How to Save Money on Baby Food and Other Baby Products
by Stephanie Nelson
You can save big money using coupons for baby food and other baby products like diapers, baby formula, and baby utensils. Even if you have very specific brand preferences for your baby's products, you can still find good coupons and special offers if you know where to look. Check out these sources for baby product coupons:
- The Sunday grocery coupon circular frequently has coupons for diapers, baby food, baby dishes and utensils, and various brands of baby formula.
- Your pediatrician's office usually has baby product coupons or samples available.
- Get even more coupons by directly asking manufacturers to send them to you. You can send your request in via their website or by calling their 800 number. Be sure to share any positive comments about their products if you like them while you are requesting coupons and be sure to include your address in your email.
- Sign up for any special Baby clubs at your grocery store as they can be a great source for baby product coupons and money-back rebates from your accumulated spending on baby products. If you are buying your baby products at that store already, then getting automatic rebates for your purchases is like getting free money with no effort.
- Watch your local drugstore circulars for great diaper bargains, such as "buy one, get one free" offers on their store brand. You may find that generic diaper brands work just as well as the much more expensive name brands. Stock up at sale prices, and remember that if your baby outgrows that diaper size before you've used the diapers, most stores will happily exchange unopened diaper packages for the new size.
These baby product manufacturers offer savings clubs or free coupons. You can also check out your favorite manufacturers' sites and look for "promotions" or "coupons":
An economical and wholesome alternative is to make your own baby food. I did not discover this money-saving trick until my second child was born and wish I had learned it sooner! It does not have to take much time if you learn a few simple tricks. For example, consider that a four-ounce jar of baby food carrots, including the water to process the carrots, costs about fifty cents, about the price of a full pound of fresh carrots in most cities! Baby food in jars offers convenience, but you can find small plastic storage containers that will do the trick just as well. Reusing plastic containers is also environmentally friendly.
Check your library for a good book on this subject or search the Internet for helpful websites. I did a Google search of "make your own baby food" and found many informative websites with specific instructions on how to prepare and store several different types of food. For example, on www.wholesomebabyfood.com and www.askdrsears.com I learned these quick and easy tips for making baby food carrots while saving a bundle:
- Steam or bake peeled carrots to preserve nutrients (as boiling vegetables reduces vitamin content for soluble vitamins like Vitamin A).
- Puree cooked vegetables in a blender or food processor, adding water, breast milk or formula to thin to the desired consistency.
- Store pureed food in the refrigerator for 48 hours or less.
- Freeze pureed food in ice cube trays to have pre-measured one ounce servings. Fill trays and cover tray with plastic wrap to freeze.
- Once food cubes are frozen, remove and put in a plastic freezer bag, noting the date you prepared and froze the food. Although many foods would be safe to eat after several months in the freezer, a good rule of thumb is to use the frozen baby food within one month.
- Thaw freezer cubes of food in the refrigerator (in a covered container), which should take about four hours. If you use the microwave, be sure to stir the food to avoid "hot pockets" that could burn your baby's mouth. Do not thaw cubes on the counter at room temperature. If you would prefer not to use the microwave, you can thaw food in 10-20 minutes with the "submersion method" by placing the cubes in a small bowl and then placing the bowl in a larger bowl filled with hot water.
Stephanie Nelson shares her savings tips as a regular contributor on ABC News' Good Morning America. You can find more of her savings tips in her book "The Greatest Secrets of the Coupon Mom" and on her website at www.couponmom.com. Copyright 2006© Stephanie Nelson.