For young couples, having a baby is one of the most life-affirming experiences they will ever have. At least it is until the bills start piling up. Between disposable diapers, formula and clothing, a very small person starts to eat up a significant part of the monthly income. Parents often wonder how such a small individual costs so much, the baby years is actually just the beginning.
This could sound discouraging, but the first years of a person’s life are actually the cheap years. Before you know it, your child can point at a toy on the shelf and start making demands. And let’s not even talk about college. Nevertheless, any money you can save now will more than pay off in the future.
Buy Formula in Bulk
Everyone knows that “breast is best” not only from a nutritional perspective, but also from the financial point of view. While mom eats more to produce the milk, those costs don’t approach that of formula. Formula companies definitely want to push mom’s buttons and imply that their formula is clearly the best one if mom isn’t going to nurse. Don’t fall for the hype, because they are all similar. Every formula has to meet government standards, so find something your baby will tolerate and bulk up.
Before the baby arrives, head to the local grocery warehouse and find out what they stock. Then contact the company that manufactures the formula and get them to send you samples, coupons, a baby bag and any other free merchandise they can think of. They are trying to woo you, after all, so encourage their generosity. Once you get home with your new baby, try out your samples and make sure your baby tolerates this formula well. If so, you now know of a source of the same formula for less.
Companies also send out little “checks” for you to use on their brand of formula. Take a good look at the conditions of use. It may very well pay to get that pack of single serve cans instead of the bulk box.
Buy Powdered Formula, Not Liquid
The costs per serving of powdered formula are considerably lower than that of liquid. Not only is powdered formula cheaper, it can be carried about without worry of spoilage. If you don’t teach your child to expect their formula warmed up, that means you can add some water to your powder wherever you are and provide a meal in a couple of minutes.
Liquid containers of formula, especially single serve cans are very convenient, which can make up for the price if you are on a plane or driving for hours. Keep such cans for special occasions, realizing that they may be thicker or thinner than what you mix up from powder and require a bit of coaxing at first.
Consider Generic Formula
If all these tips still leave you grasping at financial straws to feed your baby, consider generic varieties. Since the government does strictly monitor what is in baby formula, you are unlikely to have any problems with a generic option. After all, don’t you purchase generic foods for yourself? There is nothing wrong with doing the same for your precious baby.
In the end, baby only drinks formula for about a year before transitioning over to other liquids. When you can make the change, you budget will make a sigh of relief.
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