The Costs of Homemade Baby Food VS Jar Baby Food

Anyone who doesn’t already know how much money you can save by making your own baby food is floored when I tell them how much I spend for each “jar” of homemade baby food. There are quite a few reasons why making your own baby food is better than jar food, including having more options of what to feed your baby, freshness of the fruits & veggies, and knowing what is in your baby’s food, but today I will mainly be talking about how happy your wallet will be.

A couple things before I start:

  1. I will be using Beech Nut and Earth’s Best brands as examples mainly because they’re well known, come in bulk, easy to find (usually) and one is organic (Earth’s Best) for comparison.
  2. I am going to assume that you buy your baby food in bulk at Walmart or a place with similar prices.

JAR BABY FOOD:

beech nut

BEECH NUT

12-count 2.5oz jars= $11.28
4-count 2.5oz jars= = $3.76
12-count 4oz jars= $6.36 – $7.56
5-count* 6oz jars=$3.40

Per oz= $0.11 – $0.38 (average= $0.25)

earths best
EARTH’S BEST (ORGANIC)

12- count 2.5oz jars= $7.34
12-count 4oz jars= $10.73
12-count 6oz jars= $12.99

Per oz= $0.18 – $0.24 (average= $0.22)

TOTAL AVERAGE: $0.23 AN OZ

HOMEMADE BABY FOOD:

I buy my produce, usually, at Kroger or Walmart. Here are the average prices, how many ounces I get out of them, and how much it is per ounce. These are just a few examples. Of course, prices vary with different regions, organic is usually more expensive, and sometimes items are on sale for a lot cheaper.

fruits & veggies

FOOD AVG PRICE OZ YIELDED COST PER OZ
Butternut Squash $2.00 per lb** 36oz per 3lb squash* $0.21 per oz
Apples $1.25 per lb 10oz  per lb* $0.13 per oz
Bananas $0.75 per lb 10oz per lb* $0.08 per oz
Peas $1.00 per lb frozen bag 16oz per lb $0.06 per oz
Carrots $1.25  per lb 16 oz per lb $0.08 per oz
Avocados $0.75 per lb 16 oz per lb $0.05 per oz
Pears $1.25 per lb 10 oz per lb* $0.13 per oz
Sweet Potatoes $0.75 per lb 14 oz per lb* $0.05 per oz
Green Beans $1.00 per bag 16oz per lb $0.06 per oz
AVERAGE PRICE FOR THESE FRUITS & VEGGIES $0.10 per oz


* Some foods have peelings, skins and/or cores that take away from the total ounces yielded. For example, 3lbs = 48oz but a 3lb butternut squash yield approximately 36oz. All of these are estimated and approximations from my experience thus far.

** I found butternut squash on sale once for $0.99 per lb. I got a 3lb squash. This is only $0.08 per oz!

baby eating

So on average jarred baby food is $0.25 per oz and homemade baby food is $0.10 an oz.

“So after I buy the blender and whatever else I need, will I really be saving money? It’s just $0.15 an oz difference.”

My answer: Definitely!

I am going to assume in this example that you start your baby on solids at 6 months old.

6 months old= 4 to 12 oz a day=
7 months old= 6 to 14 oz a day
8 months old= 12 to 20 oz a day
9 months old= 12 to 20 oz a day
10 months old= 18 to 26 oz a day
11 months old= 18 to to 26 oz a day

Once your child is a year old, more than likely he will not be eating whatever you eat, if he’s not already.

Total oz for 6 months= 2135 to 3599 a month (2867 average)

Cost for jarred baby food for 6 months = $716.75
Cost for homemade baby food for 6 months= $286.70

SAVINGS= $430.05
That’s over half of what you would pay for the jars of food, in your pocket! Happy, happy pockets!

First off, does it really matter how much it costs for the blender or anything else you may need? You’re saving over $400 for half a year. You can get a dang good blender for $400.

baby bullethomemade baby food 1

Personally, I got a baby bullet. Mine was given to me by a very much loved sister in law. However, if I had paid for it myself it would have been $60. The steamer, which isn’t an absolute must but I’m sure would be nice (I don’t have one), is $30.

freezing baby food

Ice cube trays, which are great for freezing baby food because they’re approximately 1 oz each and pop out easily, are about $3-5 for 2 trays. *RANDOM TIP* Just get the regular ice trays. They pop out just as easily as ice. You do not have to waste your money on silicone if you don’t want to. Personally, I like the regular ice trays better anyway because they’re easier to get out of them. Also, I HATED the Munckin brand ice trays. HATE, HATE, HATE! I couldn’t get them to pop out because they were too stiff. Take it from me and don’t waste your money. After research (after of course I wasted $8 for a set of two) I found that I wasn’t the only one who had that problem. I’m not a Munchkin brand hater, just a Munckin brand ice tray hater. As a matter of fact, I love Munchkin. I was very disappointed.

munchkin freezer tray<<<<<<——– NO! LOL

I store my frozen food in off-brand zip-lock bags. They cost $1-2 a box so in 6 months I MIGHT spend $10 on them because I will be reusing them. *RANDOM TIP* To get sharpie writing off of freezer bags, mark over it with a sharpie and wipe clean. That’s right! Sharpie gets Sharpie off of a bag. :) It gets the ink wet again making it easy to wipe clean. I will only be removing the date and just storing the same foods in them.

baby food frozen

So, even if you were to buy the Baby Bullet starter kit, Baby Bullet Steamer, freezer trays, baggies, and sharpie, you will only be spending a little over $100. As I said, the steamer isn’t a must so that would save another $30 if you didn’t get it. Sometimes I wish I had it though because it’s so compact (and cute!) However, it’s really only big enough for maybe 4-6 oz of food, so if you’re doing bulk cooking, it’s kind of a waste of time anyway. If you plan on spending the extra time and making your baby’s food every day (or every 3 days since you can keep it refrigerated for up to 3 days) then this would be a perfect addition.

Baby Bullet Steamer

So that’s my rundown on saving with baby food. And let’s face it, saving isn’t the only reasons to switch to making your own baby food.

  • It’s fresher.
  • It tastes better. I’ve tasted jar food and homemade food. Jar food most of the time tastes like crap in my opinion. Homemade carrot baby food tastes like carrots because that’s all it is (and a little water). As a matter of fact, I have to keep myself from eating his sweet potatoes, apples, and bananas. :) It smells SO GOOD even frozen!
  • You know what’s going into your baby’s food.
  • You have more options to choose from. How often do you find avocados in a jar? I’m sure it’s out there but I’ve never seen it, and they’re VERY healthy for your baby. Baby doesn’t like avocados? Try it with carrots, peas, green beans, bananas, apples, squash, or zucchini… you have those choices!
  • You can freeze it in 1 oz cubes but the smallest jar you can get that I know of is 2.5 oz.
  • It’s more environmentally safe (in 6 months you will throw away anywhere around 500-700 jars!)
  • It is quick and easy. I know it’s easier to just open up a jar, but trust me if you do it in bulk it’s really not that time consuming or hard.
  • It’s fun! I think it’s therapeutic and exciting knowing that I am making something yummy and nutritious for my baby. I look forward to it and it’s almost become another addiction for me.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog and that it has been informative and helpful. Of course, as always, consult your pediatrician and all that jazz. :)

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