How to save money during your baby’s weaning stage
Updated: Jul 6
Weaning is one of the most exciting stages in your baby’s life, whereby he or she gets to experience new tastes and food textures. But how can you save money while giving healthy and nutritious food to your baby at the same time? Here are some tips.
Cater a portion of your meal for baby
If the adults in the family are eating healthy, there is no need to specially prepare different ingredients for your little one (LO), and you can simply cater a portion of the adults’ meal for LO. For us, we just take a small portion of our adult meal, blend or mash as necessary, and serve to LO. This way, your LO will get used to your cooking earlier, and enjoy fresh ingredient every time together with the rest of the family. However, do check out baby weaning guides to determine the suitability of certain foods based on your LO’s age, and watch out for any food allergies.
Freeze the baby food
If you want to prepare LO’s meals separately with special/different ingredients as compared to the adult meals, but do not have time to do so everyday, you can consider preparing a larger portion at one go, separate into small servings, and freeze in ice cube trays etc for longer-term storage. For LO’s meals everyday, you can then de-freeze and reheat a small serving. Also, any freshly prepared baby food that is untouched can be frozen, to reduce food wastage. Freezing baby food does not reduce the nutritional value, and the food can be stored for 1 to 3 months. Also, for food safety reason, please do not refreeze any thawed food.
Homemade instead of commercial baby food
Not only will homemade baby food help you save a lot of money, it will also allow you to control exactly the ingredients used e.g. using fresher ingredients. For example, one small jar of baby carrot can cost around $1.90 off the supermarket shelve, while 5 jars will cost just $0.90 if you make it yourself. Another example is ikan bilis powder. The commercial version costs around $15 for 50g, while it cost me only $5 to make 250g of ikan bilis powder, which is $1 for 50g.
Another type of power food that can be homemade is nut butter.
For example, commercially available almond butter can easily cost $70 - $90 per kg, and sometimes there are limited choices available in terms of texture and flavour.
Buying your own almond nuts usually costs around $20 - $30 per kg. And by blending your own almond butter, you get to control the texture and flavour e.g. salted vs non-salted, that's more suitable for your child.
A note of caution though, that some children may be allergic to nuts.
Buy fruits and vegetables during seasonal promotions
This applies not just for LO’s weaning meal, but also adult meals. Often, when supermarkets bring in too much of particular fruits and vegetables, they will offer attractive discounts to clear stocks. For example, our favorite baby weaning fruit, avocado, can cost around 5 for $5.95 or 3 for $3.90 during promotional periods, as compared to the usual price of 3 for $5.90. Blueberries can cost 2 for $3.90 during promotion as compared to the usual price of 1 for $3.50. Other than saving money for LO, the large stocks available during such promotions may that there's a good chance you will get fresh and good selections.
Buy whole fish instead of just fillet
Similar to bulk purchase, buying one whole fish is the cheapest way to go, even when compared to buying frozen fish. Normally the supermarkets e.g. NTUC Fairprice have promotions for such whole fish during Fridays and weekends. Once, we bought a whole salmon at around $1.29/100g (UP $1.99/100g). So for a 2.45kg whole salmon, it cost us $31.63. You can always request the fish monger to cut and separate the fish bones and fillets for you. After separating out the bones, the fillets weighed around 1.5kg, which meant that those fresh Norwegian salmon fillets cost only $2.10/100g, compared to the frozen fillets which normally cost $26/kg. As a bonus, you also get free fish bones and head, which you can use for fish stock for baby or yourself. These fish bones and head can cost $5 to $8 if you buy separately.
Choose the right period to buy right product
As mentioned above, buying one whole fish during promotions is a good way to save money. However, during certain occasions such as Chinese New Year, the price for most fresh food, including fish, will increase. For example, threadfin which normally costs around $1.99 per 100g can cost around $2.39 per 100g during CNY. However, that does not mean we need to deprive our LO from eating fish during such occasions. Often, during such festive occasions, many supermarkets will have promotions for their frozen products including fish. If you prefer frozen stuff for your LO, this is the chance to stock up. By the way, the nutritional value of frozen meat is as good as fresh meat.
Healthy adult food, not just baby food
While food branded as baby food caters specifically for the LO, sometimes healthy adult food, without seasoning, is equally good in terms of nutrition, if not better. They also come cheaper. For example, instead of giving your LO baby yogurt which costs around $1.30~$5 for 90g, you can give full cream unflavoured Greek yogurt, which only costs around $9.25 for 1 kg, or around $0.81 per 90g. And it is also heathier since it is not flavoured. Even for cheese, instead of getting baby cheese which costs $5.25 for 5 pieces (110g), you can get unprocessed cheddar cheese at $5.35 for 150g, which is only $3.92 per 110g. And often, there are promotions for such adult cheese e.g. $8.95 for 2 packs, which works out to only $3.28 per 110g.
When buying baby products such as daily essentials, comparing prices between different retailers is one of the most effective and obvious ways for you to save money. Through websites such as Loviya, you can find prices for baby products from a variety of popular platforms and baby fairs, and easily compare the prices for the best deal. While the prices on each of the platforms and baby fairs are already very competitive, comparing between them will help you save even more. For example, the exact same cleanser which is selling at $10.75 on Platform A, can sell at $16.90 on other platforms. Do check out Loviya for the best deals for your baby products.
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