Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thrifty Thursday - Baby Food

So, why is a lady without a baby, who's trying to save money, writing about baby food? She's not. I have been really busy this week, so my dear Sis, offered to write a guest post for me.

All of these thrifty Thursdays posts, brought to you by my lovely sis, have been an inspiration to me but, since I don’t have a blog of my own, I’m sharing my thrifty experience as her guest this week.

Becoming a new mommy while also buying/renovating/moving into a new house at the same time (not highly recommended) can drain the piggy bank pretty quickly. And, as any parent knows, babies are expensive. Who knew that in the first three weeks we would go through approximately 300 diapers? DS is now nearing 7 months and, while using less than half the number of diapers, is happily eating 3 “meals” a day. It’s so exciting the first time you go into the grocery store to buy baby food. Just like it was so exciting the first time you bought diapers (until you realize that you just went through 100 of them in one week). You go into the grocery, head for the baby isle, find the beginner foods and then choke when you find out that the jar of strained peas costs $0.75 (at least it does here…maybe it’s different other places that aren’t connected to the rest of civilization via a one-laned bridge). At first it’s no big deal, a teaspoon here and a tablespoon there. But soon it’s a jar here and a jar there and a screaming, crying baby if it doesn’t come fast enough or if it’s pears instead of the peaches that DS wants. So, for this week’s thrifty Thursday post I decided to make baby food and share my experience with you.

First, applesauce is applesauce, whether you buy it in the baby isle or elsewhere. They are exactly the same thing. I like to buy the snack packs (unsweetened of course) because it’s unsafe to feed a baby anything that’s been in the fridge for more than 3 days. Better safe than sorry. Although I must admit, sometimes the leftovers don’t make it back to the fridge.

The next thing I tried was sweet potatoes. Anything like squash or potatoes are easy to make. You just wash them and then bake or roast them (with the skin on to keep all the vitamins in) and then mash or blend them up. I blend mine still, mashed makes DS gag. If you need to add water to thin it you can. Then, I fill an ice cube tray, cover it with saran, freeze and then pop them out and into a freezer bag or container. The cubes that come out are about a tablespoon, maybe slightly more. At supper time I just take one or two cubes out and defrost in the microwave. This saves a ton of money and he likes them better.

Sweet potatoes were one sale for $0.79 per pound. I bought ~0.9lbs (3 potatoes) = $0.68

This made one tray of cubes. My tray makes 16 cubes or 8 meals. 8 meals for 0.68.

That’s the equivalent of 4 jars at 0.75 = 3.00

After my sweet success I may have got a little overly ambitious. Peas, I thought, I’ll make peas. I brought water to a boil and steamed them for about 10 minutes until they were tender.

Blended them up.

Added a little water.

What more could DS want than freshly cooked peas….

…ok, well, maybe he’s not ready for homemade peas yet. But I still have the sweet potatoes. Any suggestions on what I can do with 16 ice cubes of pureed peas?


dad said...

feed them to your man

Evan Kirkland said...

keep em frozen and i'll finish them off next weekend

Logi said...

Ew, those peas would make me gag too!

Holly said...

Next time you make soup, stir them in.
What did people do before jarred baby food? The baby ate what the adults did, mashed up. I think you're on the right track. You can easily make applesauce too, with peeled sliced apples and a little water, in the microwave. I've just started doing that, and my kids are 6 and up. It's delicious!

Andy said...


Tereasa said...

What a funny picture! It's precious.

Oh, the joy's of learning how to be a frugal mom. Good for you learning to make your own baby food!

I would highly reccomend purchasing a Magic Bullet. You can boil your veggies or fruit (like apples for applesauce), puree and serve them all in one container. Voila! You've saved money and narrowed down your dish load. It would also be useful when your little guy is ready to eat your own meals all mashed up. I've had my magic bullet for three years and have used it nearly every day.

Pureed peas make a horrible texture which can probably best be hidden in chunky dishes like chilie.

A word of advice- It sounds like you are wiser than this, but I would strongly urge you to stay away from the toddler pre-packaged foods. They didn't even exsist until Gabriel was almost two years old, six years ago. Pre-packaged toddler foods are a marketing scam. It's mostly grown-up food cut into small pieces, placed in fancy wrap and sold for twice the cost.

Ok, one more thing. I hear you are a great momma! Way to go, girl!

Joel said...

Dave told me to go to check out Kristin's blog about making babies ....what a rip off...making baby food!!

Colleen said...

YOU CAN ALWAYS ADD THEM TO SOUP. IT CAN HELP THICKEN UP A SOUP AND ADD A BIT OF SWEETNESS. YUMMY. also can you freeze applesause like you did for the peas and sweet potatoes?

Colleen said...

YOU CAN ALWAYS ADD THEM TO SOUP. IT CAN HELP THICKEN UP A SOUP AND ADD A BIT OF SWEETNESS. YUMMY. also can you freeze applesause like you did for the peas and sweet potatoes?

Kristin said...

I haven't tried applesauce yet but I have two big bags of apples that I will try to get around to cooking this week. I'm sure that it can be frozen, have you tried it Thereasa?
He's starting to eat chunkier things so I'm going to try some new flavours this week. I'll let you know how it works out.

Kristin said...

Or Holly, have you frozen applesauce?