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Kirsty's money saving tip: homemade baby food



homemade baby food money saving tipThis week's winning money saving tip comes from Kirsty, who has saved potentially hundreds of pounds by making her own baby food.

"It can be a bit overwhelming knowing what to do when your infant needs to start eating solid food. Suddenly having another mouth to feed can be an extra drain on your finances - especially if your baby has been breastfed until now, which was free!

But I found a solution - I'm now saving potentially hundreds of pounds by cooking and freezing my own baby food portions.

When it came time to start feeding my daughter solids, I was tempted to buy the nice-looking jars of organic baby food that I saw lining the supermarket shelves.

At first I didn't think making my own baby food made sense. Would it really be more cost-effective to buy all the fresh organic ingredients and make it myself? How was I going to fit making her special meals into my already busy daily schedule? The fact that I didn’t have any of the “equipment” I thought I needed (for steaming vegetables etc.) was also an issue.

Baby FoodAfter a bit of research, however, I realised there was a lot of money to be saved by doing it myself. I also discovered that instead of buying any of the fancy saucepans or baby food steamers and blenders out there, I could make do with what I already had in my kitchen!

I found that steaming vegetables using a metal colander over a saucepan did the job just fine - and I could use a hand blender or masher to easily make food into puree. I also found that some ice cube trays I had lying around the house were perfect for freezing the purees into baby-sized portions, which can easily be defrosted according to what I need each meal time.

So when the time comes to feed my hungry child I just grab a couple of puree cubes and defrost them and away we go - no planning, no fuss, no cooking. It’s perfectly simple! What's great is that I can mix and match flavours by mixing different cubes together. From carrot and parsnip to sweet potato and cauliflower — there are many potential combinations!

As my baby grows and develops a more mature palate, whole meals can continue to be cooked and frozen in this way, such as chicken, mince beef and fish dishes. The best part is I know exactly what is going into each meal my daughter eats - and as you can see, she loves it!

The frozen portions will last in the freezer for several weeks, and once my supplies run out it only takes a couple of hours of cooking and freezing to build those supplies back up again, ready to last another few weeks.

As a rough guideline of what you can save, I checked the website of one of the big UK supermarkets to compare the cost of buying a bag of organic carrots against one of the cheapest branded jars of organic baby carrot and potato food (which only contained 60% carrots and 20% potatoes - the rest was made up of water).

At the time of writing, the organic carrots came in at £1.58/kilo, while the branded jar cost £6.24/kilo. So the savings speak for themselves!

Family Picture kirsty's money saving tipI also compared buying organic apples with a branded jar of apple and pear puree (which actually contained only 6% pear, 70% apple and 20% apple juice concentrate).

Again, the savings speak for themselves: the organic apples cost £2.48/kilo, while the apple and pear puree turned out to be a far pricier £6.24/kilo.

From this rough cost comparison it’s clear you could pay two-to-four times as much for store-bought puree rather than lovingly making it yourself, which adds up to a lot of money — potentially hundreds of pounds in one year. So get creative, get cooking and get saving!"

Kirsty lives in London with her husband and six-month old daughter.

Do you have a money saving tip to share? Send it in and if it's published we'll send you a £50 shopping voucher! Find out more here.






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