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Discussion Starter #1
I have tried and tried to do the pantry challenges and eat what is here. I have tried to have a grocery budget, but with a baby who is adding baby food to the tune of at least $30 a month (those stinking jars are about 83 cents each and she usually eats 2 jars a day), I can't seem to do it.

I just hit up Harris Teeter for their super triple coupon deal. I have plenty of food. My goal is not to spend more than a total of $120 for the next 6 weeks (average of $20 a week). That is not counting baby formula. I will start yesterday (Sept 19) and go to Oct 24th.

I plan on only buying milk and bread. I have canned fruit and frozen fruit. I know fresh may be better, but we are looking to pay off at least one bill if not two. We are quickly eating through our savings and food is one of the last places I have left to cut.
 
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I will be rooting for you! You can do it. There is so much you can do with all in your pantry foods and fruit , delicious meals, desserts and baby food. I can't wait to see how you do it and what you make. Good job and challenge.
 
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Have you thought about making your own baby food? I had a little baby food grinder (non-electric) that I just ground up any fruit or vegetable (before salting) for my babies. I also pureed foods and froze them in ice cube trays. One or two cubes of each type worked for a meal. For baby cereal, I cooked brown rice, millet, oats and then pureed in the blender and froze in cubes.
 

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Amen to daylily. I only bought baby food when I had to travel with a baby. That way I didn't have to worry so much about refridgeration. Otherwise, they ate what we ate just blended up more. Babies R Us and some other places have the little grinders that you can easily grind things up with. Or you can use a blender. Either way, that will save you tons.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
sorry, end date Oct 30th
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thought about making baby food, but don't have a grinder. I will have to check out Babies R Us. Thanks everyone
 

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If you have a blender it will work just as well. Good luck!!
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Menu for week one:

Yesterday-leftovers
today-hamburger helper with leftover sides
Wed-chicken fried rice, grapes
Thurs- chicken pot pie, grapes
Fri-hamburgers, fries, peaches
Sat-tacos
Sun-BBQ chicken, corn on cob, green beans, mac n cheese
 

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you are awesome!! I am cheering you on!!
 
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We used a stick blender for our homemade baby food. And, I would definately suggest doing the homemade. We saved a ton of money by making our own. I also feel like the guys got a much more varied diet because we made our own.

Also, look into baby led weaning as another option. A friend did that with her babies. It worked out well for her.
 

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Bake your own bread. Much cheaper. And much better bread, too. If you decide to try that, buy yeast in bulk and not in the little jars. Here, the little jar costs about $8 and I think it's four ounces. I bought in bulk for $5/pound, or 1/4 the cost. It's better yeast, too.

Look at everything on your menus and figure out if you can make it from scratch cheaper than buying it already made. Convenience foods are very often money-wasters and also often second-rate foods.

Good luck. It can be tough to stick to your guns and power through to reach a goal, but if you're determined enough, you'll get there.
 

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When desperate times call for desperate situations I ask myself what our great-great grandparents did. They didn't have blenders, food processors, or baby grinders. Really look at your current items in the house and figure out what you would do in case of an emergency for your baby.

Just a thought, it seems so easy nowadays for people to run out and buy at product that they forget what's already available around them with a little creativity.
 

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When desperate times call for desperate situations I ask myself what our great-great grandparents did. They didn't have blenders, food processors, or baby grinders.
This is what really got me started on doing my own baby food. I do remember helping my mom grind up food in a baby FOOD grinder (sorry, the image that came to mind with the term baby grinder is funny and unpleasant at the same time :) ) but we thought about what people did before Gerber and Beechnut came on the scene. I mean did people really only feed one type of food to a child for a week to 10 days to see if they would like it but only if it was prepared separately and perfectly pureed, or did they just feed them foods that were already prepared for the family that could be easily mashed regardless of content?

(If you do have a history of food allergies, do the week to 10 day thing. It is a good safety precaution because food allergies are on the rise.)
 

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Babies were not started on solid foods as early then. Mothers just mashed the food and the baby was better able to eat it by that time.

I don't think babies of a few weeks old are meant to be given solid food. You'll notice that their reflex is to push it out. That's because the tongue needs to be in that position to nurse and a different position to eat solid food. After a few months they learn to eat and that's when they need to be given solids. This is assuming the baby is breastfed and getting the proper nutrients.

My 3rd was born with a rash on her face and the Ped. suggested that I not start her on solid food until she was about 6 months old to try and avoid allergies. He said no egg until a year old. That's what I did.

Just my 2 cents :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Babies were not started on solid foods as early then. Mothers just mashed the food and the baby was better able to eat it by that time.

I don't think babies of a few weeks old are meant to be given solid food. You'll notice that their reflex is to push it out. That's because the tongue needs to be in that position to nurse and a different position to eat solid food. After a few months they learn to eat and that's when they need to be given solids. This is assuming the baby is breastfed and getting the proper nutrients.

My 3rd was born with a rash on her face and the Ped. suggested that I not start her on solid food until she was about 6 months old to try and avoid allergies. He said no egg until a year old. That's what I did.

Just my 2 cents :)
-no problem here, didn't start solids until around 5 1/2 months and she is 8 months now

-I have bought the small packs of yeast to give it a try first. I bought them about a month ago, have a bread maker, but am just scared to give it a try. Guess now is as good a time as any to try it.

-We went ahead and bought some items to make meals of the hamburger and chicken we have. We spent less that $10 and got two marinades (I know, should have made my own, but I have none of those ingredients either), chili spices mix (once again, home made better, but last time I tried homemade no one in the family liked it), stuffing for casserole, and buns.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I did some shopping. We had to go on a family reunion picnic this weekend so I bought picnic supplies. While out I tried to get items to finish meals and fill holes that would help me get through the month.

stuffing (for chicken casseroles) 1.67
2 chili seasonings (chili beans) 2.78
2 marinades 1.78
hamburger buns 1.29
vinegar 1.54
kool aid (about 20 packs) 3.98
lettuce (cheaper than bag salad) 1.19
milk 3.39
2 sugar 5.90
applesauce 1.29(healthy snack)
pudding 1.25 (picnic)
micro meals 3.57 (shouldn't have gotten it!)
canned peaches 1.67 (healthy snack)
raisins 2.69 (healthy snack)
baby food 1.00
4 cream of chicken soup (casseroles) 4.36
hot dog buns 1.29
pretzles 2.19 (picnic)
chips 3.00 (picnic)

Total: 46.71 with tax
My goal is to only spend $100 during this 6 weeks, so I am about half way and have 4 of the 6 weeks left, but we have lots of food to choose from. We are looking slim on meats, so I am making casseroles and adding rice, noodles, stuffing, beans, etc. to stretch it!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Week of Oct 2 to Oct 12 meals

2-BBQ chicken (cut up 2 breasts to make it look like more), corn on cob, lima beans, fries
3- chili beans, crackers, fruit
4-chicken and stuffing, butter beans, broccoli and cheese
5-chicken, noodles, peas, carrots, and cream sauce
6-tacos, corn, spicy rice
7-sausage, pancakes, fruit
8-spaghetti, salad, toast (leftover buns)
9-chicken and rice, canned corn
10-hamburger helper, squash and onions
11-microwave meals, frozen meals (use up the odds and ends)
12-pizza
 

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Learn to make your own white sauce and eliminate cream soups for casseroles. Any cookbook will tell you how. I use a basic white sauce as the beginning point for many dishes and find the flavor much nicer than the canned soups.

I also agree with making your own baby food. I would cook up different veggies, puree and freeze in icecube trays. When frozen pop out and store in plastic bags. I always put as many cubes as needed into a Corel tea cup and warmed in the microwave. I like the tea cup for feeding as the handle is so convenient and the size appropriate for most baby foods. I used canned fruits but rinsed off the syrup before pureeing. In fact I prefer canned fruits due to so many problems with recalls on fresh. When you make your own baby food you quickly learn how much water you're buying in those tiny containers.
 
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