Babies can be expensive. But they don’t have to be. There are many ways to save money on baby needs. Throughout the year I will be doing a series on how to save money on baby needs. Some of the things I will cover are feeding, diapering, clothing, and more.
We will begin with feeding because hey, who doesn’t like food? 🙂
Make your own baby food
I think most people know someone who makes their own baby food but think it is a pain so they don’t try it themselves. It isn’t. I take a couple days every so often or make one thing every day for a week when I make dinner. Some things still get pureed in a food processor, some things I just mash. Everything gets frozen in ice cube trays. Once they are frozen, I transfer the cubes to a freezer bag with the item and date marked on the front. You can freeze anything from banana to beef stew. I look for things on sale to make for her or often right now, I’m just mashing up what I make for us for dinner.
I also make things like sweet potato fries for Abby. After I make them and they have cooled, I lay them, not touching, on a wax paper lined baking sheet. I pop the whole thing in the freezer for an hour or two (or overnight if I forget). Once they are frozen, I put the food in a freezer bag. Freezing them this way first keeps them from sticking together in the bag.
Making Baby Cereal
One overlooked “make at home” item is baby cereal. There is no need to buy baby cereal. You can make rice cereal, there are instructions out there. But I just make oatmeal. I put regular old-fashioned oats or quick oats in the food processor to make the pieces a little smaller. Then I follow the microwave directions for the ratio on the box and cook enough for the week. I keep the cooked oatmeal in the fridge and just warm up what I need each day.
Use Generic Formula
If you formula feed or even if you just supplement, formula can get expensive. Check the generic formula against the name brand. They should be just about the same. All baby formula has to meet the same federal regulations. This won’t work for all babies but will work for some. We supplement with formula and are just now switching. I’m not sure why I never thought to do this before.
Use Cheerios, Not Always Baby Snacks
Abby gets some baby snacks like store brand Puffs and Yogurt Melts. But not every day. When she first started finger foods, she had just the puffs for awhile. They are softer and easier for babies just starting out with feeding themselves. But after about a month, we introduced Cheerios. She loves them and does great. Every couple days she gets some yogurt melts but that is a treat. Same with puffs. Just a treat not a daily thing. I can get Cheerios much, much cheaper than puffs. And again, you can get the store brand. Or look for a good sale and coupons for Cheerios.
At dinner, we often give her some peas or cut up homemade sweet potato fries (kept in the freezer) for feeding herself. More nutritious than just Cheerios all the time.Come party with me! Here are all the link parties I do each week.