If you’re like me, you know that you can save money making your own baby food. But, you ask yourself if you will really use it.
I spent a lot of time debating on whether or not to get a baby food maker. Probably too much time, to be honest. By the time I bought one he was almost done using pureed baby food.
Baby Food is expensive. Even on sale it’s a minimum of .50 per meal and that’s if you get the cheapest food you can find. The stuff my little guy liked out of the pouches that was all organic costed about $1.79 USD per serving when it wasn’t on sale. It’s sort of a no-brainer that making it yourself is going to cost a lot less. Even with the cost of the machine, it pays itself off pretty quickly.
- Much cheaper
- Control over ingredients (Earth’s Best brand is notorious for using filler foods and hiding ingredients not advertised on the front of the label).
- You feel like you are doing something special for your baby and winning at mom-ming (which is especially great if you couldn’t breastfeed).
- Easier to use than it first appears if you get the right machine
- Easier to buy ingredients than you think – even if you aren’t a veggie eater. Many varieties are already cleaned, chopped, and ready to use.
- May take more time to make than it does to just throw pre-packaged food into the cart
- Normally is refrigerated or frozen, which can make it challenging for working parents or people who travel a lot
- Slightly more clean up, but most parts are dish washer safe and easy to wash
You could, alternately, use both pre-packaged and homemade baby food. That’s what I ended up doing because our first food was avocado and that just isn’t available much in pre-packaged.
The REAL Value:
Then I found out how much toddler food costs. We don’t really eat “meals” around here other than supper, so I found myself buying the premade baby finger foods for his breakfast and lunch.
Where we live, one meal or finger food snack is about $2 and a can of “puffs” is something like $3.50 USD. With the tiny little portions and the fact that my preemie would sometimes eat two of the meals at once because he is growing so fast and catching up to his peers, that got pretty expensive in a hurry. It was easily totaling over $30 per week.
Plus, I knew I could always resell the machine for at least half of what I paid for it, as long as I kept it clean and kept all the parts (keeping the box and manuals are even better). I doubt I’ll ever sell mine, because it’s too handy the way I use it now. But, the market for it is definitely there with the right machine.
AND I discovered I could use it for more than just baby food. I started using it for our food too, which I’ll talk in more depth about in Using Your Baby Food Maker After Infancy and Beyond.
So, after looking at a wide range of cookers, I had it narrowed down to the BEABA and the Babymoov which was a tough choice. I ended up going with the Beaba simply because it seemed a little more common and I liked the idea of completely separating two flavors. Here are pictures of each one:
The Babymoov is about $150 and the Beaba is about $180. To do quick math, the machine pretty much paid for itself for me in about two months. I’ll do a breakdown of features of some of the best options when choosing a baby food machine in another post, Which Baby Food Maker is Best for You?.