Let Them Do the Shopping
Many new parents don't realize how hard even a quick trip to the grocery store can be with a little one, and parents with more than one child know it can be nearly impossible to shop efficiently in the first weeks with the new baby in the house. Many grocery store chains are now offering to do the work for you for a small flat fee. The North Carolina–based Lowes Foods chain offers Lowes Food To Go, where a customer can set up a standing shopping list online, with a fax or over the phone, and a store employee actually picks out the groceries, bags them, and brings them out to your car at a scheduled time.
You can set up your list with all the staples that you usually buy weekly or biweekly and let Lowes do the work for you. It will be worth the extra 5 or 6 dollars the store charges for the convenience. More and more grocery stores are adding this feature for their customers—a real perk for new parents.
When setting up your grocery list, stock up on fresh fruit, instant oatmeal, dry cereal, frozen waffles or pancakes, milk, yogurt, and bread. With the fruit and milk or yogurt you can whip up smoothies for either breakfast or lunch as well. For lunch, look no further than your favorite sandwich fixings or tortilla wraps. And if you plan your dinners ahead of time, you should have plenty of leftovers to eat for lunch as well.
Catering to You
Many markets, restaurants, and catering businesses offer meals for carryout, but franchises such as Let's Dish, My Girlfriend's Kitchen, and Dream Dinners take that option one step further. Dream Dinners, for example, allows customers to prepare an assortment of dinners at the company kitchens and store them back at home in their own freezers, ready to heat and serve to their families. Dream Dinners provides everything from easy-to-follow instructions to pre-chopped and measured fresh ingredients. Customers simply assemble the meals at the facility, then place them in boxers or coolers for the trip home. Costs for the dinners are based on six- and 12-dinner sessions, with each dinner providing a family with four to six servings.
Each month the company, which currently has 140 locations across the United States, has 14 different entrees for customers to choose from. Popular meals include the Herb Crusted Flank Steak, Dreamy Enchiladas, Arroz Con Pollo, Salisbury Steak, and Potatoes and Chicken Mirabella. And since you assemble the meals, you can leave out ingredients that don't agree with your baby if you're nursing.
According to Gen and Endo Jezek, owners of the Dream Dinners, Inc. franchise in Charlotte, North Carolina, more and more women are abandoning traditional baby showers in favor of meal preparation ones.