Breast milk is without question best for your baby and for your budget, but there are cases where formula is needed. And it can be costly. Feeding your baby formula for the first year of their life can cost up to $1,000 – yikes! Here are a few ways to save money on this hefty expense.
Many states are passing laws to ban hospitals from giving out free samples of formula. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask your doctor or nurse for samples. Also, when you sign up for a formula company’s product, they will often times send you a free sample kit. It can be hard to know which formula your baby will prefer, so it is a good idea to sign up for several brands to test them out.
Formula companies also give out formula checks that can be used as cash to buy formula, which can be combined with manufacturer coupons and store coupons. When my first daughter was on Similac, I tried to always combine a formula check with a Target coupon/Cartwheel (if applicable) and a Target gift card deal. My sister-in-law and I both had babies at the same time, but our babies like different formulas, so we were able to trade formula checks. Some retailers will check the name, but I have never had that happen. I also will sign myself and my husband up to receive the checks.
For my second daughter, we went with Baby’s Only formula, which can only be purchased online. A lot of online vitamin shops sell it, and these shops usually have sign up promos, such as $10 off and free shipping. I use these promos to save more on the formula. The best deal I got was with the Jet.com sign up.
Stock up when you find the right formula brand for your baby. You can generally save up to a $3 or more per can if you buy in bulk at Costco, Sam’s Club, or through Amazon. It is a bigger cost up front, but buying in bulk can save $100-200 per year if your baby goes through a can per week.
Skip the Convenience
The pre-mixed bottles are easy, especially when you are sleep deprived, but the convenience will cost you more. Measuring out formula and putting it in an inexpensive formula dispenser is one way to make bottle feeding on the go easier. At home, you can mix several bottles’ worth of formula and keep it in the fridge for the day and warm it up with a bottle warmer.
Amazon Subscribe and Save
Not only can you buy formula in bulk on Amazon to save, but you can also save even more through their subscribe and save service. The initial subscribe and save will save you an additional 10 percent. If you are a member of Amazon mom and you subscribe to four more items, you will then save an additional 20% off of everything.
Formula is expensive. Taking these little steps can help reduce the cost of feeding your precious one. And while you might not have much control over formula spending, you can save money on other baby expenses, like borrowing gear and buying used clothing.