Cooking for Baby – Save Money on Food and Other Baby Items

Homemade baby food allows mom to know exactly what’s going into baby’s body.

Smart Moms are always looking for ways to save money on baby things, and there are plenty of ideas to try. For example, you can make your own baby food instead of paying for prepackaged baby food. This can save you a lot of money, especially if you usually buy organic baby food. You can dress baby in big brother or sister’s old baby things, or shop at a consignment store. You can find some adorable baby clothes there that look like new and are very reasonably priced. Why pay through the nose for an outfit your baby will outgrow in a month or two? Buying used is also a good strategy for baby accessories. You can go online and buy some very nice pre-owned baby lullaby CDs, bedtime story books and even toys for a fraction of what they cost new. Guess what? Your baby won’t know — or care!

Say you’d like to make your own baby food, either because you’re concerned about the purity of prepackaged food, because your child is allergic to certain things, or because you want to save money. It’s pretty easy to learn how to make baby food. Basically what you need is a nutritious fruit or vegetable that starts out easy to smush, or that becomes smushable after it’s steamed and pureed in a food processor with a little water or milk. Just remember to store the food in the fridge until baby is ready to eat. Soft foods like applesauce, sweet potatoes, mashed avocados, pears or peas are easy to make and perennial favorites.

You can also save a ton of money by shopping for baby’s toys at consignment shops, estate sales, flea markets or even thrift stores. While it may make you feel good to pay $200 for a pair of brand-new, designer baby jeans, the benefit you get will be very short-lived, and you can often get the same brand of baby jeans at a thrift store for half off — or more. This is also a great way to get baby music, books and toys at a steal of a price.

The exception to this tip would be items like baby furniture, such as a crib or bassinette, because of the possibility that a broken rail or slat on a secondhand piece of furniture might pose an entrapment danger. Baby blankets would be another exception to this tip. You can save money on baby’s clothes, since he’s going to outgrow them quickly anyway. But a baby blanket often becomes a keepsake, and you want it to be special for your adult child to look back on and remember. For example, an embroidered, personalized baby blanket, with your baby’s name written across one corner, is a special heirloom, like a baby locket or a silver spoon. It will go into the cedar chest – so this is one purchase that you might want to spend a little more on.

It’s easy and fun to cook nutritious and money-saving meals for your baby. Put these easy tips into practice to save on food, clothes and other baby items!

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