I am a mean mom. When Kaye was little she longed for Gogurt. Gogurt is a plastic tube of yogurt by Yoplait. Kids can hold it in their hands and suck the yogurt out without needing a spoon. Kaye usually had at least one friend at lunch whose mom, who wasn’t mean like me, had packed a Gogurt for her.
Our usual response to Kaye when she begged for Gogurt at the store was, “do you know how many regular yogurts we can buy for the cost of Gogurt?” She usually stared back at us blankly, having already tuned us out. The answer, by the way, at today’s prices, is about an extra third of a yogurt. There is a 36% savings with regular yogurt vs Gogurt.
A newcomer to the kids snack food stage is apple sauce squeeze pouches. Kids love them! Moms love them too, for the same reason they like Gogurts. What parent wouldn’t love a food delivery device that actually got the food in the kid and not on the couch. Mom’s have told me their kids go through these little wonders by the case. Just so you know, you can buy twice as much apple sauce in the little 4 oz cups as you can for the same price in the squeeze pouches. Interestingly the 4 oz cups cost about the same as the big jar of apples sauce, both are about nine cents an ounce.
One more example. A while back, I was settling in for a business meeting, while a couple of mothers of school age children talked about the thrill of finding pre-sliced apples at Costco, and how much cheaper they were there than at their usual grocery store. In one of my ruder moments, I piped in with “or you could just buy apples and slice them yourself”. The conversation ended awkwardly and we moved on to the business topic at hand. You can buy three pounds of apples for the price of a package of pre-sliced apples, which isn’t quite a pound.
I’m seeing more and more convenience foods for kids. As we continue to be among the busiest people on the planet, apparently our ability to sit down and have a snack is eluding us. Admittedly these snacks have their benefits. But if you are looking for ways to cut spending so you can increase your savings, these prepackaged snacks are a good place to look. All that packaging costs the manufacturer more, and they pass that cost on to you.
There’s nothing wrong with whipping these little goodies out if you’re stuck in traffic and they are the only thing between you and a hunger induced melt-down. But save them for emergencies. You can save yourself a bundle by going with the same products in less packaging whenever you are safely at home. You can also set a good example for your kids by helping them understand how to get the most out of a budget.