Formula Costs – How to Save

22 Dec

As you may know, I have a son who just turned 9 months old.  He has been on formula since he was 2 weeks old.  I gave breastfeeding a shot but I was also diagnosed with postpartum depression at 2 weeks, and with my husband traveling, I needed the breaks, sleep, and help while I got better.  With baby #2, I will breastfeed much longer I am sure, but we did end up switching, much to my disappointment – as a big goal of mine before I had him was to breastfeed to 1 year.

Our pediatrician recommended Similac – we tried the Advance (regular), and he ended up with horrible gas to the point where he would toot and cry in his sleep (it was so awful), then he’d wake himself up.  So we switched to Similac Sensitive and was prescribed gas drops (which he used for a week), and it’s been great so far!

I thought formula would cost an arm and a leg!  It hasn’t – and it doesn’t have to.  Obviously the cheapest way to go is to breastfeed and/or pump, but with that being out of the question, I was on a mission to find some cheap stuff.  I was only buying Similac for the first few weeks, then I realized that FDA regulates all formula and states that although each company may have proprietary ways of formulating their, well, formulas – that each one is basically the same nutrition wise!

So I decided to shop around for the cheapest, sensitive store brand formula I could find, plus see how much I could get for free!  And here’s how to do it.

  1. Sign up at all the formula companies for samples.  I signed up with Enfamil, Similac, Sam’s Club Simply Right, and Walmart Parent’s Choice.  I also signed up my family members (with their permission) to receive samples as well.  From this I’ve received about 6 boxes of Similac, each with a tub of Advance and a tub of Sensitive plus 4-$5 off any Similac coupons, and 6 free samples of Sam’s Club Simply Right formulas.  I am still waiting on Parent’s Choice samples!
  • Also – the companies continue to send you coupons and booklets, etc.  I have probably received an additional 10, $5 off any Similac coupons from my family receiving the mailings, plus a few $2 off ones!
  1. Check with your pediatrician for samples and coupons.  Drug reps always bring samples to doctors, and the makers of Similac (Abbot Pharmaceuticals) dropped off $4 off any Similac product coupons to them, plus samples of all the brands.  From there I got about 6 coupons, 2 small canisters of sensitive and 1 4-pack of nursettes (bottles with 2 oz of formula in each).
  2. Couponing of course!  Earlier this year Similac circulated a $5/1 coupon.  I purchased 30 off ebay and bought 30 ready to feed quarts at Meijer for only $0.29 each – they’re normally $5.99 each but were on sale for $5.29.
  3. Trading.  If you end up with samples you won’t use you can put them on craiglist or ebay for trade or purchase!
  4. Craiglist!  Believe it or not I purchased some formula off craiglist for really cheap – like $5 for a Similac 23.2 oz tub which retails for $23.99!  As long as its unopened and not expired, it’s fine to buy!
  5. Shop for the off brands.  For example, Target’s Up Brand of gentle baby formula was on sale last week $17.99 for 40 oz (from $19.99), plus Target had a store coupon for $1.50 off infant formula.  I paid $17.48 for 40 oz whereas Similac’s 23.2 oz costs $23.99 like I stated before… yay for savings!   Also – Sam’s Club has a 3 lb tub of formula for $21.88.  I bought that religiously as that was that was normally the cheapest option.

Hope this helps all of you mamas who choose to formula feed 🙂

And another big way to save – CLOTH DIAPERS! 🙂

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