When you’re weaning it can seem like you’re constantly wasting money throwing food away. Find out how to cut the waste and save money weaning with easy tips on what foods to buy and try and when. Find out when to start weaning and advice on baby led weaning, plus how to save money buying baby food. Read our tips to save money buying fruit and veg, money saving tips on buying meat and how to get fish into your child’s diet for less. Got a choosy child when it comes to food? Find out how to save money and cut waste with a fussy eater.
Swap bibs for big old t-shirts
Instead of buying a bunch of bibs for your baby, look for cheap secondhand t-shirts in a size a year older than your little one. Pop the t-shirt over your child’s outfit come meal times. Your child will then have extra t-shirts for play in a year’s time. Get more tips to save money on cheap baby clothes.
Try baby-led weaning
Baby-led weaning is where you don’t prepare special purees for your baby. Instead, from six months, he or she eats a selection of different finger foods, such as pieces of broccoli, banana, cherry tomatoes. As long as there are no known allergies in your family, you can give your baby just about anything he or she can pick up and isn’t too large to choke on. Just steer clear of nuts until your baby is five. The advantages are that baby-led weaned children seem to be less fussy. The drawback is that the process can be pretty messy to start with. Take note though, you can’t start your little one on baby-led weaning before he or she is able to sit up properly and grasp the food.
Wait until six months to save money weaning
Government guidelines recommend sticking solely with milk until at least six months. And if you’re breastfeeding this is free! It’s a money saving no-brainer. Once you start weaning, make your own purees as much as possible rather than buying baby food jars and pouches (although it’s handy to have some on standby) and you’ll save money on baby food big time, as well as knowing exactly what your baby is eating.
Buy on date fruit and veg
Pick up reduced fruit and veg. Puree it on the same day and freeze the puree it and it won’t have time to go off. Read more tips on saving money on fruit and veg.
Invest in an apron
Weaning is a messy business. As well as bibs for your baby, make sure you have a mummy cover up, or those washing (or heaven forbid dry cleaning) bills will soon mount up. By the same token, don’t wean in any rooms with carpets, particularly if the dish of the day is tomato based.
Don’t bulk buy early on
Some weaners can be faddy eaters in the early days, so don’t blow your week’s baby food budget on big bag of sweet potatoes until you know your little one will eat it. Get more advice to save money on all your family food.
Feed at the right time
Choose a time of day when your baby is not ravenous with hunger because he or she will reject the puree and you’ll waste it. The same goes for a baby that’s too sleepy.
Pick your highchair wisely
A highchair is one of those baby items that can be costly, even though your little one will be clamouring to sit at the table with you as soon as he or she is able. If you’re not planning another baby either go for a cheap option, or the kind of highchair that grows and turns into a child’s chair. Or buy secondhand. Many mums swear by simple (and cheap) booster seats instead.
Save on accessories
You don’t have to buy too many weaning accessories at first. Your child won’t need a set of cutlery until around 12-15 months old. Just two plastic plates and two plastic bowls are all you need to start with (one in use and one in the wash). You can find these super cheap in discount stores, but it’s worth spending a little extra to get ones that are BPA free.