Baby food is so expensive!


Whether you prepare your baby’s food yourself or buy it in the store, it’s expensive! Now that the little boxer has become an eating machine, I am quickly finding out his food is making a dent in the family budget. In fact, Oliver’s food just got it’s own line item in the family budget!  

First of all, I have no freaking clue how formula families do not have to take out a second bloody mortgage to supplement both formula and solids. I’m freaking out over solid foods alone!  Up until this week Oliver was eating one 4-5 ounce serving of food a day.  Whether I made his dinner from fresh veggies, or just gave him a pouch/jar of organic food, it really only cost us about $10-15 a week, TOPS!  Now that the little beast is up to 8-12 ounces of food a day, it’s adding up. Fast! 

I strive to make 2/3 of his meals at home.  I also don’t make his food in bulk and freeze it.  I cannot be bothered to get that massive assembly line going. Since I have the time, jobless Blogger and all, everyday I will steam his vegetable at lunch time, mix it with a frozen/fresh organic fruit like blueberries/mangoes/strawberries, add a little purified water and blend it.  The frozen fruit cools off the steamed veggies in the mixing process so its ready as soon as I turn the blender off. This usually yields about 10 ounces of food, so I can use it for both lunch and dinner.  (What? He doesn’t seem to care.) At dinnertime if he wants more food than I've prepared, I will open a jar/pouch of organic food. This process works for my family.  I know it is not ideal for 99% of everyone else.

I am not even going to climb up on a bitch box about making homemade food. The quality and processes for jarred food today are great.  In fact, some will argue major baby food factories are way more sterile than your home kitchen.  It is all about whatever works for your family.  I’ll be the first to say when I go back to a full time job, I am probably not going to make Oliver’s meal everyday, nor am I going to want to turn my kitchen into a baby food factory on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  

I have also come to the realization that “baby food” is only something that lasts from 4 to 9 months, 5 months. That is not even worth any real dramas, other than cost of course.  By 9 months I can start giving him the same dinner I eat. 

Ok, I digress… Baby food is expensive…

Our pediatrician recommends “Organic” food if at all possible.  So far that has been possible. However, I look at organic vs. non-organic food like I look at breast vs. formula. It’s what’s best for you and your family. I was raised on formula and non-organic baby food. I am a healthy person.  I rarely get sick, I play nice with others and all in all I am pretty cool, all sans boobies and organic goods. So if you can afford it, and it makes your feel all good and fuzzy buy organic.  If not, buy whatever and end up with a cool cat like me! Again, it’s what’s best for your family.  

I have talked to moms, surfed the web, and checked ads and circulars and here are my recommendations for saving money on food. Regardless of the route you take.

1.Buy in bulk! If your store has a sale, buy as much as you can afford.
  
2.Check your local discount and baby specific stores online websites for weekly deals. For me, Babies R’ Us has had buy 20 pouches of Organics for $15 lately. That is a great deal!

3.One avocado mashed can yield 10 ounces.  On a good day I can get one for $1.  That’s 50 cents a meal. Yes please! The same goes for a small head of broccoli, sweet potato, bag of carrots.  If you have the time, each one of those will make two meals.  Just add a little water and if you have a hand held mixer, use that. Boom lunch and dinner for $1! 

4.Search for Online Coupons at places like coupons.com

5.Save your damn pennies because you are gonna need them!


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Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer, blogger and proud debut novelist - The Devlyn Disguise. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more about April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

20 comments:

Mrs. Loquacious said...

Hrm. I haven't really been paying attention since Baby L is still primarily/exclusively BF + supplemented for her actual nutrition. Food = play, so I haven't had to sit down and calculate the cost of her food. I *did* buy her some organic teething biscuits today. There were 12/box, $4 per box? But she's eating our food so her costs are sort of rolled into ours at this point, except for Baby Mum-Mums and Farley biscuits and that sort of thing.

First Time Mom (April) said...

Consider yourself very lucky! Oliver is ravenous. Baby led weanIng is not working. I give him things to chew and play with while I'm making his meals, but he needs a real full meal. I'm positive because since I started really feeding him he has slept like a champion.

Tasha said...

As Rebecca hit six months corrected age (nine months actually) we have just had to switch her from completely breast milk to half breast milk and half formula. We've picked a middle of the road formula and it's still about $100 a month. We don't get to start her on any solid food yet as she has a very strong oral aversion among other things.

This may sound weird but I miss breast milk only spit up and poo! Formula makes it all smell awful and stain!

Shay Grant said...

Thanks for the tips, April! I'll have to do a coupon hunt online, see if I can get a good deal somewhere. The other day there was a 10 jars for $10 special at the supermarket, so I bought 30 jars lol. Now Isaiah is lushing it out on peach, guava and strawberry, oo-er!

And yep, formula costs a FORTUNE! We go through a tin a week or so, and at $27 a tin that's not cheap. Add to that the baby food and ouch - grocery bill has rocketed! (I'm so relieved to hear we aren't the only ones who baby-led weaning isn't entirely successful for - he loves his food but he only really plays with it, he still needs a decent meal, plus the range of foods he can have as a 5 month old seems to be pretty limited. And yep, like you, we've gone back to sleeping through the night with 2 puree feeds a day)
Sad to say, it only gets worse - last night we went through a kilo of minced beef, and half a kilo of corn chips for dinner. EEK! I wonder if it's just boys or if girls are little oinkers too??

Kitten said...

Heh, wait until your little Oliver is able to ask for a juice box or chocolate milk box or a "treat" when you hit restaurants or cafes. Sadly, my four year old recognizes the Starbucks symbol and immediately asks, "Mommy, can we get a chocolate milk and a treat?" when he sees it.

I remember the formula days as being SUPER expensive. Breastfeeding is so cheap!

foodpixie said...

Making bulk is easy if you are already making food, just make a lot. Use ice cube trays to freeze it. Then pop it out into containers or plastic bags. At feeding time grab a few cubes and microwave for a few seconds. It's a time as well as money saver. I got 10 meals from 1 sweet potato.

First Time Mom (April) said...

Was your sweet potato on steroids? I usually only buy a small one since I'm trying to tricks two meals.

I'm just not interested in the freeze and microwave thing yet. I like making his meal everyday. It only takes 10 minutes tops. I sit him in the kitchen to watch and we talk about the day and current events. It's wonderful!!

First Time Mom (April) said...

Not weird at all! My hubs will be the first agree with the. It's not even right what comes out of such a little thing!

First Time Mom (April) said...

I'm still an Oinker!! Formula is just insanely expensive! I wonder if you can order it online at a better cost?

First Time Mom (April) said...

I know I'm so lucky to still be nursing. $100 extra a month for formula would not be good.

Anonymous said...

Be careful about giving Ollie strawberries before he's a year old... they have a high potential for allergic reactions.

First Time Mom (April) said...

Thanks for that! I have been holding off because of the high rate of pesticides. Such a shame, strawberries are so yummy. At least we still have watermelon! He LOVE sucking on that! Xx

Fancy Pants said...

Great post FTM! I agree, when compared to the cans of veggies at the sup baby food jars seem ridiculous in cost. I started stocking up before she was born because I knew this would be an issue. FORMULA, geez, I seriously feel for anyone having to buy it. Every time I get frustrated with breast feeding and think of giving her formula I remind myself of the expense!

The question of organics versus conventional is one I have researched a good majority of my life since I have multiple endocrinology issues that prevented me from even getting prego until my miracle came along. I buy organic in fruits and veggies that are treated heavily with pesticides. strawberries, apples, etc. The rest I buy conventional. A trick I learned from my nutritionist is to wash all veggies in tepid water with a tiny bit of dish soap and about 1/4 cup of white vinegar. This removes all pesticides and bacteria. Your produce will last longer doing this as well. Every weds I visit the farmers market and get really good deals. I spend on average about 25 bucks a week and am loaded down with produce. We eat almost entirely fresh produce and I buy my meat from Costco in bulk, much cheaper and healthier. I have a huge veggie garden and do can what I grow, I love doing this and feel like a woman of the 40's with my apron and sweaty kitchen going. I recently bought 11 pounds of peaches from a local farmer here for 5 bucks, they are sitting in the kitchen waiting to be turned into something delicious.It's hard work canning with a baby, much less cooking a meal, I don't recommend taking this on. I do sign up to beech nut and gerber and get lots of coupons from them and try to match those with sales to get the most bang for our buck. Summer is just now really taking an interest to food and has grabbed numerous items off my plate and chowed down on them. I also believe she is starting to get a tooth from all the drool and biting anything she can to relieve pain. Anyway, I'm excited to enter the world of baby food and watch my little girl explore what every human truly loves, FOOD!!!

First Time Mom (April) said...

Thanks, Fancy Pants!! Great comment! VERY VERY informative! Good luck with the tooth. A bandana makes a great droop catcher. I tie it really loosely. Works wonders!

Anonymous said...

Haha! I first read that as "a BANANA makes a great droop catcher: and sat here trying to figure out exactly how you tied it to your little man and how exactly that worked! I need a nap.

Claire said...

I can't believe the cost of your formula, do you pay tax on it? Here in the UK its about £8. Cost of baby food varies but usually there on a permanent offer.

First Time Mom (April) said...

LMAO!!!

First Time Mom (April) said...

My friend, in the USA you pat tax on EVERYTHING!!

Tasha said...

I am in Canada and we don't pay tax on formula at least. But it is $34 to $38 for a box of 12 concentrated liquid formula cans (Enfamil low iron). For us, since Rebecca still gets half breast milk, a can of the formula lasts us about a day plus one feed. Powdered formula is cheaper here, but Rebecca gets fed through a G-tube and the powder has a chance of gumming things up. I did manage to find a box for $13 from Shoppers yesterday as it is suppose to expire at the end of this month. I was so excited I almost started dancing.

I wish I could still feed her all breast milk but after pumping all her food for nine months my production has gone down and her needs have gone up too much. She still gets some and that is the important thing.

foodpixie said...

Fancy Pants, thank you for mentioning the organics bit. I wanted to say something but kept my fool mouth shut. Just to elaborate on what you said, an easy way to remember what to buy organic is if it has a thin skin: Apples, grapes, peaches, potatoes, tomatoes. Pesticides actually leach into the produce so you can't just wash or peel them away. And beyond that the run-off is getting into our ground and water, blah, blah, blah.

I love, love, love that you mentioned growing your own food. My hubs and I do this, and up until tragedy struck we were chemical free farmers and sold at farmers' markets.

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