Last week we discussed the impact of a new baby on the amount of money families spend on food for its newest member. The cost to feed a baby adds up quickly, and can range from approximately $100 – $175 per month. Such a big increase to a family’s food budget may be a source of financial hardship. Fortunately, we have some tips for you to help manage the cost of food for your family. By accessing resources and carefully planning your purchases, you can expand and stretch your food budget.
Follow these tips to better manage your family’s food budget:
- Apply for FNS/SNAP. You can use FNS/SNAP to purchase baby food and formula. Eligibility is based on income for your household size, so if you weren’t eligible before, you may be eligible now that there’s another person in the household. Learn more about eligibility here
- Stock up during sales. Purchasing prepared baby foods saves time, but it costs more that preparing your own food. Try stocking up on prepared foods when there are sales to get the best deal.
- Use coupons. Baby food companies often offer coupons, especially for high price items like formula. You may be able to combine coupons with sales to get an even better deal.
- Make your own baby food. Making your own baby food can save a lot of money. For example, purchasing 1 pound (16 ounces) of fresh bananas costs $0.57 per pound, which equals $0.04 per ounce. Purchasing 8 ounces of pureed bananas costs $1.17, which equals $0.15 per ounce. The prepared baby food costs almost 4 times more than fresh.
Are you interested in making your own baby food, but unsure where to start? This helpful video from University of Maine Cooperative Extension will teach you some techniques for preparing and storing baby food.
 Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Four Levels. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Retrieved from: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodApr2016.pdf