Organic baby food is expensive, yes I agree with you there. However I believe it is worth every penny but I know only too well that when you are down to only one wage while on maternity leave, money gets tight!
When trying to fit organic eating for you and your baby into your budget, there are some ways to make your dollars go further. While they may be a little more trouble than just buying conventional foods, the hassle is definitely worth it for your baby's health.
Whether you buy your organic produce online or at your local farmers market, check around for the best prices.
Big supermarket chains are also starting to offer more organic choices especially with things like pre-made baby food and frozen foods. So check for the items you use at a discount or grocery store before looking at more expensive options (but be careful as big stores' organic foods may not be as fresh & good quality as a small, local supplier).
Buy in Bulk
The more you buy the more you save. So, stock up on things you use in a lot of recipes and look for frozen bulk produce online or in your local store, just make sure to use it all or freeze it to avoid waste.
Saving leftovers that your baby does not eat can make a big difference in your budget.
Make sure that you spoon out a portion into a separate container before feeding your baby. Always dispose of food that is left in the container your baby ate out of. Bacteria from their mouth can cause serious illness or food poisoning if the food is reused later.
Make Your Own
You can make your own food for much cheaper than you can buy pre-made food. Rely on pre-made food as a supplement when you are on the go or have one of those days when you're overwhelmed. Give yourself a break every now and then. You do not have to be perfect all the time!
Price Comparison: Organic vs. Conventional Foods
The best way to save on organic baby food is by making your own. Take a look at this comparison chart to see the differences in cost between conventional, pre-made organic and homemade organic baby foods.
Conventional Baby Food (non-organic)
– Gerber 1st foods: From online grocery store, 2 pack (5oz) $ 1.45 = $ 15.25 per week
– Gerber 2nd foods: From online grocery store, 2 pack (7oz) $ 1.75 = $ 18.37 per week
Organic Pre-Made Baby Food
– Earth's Best 1st foods: From online grocery store, 2.5oz jar $ .65 = $ 13.65 per week
– Earth's Best 2nd foods: From online grocery store, 4 oz jar $ .89 = $ 18.69 per week
– Gerber Organic: From online grocery store, 2 pack (7oz) $ 2.05 = $ 21.52 per week
Fresh Organic Foods (use ingredients to make your own)
– Organic Green Peas: From online organic produce store, 1 lb at $ 2.25 = $ 9.80 per week
– Organic Yellow Squash: From online organic produce store, 1 lb $ 3.99 = $ 17.50 per week
– Organic Green Beans: From online organic produce store, 10 oz ( would be MUCH cheaper if bought in bulk) $ 4.69 = $ 32.90 per week
– Organic Macintosh Apples: From online organic produce store, 1 lb $ 2.49 = $ 11.20 per week
As you can see, the price difference is VAST!
If you decide to make your own baby food;
- Buy in bulk and freeze as this can often be much cheaper as seen in the beans example.
- Always take into consideration the time of year (what is in season will be cheaper and fresher)
- And whether you are buying fresh, frozen or canned foods when comparing prices.
(I have based these comparisons on an average 7 month old appetite of approx. 10 oz per day (or 280g). Your baby may eat more or less than this – do not stress too much about quantities in this early stage, as you are still giving them their milk feed so much of their nutrition still comes from this.)
(All of these prices are based on buying your organic produce at online sources which is the most expensive alternative because of shipping and making sure the food gets to you when it's fresh – but you can save much more money when you buy local organic produce. )