For the past four months I have taken you on our baby food journey with April. Now that she is basically eating everything, I’ve run out of material to post. Except for a few additions to her diet that will come later (cow milk, honey, peanut butter, ribs, etc.), there pretty much isn’t anything she can’t or doesn’t eat. But before I put this series aside until we introduce those foods, I’d like to take two more weeks to look solely at the financial savings of making your own baby food.
I started April on cereals first. I made rice, wheat, oats, and grits. I didn’t get to barley before she moved on to veggies, but she does eat it in soups now. Rather than buying baby cereals, I went to the grain section of the WinCo bulk bins. You can find all of these grains in the beans and rice section or the hot cereal section. The average price I pay for any of these grains is $0.50-$0.60 per pound (remember, a pound is 16 ounces). Keep in mind that this is per dry pound. One pound of dry grain yields a couple to a few pounds of cooked grain.
Now let’s take a look at packaged baby cereals.
|Gerber rice cereal: 8 oz. for $1.88|
|Gerber oatmeal: 16 oz. for $3.19|
|"Mixed grain" must be special because 8 oz.|
costs $2.15. Mixing grains at home is easy
and doesn't cost an extra $0.56 per pound.
|Beech Nut oatmeal: 8 oz. for $1.69|
Cheapest baby cereal? Gerber oatmeal at $3.19 per pound!
|Cardboard boxes taste good too.|
Next we moved on to vegetables. I made peas, corn, green beans, yams, butternut squash, acorn squash, and potatoes. I generally pay $0.88 per pound for frozen vegetables and never pay more than $1.00 per pound for fresh.
Let's see what Gerber and Beech Nut have to offer.
|Gerber peas: 7 oz. for $1.16|
|Gerber sweet potatoes and corn: 7 oz. for $1.16|
|Beech Nut corn and sweet potatoes: 4 oz. for $0.55|
|Beech Nut butternut squash: 2.5 oz. for $0.48|
Cheapest baby vegetables? Beech Nut corn and sweet potatoes at $2.20 per pound.
After vegetables we tackled applesauce and bananas. First, I cannot believe people pay for baby food bananas...that's just bananas to me! Second, I also mentioned that I do buy pre-made applesauce. For me that is the most cost-effective way. If you have an apple tree or can get them really inexpensively, it may be cheaper for you to make your own.
Let's see what I found at the store.
|Gerber bananas: 5 oz. for $0.98|
|Beech Nut bananas: 2.5 oz. for $0.48|
|Beech Nut applesauce: 2.5 oz. for $0.48|
|Tree Top applesauce: 25 oz. for $2.19 (sale price)|
|Gerber blended fruits with oatmeal: 7 oz. for $1.16|
Once again, I can mix things together at home pretty easily.
Cheapest baby fruit (without grain)? Beech Nut bananas and applesauce at $3.07 per pound.
I can't possibly calculate how much money I have saved over April's solid-food-eating life. But most of these pre-packaged baby foods cost 2-3 times more than my homemade baby food. Plus my food was fresh!