Cut the Cost of Baby Food and Baby Formulas

One of the questions that new parents often ask is how they can cut the high cost of baby formulas and baby foods. With some formulas running $100 or more a month, depending on the age of the baby, the cost can be overwhelming. Here you will find tips on how to save, including coupons sources for baby formulas and baby food.

Cut the Cost of Baby Food and Baby Formulas

Surprised Baby
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New Babies

The number one advice given to new mothers who are looking for ways to save on feeding their newborn baby is to breastfeed and do it for as long as possible.

However, that is not always an option, and even breastfeeding can be expensive. Breast pumps and other breastfeeding accessories can cost anywhere from $200 to over $500 a year.

For mothers who plan on nursing their new baby, it is often helpful to talk with friends and family about contributing to the cost in lieu of other gifts given at baby showers. Many online stores such as Target and Toys R Us have tailored gift registries that allow recipients to select the gifts that they most desire and need. Selecting nursing related products can help with future expenses when the baby arrives.

Insurance and Other Resources

New parents may also find that their health insurance might cover the partial cost of breast pump equipment.

New parents who are financially struggling might also qualify for help from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). WIC provides supplemental foods, promotes breastfeeding and offers free nutrition education to low-income women who are pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum and to newborns and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk.

Avoid Over Spending the First Month

It is natural for expectant mothers to try to plan what they will need before their newborn arrives home. But it is not unusual for plans to change. Mothers who planned to breastfeed may, for different reasons, decide to switch to using formulas. New mothers may want to consider buying a manual breast pump for around $35.00 for the first few weeks and then make an investment in the more costly electric breast pumps later.

Considering Borrowing or Buying a Used Breast Pump?

Breast Pump

Borrowing or buying used pumps is not recommended because of possible contamination. For those who decide to go in this direction, it is highly recommended that they obtain a closed-system pump, which is the kind of pump often used in hospitals.

When planning on renting a pump, the USDA suggests that mothers turn to a trusted doctor or lactation consultant for references on the company they select and also check with the Better Business Bureau.

They should also check with the manufacturer of the device before renting it to make certain that it is safe for multiple users.

Before buying a second-hand pump, it is important to consider the overall cost. What if it breaks? Manufacturers will only cover the cost for the original owner. If a borrowed one breaks, it may likely need replacing. In the end, buying a new pump might well be the most overall cost-effective way to go, especially when comparing it to the cost of baby formulas.

Save on Baby Formulas

Baby Formula
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Baby's aren't cheap. If you decide to use baby formulas, be prepared to pay high prices. There are ways to offset the prices, which can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Free Samples

Before leaving the hospital, new mothers should ask for free formula samples. It used to be customary to send new mothers home from the hospital with a basket of infant products, however, today it is often only given to those who ask. Pediatricians often have supplies of free samples.

Buy Powdered Formulas

Baby formulas come in three types--powdered, concentrated liquid, and liquid. Powdered formula is the least expensive of the three. Parents can save up to 50 percent by choosing the powdered formulas over liquid formulas.

Buy in Bulk

Formulas are less expensive when purchased in bulk, but having the space to store it should also be considered.

Store-Brand Formulas

All name-brand and store-brand baby formulas fall under the same federal standards. Store-brand formulas from stores like Target and Walmart can cut costs significantly. For example, Walmart's Parent's Choice Infant Powder Formula costs around 7.7 cents per ounce compared to the similar product by Similac which costs 14.9 cents per ounce.

Join Formula Clubs

Once you know the formula that works best for your baby, join the formula's company club.

Top formula club websites:

By joining the clubs, you can get free merchandise, exclusive offers, coupons, and other extra savings.

Formula Checks

Many of the formula manufacturers also send formula checks to club members. Formula checks are great because they are a form of payment, not a coupon, which means they can be used with coupons. The formula companies will send out formula checks in an amount of up to $15 or more, when you first sign up, then they will follow-up periodically with additional $3 to $5 checks.

Grocery Store Baby Clubs

More savings can be acquired by signing up at grocery store baby clubs. Stores offering these types of clubs include:

Albertson's Baby Club
Big Y's Baby Y Club
Food City
Publix Baby Club (Children under 2)

Shop at Warehouse and Big-Box Stores

According to a consumer reports article, baby formula cost 16% less than supermarkets at stores like Wal-Mart and warehouse stores like Costco, and Sam's Club. Drugstores are 19% higher than supermarkets. Remember that Walmart will match the prices of competitors.

Buy in Large Quantities

Buying the most ounces per can will cost you less. For example, a recent price comparison shows the difference between costs for the larger cans of Similac at Sam's compared to the smaller cans at Walgreens.

  • Sam's - Similac Sensitive Infant Formula Powder - 34 oz. - $29.44 - $.88 per ounce
  • Walgreens - Similac Sensitive Infant Formula Powder - 12.6 oz - $15.49 - $1.23 per ounce

Save on Baby Food

Baby Eating
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Baby Food

You can find savings on baby food much the same way as with formulas by joining the clubs mentioned in step 3, using baby food coupons and reading online parenting forums.

Prepackaged baby food is considerably less than jarred baby food. Another way to obtain substantial savings is by making the baby food from scratch with whole grains, fresh fruits, beans, vegetables, and proteins. Some prepared foods can be frozen and defrosted as needed.

  • Baby Formula Products
  • Best Toddler Formula
  • Infant Formula
  • Enfamil
  • Printable Coupons

The following article, How to Make Baby Food at Home, offers simple ways to prepare and freeze baby food.

Coupons for Baby Formulas and Baby Food

Mother using laptop on bed next to sleeping baby
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Using coupons for baby food and other baby products is a great way to cut the cost of your weekly grocery bill. Here is a list of company websites that have coupons and other money saving promotions.

Earth’s Best Organic
The site has coupons for formula and baby food.

Gerber Savings Club
Find savings on Gerber baby food.

Huggies Diapers
Find printable diaper coupons.

Luvs Diapers
Print coupons, enter contests and other money saving promotions.

Pampers Diapers
The site has printable coupons for Pampers diapers.

Similac Coupon
Sign up for the Similac Strong Moms Club and receive up to $329.00 worth of free samples and coupons for Similac products.

Sprout Baby Food Coupons

Also, check the Grocery and Drugstore Weekly Printable Coupons for coupons for other baby-related products, including diapers.