8 Time Saving Tips That Will Make Your Back to School Schedule Manageable

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back to school, easy weeknight recipes, time saving tips, time saving tips for moms, time-saving tips and recipes


Start laundry at night

Before going to bed throw in a load of laundry. Most washers nowadays offer a delay end setting. Set that so all you have to do is throw them in the dryer before starting your day. Later in the day put up the laundry and continue the cycle. This should keep mountains of laundry from taking over your house.

Whip out the crockpot

If your crockpot is hidden in storage, it’s time to whip that baby out. The crockpot is going to be a true time saver for you when the back to school craziness hits. Being able to put a meal in the crockpot and have it ready for dinner is amazing and is a true life saver when after-school activities take over.

Meal Plan

This is one of the easiest things you can do to save time and actually a lot of money. To start, limit the number options. Choose different days for different kinds of meals (i.e. Tuesday baked potatoes with toppings, Wednesday pasta) or consecutive meals with the same main ingredient (day one chicken breasts day two chicken enchiladas). This will make meal planning so much easier.

Speaking of Tuesday baked potatoes with toppings idea starter, I have an easy and quick weeknight meal for you – Taco Tuesday Loaded Baked Potatoes!

taco potato

Taco Tuesday Loaded Baked Potatoes makes a quick and easy weeknight meal for the back to school hustle and bustle. Ready and on the table in 30 minutes or a great make ahead meal for even easier weeknights!

Taco Tuesday Loaded Baked Potatoes, loaded baked potatoes, taco stuffed baked potatoes

Taco Tuesday Loaded Baked Potatoes Recipe

Taco Tuesday Loaded Baked Potatoes

A quick and easy weeknight meal for the back to school hustle and bustle. Ready and on the table in 30 minutes or a great make ahead meal for even easier weeknights!


  • 4 medium-large russet potatoes washed
  • 2 12.5 oz can Swanson® Premium Chicken do not drain
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • Pace® Picante Sauce
  • desired toppings shredded cheese cilantro lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapeno rings, sour cream, green onions, etc.


  1. Empty both cans of chicken (including juice) into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir, breaking the chunks of chicken into shreds.

  2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning and stir well. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are done.

  3. While the chicken is cooking, wash and scrub the potatoes. Prick several times with a fork and place on a plate. Cook on full power, about 7 minutes per side. Check the middle of the potatoes to make sure they are soft. If still a little hard, microwave an additional minute. Repeat until soft.

  4. Slice the tops of the potatoes lengthwise and fluff the insides with a fork. Then, ladle on the chicken and add any additional toppings desired.

Recipe Notes

After ladling on the chicken and adding cheese, put under the broiler for 30-45 seconds to melt cheese if desired. To make ahead, after cooking, allow chicken and potatoes to cool separately. Store in separate containers. Reheat until warmed throughout.


In my recipe, I opted to use Pace® Salsa as topping instead of my usual tomatoes. Its genuine southwest flavor kicked the taste up to 11. Not to mention no dicing or prepping is needed at all!

For the canned chicken, I used Swanson® Premium Chicken instead of cooking chicken myself. It’s an absolute time saver having already cooked and ready to use chicken at hand. Plus it’s heart healthy!

Click here to visit the Campbell’s Shortcut Meals website and get back to school meal inspiration!

Set the timer on your coffee maker

Don’t you have a coffee maker with a timer? If you don’t you need to get one ASAP! Setting the timer on your coffee maker can be a true time saver. It’s amazing how much time it can take to make coffee in the morning when you’re zombie tired.

If you aren’t a coffee fan I suggest trying one of my other morning go to drinks – V8+Energy® or V8 Splash®. V8 Splash® tastes great and provides nutrients while V8+Energy® provides natural energy from green tea (found in the juice aisle) – something all moms like me need.

Get everything ready the night before

Something I have always done, since being a kid, is get everything ready the night before. My kids get out their clothes, shoes, socks, and undies the night before. They even make sure their backpacks are laid out and ready to go. As the mom, I lay out my clothes and any important paperwork needed for the next day. It’s way better than running around with your head cut off it the mornings.

Grocery shop online

One trick that I have found that really works is grocery shopping online. Grocery shopping online means I don’t need to take all my kids to the store with me. I pull up, grab my groceries, and I can be on my way home. It’s truly amazing how easy it is to hop on my phone, pick out the groceries I want, and just pay online. If you have the opportunity to grocery shop online, do it.

Get a routine going

I like to wake up early, before my kids. This helps me get a head start on the day and get more done before the kids wake up. I wake up around 6 AM, dry a load of laundry, and get a few things done. It helps to not be so overwhelmed at the end of the day. A routine really is a great way to save time in life, especially when the kids go back to school.

Put things in your calendar

Do you know what else saves time? Putting events in your calendar. I get so stressed when I forget about something, so it’s nice to know I have it written down. When I wake up in the morning, I look at my calendar to see what is going on. This is one major reason I love my smartphone.

Saving time during the school year is important. Time is limited and you want to spend your time on what matters. The minuscule housework and errands don’t deserve the best of you, your family does. If you can find shortcuts, then go you!

taco potato

Also, don’t forget to click here to visit the Campbell’s Shortcut Meals website and get more back to school meal inspiration!

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Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.


  1. Getting everything ready the night before always made it easier. I always had the kids get their backpacks ready so there isn’t that panic in the morning.

    • Oh yes, getting prepared while everyone is wide awake is a smart idea. In the morning when they’re half awake is much harder.

  2. These are great tips! Thank you for sharing!

  3. We homeschool, and I work from home full time, so these tips are still great for even me! These taco potatoes look so good!

  4. Oh these tips are so helpful! I mean, perhaps we already had these ideas at the back of our head, but I just needed your blog to push me to do it or to remind me!

    • I can agree with that for sure! I think all of us know the basics, we’re just too busy to remember them! ha!

  5. Love these tips. I haven’t had a loaded baked potato in forever and now that is all i’m craving… yummy!

    • I do that from time to time as well, forget how awesome baked potatoes are. Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Great tips for getting back into school mode, get everything ready at night really should work. Your potatoe is better than a meal the way you do it.

    • I would have to agree that, at the minimum, the night before is super helpful. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  7. Good advice. I think they’re relevant to more than just back to school, busy people will take any ideas they can get!

    • Yes, many of these tips are pretty universal. They can be adapted to fit any busy person’s life!

  8. This made me crave for some baked potatoes! I love the idea and I can’t believe I’ve never tried this one before. It looks so good!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! You’ll have to let me know if you try it and what you thought of it!

  9. I’m all about the crockpot during crazy times. Especially back to school season! Life gets crazy way faster than I expect it too!

  10. I usually start the laundry right after the kids come home from school, that lightens my load so much! I think these are great tips! Love the recipe!

    • That’s a great time to do it! I forget where my head is when the kids are home so at night after they’re in bed makes it easier for me to remember. 😛

  11. So many of these are little life savers at my house! Crock pots and meal planning, and I always make my coffee and set a timer the night before! This taco potato looks SO good too, I will have to try this out next Taco Tuesday for something a little different

    • I’m glad you enjoy your taco Tuesdays like we do! That coffee timer is one of my best friends. 😉

  12. Mommy Engineering says:

    I need all the tips I can get! These are great and some I haven’t even thought of before! Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. Robin Rue says:

    These are such awesome tips! That baked potato also looks so amazing. I need to give that a try.

  14. Meal planning and getting everything ready the night before works best for me. I also stick to easy to prepare meals and make good use of my crock pot. I will do that laundry trick of yours. It will save lots of time and I can have my weekends laundry free!

    • IT took me a bit to figure out the laundry timing. I would often forget about the load and have to rewash them because they wouldn’t smell so good. 😛

  15. I use a lot of these tips after many years of feeling completely crazed. I also make a lot of my meals ahead of time and freeze them.

    • Oh yes, freezer meals are just as life-saving as a crock pot. I love preparing some of those as well.

  16. amandahrosson says:

    Love these time saving tips! I’ve been so buy lately that my crockpot has become a lifesaver! Also that loaded baked potato looks ah-mazinggg!!

    • I’m glad you like it! As far as the crockpot, I’m not sure what I would do without it some nights!

  17. back to school is such a hectic time for me! These potatoes look AMAZING and i am going to give these a try for sure!

    • I think it’s a hectic time for everyone who has kids. 😛 So, we sympathize with you!

  18. These are some great tips! Even without children, when back at school (I’m a teacher), there are never enough hours in the day so time saving tips totally work for me. Taco loaded potatoes sound amazing!

    • Teachers definitely have just as much if not more to prepare on school mornings! I can imagine preparing as much as possible beforehand comes in quite handy.

  19. Katherine says:

    Getting everything ready the night before can really make or break your morning. It’s the one thing that needs to get done before lights out.

    • I definitely agree! If you have to prepare everything the morning of, it’s going to be one hectic start to the day.

  20. It is almost hard to believe that school is back in session, but these tips will definitely come in handy. Thank you for sharing them!

  21. monique s says:

    I make school days easier my making lists of the to dos. I also try to have everything I need to get things done for school projects

  22. I agree, having everything ready the night before is crucial! Such a delicious-looking meal, too. YUM

    • Sometimes, if possible, I like to be ready even before just the night before. The more I can get prepared the better!

  23. I love using our crockpot when it comes to preparing meals. I’m trying to figure out how to cook frozen meats in the crockpot now because I always forget to take it out to thaw it in the fridge.

  24. Planning is key to keeping things easier and smooth. I also like to keep to a schedule. It helps school mornings and nights go more smoothly if you start a little earlier than the week of school too.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Planning ahead and preparing ahead makes things so much easier.

  25. planningthemagic says:

    UMMM OH EM GEE. This looks so good. Would love to make this.

    • Eeek! Glad you like it so much! Let me know if you end up trying it and how you liked it!

  26. I always make sure that baths are taken, outfits for the next day are laid out. (complete outfits: from undies to coat and shoes—I learned that the hard way), homework complete and backpacks are packed. Lunches are made the night before and ready to go. And most of the time, mornings go smoothly.

    • The ENTIRE outfit is a good tip. I’ve learned that the hard way as well, ha! I’m glad you pointed that out.

  27. tammy smith says:

    I always make sure that everything is on schedule. I have the kids get their stuff ready every night for the night before. like their clothes, their books bags are ready and at the door. Have their lunches ready as well.

  28. I think having a schedule is a good idea! It keeps everyone on the same page.

  29. Get everything ready the night before sure resonates with me! Pack lunches, choose clothes, socks and shoes ready. Makes the morning so much smoother!

    • Yes! I don’t want a ton of stuff to deal with last minute. Doing that is setting yourself up for failure.

  30. I recently got a new slow cooker, and I want to use it for making meals to save time. I did try making potatoes in it, and it worked great. I could make a version of this, too. All these tips are so good! I have to try doing the laundry this way.

  31. When my kids were in school, we would lay everything out the night before to save time, ofcourse my daughter would change her clothes sometimes

  32. By planning the night before and sometimes planning earlier..Have the things you need available….

  33. I make a schedule/list of what needs to get done the following day. It makes things easier when I have a plan laid out.

    • I like to do as much as I can the night before. I am all about the lists too. Great idea to be ready for the next day instead of trying to remember it all.

  34. Jennifer H. says:

    These are great tips.

  35. Jayne Townsley says:

    One thing I do to make school nights easier is have meals planned with everything ready for cooking dinner. This includes making sure my kitchen stays clean because whenever it isn’t, cooking is a chore.

    • You couldn’t be more right. I hate trying to get into the kitchen to make a quick meal and nothing be clean with no counter space to work.

  36. I don’t have kids myself, but I love the idea of having go to meals for quick and easy weeknights. Baked potatoes are a great vessel for all kinds of toppings!

    • I have a friend who doesn’t have children. She still finds it hard to make meals on the fly without planning ahead.

  37. Susan Byrne says:

    These are all great tips. I don’t have any kids, but good stuff to help get organized!

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