Skip to main content
Scottish government logo

Buying food can be expensive and now that there’s an extra mouth to feed you really need to watch those pennies. So make sure you have a good look at our Best Start Foods and support and benefits for parents pages to see whether you might be due some extra financial help. With that in mind we’ve made sure all our ideas will help you cut costs without cutting the important stuff from your baby’s diet.

Jump to a section in this article

Money saving tips

Tip #1: Plan your budget and write a shopping list

Planning out your meals for the week and writing a shopping list can be a good way of saving money. It stops you buying things you don’t really want. Most supermarkets have a range of fruit and vegetables each week that they are promoting and selling at a reduced price. It’s also cheaper and good for the environment to buy fruits and veg which are locally produced and in season – and they usually taste better!

Read more

Tip #2: Try to use as many of the foods available on the Best Start foods list as possible - eggs and pulses (like beans, peas, and chickpeas)

They are a cheap way to get your baby eating great food. Make sure the eggs you use have the British Lion stamp. Pulses and beans are also on the list and are very nutritious. They're great to add to stews and soups if you're vegetarian and also make meat meals go further.

Read more

Tip #3: Try tins or frozen fruit and vegetables

The Best Start benefit enables you to buy fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables. Make sure that tinned fruits are in natural juices and the veg is in spring water. Buying frozen fruit and veg is cheaper than buying fresh. And you can select the amount you want to cook, so no waste!

It’s easy to make a healthy family meal from just tins - have you tried tuna fishcakes? Mash tinned potatoes and tuna together, then pan-fry to make fishcakes, and add a side of tinned green veg – delicious! Or try defrosting some blueberries and mixing with full-fat yoghurt for a tasty dessert.

Read more

Tip #4: Batch cooking and using the freezer

Try cooking meals to enjoy over the course of the week or batch cook and freeze the extra portions. Chilli and tomato pasta bakes are all good batch cooking meals. It might take 30 minutes one day to make, but only minutes to reheat in the microwave!

Pop leftovers in the freezer and defrost on a day when you haven’t got the time to make a meal from scratch.

Read more

Tip #5: Feeding the whole family

Making the same meal for the whole family isn’t just quicker and cheaper, it will also let your baby see you all eat together, which will help them to eat up too. Just make sure that your baby’s food doesn’t have any added salts or sugars.

Read more

Tip #6: Check the sell-by dates

baby happily eating bread with caption Get in my Belly!

Check the sell-by dates when you’re shopping to make sure food won’t be going out of date straightaway!

Read more

Tip #7: Don’t buy pre-packaged baby foods

They may look really easy to give to your baby, but they are very pricey compared to what you can make at home. They are also likely to have cheaper ingredients and be less tasty and nutritious than your homecooked foods.

Read more

Tip #8: Swap cereals for porridge

Porridge made with full-fat pasteurised cow’s milk and added fruit is a tasty breakfast for a baby. Own label oats are cheaper than branded ones and often contain less salt and sugar.

Read more

Tip #9: Get clever with yoghurt

photo of baby being fed yoghurt. Caption: did someone say yoooooooooooghurt?

If you have yoghurt that’s near its best before date, try making this delicious frozen yoghurt recipe.

  1. Line a small baking tray with cling film.
  2. Smooth the yoghurt over the cling film.
  3. Decorate with any fruit you have around the house (could be frozen fruit).
  4. Pop in the freezer.
  5. Remove from the tray and cling film.
  6. Cut into fun sized triangles.
  7. Pop in freezer bag and freeze.
  8. When main meals are being served to baby, pop a triangle out the freezer so it is a little defrosted (and easier to eat) for your baby’s pud. Yum!

You’ll find other recipes that don’t break the bank or need fancy cooking skills right here.

Read more
Back to top

Tips from parents

Back to top

"Be organised, do meal prep, persevere with textures and flavours, camera at the ready for the funny faces!"

"When all else fails, porridge."​​​

You might also be interested in