When it’s time to start moving baby from milk or formula to “solid” foods, you might notice that you’re incurring a brand new baby expense. As if diapers and formula weren’t costing you enough, now you’re shopping for rice cereal, oatmeal, and organic mashed peas. Each individual package isn’t necessarily expensive, but as with so many other baby-related items, quantity is where they get you.
Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on baby food purchases, ranging in levels of intensity. For those in a time crunch, like myself, coupons and special programs might be the way to go. For the super-moms out there, you can try your hand at making your own baby food with a few special tools.
We’ll start by exploring the aforementioned coupons, deals, and savings programs. Of course, you can always start with ShopGala’s Baby Coupon Codes. This is a good place to begin, but you’ll probably want to start shopping grocery circulars for sustained savings plans. You can also sign up for special promotions and savings programs on some manufacturers’ websites: Similac, Huggies, Gerber, Beech Nut, and Earth’s Best Baby Food.
The best way to save money is by turning food you’re already purchasing, like fresh apples or sweet potatoes, into homemade baby food. After reading up on this, I can honestly say that it seems much easier than I would have thought. Using filtered water and fresh produce means you know exactly what your baby is eating. Plus, you can make lots of extra food and freeze it in airtight containers for later. Save yourself those last-minute, panicked trips to the store when you run out!
To make your own baby food, you’ll need a few supplies. A baby food grinder, like the one pictured by Munchkin and available on Amazon, costs about $10 and lets you quickly puree your own foods. A hand-turned food mill, hand blender, food processor, or fork (with some effort behind it) all work well too. I like the baby food grinder because I can be sure that the puree consistency is correct, but use what is comfortable for you.
For storage, you’ll also want to get BPA-free plastic, airtight containers. Walmart sells these easy storage trays from Fresh Baby for around $14. They can be used to store baby food and formula in the freezer and they look just like ice cube trays. These are easy to fit into your freezer but will keep baby’s food safe for as long as you need. Other manufacturers like The First Years and Munchkin make full sets of serving bowls, spoons, and storage containers for around $10. Shop around to find what you like best.
Follow these easy steps to make your own baby food:
- Wash and cook vegetables or fruits that need softening.
- Peel and pit the produce and strain seeds before pureeing.
- Puree, blend or mash the food, adding breastmilk, formula or water to thin the consistency if needed.
You can make food exclusively for baby or share some of what the rest of the family is eating. Simply process a little bit of that night’s dinner for baby. Of course, babies should not eat solid foods until between 4-6 months and always remember to test one food at a time. Wait four days or more before trying another new food. Give your baby time to enjoy and learn to digest these new foods. As he or she gets older, you can have more fun with the baby food you make. For recipes, visit Wholesome Baby Foods or do a quick Google search.
Hopefully, these tips will help you cut corners on your next baby food purchase. If you’re brave and want to get started with that home puree, visit our Baby Coupon Codes section to get everything you need!