Author Topic: How do you keep food costs down with a new baby sucking all your time & energy?  (Read 3102 times)

Gen Y Finance Journey

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Before baby we were pretty good about cooking at home every night and packing lunch every day. Now that we have a 5mo baby (who doesn't nap for more than 30-45 minutes at a time), we suck at it. I work full time and my husband stays at home with the baby. Because of the short naps, he only has so much time to get things done around the house, and things like laundry, dishes, and giving our dogs some attention take priority over meal prepping. We usually manage to do a home cooked dinner about 3 times a week, and the other days I'll pick up something relatively cheap (sandwiches, pizza, burgers, etc.) on my way home from work. I've had a similar level of success meal prepping lunches. We're also so frigging tired all the time, so we haven't been as good about making trips to the grocery store to keep our fridge and pantry stocked.

Does anyone have any simple tips for exhausted new parents to cut back on food costs?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 03:36:56 PM by Gen Y Finance Journey »

everinprogress

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We have two little people, and are hardly perfect, but I've done a couple things that have helped:
 1- Eat leftovers! We don't mind eating the same thing 2 days in a row, or just adding an extra side the second day. It takes almost no time to make a bit larger volume of the same thing.
2- Anything you make that freezes well, make enough to freeze a meal. Keep a couple things in the freezer for when life is especially chaotic. Whenever I make soup, or chili, or lasagna for dinner, I put a big container in the freezer too.
3-Flexible meal plan- I usually try to plan for 5 or so days at a time, but put more perishable things at the beginning of the meal plan. That way, if chaos happens (which it probably will) whatever didn't get made on schedule won't go off


ETBen

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It's tough. Some of it is just first baby mindset and fatigue.  I would do the typical prep a few things on the weekend. Otherwise result back to buying some prepared items that cook quickly. Or salad mix and grill a bunch of chicken one day. Make giving the baby attention into part of the meal prep. Giving her a spoon or measuring cups to play with. The box of mac and cheese is a great rattle until the water boils. Lots of little things but really, it's so "first baby life." 

tweezers

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We ate a lot of roasted chicken, eggs, and pasta when our kids were young.....things that were quick to make or did not require a lot of prep.  We bought pre-cut vegetables at costco (we still do...they're cheaper than whole veggies at our grocery).  Frozen pizzas take no effort or prep beyond turning on the oven.  My husband also stays home with our littles, and we also had a non/short-napper.  DH was just never able to prepare meals like I could if I was home alone with them (a small part of that was/is his inefficiencies, but the kids were also just less needy/easier to soothe with me).  Wearing them in a sling or the ergo while preparing meals helped, although it made doing some things more challenging.  Try and prep stuff on the weekends.  Ultimately, go easy on yourselves.  Dinnertime is a hard time of day in babyland, but it will get easier!

TrMama

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Grocery delivery can be a good way to get food into the house. The delivery fee is often very cheap.

We ate a lot of scrambled eggs when my first was small. Those take no time at all. When I got a little more advanced, we had roast (beef, pork, whole chicken, etc) with roast veggies. This meal takes very little time to put together, the cooking time doesn't need to be precise and it makes a ton of food.

Crock pot meals are another good option.

It gets easier, I promise!

mm1970

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When I was home on mat leave with my first kid:

Naps were short, and there were 2-3 of them.
I "prepped" during one of them.  So, whatever I decided to make (and I did spend time thinking about it too, checking out recipes), during one of the naps I would prep.  This might be:
marinating meat
chopping vegetables
making a sauce
Cooking rice or pasta

The goal was that I could finish making dinner in 20-30 min after my husband got home.

Planning here was key.  I needed to make sure I had *enough* to get through a few days.  However, I would walk for exercise, so often I would walk 1.5 miles to the grocery store if I was missing anything.


After I went back to work, esp after kid #2, I had a SYSTEM (we were both working FT).
Saturday: Cook a big meal
Sunday: Cook a big meal
Saturday or Sunday: Cook something for lunch.

Examples of meals: chili, lasagna, pasta, beans and rice, roasted chicken, enchiladas, soup.  Big pots or pans of things.
Examples of lunch: burritos, sandwiches, beans and rice, stir fry, homemade pizza

For lunch I would actually portion out the 8-10 servings as soon as I made the stuff.  If I didn't think it would "keep" for the week, I would freeze half.  Added advantage here: we were eating the same thing every day, so it was good for weight loss.  By Thursday each week, you are tired of chili, or burritos, or whatever.

So, generally the "big pot" of stuff that I made for dinners Sat and Sun we would eat Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue.  By Weds, we were getting low, but maybe had a serving or so left.

So, Weds was "crock pot day".  Every Weds I'd put the Sat/Sun meals in the freezer, and throw something into the crockpot.  We'd eat that Weds and Thurs.

Friday was "whatever we had leftover" from everything else.  Sat/Sun freezer stuff, or crock pot day.

I think I did this method: 2 big meals, one lunch for the week, and crock pot Weds for 6 months.


Other things that I use/ have used:
Frozen pizza
Frozen chicken fingers
Frozen vegetables
Veggie burgers
Quesadillas
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Scrambled eggs
Pancakes

These are all "crap, what's for dinner" meals.  And we use them at least once a week!

seattlecyclone

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We've used the crock pot a bunch more since our baby was born. The prep can happen whenever you have time for it, and you just need to turn the thing on at the right time.

mm1970

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http://frugalhealthysimple.blogspot.com/2012/08/simplicity-in-kitchen.html

Turns out I wrote a blog post back when kid #2 was a month old. Fun trip down memory lane for me.

Goldielocks

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Try home grocery delivery. That will really help you out.

I had my baby in a seat ( infant bounce seat then high chair after 7 mos) with me in the kitchen.

Other people did it old school and used play pens.

So, put the baby down and prep 3 days of veg at a time. Then... Pasta or rice plus George foreman grilled ( frozen) chicken breasts plus veggies are easier than take out.

kimmarg

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Grocery delivery/order (here you can order online and essentially "drive through" to pick it up. Baby can stay napping.

Also cook big meals and freeze them. Do you have family or friends nearby? Ask for help! Either for a meal or to watch the baby while you cook a meal.

LadyStache in Baja

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We love soups because they can last for a second day and be reheated without changing the texture.  Also soupy beans and rice.  When you cook dry beans add tons of water so that the first day is soupy beans.  Then the next day is thick beans.  Then the third day is refried beans, where you mash 'em up.

Babies and kids are hard, so give yourself a break.  That might mean lowering your expectations of how fancy and elaborate dinner is. 

mxt0133

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First accept that food cost might go up to keep your sanity.  Others have already said, cook more than one meal at a time, cook more than you normally would so you have plenty of left overs, and simplify your meals.  Instead of toast, eggs, and bacon in the morning, have yogurt or oatmeal with fruits.  Introduce more raw vegetables into your diet, chopping takes very little time.  That way a dish that would normally only last 2-3 meals can be stretched to 4-5 meals if you reduce your portions and add the vegetables or other simple side like rice or beans.

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ender

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Grocery delivery can be a good way to get food into the house. The delivery fee is often very cheap.

One of our local stores does this, but they are a lot more expensive than other stores, so YMMV.

Quote
Crock pot meals are another good option.

Yes! Seriously, crock pots. They make large quantities of food (so leftovers), are really hard to screw up (cooking an extra 30 or 60 min or... more doesn't cause huge problems), you can prep the food anytime in a 4-10 hour time period, and you can make nearly anything in them.

GuitarStv

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Eat the baby.


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Babies, in my experience, are happy and let you get stuff done if they can be part of it. Meaning wear your baby while you do all the household stuff. Cooking and cleaning with a baby on your back is much easier than trying to watch it while you get stuff done. Baby is happy and house keeps running. Everyone wins!

Nangirl17

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My number one sanity saving household tip in the first year:    PREPARE DINNER IN THE MORNING

I found that my baby was less cranky (he would entertain himself for about 30 minutes in his swing/mat/whatever toys I gave him), I had more energy, and as my energy drained throughout the day I was less depressed because supper was already ready. (sometimes some assembly was required, but I could do that with baby on hip, although crock pot was bff at this stage of the game)




jamesbond007

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My wife is a stay at home mom and I work full time. We cooked everyday at home and never eat out. This is how we did it. I wake up at around  5:30 (I am a morning person) and take care of the baby. Give my wife an extra hour or so. Wife wakes up at 6:30 and take a shower first thing. In the mean time, I cook breakfast while holding the baby. Just oatmeal. So it's easy. Then wife comes back and takes the baby and I go to the shower. Wife preps for lunch (still holding the baby). We cook a lot in the morning so we don't have to cook at night. It's about 8 AM now. We have our breakfast during the baby's nap time. Then I pack my lunch myself and go to work. Done.

How did we hold the baby? We tried several carriers but my baby liked this thing called baba sling the best. So we used that so we can have both our hands free. YMMV but you could try doing this.

MBot

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We got a CSa (community supported agriculture) delivery of veggies the first summer after having our son. Made it way easier to cook food because we really only had to buy meat milk and carbs at the store.

Sheet pan dinners (chunks of skin on roast veggies and bone in cheap meat) roasted in the oven are also awesome. Either with potatoes or sweet potatoes on the sheet, or rice in the rice cooker. Or really simple spaghetti (ground beef, sauce, spaghetti, whatever seasonings we grab out of the cupboard).

historienne

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We subscribe to a meal planning service. Fresh 20 in our case, but there are several others.  It's $60/year, but it saves us way more money than that to have a well planned weekly meal schedule, including shopping list.  It includes guidelines for pre-prepping ingredients on the weekend so that meals can be cooked very quickly on weeknights.

The cookbook Parents Need To Eat Too might also be helpful (and library accessible?).  It includes guidelines for doing meal prep during naptime. 

Second the baby carrier.  Your baby is almost old enough for a back carry in an Ergo or similar carrier (and old enough now for a back carry in a woven wrap, although that takes a bit more skill).  No guarantees, but most babies will be happy in a carrier for longer chunks of time than on the floor or in a bouncer.  You should be able to find a used Ergo under $50.

historienne

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Also, on lunch: we do leftovers or sandwiches.  It takes 30 seconds to make a sandwich from sliced cheese, bread, and mustard.  45 seconds if you have to slice the cheese yourself. 

tonysemail

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using prepared meals isn't a bad idea to get through a tough stretch.
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/prepared-meals-at-costco/

I also batch cook on sunday mornings.
It really helps get us through Mon/Tue which are the hardest days for us.

MayDay

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You meal plan, and your husband babywears.  And you divide and conquer.

Look, my kids NEVER FUCKING SLEPT.  My first was extremely screamy.  I get it.  I really do.

But if he is home full time, there is no reason he can't do some meal planning (sit on the floor with baby) for the week.  One of you runs out and shops either on a weeknight or the weekend.  He preps food either with baby in a carrier, or you drag a baby containment device into the kitchen (I put the bouncy seat or swing in there if I wasn't using the carrier).  One of you cook it once you are home from work, and the other plays with the baby (probably he hands baby off to you and he cooks). 

And if you really truly can't cope on weeknights, you do what others said and cook it all on the weekend for the whole week, or at least get cheap pre-made stuff at Costco rather than a restaurant. 

Trust me, you will look back at your days with just a baby, and wonder why the hell you couldn't get more done.  This applies both to people who eventually have another kid, and people who eventually have a toddler.

catccc

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Eat basics you don't need to cook and take minutes to prep.  I'm thinking about stuff you just wash and eat - fruit (apples, berries, peaches, pears, bananas, easy to peel citrus), veggies (carrots, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers).  Have some healthy bread (whole grain, no HFCS) and cheese on hand with some pre washed greens (spinach, kale, chard, spring mix) and make a quick sandwich.  Dried fruit and nuts.  Peanut butter and hummus on those fruits and veggies.

Anything you put in the oven is nice because you can do other stuff while it is baking.  Crustless quiches are a good one.  Roasted veggies require very little prep- just chop, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper, and throw them in the oven.

Good luck!

sisto

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Meal prep is definitely helpful. I like to buy bulk stuff and prepare it, I then portion it and freeze it for later use. I don't do all my meals this way, but it's definitely nice to have convenience foods that you prepared. They cost less and are much better for you. Some things I make are a huge batch of chili. This is so easy to make in bulk and portion out for later meals. I also buy whole chickens and smoke them. After they cool, I portion all of the meat out and seal it with a food saver. I then make broth with the scraps and bones. That get frozen in various sizes for cooking later and making soup. Another thing I do is make pulled pork, bbq pork, and or carnitas and freeze the portion. Very easy to throw that together if various ways for quick easy meals. Lastly I sometimes smoke tri tip or other steak and I will leave some it more rare to freeze and reheat later that way it's not over done if I need to microwave it. This is just a few examples that involve not a lot of time and effort with lots of reward for re-use. YMMV

acroy

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*shakes head* amateurs.... j/k!

Baby 1 is hardest. Very disruptive. Baby trains parents to hold it continuously. Counter-productive. Enables me-centric entitlement mentality @ young age for baby. New parents don't know better.... yet.

Single-pot meals! Supplement with fruit, salad, etc. Simple prep, simple to eat, simple clean up.

Oatmeal + goodies (fruit, nuts, etc)
Crock pot
Electric skillet - we use this a lot. Everything from pancakes to lasagna.

KISS! It's not rocket science. Treat it like the job it is and optimize it!

Good luck!

boarder42

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being part of a couple who plans to both work full time with a baby in daycare.  and knowing many who do this, how do they get by?  i mean you have someone who's job it is to stay home all day.  i feel like there are some cooking inefficiencies going on ... i cook all our meals now ... bulk cook breakfast and lunches on sunday ... egg casserole and chili... bulk cook a dinners for the week usually one night during the week.(easily could be moved to a weekend)  i do more involved cooking sometimes but this could easily be weeded out.  just really concerning to me a bit about my plan ... b/c it doesnt seem that monumental to me to precook on sunday for a full week when we have a newborn.  yet you're saying with a SAHP you are having issues with it.  i guess it will be a learning process for us ...

mm1970

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Quote
Trust me, you will look back at your days with just a baby, and wonder why the hell you couldn't get more done.  This applies both to people who eventually have another kid, and people who eventually have a toddler.

This is not the case for me, and my kids are 10 and 4.  Those early months / first 1.5 years are brutal man.  Brutal.  I survived, that's all I can say.

I was thinking that you mentioned grocery shopping is an issue.  Some of the things that I've used to help with that (in the past) are:
1.  Shopping on my lunch break.  Clearly I wasn't doing a "big shop", just picking up stuff that we are out of. (I have a mini fridge in my office.)
2.  Shopping on the way home.  If you have time to stop to pick up pizza or burgers, then you have time to stop at Costco (or, wherever) and pick up a roast chicken and a bag of frozen vegetables.
3.  Working shopping into your day, for the SAHP.  I needed to get out.  I live in CA.  So I'd walk to the store with the baby in the carrier or the stroller as my exercise for the day.  Either it would be during his nap time or during his awake time.  (It depended.)  Normally I think he fell asleep in the carrier.  I'd only buy a few things.

Some of it is just habit in finding a few really easy things.  One-pot pasta.  (I just made this last night...pasta, frozen veg, sauce, cheese).  Instead of buying pizza, eat a frozen pizza occasionally.  Grilled cheese or turkey sandwiches instead of buying them or having burgers.  Pre-made frozen meatballs.  Yes I know that some will argue that pre-made meatballs aren't cooking from scratch, and they aren't, but they are SOOOO easy.

Cranky

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Do as much prep and cooking on the weekends, when there are two of you, as possible. Chop up a couple of onions and put them in baggies in the fridge. Make a big pot of soup. Make some sandwiches and freeze them. Roast a chicken.

It gets a LOT easier once the baby can sit in a backpack. The baby is amused by the activity, and it's easier to use both your hands than it is with a sling or front carrier.

GuitarStv

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Quote
Trust me, you will look back at your days with just a baby, and wonder why the hell you couldn't get more done.  This applies both to people who eventually have another kid, and people who eventually have a toddler.

This is not the case for me, and my kids are 10 and 4.  Those early months / first 1.5 years are brutal man.  Brutal.  I survived, that's all I can say.

This was the case for my wife and I as well.  I'd say that the year after my son was born was the most difficult year of my life.

boarder42

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Quote
Trust me, you will look back at your days with just a baby, and wonder why the hell you couldn't get more done.  This applies both to people who eventually have another kid, and people who eventually have a toddler.

This is not the case for me, and my kids are 10 and 4.  Those early months / first 1.5 years are brutal man.  Brutal.  I survived, that's all I can say.

I was thinking that you mentioned grocery shopping is an issue.  Some of the things that I've used to help with that (in the past) are:
1.  Shopping on my lunch break.  Clearly I wasn't doing a "big shop", just picking up stuff that we are out of. (I have a mini fridge in my office.)
2.  Shopping on the way home.  If you have time to stop to pick up pizza or burgers, then you have time to stop at Costco (or, wherever) and pick up a roast chicken and a bag of frozen vegetables.
3.  Working shopping into your day, for the SAHP.  I needed to get out.  I live in CA.  So I'd walk to the store with the baby in the carrier or the stroller as my exercise for the day.  Either it would be during his nap time or during his awake time.  (It depended.)  Normally I think he fell asleep in the carrier.  I'd only buy a few things.

Some of it is just habit in finding a few really easy things.  One-pot pasta.  (I just made this last night...pasta, frozen veg, sauce, cheese).  Instead of buying pizza, eat a frozen pizza occasionally.  Grilled cheese or turkey sandwiches instead of buying them or having burgers.  Pre-made frozen meatballs.  Yes I know that some will argue that pre-made meatballs aren't cooking from scratch, and they aren't, but they are SOOOO easy.

why do you need the meat ball just brown a bunch of meat and put it in the sauce. then you dont have the extra carbs either.

Fishfindr

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To keep costs low, we eat a lot of chicken. We buy a big pack of thighs and breast meat on the bone for grilling. On Sunday, we grill everything up and use it throughout the week for
chicken salad sandwiches, grilled chicken on top of $1 Wendy's Cesar Side Salads (at work), Chicken Quesadillas, Chicken Parm, and mixed in with fried rice and vegetables (with that amazing YumYum sauce) like they serve at the Japanese restaurants. We fill in the gaps with other stuff like grilled cheese sandwiches, rubens, cereal for breakfast sometimes, etc..

We do most of our shopping on Monday nights at Aldi since the store is re-stocked and empty. About once a month, we made a Costco run for big bags of frozen stuff like vegetables, fruit, sauces, cheese, etc..

With a well stocked fridge and pre-cooked meat, just throwing the sides together is simple. Good luck!

NatureKnight

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I am a SAHM and I have had issues with this, too.

I have found it easier as my kid has gotten a little older. You are almost to the point where it will start to get a little easier I think. A lot of people can babywear no problem, but I found it difficult to do stuff still (grocery shopping, cleaning, etc.) just because it made it a lot harder to bend over and I had to worry about not knocking or squishing her feet. Around 6 months your baby should be ready or almost ready to sit in a grocery cart. I felt like this helped me immensely. It was so much easier to shop after that. Also, as they get older they'll start to entertain themselves with some toys. Probably around 10 months, my daughter would sometimes sit and flip through books for 20 minutes. Also, once they are down to 1 nap it should 1 1/2 - 2 hours long. That will give you a nice big stretch. Things like that will make it all easier.

Some things that have helped me:
-Do dishes as they come. If you have a dishwasher, rinse and load the dishes as soon as you dirty them. That way it won't be a long drawn out process. Baby will be content long enough to rinse 3 things quickly and load them. Also, doing them right away means no dried food that is hard to get off.

-Fold clothes on the floor next to baby. Play with baby, sit baby in your lap, etc. while folding. They won't mind and you can get it done while they are awake, saving nap time for something else.

-Make a list of your easy meals or make a list of meal themes to help you plan. The foods you listed for things you pick up on the way home would be really easy to make at home also. Just pick up meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, etc. and throw a sandwich together instead of picking one up. Make bulk pizza dough and freeze the extra (balls of pizza dough freeze great) or just buy dough from the store and a can of pizza sauce. Super quick and cheaper than pizza out. Themes help some people ... for example, make Friday always pizza night. Make Wednesday always pasta night, etc. Just whatever you guys like. Come up with 14-21 themes for more variety if you want. Or just switch up the food in each theme. For example, one Wednesday is spaghetti, the next is fettuccine alfredo. I found the most difficult thing about meal planning was just thinking of what to eat. That took me forever. But if you come up with themes it could make the planning go a lot faster. You could make a master list of themes with easy recipes going along with each one. Then you just pick off the list you already made each week. Really speeds it up. Change it depending on what's on sale, etc.

You guys might have tried this all already, but those are the top things right now that I'd say have helped me keep my sanity. One thing I heard recently was if it takes less than a minute, just do it. Cleaning off the one plate you just used. Hanging up the pants you just changed out of, etc. Simple, but I used to be really bad at letting things pile up and not doing that really helps the stress.

mm1970

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Quote
Trust me, you will look back at your days with just a baby, and wonder why the hell you couldn't get more done.  This applies both to people who eventually have another kid, and people who eventually have a toddler.

This is not the case for me, and my kids are 10 and 4.  Those early months / first 1.5 years are brutal man.  Brutal.  I survived, that's all I can say.

I was thinking that you mentioned grocery shopping is an issue.  Some of the things that I've used to help with that (in the past) are:
1.  Shopping on my lunch break.  Clearly I wasn't doing a "big shop", just picking up stuff that we are out of. (I have a mini fridge in my office.)
2.  Shopping on the way home.  If you have time to stop to pick up pizza or burgers, then you have time to stop at Costco (or, wherever) and pick up a roast chicken and a bag of frozen vegetables.
3.  Working shopping into your day, for the SAHP.  I needed to get out.  I live in CA.  So I'd walk to the store with the baby in the carrier or the stroller as my exercise for the day.  Either it would be during his nap time or during his awake time.  (It depended.)  Normally I think he fell asleep in the carrier.  I'd only buy a few things.

Some of it is just habit in finding a few really easy things.  One-pot pasta.  (I just made this last night...pasta, frozen veg, sauce, cheese).  Instead of buying pizza, eat a frozen pizza occasionally.  Grilled cheese or turkey sandwiches instead of buying them or having burgers.  Pre-made frozen meatballs.  Yes I know that some will argue that pre-made meatballs aren't cooking from scratch, and they aren't, but they are SOOOO easy.

why do you need the meat ball just brown a bunch of meat and put it in the sauce. then you dont have the extra carbs either.
Oh, mostly I just stir fry frozen veggies and mix in the cooked meatballs at the end.  No carbs.

Or we just microwave the meatballs and eat them plain.

ysette9

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    This is not the case for me, and my kids are 10 and 4.  Those early months / first 1.5 years are brutal man.  Brutal.  I survived, that's all I can say.


This was the case for my wife and I as well.  I'd say that the year after my son was born was the most difficult year of my life.

Boy, I can feel for you. The first 1.5 years are brutal. Like another OP, this was the hardest time of my life. Harder than being an exchange student in another country by myself for a year, harder than doing chemical engineering at UC Berkeley, harder than doing a master's in engineering at Stanford while working full-time. So definitely cut yourself some slack.

What helped for us is keeping things really simple. Egg scrambles with veggies and a protein (we like veggie linkies), sandwiches like peanut butter banana jelly, avocado cheese, simple pasta (whole wheat pasta, red sauce, frozen veggies, frozen meatballs). I strongly recommend Trader Joe's because they have a lot of simple meals, simple ingredients, frozen stuff, half-prepared foods, and other stuff that are designed to make busy people's lives easier. We would do super simple stuff like whole wheat couscous (2 minutes in the microwave to boil water, then add couscous and stir), bags of prepped veggies that you cook in 5 minutes in the microwave, a jar of some sauce, add your favorite protein. They also have really tasty frozen main dishes like coq au vin and boeuf bourgignon that you can pop in the oven.

Northern gal

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Our son is 6 weeks and I feel for you. You are doing well. We are currently both at home and it still takes some adapting! Then again I eat gluten free and breastfeed so I'm picky.

Do the maths, you may find *some* eating out / take away can be as cheap as DIY. You can use these strategically to give yourselves a break. Examples include:
1. lunch places that do a "happy hour", 2 for 1 etc. just before they close at 3 pm. Grab the 2 for 1 and chuck in work fridge until you get home
2. Special deals, IKEA family comes to mind

I second everyone who said to

1. meal plan, make large batches in the crock pot then freeze. Favourites here are spaghetti bolognese, soups (pumpkin & Ginger, potato & leek), beef stew, pulled pork, apricot chicken. Just add potatoes or pasta and you are set. Freezein labelled flattened, stackable ziplock bags. With time you learn to reheat with a minimal number of pots too.

2. Also as has been said prep & marinate in fridge for beginning of the week. Favourites here are pho soup and chicken satay.

3. Reuse leftovers. Last nights dinner is lunch. Sides keep for a few days, no need to cook fresh potatoes daily if you can mash them up once and reuse the next day (obviously follow food hygiene / safety temperatures etc). Same for rice, quinoa, cous cous, polenta.

4. Prep when you can, and use help and energy available in the morning.

5. Make use of cheap frozen bulk buys, pizza, pies,...

6. Baby wear in a safe, hands free carrier. Watch out for scalding and other hazards though

7. Set a day time routine and stick to it as much as you can. Our son naps when I make him - he goes in the Moby wrap, I do my sing song and bounce, he will cry murder for three minutes, then all of a sudden he's out for the count and gone for an hour. DH never does that and ends up immobile in random positions while baby naps on him. You are the adult, you are in charge - don't wait for baby to settle himself, he isn't able to. Sometimes our rocker / swing works too. Try until you find something then train baby to expect it

8. When people ask you about gifts, as has been said, ask them for meals. Honestly, I wish I had then maybe I wouldn't have those cutesy onesies with like 100 buttons shoved in the back of the cupboard to make sure DH never ever puts them on the child again for fear of me having to do anappy  change at 3 am

9. Eliminate any chores you can. Our Roomba is great, we never fold laundry, have a steriliser, dishwasher etc. all these can be had at bargain prices / second hand with a bit of luck.

10. Look out for coupons of grocery / food delivery services. Introductory offers can be worth it - but watch what you sign up for



« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 07:45:07 PM by Norgirl »