We all know that it is so much better to breastfeed your baby instead of giving them formula. Sometimes things happen and that is just not an option. I had every intention of breastfeeding my baby her first year but I was unable to due to lack of production. I didn’t plan on budgeting for formula so I had to learn how to save on formula as quickly as I could. I was disappointed and felt like I wasn’t doing the best for her but I got over that real quick. Even though I had to give her formula, I am still a good mom and I am giving her the food and nutrients that she needs to grow.
I was going through a can of formula every week and a half. A can usually costs around $25-$30 depending on the brand and if it is a special formula. That is about $100 on just formula for one month! I came up with a few savvy shopping tricks and used all of the resources that are available and I was able to spend probably $12 or less on a can of formula. How did I do it?
Sign Up for Savings Programs
Depending on what brand you use, you can sign up for their savings programs. My daughter used Similac Sensitive, it was the only formula that worked for her. So I signed up for the Similac Strong Moms. They sent me really nice sized samples, high value coupons, and even free photo book offers! I would also get monthly formula checks from them, too! They would usually be around $5 and you can use a coupon with a formula check to increase your savings! There are other programs like Enfamil Family Beginnings and Earth’s Best Family that you can sign up for as well. Also, get grandparents and other family members or friends to sign up and they can give you the coupons and samples when they get them in the mail!
There are a lot of places you can get coupons for baby formula now. The savings programs I mentioned above is a great place to start. Your pediatrician’s office probably has a lot on hand so make sure you ask for some the next time you go. I have found some high value ones on Coupons.com and in the Sunday newspapers. Also, make sure you check the brand’s websites as they might have some you can print. If you can’t find any for your favorite formula, contact the company and tell them how much you love their product and if they offer any coupons. They may send you some directly in the mail!
When you are about to leave the hospital, make sure you ask for some formula samples. They have so many and will be able to give you some. Do this even if you plan on breastfeeding just in case something happens, you will have some on hand. Samples of formula are really nice in size. They would last me about a week! You can also ask if your pediatrician has any to give out too. Sometimes, they get so many in stock that they expire, so you can call the office to see if they have any that they can set aside for you before they expire and just go pick them up. Most will do this as it will save them a trip to the dumpster in a few weeks.
This is something to do at your own discretion, but you might want to check Craigslist for formula samples. I have seen people post formula samples and formula checks in the freebie section of Craigslist because their baby had to be switched to a different formula or they just don’t need them. Always make sure that the container is sealed if you are going to get the formula.
Buy in Powder Form
I know that the ready made formula is a lot more convenient, but the powder form is so much cheaper. I always buy the powder form and just measure some out if I am going out so all I have to do is just dump it in the bottle and add water. It is also usually better to buy in bulk. Make sure you compare the price per ounce to make sure you are getting a good deal.
If your baby needs a special kind of formula, like a prescription, you may be able to claim it on your health insurance. This will vary by state and insurance plan but I know that this has worked for some people. Call your health insurance company and ask them if they offer this on your plan.
I found that I could get the best deals at Target over any other store. I had a hard time finding deals at my local grocery stores. Walmart had a cheaper price by a dollar but with the savings I could stack at Target, I was able to get them a lot cheaper. I would wait until they would have a gift card deal, like buy 2 cans of formula and get a $10 gift card. That is a $5 savings per can right there. I would then use a coupon and/or a formula check if I had them. Target will sometimes offer a store or mobile coupon on the formula as well as a Cartwheel offer. On top of this, I would pay with my Target RedCard and save another 5% off of my entire purchase. All the savings really add up.
This is another great place to get coupons for formula as well as other baby supplies. You can sign up for Target baby registry and get a bunch of goodies when you first sign up. I would also get coupons in the mail every month or so for baby items, including formula that I could stack with the savings mentioned above. Amazon baby registry is another good place to get some freebies and discounts. Make sure to put formula on your registry and you can get up to 15% off with your registry completion discount!
If you don’t like using coupons or hunting for deals, Amazon Mom might be the best way for you to save on baby formula. Amazon has some of the lowest prices I have seen on formula without using coupons. You can sign up for Amazon Mom and save up to 20% off baby items like diapers, formula, wipes, and more. You also get free 2-day shipping, member exclusive coupons, and unlimited music & video streaming. You can get a free 30 day trial to see if you like it and if it will actually help save you some money. If it doesn’t work for you then you can just cancel.
I used all of these methods to save on baby formula and it really helped us stretch our budget. It may seem like a lot of work but if I can save us $500 a year on formula, then I will do it. If you are struggling to pay for formula, you should contact you local WIC program to see if you qualify for help from them. If you have any other methods, I would love to hear them and I know other moms would, too. Just leave them in the comments below.