Thursday, August 16, 2012

Frugality Tip #2: Homemade Baby Food ($0.12 per serving)

est. $0.12 per serving     82% savings     save $130.30 from 4 - 12 months old


Those are the right numbers. Go ahead and blink a couple times just to make sure. (I did.)

You can save that much money feeding a little baby (which doesn't eat a whole lot in the first place)... and in only 8 months... not the "1 year" comparison I usually do. And this is only for the fruits and vegetables! I didn't even get into the other food groups, which I'm sure would save you even more.

It was a tiny bit surprising (read: SHOCKING... my jaw is still on the floor... seriously...) when my price comparison of homemade baby food vs. the jarred store food led me to THAT number. 

First, let me reiterate what I'm comparing here... JUST the fruits and vegetables a 4-12 month old baby would eat on average. Homemade vs. Store-bought. No meat, no noodles, bread, cheese, snacks etc.

I've got an adorable, 7 months old, chubby-cheeked, angel of a baby girl whose food I prepare at home. Along with baby cereal, she's had applesauce, bananas, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, peaches, plums, and spinach. Well... she sort of had spinach. Or maybe the sink disposal did... minus half a baby spoonful. We likely won't be revisiting spinach for a while.

ANYWAY. I knew I was saving money by making the baby food myself, and that I'd be posting about it at some point. It's not difficult to make her food or even time consuming. Preparing it in my kitchen means it's fresh, and has no "added" anything, so I feel good about what's going in her triple-rolled belly.

I thought it was going to be tricky to do this post, because we're talking about MANY different food items. Thankfully, I lucked out. Huge, huge, ginormous thanks goes out to! They saved me a ton of work. 

They have this wonderful spreadsheet on their site, which states that updates have been made as of January 2012, despite the "2010" listed on the sheet. Check it out:

So, basing my calculations off of that sheet, using GERBER brand prices, and this resource, (also from, and calculating for just fruits and vegetables to figure out about how many ounces an average baby eats from 4-12 months, I was able to do my cost breakdowns, which can be found at the end of this post. 

Trust me. I checked. I double checked. Then, I triple checked to be sure. The conclusion stands: Making baby food instead of buying the stuff in the store is by far one of the most economical, healthy, and self-reliant things you can do. 

I'd feel a little silly writing a baby food recipe, because you can easily find a zillion baby food preparation instructions online written in great detail, and they'll all say essentially the same thing, "peel, cook, puree, serve." 

Last but not least, if you are still reading this, here's the cost breakdown portion of the post:

~ Savings ~

Cost Breakdown of AVERAGES:
4-6 mo. fruit and vegetables $0.05/oz. (avg.) 1 oz./day = 61 days = $3.05
6-8 mo. fruit and vegetables $0.05/oz. (avg.) 3 oz./day = 61 days = $9.15
8-12 mo. fruit and vegetables $0.05/oz. (avg.) 6 oz./day = 61 days = $18.30
Total Cost: $30.50

The Contender:
Gerber Fruits and Vegetables: $0.28/oz.
Total: $160.80

Savings: 82%

*Money saved on baby food from 4-12 months old: $130.30


  1. You are truly a girl after my own heart dearest friend! This blog used to be my idea of heaven! I actually have a notebook full of recipes with price breakdowns to the penny. Who knew that in our adult lives we would still be such kindred spirits? I say used to because I am in the thick of worn out summer with my beautiful 5 children at home and I am too tired to do nothing more than try to compare prices and keep my grocery budget down by not buying unneccesaries (who knows if that is even a word?) This fall I am back in it and rest assured my dear that this blog is a fast favorite friend (minus you being a very favorite friend). I am so excited for you and so proud and impressed to call you my lovely, wonderful and incredibly talented cousin! I will be back soon! Love you!

  2. I wish I hadn't seen this post! kidding. thanks for your helpful information! I love wholesome baby food's site. great help to me, too. where did you get that very cool serving thingy for the freezer?

    1. Hi Crafty P,

      They are available on Just search for 24-cup silicone muffin pan. I love mine!

  3. I was shocked when I first learned I could make baby food. I was a few months into feeding my oldest jars of baby food. We quickly made the switch and noticed the savings right away. My second child ate all homemade baby food. My coworkers all thought I was an amazing mom for breastfeeding and making baby food. Lol. My third son will eat homemade baby food when he is ready. It is so easy to make.

  4. You can also use ice cube trays instead of muffin molds, especially when they are younger. I fed all my babies (now grown adults) homemade everything. Today they have ice cube trays with lids so they stack very well in the freezer and reduce freezer smell. I bought several recently at a Bed, Bath & Beyond or a similar store will do.

  5. It seems kind of ridiculous now, but I did not know that baby food could be made at home. I spent soooo much money on my first son. I started making my own baby food a few months before he started eating table food. I am onto my third, and final, son and he has homemade baby food. He does have constipation issues so the doctor told me to feed him prunes every day. I have been buying baby food prunes and it costs about 50 cents per serving. Do you think I could make baby food prunes cheaper than that? Any suggestions?

    Thanks - Amie

    1. Amie,

      You totally could make your own prune puree! Try cutting up about 1 cup of prunes into smaller pieces and letting them soak for a while in 1/2 cup of water. Then, use a blender or food processor to puree them. You can add more water if needed during the puree process. Hope this helps!


    2. Hi Andrea,
      I was slow to give this a try, but I wanted to follow up to let you know how it went. I bought a large container of prunes for just under $4 and cut and soaked the prunes as you suggested. It made enough puree to almost fill my blender. I froze several cubes, but they were not as solid as some other foods. I put them in a large ziplock freezer bag. I think they will be fine. My baby, who has never liked prunes, literally spat them out. lol. I can't blame him. I assume they taste stronger than the Gerber prunes he usually eats so I just mixed with applesauce. When mixed, he ate them with as much (or as little) enthusiasm as he ate the Gerber prunes. I would say this idea is a winner. It made approximately 24 cubes of thick puree. I think one cube per serving is enough, but I may even cut it back to half a cube depending on results... so, approximately 17 cents per serving. This is good for me since I was paying 50 cents per serving.

    3. One more follow up regarding the homemade prunes... they are really helping with his constipation and it works far better than the Gerber prunes. I use one cube and mix with apple sauce. Thanks again for your suggestion. :)



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