Adding a new member to your family can be a challenge financially. There is one more mouth to feed and although most babies won’t eat you out of house and home, there is still an added expense. If you are on a tight budget, any little bit you can save is well worth it. Here are some tips for feeding your baby for the first year and doing in in a frugal manner!
How to Frugally Feed Your Baby for the First Year
1. One of the best ways you can save money feeding your infant is by breastfeeding. It is practically free (other than you needing to buy some extra food for nutrients, possibly) and gives your baby a great diet that is made just for them. Many of your babies’ nutrients will come from your breast milk and for at least the first year, they will mostly rely on it.
2. If you can’t breastfeed, for whatever reason, you can buy lower cost formula at a discount by purchasing store brands. These are usually 20-30% cheaper than the name brands. You can find them in dairy free and soy free versions now, too. There are even organic brands on the market these days as well.
When your baby starts solids, don’t give in to the hype- you don’t need to buy commercially processed special baby treats and food. You can simply give them what you are eating most of the time (as long as it is baby safe!) and this is usually ideal because you are introducing them new tastes and textures.
3. Don’t buy pre-packaged snacks. Simple snacks like cuts of cheese, cheerios, and melon make great snacks for babies and are fairly low cost.
4. Make your own baby food. All you need is a good food processor that purees well and some jars that you can put them into. You can either make it well ahead of time and freeze it, thawing it as needed or you can make it with every meal as it doesn’t generally take very long to throw together in the machine.
5. Sign up for coupons for baby food or formula if you plan on using it. You can usually do this as soon as you find out you are pregnant and companies are happy to send you coupons all the time for dollars off cans of formula so you can start stockpiling during your pregnancy. They will continue to send you coupons for about your babies’ first year as well unless you request that they stop.
6. See if you qualify for WIC (Women, Infants and Children). It is a program that is income based, but it has a pretty high threshold for how much you can make. Many middle class people still qualify for it. This will be an invaluable resource for information on what to feed your baby as well as free food vouchers. You will get produce, peanut butter, cereal and milk along with some other groceries for free if you qualify on a monthly basis. They will give you more if you are breastfeeding and if you plan on formula feeding, you can get free cans of formula as well.