Preparing for baby #2 has forced me to think about ways we can be financially responsible with a growing family. Luckily, with your second child, you don’t need as many baby items. And, you also find yourself being more practical when making lists of must-have items (see my post on How To Save Money with Baby: Part 1).
I would like to continue this series by focusing on a simplistic, but very effective, strategy for living a frugal lifestyle with a baby on board.
Making Your Own Baby Food
Like many money-saving strategies, this one may seem extremely intimidating to new Mommies (or seasoned Mommies who want to save money). I was definitely overwhelmed at the thought of making baby food, but quickly learned that it was quick, easy, and saved us A LOT of money. Not to mention, homemade baby food is typically healthier than the jarred version.
According to www.nurturebaby.com , making your own baby food can save you 50-80% off the cost of store-bought baby food!
There are several products available for purchase to assist you in making your own baby food. For me, spending the money on one of these contraptions went against the whole purpose of making my own food (to save money). So, I just used a blender! But, if you’re interested, here are a few of the top-rated baby food processors:
Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker – $119 on Amazon
Baby Bullet Complete Baby Care System – $59 on Amazon
As I said, I used a Vitamix Blender to mix my baby food, but an everyday blender would work just fine. Here’s the process I used when making baby food:
- Purchase organic veggies (not a must, but something that was important to me). It helps to check and see what fruits/veggies are in season in your area, so you can get the best price.
- Wash, peel, and chop veggies – the first vegetable I gave Lyla was carrots. Some of our favorites included: sweet potato, green beans, and butternut squash.
- Cook one vegetable at a time by steaming the chopped pieces until tender.
- Pour softened veggies into the blender of your choice, and add clean water (avoid the water used to steam the veggies, because there can sometimes be traces of nitrates , which can be harmful to baby). The amount of water you add is based on the age of your baby. A 6-month-old will need a thinner consistency than a 9-month-old. Just keep adding water until you reach the desired consistency. **If you are breastfeeding, you might want to add breast milk for an additional boost in nutrition!
- Blend until smooth
- Then, pour the food into ice cube trays. Just like the baby food blenders, you can purchase specialty food containers for storage. I just used the cheap, plastic ice cube trays and they worked just fine!
- Once your trays are full, cover tight with plastic wrap.
- Place trays in freezer and let freeze overnight.
- Pour frozen cubes into freezer bags, seal, and label (type of food and date prepared). Place bags in freezer and you’re finished!
- The one variation to this simple recipe is sweet potatoes. I actually baked them in the oven, and then scooped out the “meat” of the potato, added water, and blended.
Depending on the age of your baby and how much he/she eats, you can make very large quantities that will last several weeks!
The web site I used the most for recipes (and determining which foods were appropriate based on my baby’s age) was http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/pureebabyfoodandstore.htm#url Another good resource is “Super Baby Food” by Ruth Yaron – $13.57 on Amazon.
Have you ever made your own baby food?Sarah Myers