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Phoning It In

We all have a certain standard of living. Things we feel we have to do to not feel like a total slacker. I rarely make my bed and make no apologies. But I do like to make meals, and live in a clean-ish house. Somehow, in my brain, this makes up for the unmade bed.

Go figure...

I don't know about you, but my single parent-mom of a teen-chauffering kids-work from home-cook-clean-grocery shop-volunteering-laundry folding-work outside the home-no two days are ever alike-life frequently requires that I Phone It In.

Phoning It In is my way of keeping up, even when I'm slammed for time, too tired, or Just Can't Even...

(Am I the only one who Just Can't Even? I Just Can't Even a lot.)

Cutting corners, covering my back, doing the minimum to get the maximum. Check, check, and check.

Here are a few of the ways I phone it in -

Cook when you have time and freeze to eat later

Every time I do this I practically weep with joy when I remember that I have a meal ready to go in the freezer! The effort's basically the same, so why not show your future self the love by cooking and freezing ahead.

Make semi-homemade

I doctor up jarred pasta sauce, as well as boxed risotto, bulgar wheat, and pilaf when I don't have time to make them from scratch. Everything tastes better when you add sauted onions, garlic, wild mushrooms, and fresh herbs. As long as I'm in confession mode, I've also been known to serve premade salad kits now and then along with my own salad dressing. Please don't tell Alice Waters.

Repeat recipes

Ask my son. I repeat recipes all the time. They're predictable and easy to throw together. It takes him a while to catch on before he complains. When that happens, I rotate in a new recipe. #sorrynotsorry

Curate your pantry

After beating my head agains't the What's for dinner? wall a thousand times, I finally understood the true value of a well stocked pantry. There are ingredients that I always keep on hand for cooking when I am in fight or flight dinner mode. Meaning twice a week. Shout out to Grocery Outlet for making it easy and cheap to have what I need on hand.

Stock your freezer

I could never understand why people bought those huge quantities of food at Costco. Then our lives got busy, my son grew into a starving teen, and good ol' Costco threw me a life preserver. I don't shop for much there, but Costco is where I buy most of our meats and fish. My trick is to freeze subdivided portions. Many's the time I'm driving home from a job at 5pm and cauculating what's in the freezer, what fresh ingredients I have on hand, and what's in the pantry. By the time I get home, it's all worked out in my head.

Lazy ways to clean the bathroom

I wipe my bathroom sinks and toilets down with disinfecting wipes several times a week. It takes me two seconds. Glass cleaning wipes rid the mirror of those little specks of toothpaste. Once or twice a week I also use a disposible toilet wand to clean the bowls. The tub gets a good rinsing after every shower. As long as it looks clean and smells clean, I'm good.


Houses look clean when the floors are clear of clutter. It's my favorite lazy cleaning trick and reason enough to throw your dirty laundry in the hamper.

Front door

A tidy front door area makes the inside of the house look cleaner. I have no idea why. Hypnosis maybe? Get rid of the cobwebs and the half dead plant, and just go with it.

Swiffer products

I am a huge devotee of Swiffer products. The cloths and the mop cloths clean and dust the floors and surfaces well enough to get by.

That's all I can think of for now because - guess what? - I'm phoning this blog post in as well. Do you have Phoning It In tips to share?



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