Cost Of Baby Food Pouches vs Homemade Baby Food

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Cost of commercial baby food pouches vs homemade baby food

In this article, I do the maths on homemade vs store bought commercial baby food to find how big (if any) the cost difference is.

Nutritional value aside (this article suggests that homemade baby food isn’t necessarily healthier), there are various factors and reasons that parents consider when deciding on homemade or store-bought baby food.

Overview Of Homemade vs Commercial Baby Food

Homemade baby food:

  • Requires more time and effort to prepare
  • More difficult to take on-the-go if you need a microwave or steamer to heat it up
  • Arguably more nutrition dense than store-bought baby food
  • Easier to manage portion sizes – Can be frozen in small cubes to minimise wastage 

Store-bought baby food:

  • Quick, easy and convenient, particularly when out-and-about as they do not require heating
  • Once opened, it is recommended to finish within 24 hours – This can lead to food wastage if baby doesn’t finish it
  • Provide an easy way to test and trial baby’s taste preferences in the early days of solids without wasting too much time 

Personally, I used homemade baby food for both my boys, but I did have a stock of commercial baby food pouches for times when we’re out-and-about. They provide a quick, easy, mess-free solution. I also used store-bought baby food when I ran out of homemade food (or was too lazy, I mean busy, to make some on the spot). 

That said, the cost difference between homemade vs commercial baby food was something that always weighed at the back of my mind.

This week, I rolled up my sleeves and finally crunched the numbers. The final results absolutely blew my mind!

Before we look at the results of my findings, please do note these important guidelines:

  1. For a broader view, I have compared four different commercial brands, across four different age groups (6mths, 8mths, 10mths & 12mths).

2. For a fair comparison, all commercial brands, as well as raw ingredients for the homemade versions, were selected from Woolworths.

3. Where possible, the cheapest options for raw ingredients were selected for the findings, this is to present a more realistic result because, in real life, shoppers generally do choose cheaper ingredients.

4. If an exact raw ingredient is unavailable, the closest possible match is used.

5. Where ingredient percentages are unspecified on the commercial brands, a guesstimate is used instead.

6. The costs are calculated for a period of six months.

7. The servings intake over the course of six months is based on a larger estimate and by no means a guide for how much your baby should be eating.

Now, without further ado, here are my personal findings (accurate as on 29 July 2018).

A Breakdown of Costs – Commercial vs Homemade Baby Food (per serving)

Macro Organic Food 6 Months Lamb & Sweet Potato 120gRaw ingredient cost
Pumpkin (29%)34.8g$0.17
Sweet Potato (12%)14.4g$0.13
Organic Lamb (9%)10.8g$0.29
Potatoes (12.5%)15g$0.08
Tomatoes (12.5%)15g$0.04
Onions (12.5%)15g$0.04
Organic Rice flour (12.5%)15g$0.01
Herb (0.42g = 1/12 teaspoon)$0.04
TOTAL$1.89$0.80 (SAVE $1.09)
Heinz Food 8 Months Alphabet Pasta Tomato & Beef 170gRaw ingredient cost
Tomatoes (41%)69.7g$0.28
Onion (6%)10.2g$0.03
Carrots (6%)10.2g$0.02
Zucchini (6%)10.2g$0.04
Mushrooms (6%)10.2g$0.11
Wheat Pasta (11%)18.7g$0.06
Beef (10%)17g$0.12
Cornflour (6.7%)11.4g$0.04
Cheese (6.7%)11.4g$0.09
Natural Garlic Flavour0.5g$0.02
Mixed herbs (Basil, Oregano, Spice)0.5g$0.04
TOTAL$1.50$0.85 (SAVE $0.65)
Rafferty’s Garden Food 10 Months Bolognese With Macaroni 170gRaw ingredient cost
Reconstituted Tomato Puree (41%)69.7g$0.26
Carrot (8%)13.6g$0.03
Onion (8%)13.6g$0.04
Tomato (8%)13.6g$0.05
Beef (9%)15.3g$0.11
Macaroni Pasta (5%)8.5g$0.02
TOTAL$2.45$0.57 (SAVE $1.88)
Food Babies Love Greek Lamb Casserole Fresh Pot 185g (12 months+)Raw ingredient cost
Canned Tomatoes (40%)74g$0.11
Onion (20%)37g$0.11
Risoni Pasta (10%)18.5g$0.07
Lamb Shoulder (9.5%)17.58g$0.25
Zucchini (5%)9.25g$0.04
Carrot (5%)9.25g$0.02
Eggplant (5%)9.25g$0.08
Tomato Paste (2%)3.7g$0.01
Potato (1.5%)2.78g$0.01
Rice Bran Oil (1%)1.85g$0.01
Chicken Stock Powder0.5g$0.01
Mixed herbs (Basil, Oregano, Spice)0.5g$0.04
TOTAL$5.80$0.80 (SAVE $5.00)

Total Savings Over Baby’s 6-12 mths of Age

Store BoughtHomemade
6-7 months (60 days)120 serves$226.80$96
8-9 months (60 days)180 serves$270$102
10-11 months (60 days)180 serves$441$102.60
12 month (30 days)90 serves$522$72
TOTAL$1459.80$372.60 (SAVE $1087.20)


Again, bear in mind that this is a rough estimate and the cost difference can easily be influenced by other factors, such as bulk buying, discounts, and how much baby actually eats. 

While this research is based on the assumption of a 100% use of either homemade or store-bought baby food, I’m sure most parents make use of a mixture of homemade and store-bought baby food, so the savings and cost difference will be notably less than my findings. 

However, it is interesting to note the cost difference per serving as well. It appears that commercial baby food marketed for older babies (10-12mths+) have a higher markup percentage, and you can save much more by making your own version.

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