Well, the frugal February plan is off to a fairly good start. This morning we went to our (free) playgroup and then we went for tea and teacakes with a crowd of other Mums and babies afterwards which is something of a Tuesday tradition. I was going to forego the teacake today in honour of my diet but decided to have it anyway. It’s only once a week. One of the local cafes is very accommodating and has a large area in the back where we can park up all of our pram and pushchairs and not be in the way. They also have a loyalty card where you get your tenth hot drink for free. I’ve been saving these points up in readiness for the end of my maternity pay and so I used one today (I still have one to use). Hence my pot of tea was free so I only had to pay £1.65 for the teacake. I think £1.65 for a morning out with a playgroup and then tea and cake is pretty good going!
You might be wondering about the photo. That, dear readers, is a frozen (heart-shaped no less) cube of pureed carrot. I’ve been meaning to write a post about weaning for months now and I never seem to get around to it. We weaned a bit earlier than the recommended 6 months (since then it has been all over the news that some research now suggests 6 months is too late – they can never make their minds up can they? It’s like the peanut thing all over again. I digress…) for a variety of reasons. We started out with baby rice, then carrot, then apple and onwards. I bought an Anabel Karmel book and have since been given two more. I doubt I’ll ever get through all of the recipes but Baby seems to like whatever I seem to make though some recipes, like Beef Casserole, took a couple of attempts before she was really very interested. I’ve been batch cooking. At the moment I have four batches of food in the freezer: Beef Casserole, Chicken with Sweet Potato and Apple, Broccoli and Califlower Cheese and a Lentil and Sweet Potato recipe. I also freeze cubes of individual vegetables and fruit which get mixed and matched in with other things. One of Baby’s favourite things is pureed pear mixed with plain yoghurt. She eats way better than I do! However, I do buy some food in jars for when we are out and about. Not many places will heat food up and I also worry about giving her food that might have been in my bag for hours when it really ought to have been in the fridge. We seem to get on okay with food from Organix or Hipp Organic so I have a little supply of those in the cupboard for when I know we aren’t going to be back in time for lunch or dinner. I also cottoned on today (about 6 weeks late!) that I don’t need to boil and cool her drinking water anymore – she can have cold water straight from the tap. What a relief! Sooooo much easier.
I really had to restrain myself when it came to buying weaning products – so many dinky containers! Pretty spoons! Cunning little clip-together things! Eventually I managed a little restraint. I collected together all of those tiny little tupperware boxes you never know what to do with and Mum also donated several from the back of her cupboard. They have been invaluable since Baby has been eating larger portions of things. I did buy a set of four special clip-together boxes. They are nice and robust and keep the contents in properly – particularly good for when we are going to visit friends as it means I can take something home-made and bung it in their fridge as soon as we get there. Dealing with some kind of meaty puree that has escaped from its container and all over the inside of your bag isn’t particularly fun. The special icecube trays were also tempting but we already had two flexi ice cube trays (one of hearts, once of stars – thank you IKEA!). Speaking of IKEA, Mum also picked us up a set of 6 brightly coloured bowls which we use every day and are brilliant. We could probably have spent a few pounds less but all told it really didn’t cost very much and I’m pleased with what we’ve got.
I don’t think I’ll be spending any more today but if I do I’ll ‘fess tomorrow…