Sunday, January 15, 2012

Prepping for Baby

I'm staying home with the baby for a school year starting in June.  We can't technically afford this, so we have to be very prepared before he or she comes.  We're saving as much as possible, making freezer meals ahead of time, and stocking our pantry.

Before I became pregnant, we were paying off some debt, but I didn't realize how much more we could be doing to better ourselves.  By limiting our meals out and carefully planning grocery trips, we've freed up a lot of money.  In two months alone, we've saved $3,000 of the $10,000 we need for me to be able to stay home.  And in those two months were both of our birthdays, a friend's wedding, our anniversary, and Christmas!  Where we were freaking out before, and I was convinced I'd need to work at least 20 hours a week, now I could probably stay home the whole time.

Recently, I've been doing research on freezer meals for when the baby comes.  I want to find things that are both healthy and easy to make.  Some of our favorite freezer meals are beef bourgignon, chili, mexican chicken casserole, lasagna, curried lentil soup, butternut squash soup, shepherd's pie, and marinated meats.  For breakfast, I'll have oatmeal pancakes and waffles.  These foods are good, but I need more options.  So in my research I've found these links so far:
Mama and Baby Love: Real Food
Make Ahead Meals
$130 for 100 meals

In order to have an efficient freezer, *B* and I spent all weekend last weekend going through the freezer and reorganizing it.  Rather than throwing food in randomly, we gave the shelves purposes.

The first shelf is prepared food.  Those are foods that we can just grab and heat.  The second is food we can cook with like beans, rice, pizza crusts, and frozen potatoes.  The third shelf and the basket are full of meat: a whole turkey, a whole chicken, shrimp, beef, venison, and bacon.  The door is all of our frozen fruits and veggies, as well as some bread and butter that had no better place to go.

Since I won't have an income for a year, we also need to stock the pantry as full as possible, just in case.  In our pantry, we've got canned veggies, oil, condiments, spices, canned fruits, pasta, and beans:

We have broth of different kinds, tea, panko, light bulbs, ziplocs and food saver bags, cream of wheat, cereal, and baking needs:

We have honey, pudding, and every type of canned tomato imaginable:

And of course, we have paper products, bulk flour, bulk rice, and bulk sugar:

So for the next few weeks, I'll be scrimping, looking up freezer meal recipes, and determining what we need in our pantry in order to maintain healthy diets.  Do you have any tips or freezer meal ideas?


  1. Looks like you're going to be really ready! Good job on your saving and menu planning.

    Another tip is to have some easy recipes on hand for after Baby comes—things that have about 5 min. prep. Here's one I used a lot after Tiger Lily came:

    Also recipes that can be thrown in the slow cooker in the morning are good—I always managed to get more done in the morning than in the afternoon, especially the hour before dinner.

    If you're going to be staying at home, it's also nice to develop a repertoire of dishes that can be started and then finished in the oven for an hour or two—I don't know, something about the mad rush before dinner seems to be upsetting to baby and mommy and anything you can do to get a head start is helpful! I still like meals like that. One of our favorites is this jambalaya:

    Here is a very cheap recipe that could probably be easily adapted for the freezer or slow cooker:

  2. You are awesome - thank you! I will definitely check those out.