Save Money on Formula

Our little puddin'

Hello, faithful readers! I’ve been on hiatus, and for good reason: Our little miracle baby arrived five weeks early, on Groundhog Day! Baby Saver didn’t want to wait and impatiently entered the world weighing 4 lbs., 8 oz. and measuring 17 ¾ inches long.

Because of her prematurity, our pediatrician had me hold off on breastfeeding because we needed to make sure she was getting enough milk in order to thrive and put on weight. Instead, I pumped as much milk as I could without her “helping” to increase my supply. Once I got the go-ahead, I tried breastfeeding our little one, who was not having any of it, no matter what I tried. This led to supply problems, and after 6 weeks of feeding her breast milk and supplementing with formula, we had to go to an all-formula menu.

That meant I needed coupons for our formula, Similac Sensitive, STAT.

Out of necessity, I’ve discovered a number of ways to save on our preferred formula brand.

Search for sales. This is a no-brainer, but not all parents have the time or energy to do this. But if you want to save, you’ll need to carve out a bit of time each week to see what the prices are at your local stores.

Each week, I check out the Sunday circulars for Target, Rite-Aid, CVS and our local grocery stores to see if Similac formula is on sale anywhere. If so, I’ll make a point to get to that retailer during the sale week.

Tip: Sometimes, the store is out of our particular kind of formula. In that case, it’s worth it to stop at the customer service desk and pick up a raincheck for a few containers.

Sign up for manufacturers’ mailing lists. Similac, Enfamil and Gerber are some of the formula manufacturers who have membership programs. There’s no cost to sign up – be sure to include your real name, address and email, and you’ll get on their mailing lists. In this case, that’s a good thing – they occasionally send coupons through the mail or via email, and what’s more, you’ll likely receive free samples.

I’ve gotten coupons for free formula, along with the coveted $5 off “checks.” Depending on retail store policy, you can usually combine these checks with manufacturer and store coupons. This only increases your savings.

Tip: Sign up for all three programs a month or two BEFORE your due date to ensure you’ll have some samples on hand. Your hospital/pediatrician will help you decide which formula will be right for your newborn, and you’ll have coupons/checks available to you, no matter what! The checks are generally good for a few months, so don’t worry too much about them expiring.

Hit up friends and family. Not for money, but for coupons! Have them save the coupon fliers from the Sunday paper or forward you any extra formula coupons they may have. I’ve scored multiples of $3 and $5 manufacturer coupons by getting fliers from my father and in-laws.

Tip: Make sure your relatives and friends know which formula you use. That way, they can clip the coupons and either mail them or give them to you.

Check out message boards. Many people post on message boards such as The Bump or BabyCenter in order to swap coupons with other parents. If you have Enfamil coupons and need Similac coupons, ask the other board members – someone may have what you want. It’s a great resource, and a $5 coupon (or three!) is well worth the price of a stamp.

Tip: Subscribe to both parenting and couponing boards to double your chances of scoring some sweet savings.

Utilizing some of these tactics, I’ve been able to save $5, $10 and even $15 off each 23-ounce tub of Similac Sensitive formula, which runs anywhere from $19 to $24, depending on the store. Combined with sales, you can get truly great deals. If I find the formula is on sale, I’ll make a point to take my checks and coupons over to that particular retail store and stock up. Powdered formula lasts about a year unopened (always check the use-by date stamped on each container). I always have four or five tubs of formula in the pantry so I won’t run out – that’s about a month’s supply. Any more than that, and you could find yourself stuck with non-returnable items in the event that you have to change the baby’s formula. Keep your receipts and you can return or exchange the formula.

13 comments to Save Money on Formula

  • Nicole, congratulations! She is So beautiful. Nothing is more important than her right now. So enjoy!
    I have a friend who is a scientist[one of the best in the world] and creates baby formula. They do so much research and testing and add amazing vitamins etc. Science is really dedicated to making this area the best it can be…at least in America.

    I hope that eases your mind.

  • Jim

    Congratulations on your baby! We went through the same situation, but my wife was unable to breast feed, and our son required Enfamil Pregestimil due to a milk protein allergy. The NICU staff informed us that Pregestimil was expensive and hard to find, particularly in the somewhat rural area we live in. So, on a whim I tried eBay and found countless individuals like us who had a hard time finding it and bought in bulk to save some money. Generally, these people would use it and be told by a pediatrician to stop using it with little to no warning. These people then turned to eBay to unload it.

    Provided that the sellers had 99% and higher feedback ratings and they sent photos of the formula cans with the expiration dates, we would buy. In fact, we never bought a can of formula from a store, and paid between $4 and $15 per can for the entire time our son was on formula. We saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

  • britt

    Congrats on the bundle of joy. My sister and I talked with our pediatricians about the store brand formulas after the recall issues with some formulas…we were suprised to get a recommendation to try a store brand. We had no issues with the babies…(Most major stores have their own sensitive, soy based, or premature formulas…) We saved at least 50% by switching…we switched the brand when the babies were about 6 months old. The doctor even helped us choose the right one!

  • Congratulations! When breastfeeding went south for me, my husband reminded me that “the first rule of babies is feed the babies.” If you’re meeting the first rule in any healthy way, you’re doing your job.

    I really like babycheapskate.com for the week’s round up of formula and diaper deals. They tell you what coupons to use, where the best deals are, and when to stock up. Very handy!

  • Congratulations on your beautiful baby!!! You must be over the moon! It’s too bad the breastfeeding didn’t work out but it happens sometimes. My wife breastfeed both kids and it can lead to serious savings but not everyone is able. But, you gave her a good start and it is insurance for her health to have the ‘goods’ from mama!

  • Congratulations!!! She’s beautiful! I wish you and your family the best.

    Don’t sweat the inability to breastfeed, my 3 were all born on schedule and we still had no luck breastfeeding but they did just fine on formula.

  • Rachael Simmons

    Congratulations!!! She is beautiful. Don’t worry about not breastfeeding. She will grow up to be a very healthy and smart little girl! Also check ebay for coupons for formula and don’t switch formulas on her until she gets older (I would say about 8 months). Nothing worse than a baby with tummy trouble.
    I only breastfed my son for 6 weeks. I also had trouble with supply.
    Congratulations!!!

  • ctreit

    Welcome back and welcome little puddin’! I am glad to get the sense that all is ok.

  • dannie

    Congratulations. I was wondering about the long “pause” in your posting. You have a lovely young lady there.

  • Congratulations on your beautiful daughter! :)

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