My daughter turns six months on the nineteenth and we are preparing to dive back into the world of baby food again. With our son, I prepared all of his baby food from scratch. It was a lot of work, but it was gratifying financially and rewarding to know that we were saving so much money. This time, I am going to try and find cheap baby food and (when I have time) make my own.
I did some calling around and found Beech-Nut baby food to be the cheapest at our local Save-A-Lot store. I understand that the selection is limited, but the price is a little bit cheaper than other locations.
The nice thing too about Save-A-Lot is that they take coupons (unlike Aldi Supermarket) so I can bring in any coupons that I want to on this brand of baby food. I did some checking for coupons on Ebay (a must visit location for any frugal shopper desiring coupons for formula, diapers, or baby food). I found a seller who was offering twenty Beech-Nut baby food coupons- $1 off 6 jars of any variety of Beech Nut Baby Food. The total cost (including shipping of the coupons) was $3.99. According to my (poor) calculations, this means…
Coupons ($1 off 6 jars purchased from Ebay) – $20.00
Total Cost for 120 Jars of Baby Food $19.60
Cost for Coupons $3.99
Cost Per Jar of Baby Food $0.20
Now according to my calculations- that is a pretty good deal! Beech-Nut also offers a great program (click under Save More When You Save Labels) where you can receive more coupons by sending them your proofs of purchase. They call this their Label Saver program. 48 proofs of purchase from any Beech-Nut Naturals, First Advantage, or Table Time products will give you four coupons for one dollar off of any ten Beech-Nut items. That means that after I make my purchase of 120 jars, I will get an additional eight dollars in coupons for the next round of baby food (plus more proofs of purchase to credit towards the next round of coupons).
Now what is the cost per ounce for homemade baby food versus the Beech-Nut variety that I ran across? Well, there are 2.5 ounces of baby food in each jar. The cost per ounce is $0.08. The estimated cost to make my own baby food is $0.04 per ounce (give or take a penny depending on what food I am trying to prepare). That means if I actually took the time to make the baby food, I could shave fifty percent off of the cost of baby food. That is a lot to save, but it also would require time and effort on my part. My feeling about this is buy the prepackaged baby food, but only buy the items that require more cost to me or require more effort than they would be worth to be made at home. For example, mashing a banana with a fork is much cheaper and less time consuming than buying the prepackaged baby food. More exotic and expensive fruits are more money for me (and many require a little more preparation) then I might be willing to exert so I will probably spend my money towards these items.
If you are searching for more baby deals, Baby Cheapskate is a great blog to visit too! Some of the deals are local to their area, but most are national deals that you can take advantage of. She prices out everything for you and tells you the prices to beat- great site & great web mistress in the baby department.
Feel free to discuss how you save on baby food or places that you have found in your area to be the cheapest around. Be sure to include your city/state so that people in your area can find the shops that they need to be looking for.