Making My Own Baby Food

Our baby is eating solid foods now. So far, we’ve been using Earth’s Best, a terrific, all-organic brand that comes in glass jars and pouches. However, in the spirit of trying to bring more dirty dishes into my life, I was curious to see if there were a significant cost value to cooking everything at home. I generally do not enjoy cooking (remind me to cancel Blue Apron, for. the. love. of. GOD) and I cannot vouch for the sanitation of my knives, appliances, countertops, hands, and/or mouth. But in addition to the desire to save a few pennies, this culinary exploration runs on a deeper, more personal level: When I made the choice to quit breastfeeding, I made myself feel better by promising that I would cook all the baby food. So, I owe it to my 10 week postpartum self to give it a shot. Here’s to you, you beautiful busty trainwreck!

Join me for my trip to the grocery store for Operation: Let’s Pay Attention to Prices. I started in the baby food section to take a look at Earth’s Best. $1.09 for a 2oz jar (baby eats approximately 0-4 jars a sitting, depending on a highly scientific mathematical equation that determines all baby behavior and preferences). I buy them in bulk for slightly cheaper on Amazon Prime. But still, there are a lot of little glass jars lying around the house and I can only use one for my coconut oil-turned-night cream (because I MAKE THINGS FROM NATURE).

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Now! Onward to the produce section, which is located on the other side of the store. Here we go, just past this middle “Seasonal” aisle! Here we go. Just a few more aisles and then we’ll be in the produce section! Let’s get movin’!

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Cool, we definitely kept moving on to the other end of the grocery store. We’re officially in the produce section. One thing I’ve learned in life is that certain fruits are worth the organic splurge, particularly apples and pears. I purchased a bag of organic apples (3 lbs) for $5.99, and 5 organic pears for $7.15.

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I figured carrots were also worth the organic price hike, so I tossed a huge $4.99 bag of them into the cart. I walked around to see what else looked good for pureeing. Bananas are always a hit ($1.99), and so are sweet potatoes ($2.63 for 7). While I was hunting around, a man asked me where he could find the zucchinis. To be fair, he probably thought I worked there because I was wearing the classic Giant Food employee uniform: Spanx jeggings with baby strapped to chest. Kind of like wearing a red shirt at Target! I helped him look around, but we could only find “green squashes.” A third lady kindly informed us that green squashes were in fact, actually, zucchinis. It was a pleasant moment where I felt like we all learned something and nothing at the same time.

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I did a little comparison shopping, too: A whole butternut squash ($1.29/lb) vs. pre-packaged chopped butternut squash ($1.90 for one pound). I actually weighed the original butternut squash and it came out less expensive enough to justify the merciless task of peeling, cutting, and hollowing out all the see…I’m already hating it. I was proud of myself for taking the time to figure out the cheaper option and I even got to use the produce scale, an object that I had neglected so often in the past that I just thought it was some fancy vegetable.gif

Back at home, I spent two hours slicing, cooking, pureeing, cooling, and freezing. It was a lot, but it made a bunch of food! I also learned how to use the Cuisinart, which we’ve been schlepping around for three different cross-country moves, the blades stored loosely and wildly in cardboard boxes marked “dish towels.”

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All in all, an informative mission. My 10 week postpartum self would have really loved hearing that I did all this for her. In fact, she probably would have cried, eaten all the Cadbury eggs (foil included), and then asked me why I was STILL wearing Spanx jeggings.

(For all the Dumb-Dumbs out there like me, of COURSE it’s cheaper to make your own goddamned food. I calculated about a $.40/oz difference between my stuff and the store bought stuff. This was so disappointing. But there you go.)

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