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easy budget friendly diy baby food

I did it because I’m cheap. And I like to try new things. But mostly because I’m cheap. My husband and I were below the poverty level for several years with three kids while he was getting his MBA and we learned how to cut corners, live on a tight budget, and save on costs and expenses. While we are doing well now, I still like to save where I can. Baby food is an area where I can save a lot of money. I mean A LOT. Baby food and baby food products have got to be one of the biggest scams out there. My 5mo old started tasting solids last month and I went to buy “baby food applesauce”. The baby version of applesauce is tiny packets of it for about .88 cents each. A family sized jar of kosher organic applesauce was $4.57. I would have to spend $6.16 on the baby branded sauce for one week where the family sized jar was enough for a month, plus some baking. What a rip-off!! It was then I decided to buy a “baby food maker” thinking I would outsmart The Man. Baby food makers are roughly sixty to over one hundred dollars depending on the brand. I figured the specialized baby food machine was just a smaller version of a food processor and it turns out a decent food processor is a fraction of the the price as (if not a bit less than) the machine marketed towards babies. Plus it’s not limited to just baby food making.

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I ended up with this one:

It’s an Oster 10-cup food processor with a dough blade, and a shredder chute. I paid $35.70 for it at Target. The one I was going to buy was half the size and $59.95. Go ahead and look up “baby food maker” on Amazon. There’s tons of different machines and they range from $60 to $100+– madness!!

 

I got some pretty good recipes on Pinterest: mango+banana+avocado, sweet potato+applesauce, carrot+applesauce, peach+yogurt+banana; you get the drift. I boiled my fruit for about 10 minutes before putting it in my machine to avoid chunks and to make it extra mushy (my little one is just starting solids). I don’t have a small enough strainer, but if you have one you can push the puree through the strainer to get some of the chunks out.

 

sweet potato+applesauce

I made some beautiful looking sweet potato+applesauce puree that my little on gobbled up during taste testing. I let the sweet potatoes boil into almost mush before putting them in my processor.

 

 

 

 

 

It took me about $15 (not counting the cost of the food processor) to make about six weeks worth of baby food. She eats solids twice a day, so as she grows these numbers will change. But even if I spend $25 for six weeks it’s still less expensive and a healthier alternative (just my opinion, not based on any scientific research or anything credible) than if I were to buy commercial baby food. It took roughly an hour for me to make everything, label bags, and boil ingredients which will probably take less time the next time I do it since I know what I’m doing now. Another great way to save money is to buy seasonal foods and puree what you’d be eating anyway. I buy bananas, greek yogurt, avocados, carrots, and sweet potatoes anyway, so it’s really not hitting my budget any harder than it would normally cost. I did buy extra bananas and the applesauce. If you’ve got the time I highly recommend trying to make your baby’s food. It also cuts down on sugar intake. Sometimes commercial baby food has added sweeteners to make it taste better, but I just added bananas and applesauce to the not-so-sweet foods to make them a bit yummier.

 

I used freezer-friendly ziplock baggies to store my baby food. It’s easy for me to defrost either by placing in the fridge over night or setting in warm water. If you’re into creating less waste, small freezer-friendly containers would work great, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The great thing is that my food was pretty much all “Scarlett Approved” since I would give her little tastes as I made it.

 

Enjoy!

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