Buying food for your baby, although small in quantity, can certainly give your wallet a workout. There are so many baby food choices in the grocery that it becomes hard to compare prices and nutritional values. Don’t let yourself get carried away when purchasing baby food just because of its well-known brand or exciting flavor. Follow these tips to help keep you from spending a fortune:

1. Buy them raw. Yes, that’s right – make your own baby food from scratch. Baby cereals cost about $3 per package and commercial food jars are tagged at about $0.60 per serving. That’s just for the basic flavors such as apple or banana. The more complex flavors cost a little more and the organic ones are even more expensive. If you do the math, you’d spend at least $30 a month on commercial meals.

It’s not that hard to make baby food. All you need is at least an hour every week and a reliable food mill. To make homemade cereal for example, simply buy an adult-sized pack of oatmeal and grind away. Fruit and vegetable purees can be made in batches ahead of time, and kept in the freezer. You can even buy organic produce to make your own homemade organic baby food.

2. Use coupons. It’s every homemaker’s life saver. There will be times that you will need to buy pre-packaged baby food. It’s good to have at least some stocked at home to use when you run out of homemade ones, or to bring along when travelling. The few dollars that you save every month can be used for other baby necessities like diapers.

The best place to get coupons aside from in-store promotions in on the internet. You can score freebies or coupon codes by signing up on baby food labels’ websites. You can also buy coupons from online sellers at eBay or other similar sites.

3. Use the internet. Buy baby food online to save money. Amazon sells a number of wholesale baby food products, some can even be shipped for free. Some moms buy baby food in bulk and later sell them because they either bought too many, find out that their baby is allergic or simply doesn’t like the flavor anymore. Check out Craigslist or Freecycle for unusual, but nevetheless great deals like that. Be sure to ask for expiration dates if they’re not written in the ad.

4. Use cereals as extenders. Those cute bottled dinners are made for tiny tummies with tiny appetites. But when your little one seems to have a bigger tummy than everybody else, you can give him an extended serving of his favorite packaged food by adding cereal. Baby cereals can act as a thickener for food purees. It is packed with nutrients since it is formulated made for babies. If you are making your own cereal, you may add some formula milk on the mixture for additional nutritional value.

5. Breastfeed. Milk counts as baby food since it’s the major part of a baby’s diet up until the toddler years. Breastfeeding is the cheapest, yet most nutritious food a mother can provide naturally. Not buying formula milk saves you at least $50 a month. When you breastfeed, you can do away with the expenses of buying bottles and teats and other accessories unless you plan to store breastmilk. Even then, the cost of milk bags are nowhere near the cost of buying formula milk.

Being frugal towards baby food doesn’t have to be at the cost of your baby’s nutritional growth. These tips to save money on baby food are just practical ways to minimize unnecessary household spending.