Sunday, May 2, 2010

"A Carrot Saved is a Carrot Earned."

Homemade Baby Food is an educated penny-pinching parent move.

When it comes to feeding your baby, homemade organics make your baby and your bank account just a little more green.


Sure. 'Green' choices are about living a healthy, socially-responsible life, but they also make a bank account a little more comfortable, too. As a young family with extreme student loan pressure, we just wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise. And, oh yeah, with Gabe being an exclusively breastfed baby, we were used to paying nothing for his food, so that whole pay-for-your-kid-to-eat thing is new.

So let's get out that calculator.


Today we went shopping for Gabe's next few food adventures. Let it be known that Gabriel LOVES food shopping. He loved helping us pick the peaches (he's a fan of feeling textiles and textures), he enjoyed flirting with any and everyone, and he's currently crushing on Grocery Store Overhead Lighting.

Carrots, Bananas, and Peaches -- oh my.
And he'll be getting Whole Grain cereal (barley/spelt) sometime soon, too.

1 lb. Organic Carrots: $.99
1.05 lb. Organic Bananas: $.83
1.13 lb. Organic Peaches: $2.81

I have found that it takes just about 1 lb. of a produce item to make 1 full ice cube tray of food + 1 warm 2 oz. serving ready to serve to baby. That is approximately 18 oz. of babyfood from every pound, considering that the ice cube tray is 16 one oz. cubes. So let's do some math here.

If you make the food--

Let's look at the cheaper side of homemades-- the carrots...
For $.99, you are getting 18 oz. of food. In other words, for homemade organic carrots, you are paying less than 6 cents per ounce.

Let's look at the more expensive side of homemades-- the peaches...
For $2.81, you are getting 18 oz. of food. In other words, for homemade peaches, you are paying less than 16 cents per ounce.

If you purchased the food--

Let's look at the cheaper side of packaged-- conventional food...

Gerber 2nd Foods Carrots - 7 oz., 8 pack, 16 servings $12.99 (target.com)
-Each container is 7 oz. x 8 = 56 oz.
You are paying just over 23 cents per ounce.

Beech-Nut Stage 2 Tender Sweet Carrots, 48 oz. case $15.48 (buythecase.com)
You are paying just over 32 cents per ounce.

Let's look at the more expensive side of packaged-- organic food...

Gerber Tender Harvest Organic Carrots 2 pk Case of 8 $12.99 (diapers.com)
-Each container is 2.5 oz. of carrots. That's 5 oz. per pack x 8 packs = 40 oz.
You are paying more than 33 cents per ounce.

Earth's Best Baby Foods First Carrots 2.5 oz. (Pack of 24) $21.50 (amazon.com)
-That's 60 oz. of food.
You are paying almost 36 cents per ounce.

...and as baby eats chunkier, heartier meals, the packaged food prices just go up from there, whereas with homemades you can just mix, match, and thicken.

Whether you are spending 6 or 16 cents per ounce, you are always saving, even if you buy the least expensive bulk cases of packaged food, almost 10 cents per ounce. This might sound trivial, but if your baby eats 2 oz. of food per meal, you are saving almost 20 cents per meal.

For us, with Gabe eating 1 small bowl of cereal for breakfast and one 2 oz. bowl of homemade per day, we save $1.40 per week. When he graduates to two larger meals per day (8 oz. food/day), you save $.80 per day and $5.60 per week if you are comparing homemade organics to the cheapest packaged option. Add those weeks up, and you've got yourself a bit of green. To some, $5.60 per week may be nothing, but to our family, that is a worthy savings.

But then when you compare the homemade organics to the packaged organics, you are really saving money. For the expensive end of homemades, you spend 16 cents per ounce, whereas with the higher end packaged you spend 36 cents per ounce. That is a 20 cents per ounce difference, adding up to at least a savings of $11.20 per week. How 'bout them apples?

And with homemades, you are giving your child fresh food that YOU processed with the most important ingredient in any recipe out there, right? L-O-V-E.


So-- homemade baby food parents, the next time someone looks at you like you are a hippie-hearted, highfalutin, nose-in-the-air health food snot, just smile and say, "Actually, homemade organics are just plain cheaper," and shrug. With homemade food, you're doing your baby and your wallet good!

and please, please, please know there is no judgment here if you do feed your baby packaged or conventional food-- if your baby is happy and healthy, that is ALL that matters. -<3-


  1. Oh, this is a wonderful post. Thank you for all the good advice. I will seriously need your help in the coming month!

  2. We are making all of Lincoln's food as well, and honestly, it's my favorite new hobby! My friends think I'm crazy, but whatever is better for my baby is better for me :)

  3. I really liked this article. Even though all the baby stuff is crazy I like learning about real versus processed food. I hope more foods are broken down in the future.

  4. Love this post, and very timely for me. I was just talking to my sisters (who both have babies too) about making our own baby food and whether or not it was worth it. Great advice - thank you!
    Stopping by from SITS, have a good week!

  5. You make such a good point! A lot of people think it is too expensive to buy organic but you just proved them wrong regarding baby food. This post is extremely helpful. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope we can become good bloggy friends! :)

  6. Great post for helping out those striving to make healthier choices on a budget! Following you now. Would love to have you visit me. http://isthereabathroomonthisship.blogspot.com/

  7. Fantastic tip! I wish I would have made my own baby food when my kids were babies. I thought about it at the time but just never got around to it. I totally agree though, when you make just about anything at home yourself you're going to save money in the long run. Besides, you always know what exactly is in what you're using - no funky chemicals/pesticides. :)