Friday, May 7, 2010

Healthy? Sometimes. Crafty? Often. Cheap? Always.

I have been meaning to post for a while about my "baby food making" experiences. It has actually been a lot of fun to make baby food for Jake. Because of his, a-hem, healthy frame, I am really particular about what foods he eats, calorie intake, definitely sugar intake, and amount. By making these foods from scratch- essentially the food plus breastmilk or water- I am guaranteeing there are no "extra" additives.

Did I mention I am also cheap?

I have been solely breastfeeding Jake for his entire life- 6 months, 2 weeks. Of course I know its healthy for him, but I also know that formula would provide him with everything he needs. Brooklyn was formula-fed most of her infancy and turned out quite healthy and brilliant (more on how she aced her kindergarten exam later!). But when I did the math on how much money I spent on formula for Brooklyn her first year...holy cow! And this time around, having two kids in school, I want to save money where I can. It's very hard being a working, pumping mom. But it can be done.

So, the same went with baby food. I know jar baby food is great...but the cost can add up. I invested in some small freezer storage containers...
...and dusted off my Magic Bullet.

And away we went! I started with carrots and then moved to sweet potatoes and then squash. I also did frozen peas once, but the bright "neon" green look freaked me out a bit, so I now buy the green veggies in the bigger jars and just portion control them out for meals. Once Jake liked his vegetables, then I introduced apples. I have this great apple peeler-corer-slicer from Linens-n-Things that I LOVE and makes the process go sooooo quickly. I usually do 4 apples at a time and store the applesauce in a tupperware container in the fridge. I just dish out what I need for a meal (usually 1-2 ounces), and I use within 3-5 days.

My only failure was bananas...who knew that they would brown as a liquid in the fridge? So, now I just buy bunches of bananas and mash up about a 1/3 of a banana for a meal with a fork until it reaches my desired consistency.

I did a quick analysis of what I spent and how much food I got. Each "meal" for Jake is about 1-2 ounces.

Apples (4) $1.89 = approx. 5 meals
Carrots (1 bag) $1.47 = approx. 16 meals
Sweet Potatoes (2) $1.59 = approx. 16 meals
Squash (1 small) $1.59 = approx. 8 meals

Total spent $6.54 = approx. 45 meals

I checked Target's prices for Gerber baby food. For 16, 2 ounce servings, it was $10.99. To buy 45 meals, it would cost roughly $30.00. Definitely some cost savings here!
So, as long as I can continue to enjoy it and Jake continues to eat it, we're burning that Magic Bullet as long as we can!
And then, I am buying one of these. :-)


Jennifer said...

Haha, your title describes me perfectly :) It's amazing how much money you save by breastfeeding and making your own baby food!

The Coxes said...

I too breastfed Owen (all the way to a year) and made his baby food. It was so easy! Another method if you want to make large quantinities is making your food then putting in ice cube trays. cover and freeze then pop them out and put them in large freezer bags. I would pull out a few cubes at a time as needed. A great website to use.

mamacarson said...

You gor, girl! ;-)


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