Mini/Grocery cramming

A few weeks ago my husband bought a Mini Cooper as his commuter car.  He loves it and we are trying to really take advantage of the great gas mileage compared to our SUV’s, so we drive it almost everywhere.  Although now that we’ve been used to having our larger cars, we’ve discovered the few hardships of having the Mini in comparison.

For instance, we have to load J through the rear hatch of the Mini because there just isn’t enough room to get the car seat loaded and buckled in from the front door.  Luckily the hubs has long monkey arms so he can reach over the rear seat to get J buckled.  Also, shopping of any kind is limited.  The first weekend we got the Mini we went to Home Depot for a few things…and forgot we had the Mini, so the large piece of dry erase board we bought had to run the full length of the car and the front corner poked me in the side of the head the whole way home.

Well we still haven’t fully adjusted to the size difference yet.  On Friday night we made our bi-weekly grocery run.  Costco and Wal-Mart for 2 full weeks of food and a few other items.

My menu board for the next 2 weeks has the following items: (all mostly homemade dishes)

Chicken Noodle Casserole
Chicken Pot Pie
Soy Garlic Fish
Artichokes
Mac & Cheese
Nachos
Chicken Fingers
Meatballs

Our grocery list:

Costco-

Chicken
Ground Beef
diapers & wipes x 2 (one set was a baby shower gift)
orange juice (individuals)
Milk

Wal-mart-

jelly
fudge bars
baby yogurt
mommy yogurt
frozen peas x 3
burner buns
butter
avocados
marinade
egg noodles
mix frozen veggies
cream of chicken soup 2 cans
pie crust
tortilla chips
artichokes
fresh berries
carrots
cereal

plus the following household items:

toothbrush
face lotion/wash
shampoo
dry & wet cat food
sponges

We hit Costco first to get the large items out of the way…after we got those few (large) items loaded we weren’t sure we’d get all the rest of our groceries in the car with J and the two of us…But the Mini surprised us – it really is larger than it looks! Not too bad for around $260.00

grocery 1 grocery 2 grocery 3

 

Also had this cutie-pie moment 🙂  J’s starting to give love via hugs and “kisses”

cutie pie

 

If the stuffed dog hadn’t cost $17 he totally would have gotten it just by sheer cuteness and obvious attachment…sorry to whomever ended up with the slightly drooly pup.

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Do what you’ve gotta do – Adventures in feeding

Most days J will eat anything – especially if an adult is eating it too.  He’ll eat almost anything off of a “big person” fork or spoon.  Funny how early on they realize that what you have is probably better than what they have.

Tonight he wasn’t having it though, did not want to sit in the highchair… at. all.  Only got a few bites into him before he was relentlessly screaming and fighting to spin around in the chair. OK, we get it, this isn’t going to work tonight.

So get him cleaned up and out in the play room with me while the hubby finished scarfing down his own dinner. 

J has always been a mobile kiddo.  From 6 weeks old he wanted to stand.  No sit, not lay, STAND.  So we learned very early on that if he’s standing, he’s probably happy.  Hence the Adventures in feeding began!  Multi-tasking is already a must if you are a parent, you just never quite realize to what extent!

So tonight was no exception, simply add feeding into the playtime equation and TA-DA!  Victory.  

His meal time went a like this:

Walk sideways back and forth in front of the bay window while babbling and slapping the seat as I sat on one side with a yogurt and skillfully finagled spoonfuls into his moving (but wide open) mouth each time he came my direction.  Hooray! One yogurt down the hatch successfully and without whining and yogurt flying about the room.

Then we moved onto the rolling walker and carrots.  As daddy aimed him one direction or the other across the room, I had a spoonful of orange goop ready and waiting for J to “pay his toll” before he could continue on his path across the room.  Woo!  Carrots down!

In the midst I also managed to become the human napkin – as we all do at one time…or always – so there wasn’t any clean up even!

Another successful feeding time in the Adventures of Feeding, hurrah!

Baby Food made easy

When J was 4 1/2 months we started him on solid foods.  I think I was supposed to wait till 5 months, but my Baby Bullet had been burning a whole in my cabinet for months already and I couldn’t wait to try it out.  I started pretty basic – carrots, sweet potato, peas, pears.  We tried peaches but they weren’t a favorite, and banana’s seemed to make him constipated.

I don’t really remember why I wanted to make my own baby food as opposed to store-bought.  I had no problems with feeding him store-bought food, and we are not a family that focuses on purely organic or natural foods.  Honestly I think it had more to do with saving money than specifically wanting him to only have pure foods.  Besides, the store-bought baby foods seem to be much more “pure” than I once thought they were, most of them seem to be just veggie/fruit and water plus some citric acid.  

I did the math and it was going to cost $0.50 to $1.00 for each package of store-bought food per meal.  You figure 3-5 meals a day depending on the kiddo and how much you are still breastfeeding/formula plus an increase in intake as they get older….that’s $1.50 to $5.00 PER DAY…up to $150.00 per MONTH…which is way more than that per YEAR.  Whoa…kind of made me queasy to think of how much money to feed one little mouth.  BUT then I did the math for making all (or 90%) of my own baby food.  HUGE huge huge difference.

I discovered that shopping the sales was also a big help, Costco had some fruits/veggies for cheaper too (For example – Costco has a large bag of 10+/- pears for $4.99.  Kings and Safeway charge $.79 each on sale.  You do have to cook them all at once though otherwise it’s hard to get through them before they go bad.) and Sprouts became my new weekly shopping stop for baby food supplies – they have the BEST prices on produce at all times (seriously, no joke.).  

On average I would spend about $5.00-$7.00 for 7 to 10 days of baby food – that’s 3-4 meals a day.

Here’s an example of what I would get:

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1 bundle of Kale – steamed
1 butternut squash – roasted
1 sweet potato – boiled and chopped
3 pears – boiled and chopped
Some leftover peas
Blueberries
1 lb carrots – boiled and chopped
Oatmeal baby cereal

Total cost = $10.00 including the cereal

Plus these supplies – 

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I used my Baby bullet a lot in the beginning, but once the batches started to get larger, my blender worked just as well.

Also, the bullet cups are a good size, but they tend to crack when you have to warm them up straight from frozen.  I find that the small Ziploc containers work best  and they are a great size for cheap – I think you get 8 of them for around $2.00

This is what we ended up with:

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That’s 40 servings – pretty friggen awesome for $10.00 right!?

Plus J ate better than we did every day…although it does make it easier to eat better yourself when you have to have all those fresh veggies and fruits in your house on a regular basis!

We did experiment with mixing all different veggies and fruits to make some quite exotic looking creations – kale, blueberry, oatmeal sounded great and tasted fine, but looked like brown sludge…In the end we stuck with just one type of food per serving.  J didn’t seem to mind the mixtures, but it does take more time to do and there’s something to be said about the texture and consistency of what you end up with…

Even though now J is eating most of what we eat now days, I still have 1-2 meals a day for him as straight blended fruit or veggie.

 Also, I’m not downplaying the convenience of store-bought and pre-packaged baby foods in any way.  The simplicity of them makes life way easier at times.  I have a good stock of the food pouches (Happy Family, Mom to Mom, etc.) in my cabinet at all times for when I’m not otherwise prepared, or when we are out of the house.  They are a lifesaver.

Happy baby-fooding 🙂

Beginnings

I’m the (fairly) new mom of a 10 month old little boy.  I don’t claim to be an expert on anything.  More so, I have big dreams and not enough time in the day.  I am a Pinterest addict (who isn’t?!) and am quite crafty when I have the time.  I like to learn about and try new things that have to do with my family – although I don’t consider myself to be a “fad” follower per say. Product reviews, meals, new mama missteps, crafts & organization ideas, and anecdotes about my own experiences are some of the things you’ll see here.

My goal with this new blog is to share stories and thoughts about things that most other Mama’s may find interesting, new, familiar, relate-able, or just amusing.

As many of my friends are also starting families, I find it comforting to be able to share in my experiences with them and to hear their experiences as well.  There’s something about power in numbers and knowing that not everyone does everything the same that makes getting through the challenges of being a new Mama less.  I hope that it does the same for you as well 🙂