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There are quite a few expenses you will have when you decide to start a family. There will be diapers, wipes, clothes, car seats, toys, personal care products, etc. The list goes on and on. Baby’s cost money. It’s just part of the territory. One of the largest expenses you could incur as a parent is infant formula.
Yes, breast is best, there is no arguing with that. However, there are many parents out there who choose not to or aren’t able to breastfeed. This is where infant formula comes in. Anyone who has formula fed a baby knows that this stuff is pricey.
I wasn’t able to breastfeed my daughter after the first few months and had to start using formula. I had major sticker shock after my first trip to the grocery store. We were living on one income, so I needed to get creative to figure out how to make this new expense work. I’m going to share with you 6 of the best ways I have found to save on infant formula during my formula feeding journey. Hopefully these tips can help you as well.
Ask your doctor for samples – Don’t ever hesitate to ask your doctor for free samples of infant formula. I know this may make some parents uncomfortable because they feel like they are being pushy. However, there is absolutely no reason to feel uncomfortable. Product reps bring formula samples to doctors specifically so that they can give them to the patients. They don’t do anyone any good sitting on the shelf. So, be shameless and ask for formula cans at every appointment. We ask at every well check and are able to get 3-4 cans.
Sign up for coupons – Many formula companies have membership clubs that you can join for free. Once you sign up for their program you will receive coupons, formula samples, and more. For example, we use Similac formula with our daughter and signed up for Similac Strong Moms. We initially received a cooler bag, two cases of formula, and coupons. After that, we received a few coupons on infant formula to use each month. Similac keeps track of how many coupons we redeem and once we hit a certain number we get a free can of formula. This is such a simple way to save big bucks on infant formula.
Use Amazon Family – One of my favorite ways to purchase infant formula is through my Amazon account. You can use Amazon Family’s subscribe and save service to save up to 15% on baby products. This includes infant formula! Not only are you able to save money, but you never have to worry about running out. You simply set up the quantity and frequency of your subscription and wait for it to arrive. Amazon Family makes shopping for baby quick, convenient, and affordable. Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial
Buy store brand – Another simple way to save on infant formula is to switch to a store brand. This will be able to save you a significant amount of money. For example, at Target Similac Advance sells for $1.10 per oz. in the powdered form while their store brand Up & Up sells for $.63 per oz. Savings like that significantly add up over time. The FDA sets strict regulations on all formulas marketed and sold in the United States. This means that all formulas must meet the same nutritional standards. So, nutritionally the name brand formula isn’t any better for your baby than a store brand would be.
Use powdered formula – Formula comes in three forms. These forms are ready made, liquid concentrate, and powdered. The cheapest form of infant formula is powdered. It may not be quite as convenient as ready made formula, but the money you will save makes up for it. While we are on the topic of what formula to choose I would like to recommend starting with a dairy based formula unless your doctor recommends other wise. Specialty formulas such as soy based or hypoallergenic can significantly raise the cost. Of course, if your baby is dairy intolerant you will need to try these options. However, if they do not have any dairy or soy allergies this is the perfect formula to start with.
Check with your insurance provider – As I mentioned earlier, it can be very costly if your baby needs a specialty formula. One of the ways to lower that cost is by contacting your insurance provider. Some insurance companies may cover part of, if not all of, the cost of your specialty formula. Not all insurance companies offer this benefit, but it is definitely worth the call to find out. The worst they can say is no.