Although breastfeeding is the most affordable method of feeding a baby, the simple fact is that not all moms can, or choose to, breastfeed. Some mothers supplement breastfeeding with formula, while others formula feed exclusively. I know that I personally had a great deal of difficulty breastfeeding, and made the switch to formula after my son’s first three months.
As any formula-feeding parent knows, infant formula is expensive. With little ones taking six to eight bottles a day, the cost of formula adds up quickly — not to mention the cost of the bottles themselves and other supplies that are necessary when formula feeding. I estimate that I was spending $183 a month on formula alone before I put these money-saving tips into action.
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If you are like me and shocked by the high sky-high cost of formula, you will appreciate these little-known ways to save yourself some serious cash on infant formula.
You would be surprised by how much the price of the same brand of formula can vary from store to store. Often buying in bulk from a wholesale club such as Sam’s Club, BJ’s or Costco will save you money in the long run.
I was surprised to find that even when my brand of infant formula was on sale at our local supermarket, I would still be able to get it cheaper at Sam’s Club.
Since it really depends on the specific type of formula you use, spend some time doing pricing research yourself. Compare the price per ounce of your brand’s formula among the stores in your area and online, and see which store offers it at the best price.
Be on the lookout for formula coupons. You can often find formula coupons in the coupon insert of the Sunday paper as well as through online printable coupon sites such as Coupons.com. Clip any formula coupons you spot, and use them when your store has formula on sale to really maximize your savings.
While you’re at it, you might want to keep your eyes peeled for any deals on the supplies that are crucial when formula feeding.
Use Powdered Formula
Infant formula comes in three different types: ready-to-use, liquid concentrated and powdered. Although ready-to-use formula is the most convenient, it is also the most expensive. Powdered formula is the most affordable choice, and is simple enough to mix that using it is a no-brainer.
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Ask Your Doctor for Samples
Pediatrician offices often receive samples from the major formula brands to give out to new parents. I was able to score a free tub of formula on each of our first few visits to the pediatrician. Don’t be shy, ask your pediatrician or nurse if they have any samples available.
Consider Store-Brand Formula
Opting for generic or store-brand formula can save you some major cash without sacrificing nutrition. All brands of infant formula are required to meet certain nutritional standards set by the FDA.
Consider using a store’s version of those brand-name formulas such as Sam’s Club’s Member’s Mark brand, Target’s Up & Up selection or Walmart’s Parent’s Choice.
If you are feeling unsure about whether or not switching to a store brand would be right for you and your little one, feel free to consult with your pediatrician first. Chances are they will tell you that the only difference between brand-name formulas and generic is the price.
Sign Up for Mailing Lists
If you will be feeding your baby brand-name formula, one of the best ways to save is by signing up for your formula brand’s mailing list. The brands will often send you a welcome box with free formula samples and valuable coupons.
Below are some examples to look at.
- Similac StrongMoms Rewards
- Enfamil Family Beginnings
When I signed up with Similac and Enfamil, I received welcome packages in the mail with free, full-sized formula samples as well as coupons. My son is now 9 months old, and I still continue to receive coupons in the mail regularly from both brands.
Since you are spending hundreds of dollars on baby formula anyway, it would be smart to take advantage of all that spending by using a credit card that offers cash back or other rewards on your purchases. Even if you are only getting 1 percent cash back, every little bit adds up.
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