When your baby is six months old, you should start introducing baby foods, in addition to breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, because this is when your baby will start needing extra nutrients for his or her growth. However, baby food can be costly, with a packet or jar easily costing you RM6 – 7. Multiply that by the number of times your baby eats daily (at least 3), and you will be easily spending hundreds monthly, just on baby food. Fortunately, there are many ways you can save money on baby food, without compromising on their nutrition.
#1 Utilise Sales & Bulk Buying
Firstly, keep an eye out for sales! Sign up to receive promotional emails and coupon offers from your preferred baby food company. Whether you are buying online or in-store, most brands will give out discounts every now and then to introduce new products, clear stocks or win more customers. You can also find promotional coupons online, in baby or parenting magazines and newspapers. You can save a lot on the same baby food by taking advantage of sales and discounts.
You can also save more by bulk buying from wholesale stores, especially for products that have a longer shelf life and later expiry date. Sometimes grocery and specialty stores also package baby products in bulk at lesser prices to sell faster, offering more value savings for you. If you do not mind, you can consider buying products that are close to their expiry dates, as these usually have special discounts.
#2 Make Your Own Baby Food
Even better, make your own baby food! Homemade goodness is the easiest, tastiest and healthiest way to save money on baby food, while making sure your baby is eating well, because you will know exactly what is going in the food your baby eats. No time to cook? No worries, whipping up baby food takes up less time than most mothers expect. In fact, you can just bulk prepare your food on the weekends, then store them to be enjoyed the rest of the week. Just mash, blend or puree ripe fruits and fresh, steamed veggies like bananas or zucchini, then store them for later. Baby food only takes around an hour to batch prepare, mess-free. After your baby is 10 months old, you can just take out a little bowl of food from yours (before you add spices), puree it and have your baby enjoy and familiarise himself or herself with home-cooked food.
#3 Plan Ahead
Budget effectively by pre-planning and preparing ahead to ensure there is always food or snacks on hand, especially when going out. Yogurt, raisins or bananas are healthy snacks that are easy to grab and go. Otherwise, you might have to resort to buying pre-packaged convenience snacks, which are not only expensive, but often laden with sugar, artificial flavouring and preservatives. So plan wisely for baby food and snacks that are good for your baby and wallet.