Reduce the cost of baby food
The Quest to Find Low Cost Baby Food
by Amy Allen Clark
Getting What's Good for Your Baby
Freezing Homemade Baby Food
Save Over $2000 in Your Baby's First Year
My daughter turns six months this month and we are preparing to dive back into the world of baby food again. With our son, I prepared all of his baby food from scratch. It was a lot of work, but it was gratifying financially and rewarding to know that we were saving so much money. With two children, I am feeling a little less ambitious and am open to the idea of buying baby food, as well as making it. Here are some of my own personal tips on how to feed your baby on the cheap.
A Word about Solids
First up, I would like to just say a quick word about starting solids. Pediatricians now recommend that you wait and offer solids to your baby at the age of six months. As first-time parents, we are so excited about offering our children solid food. Not only are we excited, but also our grandmothers will tell us that the best thing you can do is put cereal in your child's bottle or to feed them cereal so that they will sleep through the night. This is false and not recommended. Your baby will not sleep longer through the night and you may end up with a whole host of other problems, such as allergies, which will make things more difficult on both of you. Being patient will not only help to keep allergies at bay, but it will also keep your grocery budget down for a few extra months. By waiting until the recommended age, you will avoid paying for the baby food that your child didn't really need in the first place.
Starting Solids the Cheap Way
It is good to start pricing out baby food if you are planning to purchase the store-bought variety. Keep this information in your price book and try and compare prices between different grocery stores. The first thing I did was call around and ask the grocery stores what their price was on their baby food. By calling, I found Beech-Nut baby food to be the cheapest at our local Save-A-Lot store. I understand that the selection there was limited, but the price was a little bit cheaper than other locations. I am willing to sacrifice on the selection, in order to get the best deal for my baby. Save-A-Lot seemed like the answer for us because they offered three jars for ninety-nine cents. The nice thing too, that I found with Save-A-Lot, was that they take coupons so I can bring in any coupons that I want to on this brand of baby food.
Where to Score Coupons for Baby Food
Now where do you get coupons for your baby food? Well, first you will want to sign up for each individual company mailings that they offer. You will find a great resource list, at the end of this article, for where you can get coupons and freebies for your baby. After you have signed up for these mailings, the next best bet for coupons (besides your family and friends) is eBay. Tons of sellers offer coupons on eBay and many package these up in baby bundles for you that include coupons for a variety of baby items you might need to purchase. By checking eBay, I found a seller who was offering twenty Beech-Nut baby food coupons that were $1 off 6 jars of any variety of Beech Nut Baby Food. The total cost (including shipping of the coupons) was $3.99. According to my calculations, this means:
120 Jars of Beech-Nut Baby Food (Save-A-Lot)
Coupons ($1 off 6 jars purchased from eBay)
Total Cost for 120 Jars of Baby Food
Cost for Coupons
Cost Per Jar of Baby Food
Now according to my numbers, that is a pretty good deal! Beech-Nut also offers a great program where you can receive more coupons by sending them your proofs of purchase. 48 proofs of purchase from any Beech-Nut product will give you four coupons for one dollar off of any ten items. That means that after I make my purchase of 120 jars, I will get an additional eight dollars in coupons for the next round of baby food (plus more proofs of purchase to credit towards the next round of coupons). This goes to show that when making the purchase for your baby food, make sure to visit the website for the company and see if they offer any specials during that month.
Homemade Versus Store-Bought Cost Comparison
Now what is the cost per ounce for homemade baby food versus the Beech-Nut variety that I ran across? Well, there are 2.5 ounces of baby food in a standard baby food jar. The cost per ounce is $0.08. The estimated cost to make my own baby food is $0.04 per ounce (give or take a penny depending on what food I am trying to prepare). That means if I actually took the time to make the baby food, I could shave fifty percent off of the cost of baby food. That is a lot to save, but it also would require time and effort on my part. My feeling about this is buy the prepackaged baby food, but only buy the items that require more cost to me or require more effort than they would be worth to be made at home. For example, mashing a banana with a fork is much cheaper and less time consuming than buying the prepackaged baby food. More exotic and expensive fruits and vegetables are more money for me (and many require a little more preparation) than I might be willing to exert so I will probably spend my money towards these items.
Amy Allen Clark is a stay-at-home mother of two wonderful children. She is founder and creator of MomAdvice.com. Her website is geared towards mothers who are seeking advice on staying organized, living on a budget, and that seeking work-at-home employment. The author resides in Granger, Indiana and her hobbies include reading, writing, and cooking. Please visit her new money-saving blog where she offers even more tips for ways you can save your family money.
Take the Next Step:
- Do your own cost comparison.
- Check baby product reviews at Cheapism.com before making a purchasing decision.
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