Dear Home Ec 101,
I just found out that I am pregnant (starting my 6th week) and have been unable to eat most everything. Luckily my cravings have been running mostly to fruit and chicken, but it is difficult to know what I will or won’t be able to eat on a given day. And seeing as I was unable to eat anything but crackers for 3 days last week, it is making it difficult to know when this will change. How do you propose to continue meal planning while you are pregnant? As it stands right now, I work days and my husband works nights and this is our first child. He fends for himself during the day and I do the same for myself at night…no other mouths to worry about. Any suggestions?
Knocked Up in Knockglen
Oh, do I ever remember those days of being able to eat only the most random foods ever. It was the worst with my first child. I lived with my first husband and his parents for the first couple of months of my pregnancy, and while my former mother-in-law is a fabulous cook, she’d sometimes make things that were completely vomit-inducing because of being pregnant. Once, she boiled a chicken, and I had to leave the house until the smell went away. Another time, she fried up some chicken gizzards for me. Yeah. Chicken gizzards. For a pregnant woman. Heh. That did not turn out well.
I was grateful to her, though, because she was very kind and generally catered to my pregnant randomness, running out into the cold night because I wanted strawberries, and buying Slim Jims by the bucketload. Once my first husband and I moved out on our own, my dear grandma did all the running*, and she wasn’t nearly as kind as my former mother-in-law was. That’s family for you.
By the time I was pregnant with my second child, I was older and healthier, so I did all my own running, since my husband worked a job that kept him at work from 8 AM to 10 PM, later on the weekends. And this is where my advice to you comes in. (Sorry, I’m in a reminiscent and rambly mood today. Bear with me.) My oldest son was in school all day, so the only meal I was really responsible for was the evening meal. I used a method of shopping my mom always called marketing. Basically, you stop by the store on your way home from wherever, and pick up what you need for the next 24 hours or so.
Now, this method is a little heavy on the wallet. We didn’t have piles of money at the time, so I set a hard budget for what I could spend each day. I basically took our monthly budget and divided it by 30, and then rounded down since I was using a little extra gas stopping by the grocery store each day.
I’d also pick up any other things we needed, like laundry detergent and dish soap, so when we ran out of those items, I adjusted the budget a little. This is absolutely the easiest way to suit your cravings, and it also saves you a little heavy lifting, since you’re only getting a bag or two of groceries at a time.
By the time my third (and final!) child came along, I had the marketing method down to a science. It’s still far cheaper to plan meals around sales and ahead of time, but I think pregnancy is a special time in one’s life, and you might as well enjoy it as much as possible.
Home Eccers, what did you do when you were pregnant for meal planning? Home Eccers who’ve not been pregnant- let’s hear about some really weird cravings you’ve had. Just last week I had the WORST craving for a peanut butter and banana sandwich. It’s not all that strange, other than how strong my desire was for it, and I’m not even pregnant. 😀
*I was on complete bedrest starting in my 18th week of pregnancy, because- get this- my cervix is incompetent. (I tried to fire it for being incompetent and get a competent cervix in there to do the job, but my cervix has tenure and therefore cannot be fired.) I was also very young and very underweight and my doctor wanted to be on the side of caution.