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 WholesomeBabyFood.com! 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 WholesomeBabyFood.com), 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."
~ 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
Gerber Fruits and Vegetables: $0.28/oz.
*Money saved on baby food from 4-12 months old: $130.30