I’m now on my third pregnancy while homeschooling. As our family grows, our budget seems to shrink. We can’t take advantage of going out to eat as often as we did the first time around because really, we can’t afford to bring our family of 5 out to a restaurant multiple times a week. Alhamdulilah, I’ve had relatively easy and healthy pregnancies, but the fatigue is very real! By 3pm, I’m usually ready for a nap. So, how do I get dinner on the table, even through preggo fatigue?
I use our slow cooker multiple times a week, getting most of my recipes either from Pinterest, or from cookbooks I own. Honestly, my favorite slow cooker cook books are the small ones you find at the checkout lane in the grocery store. In the morning and early afternoon, I’m usually feeling energetic enough to get some housework and cooking done, so I try to get dinner ready during that time. This has been my most successful tip.
I utilize freezer cooking the most in the last month or two of pregnancy, when even going grocery shopping feels like a giant chore. Pinterest is my best friend when it comes to freezer cooking, and just assembling meals that are already made for the crock pot. When we were getting ready to move to our new home, I started a small notebook with notes of meals for freezer cooking, so I could go back and redo what I had completed earlier. While it’s hard on the budget if you do a large batch of freezer cooking in one paycheck, it pays off in the end. Right now, I’ve been trying to freeze one meal each paycheck so we feel the blow a little bit less. Also, I’ll double up a recipe, and freeze it in a disposable casserole pan right before it would go in the oven. Either way, I have something I can take out in the morning, and cook in the afternoon with no grocery shopping or prep work required.
Freezer cooking is basically the only way we eat after I have the baby, too. My husband hates cooking, so I need something that’s nearly no work in order for me to take my much-needed break from house chores after I give birth.
Quick, easy recipes
I have to admit that I hate cleaning the slow cooker (and yes, I know there are liners, but that seems wasteful to me). I just can’t get myself to clean the slow cooker every night. Freezer cooking? That means I planned ahead days or weeks ago. There are sometimes I just need to whip something up really quick! My favorite resources for finding quick, easy recipes?
- Pampered Chef cookbooks (I love the $1 ones that come out every month!)
Enlist the kids!
Okay, so my young set of kids are too young to make themselves anything to eat, but Kira is a huge help for getting dinner on the table when I haven’t planned ahead, or the day has just gotten away from me. Kira’s not a big fan of cooking, but she knows how to do it, and can make some basic meals. She will not starve when she moves out! As my younger set of kids get older, I plan to make sure they know how to cook as well. While I have no plans to have any more kids, it’s an important life skill, and ensures that dinner gets on the table, even when I’m ill or away.
Whether your pregnant, ill, or in a season of life where fatigue is overtaking you, dinner still needs to get on the table! Sometimes there’s help, and sometimes there’s not. I figure I plan for having no help, and then take any bit I can get. Just use the bursts of energy you do have to get ‘er done!
Do you have tips for getting dinner on the table in your homeschooling household? I know the iHomeschool Network bloggers do! Follow along with the other ladies who give their tips for getting it all done by clicking on the image below.