I downloaded Levitt and Dublin’s Freakanomics book a few months ago and was really struck by the book’s commentary on water bottles. Water bottles – a demand created to buy something that most people in the States can get for free and most shocking – the amount of space in our dumps being taken up by discarded water bottles. Not very responsible considering the alternatives – straight from the tap or a Brita filter and a couple of good Nalgene bottles.
In the same vein I was thinking about how this might apply to baby food. I can’t believe how much it costs for a couple of plastic containers of bananas or oatmeal. Consider the cost of a bunch of bananas in comparison, or potatoes? In an effort to make sure my youngest daughter gets the healthiest food possible and I save my pennies I’ve begun making my own baby food. It takes more time than plunking down 50 cents a plastic, but is well worth the effort.
Here is my method – use mini blender and a silicone muffin pan, I purchase raw fruits and veggies and freeze a few batches of fruit and veggie muffins one day a week. I also cook up some oatmeal an d then process it to avoid feeding her the freeze dried, prepackaged, expensive oatmeal.
The following is my estimate of how much my method is costing me, at 7 months she eats the following: 3 apples, 3 pears, 12 oz of oatmeal, 2 bananas, and 4 oz of turkey or chicken.
Apples (.70 x 3) – 2.10
Pears (1.00 x 3) – 3.00
Banana (.25 x 2) – .75
Oatmeal (.12 x 12) – 1.44
Chicken or Turkey (.20 x 4) – .80
Total for a week of food – $7.84
Additional cost is the silicone pan for $10, a $35 Kitchenaid – meaning I need to spread $45 of investment in this process in order to make it worthwhile.
The cost for pre-packaged baby food is 50 cents for each plastic, if I spent my measly $8 each week trying to feed the baby the I think the doctor would frown on her ‘diet’. It would actually cost me approx $12 to $14 to purchase the appropriate amount of prepackaged food for her.
Say I spread the cost of my equipment into just 8 weeks and that an additional $5.60 a week I’ve recouped. I love recycling ideas that make money sense and cut down on landfills.
Anyone have ideas on how to save money with their baby expenses?