The following is a guest post about saving money on baby formula by Mike Collins from SavingMoneyToday.net. Check out his new site at BabyStuffGuide.com, which is dedicated to helping new parents make smart decisions. Thanks Mike for the family post!
New parents are usually shocked at how much their little one costs, and I’m not just talking about hospital bills. Clothes, diapers, bedding, strollers, toys…the list goes on and on. And if you don’t want to breastfeed (or are unable to), then you can expect to spend a small fortune on baby formula.
Pediatricians recommend that babies stay on formula until they are a year old and then they can switch over to whole milk. That’s twelve months in which your new baby will be devouring baby formula at an alarming rate. With that in mind, here are some tips for saving money on baby formula.
Saving Money on Baby Formula Tips
Stick with powder. I know the pre-mixed, ready to drink formula is more convenient but you’ll pay big time for that. If you use powdered formula which has to be mixed with water you can slash your baby formula bills by as much as 50%.
Use generic formula. Baby formula is one of the most closely regulated food items in the US. The FDA has strict guidelines about what can go into baby formula and all brands have to include minimum nutritional requirements. In other words, the generic formula is just as good as the brand name. And it’s a heck of a lot cheaper.
Shop around. Comparing prices from one chain to another can save you money, but you should also compare prices from stores within the same chain. For example, check out different Babies R Us locations and you’ll see different prices in their “commodities” aisle. Why? Because formula and diapers are often loss leaders (that’s why they’re almost always located in the back of the store) intended to get you in the door where you’ll spend more money. To ensure they’re offering a good deal, each store independently sets the price for each item based on nearby competition. So naturally prices can vary from one location to another.
Ask your pediatrician for free samples. Baby formula manufacturers are only too happy to supply pediatricians and hospitals with free samples knowing that if they get you hooked on their brand early they’ll have a paying customer for a full year.
Skip the toddler formula. Most pediatricians agree that your baby will be ready to switch from formula to whole milk at one year of age. Toddler formula supposedly has added calcium, iron, and vitamins, but by the time your little one is a year old he should be getting most of his nutrition from solid foods, not formula. If you ask me toddler formula is just a way for manufacturers to keep you as a customer for a longer period of time. Completely unnecessary.
Buy from Amazon. Amazon offers a wide variety of formulas for 10% to 15% cheaper than you’ll find on store shelves. Plus if you spend at least $25 you get free shipping! And if you sign up for their free Amazon Mom membership program (dads are welcome too!) you can get free 2-day shipping plus you’ll save up to 30% on items like diapers, wipes, and baby formula.
Any other tips to save money on baby food?