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See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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Save Money On Baby Food

When it comes to bringing a new baby into the world, life can get expensive – fast! We’ve already covered how to save on diapers (both disposable and cloth), so now let’s cut the cost of baby food. Whether you choose to buy it jarred or make your own, there are lots of ways to save. Can y’all tell I’m nesting?

Save Money on Baby Food Jars

When purchasing anything, our goal is to combine a manufacturer’s coupon with a sale, and if available stack on a store coupon too. Each week I post a list of the top baby deals and that includes baby food. I went back and looked at the past 3 months of deals (6/4-9/4) to give you an idea of the best prices and brands we’ve seen:

Beech Nut Stage 2, 2.5-4 oz, FREE – 50¢
Gerber, 3.5 oz, FREE – 50¢
Plum Organics, 3.5-4.22 oz, 25¢
Earth’s Best Organic, 4 oz, 29-85¢
Happy Baby, 3.5 oz, 65¢-$1

How much baby food will I need?

The easiest way to overspend on baby food is to stock up too much. It’s important to be realistic and also watch expiration dates. Depending on when you start solids (the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 6 months) you can expect baby to eat baby food for 6 months or less and at most 2-3 jars per day. If you go crazy that could mean 500 jars!

Realistically, not all babies like baby food that long, so collecting a closet full may end with you adding baby food to baked goods or making a large donation. (If it’s free, I guess that’s not such a bad thing).

Just remember our goal of stocking up for 6 weeks and you should be good. At 2 jars per day, that means 84 jars. This will give you a chance to try a variety of fruits and veggies and decide which ones baby likes too. Then you can always buy more at the next sale or switch to table food if baby is ready!

What about the different stages?

This is the most confusing part of jarred baby food, so we are going to make it simple: Just buy Stage 2!

Stage 1 tends to be smaller (2 oz) jars for the same price as Stage 2, which are 3-4 oz. Early on, you can give them  half of the bottle and save the rest for another meal (they last in the fridge up to 3 days). Just don’t feed baby from the same jar twice to prevent contamination.

If you are concerned about texture you can always thin them down a little or puree them more for a few weeks until baby adjusts. By the time they get to Stage 3, these are a lot chunkier and most likely they can just switch to smashed up table food at that point!

That covers all my tips on jarred baby food. Do you have any others to share? Stay tuned for next week when we talk about making our own!

    • Crazy ya just posted this as I was literally just on Pinterest looking for recipes & rules for making my own baby food. My little guy is just shy of 9 months. We have been using a combo of Beech nut and Gerber solids since around 6-7 months. ( he started a little late as he hated the spoon idea!) I calculated the price of jar food per month and its up to $54.00! I gotta think theres a cheaper way to good food for him! I am in love with the site  www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com  So many ideas on how to make, store, etc on here! Its perfect for me as I’m a 1st time mom with no clue a to how to do these things! May not be a bad idea to look it up as I know your little one is close! 

      Thanks for everything you do! I used to mock my mom horribly as a kid about couponing, thinking it was a waste of time. Now at 31, a first time mom, who hasnt gone back to work since mine was born…I gotta say…I live and breath coupons! My mom who I mocked relentessly for years, calls me every week to see what I saved and where! I’ve sent a ton of people to this site and it’s the only way in my opinion to learn to coupon! I check in on the site 4-5 times a day! I’m far from an “extreme couponer”! Lets face it with a little guy now on the move, who’s got that kind of time?!? Its a perfect way to learn to live more cost effectively! So thank you again Jenny! 

    • guest

      I am almost due with my 6th child. We no longer use baby food. We have not used baby food since #2.  Instead what we do is wait longer before we introduce solids. We breastfeed exclusively until the baby literally starts to take our food. Usually about 8-9 months old and by then they have teeth. The first foods are normally some sort of bread stick, cooked carrots, or some other soft food. They are supervised and all do very well this way. Talk about a money saver. I have never had a baby choke on anything since they are a bit older. Also babies have an amazing gag reflex. If they do start to choke on something it often comes back up quickly. By a year old they are fine with their own plate of food and eat everything. I just wanted to put this out there for those of you that want to save even more money by not even buying baby food. If you must have mushy food for the baby get a food mill and mash whatever you are having for a meal up and feed the baby. Cooked veggies and fruit mash very easily and is much cheaper than buying some pre-mashed and filled with other ingredients.

    • Afsears

      Don’t buy the baby food applesauce, just look for regular applesauce without added preservatives/sugar, etc on sale with coupons which you can get almost free sometimes.

      • Bethanyg153

         I always did regular applesauce too.  My kids don’t have to have baby food any more, but I still cook, puree carrots to mix in.  That way they’re always getting a veggie when they eat applesauce.  Even my husband will admit that you can’t taste the carrot.

    • Violindiva

      I stocked up with about 100 jars back when my son was right around 6 months… well he has had feeding issues which kept him from even starting baby food until around 8 months, and he’s still eating the stuff 17 months later(he’s slowly working with an physical therapist and an occupational therapy. ) Needless to say I’ve had to buy hundreds of jars by now.

      • carrie

        i assume you are taking about sensory processing disorder because that is what my 4 year old has and it affects her orally as well.  She also went to therapy for about a year and went from a Beech Nut banana flavor only 2 year old eater to a very picky table food 4 year old eater.  She still doesn’t eat “normally” and some days she does better than others (depends on how cooperatve she feels on any given day) but at least we finally got her off of baby food.  No telling how many jars we ended up buying before everything was said and done.

    • RachelThompsonNeuenschwander

      If you have to much of stage 2 baby food we have started taking and blending it with some whole milk and a little yogurt and creating fruit or veggie smoothie and our 13 month old loves them and it uses up the extra stage 2 food that we have.

    • Kim

      I have a 2 & 4 year old and still get jarred baby food if it is less than 10 cents to use as a fat substitute for muffins (use one jar to replace the oil/butter – it is better than using applesauce!) or to sneak veggies in! I will add a mixed veggie baby food jar to blueberry pancakes, mac & cheese, anything that the kids/husband might not notice it in! :)

    • Sheatsjennifer

      I have my baby on a schedule that Dr. Denmark recommends. I adjust it alittle to suit our life schedule. They are sleeping through the night within two weeks, which is great!!!! I have used it on my past five babies and they all have done very well. I start them at three months on baby food. By the time they receach six months old we are up to 6 jars a day. That is 180 jars a month!!!! Usually by the time they are 12 months old I have them on table food. So, if I feed them baby food for 6 month at at 6 jars a day that would end up being 1,080 jars minimum!!!!

    • Smith4774

       Hey Ladies,
      New Mom here, can you give your baby regular juice or do you have to give them the juice for babies?

      • Ncallah

        The only reason I gave my baby juice was for constipation.  Depending on their age, 0-3 months, my pediatrician recommended doing a half ounce water to a half ounce juice.  Above 3 months I just gave an ounce of full strength juice.  As they age I increased the ounces given to make them go.  Hope that makes since!  Good luck!  

      • Sheatsjennifer

        Yes, I use Juicy Juice and dilute it to about 1/4 juice and 3/4 water when they are little. Then, when they are older I do half and half.

      • Chiefsangeleyes

        Juice is juice :) And unless your baby needs the calories from the juice for a weight issue, most pediatricians recommend just adding enough to cover bottom of the cup, then the rest water. Like 1/2 an oz to 4 oz of water. :) This is just enough to sweeten the water if your baby doesn’t like plain water. My girls never drank straight juice and to this day they don’t like it. I’d prefer they eat something that will give them nutrition than empty juice calories. 

      • Laini M

        Health-wise, they’re probably better off not getting juice at all. So ask your doc, but I certainly wouldn’t stock up early. The toddler juice is pre-diluted, so less cost effective than diluting your own. I only buy the diluted stuff if we really want a juice box for a special occasion.

    • NurseLaura

      I would agree with Jenny on buying the Stage 2. It was essentially the same as the Stage 1. I would spoon half or less out of the jar into a serving bowl for my son and refrigerate the remaining portion for the next feeding. I wasn’t couponing then but I felt like this was a cost savings when I was purchasing baby food. Beech Nut had a program at the time that would send more coupons if you mailed in so many UPCs from their baby food.

      • carrie

        I still do this even though we don’t need baby food anymore.  I give the food to the local food bank or women’s resource center after I’ve taken of the UPC codes (the organizations said this was okay) then turn them in for more coupons to do the cycle all over again.

    • Bethanyg153

      I made my own, but kept a few jars on hand for something unexpected, emergencies, and traveling.

    • Laurel

      Another tip: don’t buy any of the ‘mixed dinner’ types of baby food where the first ingredient is rice. If you want to serve them this type of thing, add a rice baby cereal (or other grain) to veggie baby food. The baby cereal is much cheaper than a jar of baby food.
      I wouldn’t stock up too much unless it was a really good price, because your child might end up preferring table food. My second child never ate much baby food; we started table food pretty early, about 6 months.
      I also didn’t find it very cost efficient to make my own baby food, unless it was something you can buy very cheap, like sweet potatoes.

    • Britta

      I used to by stage 1 for my ill cat. I had to buy only stage 1 because stage 2 often contains salt. Stage 1 meats are only meat and broth.

    • guest

      I don’t think it is a good idea to stock up on baby food. My 2nd baby hates baby food and I have tried everything!!!! He will sometimes take it if he is really starving. The only kind he will somewhat eat is carrots. I have given up and we do table foods. 

    •  Finding baby items at a bargain price is difficult. I have been very blessed to find creative ways to diaper my 2 and 3 year old for free (not just with coupons). Using some helpful resources can make a big difference. I teach a local mom’s group and some of them are followers on my site and  we share ideas and bargains when they come. Having a price point for everything is key.

    • Melissa

      I had a great time making my own baby food for my son. It was one of the few mommy things that I had planned on doing that I actually got to do for him.
      The mid-wife natural water birth turned into a c-section for the 12 lb bundle of joy. Then of course no amount of breast feeding him could keep him full, so he did 1/2 and 1/2. When he was ready for baby food though, I cooked and blended the food myself and was very proud of myself. I cant wait to see your post next week.

    • Melissa

      I had a great time making my own baby food for my son. It was one of the few mommy things that I had planned on doing that I actually got to do for him.
      The mid-wife natural water birth turned into a c-section for the 12 lb bundle of joy. Then of course no amount of breast feeding him could keep him full, so he did 1/2 and 1/2. When he was ready for baby food though, I cooked and blended the food myself and was very proud of myself. I cant wait to see your post next week.

    • Melissa

      Oh yea, Baby food is also excellent if you have dental work coming up. I had gotten some free baby food with coupons, intending to donate it, but ended up eating it when I had my wisdom teeth pulled. It was a nice change of pace from mashed potatoes.

    • Melissa

      Oh yea, Baby food is also excellent if you have dental work coming up. I had gotten some free baby food with coupons, intending to donate it, but ended up eating it when I had my wisdom teeth pulled. It was a nice change of pace from mashed potatoes.

    • Kaylaculwell

      Baby led weaning. I’m skipping baby food all together when we have another. I used baby food for about a month with my twins because we got it with wic at 6 months (which is when we started solids), then one day we went to my moms and forgot the baby food. So for dinner they had real food and refused baby food completely after that. At 7 months they were eating exactly what we were eating, off their own plate, all by themselves. And it was far less trouble and mess.

    • Anna

      if the baby is like my daugther then they won’t eat it at all.my mother and husband said she will eat it if i give it to her ,they had her in between there legs trying to make her eat it  and she would not eat it .she only took the bottle.thats what she live off of for the first yearof her life.she is now 16 and never drunk a soda before.all she drinks is water.once in a blue moon she might drink orange or apple juice.so ar shes has no cavities.one time we went to mcdonalds and she ask for cup a water and they had given her soda,when she drink it she spit it out all over her food.