Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Cost of Making Baby Food

Many people have asked me my reasons for making my own baby food, particularly with regards to the fact that I formula-fed my son.  Well, there were many reasons for my decision to bottle-feed.

But as for making my own baby food?  I make all of my own meals, using very few box mixes, and I wanted to introduce my son to fresh ingredients.  Jarred baby food just doesn't taste good (or look good).  And it's significantly less expensive to make baby food rather than buying it.

OK, could those arguments also have been made for breast feeding, versus bottle feeding?  Yes.  They could.  But again, there were many personal reasons behind that decision in the very early days.  I won't get into those here, because that isn't the point of this post.

The point is, I wanted to illustrate just how much cheaper it is to make your own baby food, in case you're on the fence for your own baby.  Oh yeah, and my husband asked me, the other day, because he was curious as to how expensive our grocery bill could be, since our little guy has an incredible appetite (he has been taking four 8-ounce bottles per day since he was about seven weeks old, and as of his four month appointment eats about a quarter cup of pureed food three times per day).

So...  These prices are based on the local commissary where we live.  I don't really frequent the "civilian" grocery stores in the area unless I need something the commissary doesn't carry, so I don't know how the prices for fresh produce and jarred baby food compare, but I imagine the commissary prices might be a bit better.

$0.79 each = 2 servings = $0.40/serving

Sweet Potato:
$0.59/pound = $1.77 for 3 pounds = 14 servings = $0.13/serving

Canned Pumpkin Puree:
$2.27/can = 7 servings = $0.32/serving

Butternut Squash:
$0.79/pound = $2.77 for 3.5 pounds = 21 servings = $0.13/serving

Frozen Sweet Peas:
$1.25/16-ounce bag = 7 servings = $0.18/serving

$0.59/pound = $1.18 for 2 pounds (8 bananas) = 8 servings = $0.15/serving

$0.99/pound = $3.73 for 3.8 pounds = 18 servings = $0.21/serving

In comparison, the cost for jarred baby food is between $0.45-$0.49 per one-serving jar at my grocery, with not nearly the selection and variety available in the fresh produce section!  Avocado, for instance, was not available in jarred form.  Nor was pumpkin.  And squash?  well there was a jar of squash, but the label didn't specify the type, so I don't know if the comparison to the fresh butternut I purchased would be accurate.

So, just food for thought when you're considering jarred baby food versus homemade!!

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