong smell and taste but seem to work.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Good to know Vanessa, it’s always great to hear others recommendations. I love garlic maybe the tablets wouldn’t be so bad for me 😛ReplyCancel

    • Jo Murphy

      Very true Vanessa, oir family has used Triple Strength H, G and C for years and we swear by it. Definitely the Triple Strength is the way to go.ReplyCancel

  • Jane Leone

    To be clear there is a very big difference in someone having ‘the flu’ (actual influenza) and just the common cold. This sounds more like remedies for the common cold. I think some people like to be dramatic and say “oh I’ve got the flu” but mostly it’s just a common cold.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Your spot on there Jane, I should change the title to cold and flu season.ReplyCancel

  • Yes, I do stock up on many of the things you mentioned. I also get some cough syrup that works well with my asthma, and nasal spray as well as some zinc lozenges. Whenever someone starts sneezing and coughing the unaffected ones start popping those lozenges, lol! 😉ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I’ve used the nasal sprays previously and they work really well I find : )ReplyCancel

      • Jo Murphy

        I find that the best nasal spray with kids is the saline spray. It doesn’t contain medicine just salty water which helps to thin and dislodge mucus while helping to kill bacteriaReplyCancel

  • This is very timely right at the moment Kat as I sit in bed with the flu! Hubby stocked up on boxes of tissues! :)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Oh no Lorraine.:( I hope you feel better soon xReplyCancel

  • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

    I find the rehydration blocks work great, Danielle and the kids perfer them too.ReplyCancel

Create a list of all the dinners your family enjoys with these easy and delicous family friendly dinner ideas.

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  • Julia K

    Each week when I come up with our menu plan – I print it off and put it up on the fridge. This helps avoid the “what’s for dinner Mum ?” nagging which seems to start the minute they come in from school.
    For the past couple of months – I’ve been keeping my old menu plans in a binder so I have a record of what we’ve been eating and I can keep things varied.
    I love checking out websites and blogs such as The Organised Housewife for new – family friendly recipe ideas. I also get a free weekly email from and invariably choose at least one or two recipes from there to try out the following week. Major supermarkets such as Coles, Woolies & IGA usually put out a free magazine every now and then which has great seasonal recipes to try.
    I also love to double up on my cooking and freeze some for another night – saves on time and washing up.
    Another thing I’m getting back into this term is to do the dinner prep in the morning – this takes the stress out of afternoons which are often busy with homework / after school sports and activities. All the prep dishes can be taken care of early too so there is generally only the serving ware and the odd pan or two left for the evening.ReplyCancel

  • I tried the bruschetta chicken the other night! I went down a treat!

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      We love it, we are big bruschetta fans here!ReplyCancel

Follow along in the weekly cleaning series where I give you a task along with steps on how to clean an area/item in your home.  Most of these tasks will be easy, from light switches to toys, towels to stinky shoes, cleaning many of the forgotten areas or things in your home.  View previous cleaning tasks here. Set yourself up […]

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  • Dare we say that the humble knife block is probably the most neglected thing in the house in the cleaning regime? And they get oh-so grubby and greasy. :/ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      very greasy!ReplyCancel

  • Oh gee, our knife block is something that I just don’t like to even think about. How horrible is that! Thanks for giving me the inspiration to give it a good clean Kat.ReplyCancel

  • Eisa

    Mine doesn’t get greasy after keeping it safely inside a cabinet. I am a police officer and this is a true story. Years ago a local serial killer in my county used knives he picked up from the ladies- who became his victims– own countertop. I moved my block inside a cabinet just as I wouldn’t leave my pistol sitting out on the countertop. Plus, I don’t like the cluttered look of it all.ReplyCancel

This is a guest post by Louise D’Allura of Meal Planning Your Way Are you struggling to meal plan and get healthy food on the table? Too often we find barriers that stop us from putting our meal plans into action, and reaching for takeaway. Like most of us it will be because you’re too tired […]

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Cook dinners for the freezer to help you save time on those busy nights and money when cuts of meat are on special. Try these meal ideas for the freezer like bolognese, pies, bakes, soups & more.

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  • Kaycee

    Great list Kat. :)
    One thing I find myself doing alot at this time of the year is doing a big beef casserole in the slow cooker for dinner then putting the leftovers into pies (with a bit of bacon and cheese added)and freezing them for quick easy meals. I also do this with other leftovers (chicken, gravy and veg; roast meat, gravy & veg; casseroles; mince with added bacon and cheese; salmon/chicken mornay; etc) I do have a pie maker (or 3) so it makes it quick and easy to do – and also fills the freezer with things I know my family will eat! :)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Great idea Kaycee, my son gave me a pie maker for Mothers Day so I will definatley use this tip. I love Tuna Mornay and would love to see your Chicken mornay recipe, do you mind sharing :)ReplyCancel

  • We’re huge fans of the freezer. I work really long days and don’t have time to cook when I get home so our freezer is full of curries, meat pies, cottage pies and bolognaise and chilli. I love your list because now I can add a few more things to my repetoire!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      we had the cottage pie with sweet potato last night, was so delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Karina

    Thank you so much for these freezer ideas – my days with little kids and a baby are hectic so this takes away some time spent on trying to think of healthy dinner ideas!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      happy to help Karina, bolognese and rissoles are always a great start!ReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    I freeze muffins and unbaked cookies also.

    A tip for freezing meals is to freeze leftovers – even if there is only a single serve. These are great for lunches – or – every now and then we’ll have “freezer finds” for dinner which means that each person may be actually eating a different meal as I am using up all the single serves from my freezer.

    My DH is working away from home at the moment. The other night I made a large Butter Chicken as my grown up DS and his partner were here for dinner (the younger kids had chicken strips as the Butter Chicken was too spicy for them)- I froze the remaining Butter Chicken & Rice into 4 X Single Serves. When I’m on my own with the little ones and crave something spicy – I will prepare nuggets and veggies for the little kids and I’ll enjoy my spicy butter chicken.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Love your way of planning, Julia! You sound very similar to me!ReplyCancel

  • Jenni

    I always make double batches of muffins or banana cake and frreze half ( I slice the banana cake and butter each slice first and put in packs of 2 slices) , also freeze cooked pinwheels (potato and pizza). this makes linches easy. I also make a double batch of bacon and vegie slice, one big dish and the rest in ramekins which are great for work lunches. Premade Meatballs and rissoles are in freezer also. Makes life much easier. Pumpkin soup and pea and ham soup also.ReplyCancel

  • Barb

    What are rissoles? I’m from Canada and have never heard of them…ReplyCancel

    • SusieV

      They’re like a meat pattie (for a burger), except we eat ‘rissoles’ without the burger and perhaps with gravy, mash and veg – a very old fashioned, but much-loved meal here in Oz! You can, of course, use it as a burger pattie, also!ReplyCancel

  • Carissa

    Perfect timing! I have just done another big kitchen day today. Triple batch of Lentil Bolognese, 2 big vege lasagnes, bag each of chicken, lamb and pork in marinade, 3 bags of cheese rolls, lots of fritters, and a swag of smoothie bags. Have mince and vege mince cooking right now for tacos tonight and enough left over for 2 more meals.
    My favourite is the smoothie bags. Spinach, banana, berries and various bits of fruit into sandwich bags – makes much better smoothies from frozen.

    Will be adding some of these recipes to my list for next time.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh lentil bolognese that sounds delicious! I have never heard of it before!ReplyCancel

  • This list is brilliant!
    Love, love, love it. Inspired much!!!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Awe thanks Dannielle.:)ReplyCancel

  • These are so handy thank you. I’m going to try the lemon chicken rissoles this week. You have inspired me to sort out my freezer as I have no space at the moment but I do have a lot of bolognaise in it!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Awe happy to help, Vicki.:) I must admit the lemon rissoles were super tasty!ReplyCancel

  • Grace

    I like to make double batches of things like turkey tetrazzini, sausage & rice casserole, stuffed pepper cups, and tallerini and freeze in meal-sized portions. I also like to brown ground beef with onions and peppers and freeze in recipe-sized portions for a quick start on things like Sloppy Joes, spaghetti, and other favorites. Since I have fibromyalgia, it is easier for me to make smaller batches of things when I am feeling well and then just pull something from the freezer during times when I am in a great deal of pain.ReplyCancel

  • Great list. I must get better at cooking and freezing meals. It would certainly make my life easier at times. My kids love meat balls which is so easy.ReplyCancel

  • Shannon

    I often make two sandwich loaves of sandwiches on Sunday afternoon. I keep them seperate by a square of paper between one sandwich and the next then stack them back in the bread bag to freeze. We either toast them up in a panini press, or grab and go for instant lunches.
    Loving your ideas! Going to make the lemon rissoles tonight!ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Wow what a great idea Shannon! Ooh i hope you love the lemon rissoles, we sure did.:)ReplyCancel