Homemade Ginger shows you how to make your own wholegrain baby food.
Each week for 52 weeks, I’m sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.
Store-bought baby food can be very expensive. Knowing this, I decided from the get-go when I had my first child that this was an area that I’d wanted to try to really save money on.
Three children later, we’ve survived without basically ever paying for pre-made baby food — and have saved hundreds of dollars in the process! Here are some things that worked for us (Remember: each child and family is different so please do what works best for your family!):
1. Start Slowly
I was blessed to be able to nurse all three of my babies almost exclusively until six months old. (I know some women would love to be able to nurse and have been unable to do so, so I don’t take it for granted that I never had difficulty with nursing.)
At around six months old, I would slowly start introducing solid foods — normally just giving the child a couple of tastes of banana or vegetables a few times per week. I would usually mash up something that we’re already eating and offer a few bites.
We stuck with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains first and then gradually added in other foods. We’d just offer the child whatever fruit or veggies we’re eating at a meal plus some homemade bread or other wholegrain finger foods. As our children caught on to eating more, I’d gradually reduce nursing and replace it more and more by table food. (I weaned all my children around 18-19 months.)
2. Make & Freeze Homemade Baby Food
I did this some — and it worked well. Erin wrote a guest post a few years back on how she does this efficiently:
A great way to save money when you’ve got a little one crawling under foot is to make your own baby food. The average price at my grocery store for a 1-serving jar of baby food, stage 1, is $0.51. From my rough calculations, you can save an average of 75% by spending a few minutes in the kitchen to make your own food — especially if you buy in season and get the best prices on that fresh produce.
While I prefer cooking in the kitchen each night for our “big people” meals, I’ve found it works really well for me to have a Freezer Cooking Day once a month preparing homemade baby food.
Read Erin’s post here on How to Make Homemade Baby Food for the Freezer.
Helpful Resources: If you are interested in making your own baby food, you might check out this post here or see if you can check out Feed Me I’m Yours or check out some of the books listed here from your local library.
3. Use a Baby Food Grinder
If you’re wanting to make your own baby food, but the thought of making big batches for the freezer does not appeal to you, I highly recommend that you invest in a simple baby food grinder. I like the Kidco Baby Food Mill. It runs about $15 and is really compact so you can just mash up whatever fruits and/or veggies (or even the main dish!) you’re eating at the meal.
If it’s something that can’t just be easily mashed with a fork, stick a small bit in the grinder when you sit down at the table, grind it up, and you’re good to go! It makes very little mess and requires almost zero forethought!
Like the Baby Food Pouch idea but don’t want to spend money on Baby Food Pouches? Check out How to Make Your Own Reusable Baby Food Pouches.
What are your best tips and ideas for saving on baby food?