Wow, as parents of ten children we have surely discovered that children don't come cheap! Right from the beginning they draint he budget with baby formula, baby food, diapers, etc. We have learned how to save money on every aspect. Now you can find more ways to save money, too!
The biggest way to save on baby formula is to not need it! Breastfeeding is the biggest money-saver plus it has other major advantages such as better protection from SIDS, fewer illnesses (which is also a money-saver when it comes to paying for doctor visits!), less change of developing allergies, asthma, and tooth decay, less likely to be obese, and better school performance. Mothers' benefits are losing baby weight more quickly and better protection against postpartum anemia and even some types of cancer
Even though breastfeeding is better,s ometimes the circumstances of life prevent it. With my last three babies, I have had to use infant formula for a substantial part of their babyhood. For whatever reasons, if you do not breastfeed exclusively then keep in mind that the generic brands of baby formula are required by law to have the same nutritional makeup as the brand names. yet they will net you a savings of about 50%!. Even if your child needs soy formula or formula for sensitive stomachs you can still get a generic. The Target brand is especially nice because it dissolves very quickly and is very easy to scoop.
Buy it wholesale if you can. In my area we can buy it in 2-can packs at the Costco wholesale store. It is cheaper than all the other stores near us by far.
Another strategy to save money is to use coupons. You will save the most money when a store is having a sale on infant formula. Several drugstores such as CVS and Walgreen's have special purchasing programs where you can get $5 off a purchase of $15 or more. In addition to this you can use your coupons. So you end up with quite a discount on your baby formula! The trick is to have enough baby coupons when you need them. Cupons are available for purchase on eBay as well as several other websites listed below as well as Freecycle.
If you can locate people who have toddlers who have leftover baby formula they no longer need you can often get it for a great price or even free!. You can search on Craigslist, request it on Freecycle, search for it on eBay, and put a free ad in the newspaper for it, not to mention spreading the word among your friends.
Another alternative is to make your own homemade baby formula. The World Health Organization has posted a recipe for homemade infant formula that is suitable for short-term use:
"The recommendations when using liquid cow or goat milk in infants less than 6 months old and for each feed are the following: For the one-month-old mix 40 ml of milk with 20 ml of boiled water and add 4 g of sugar For a two-months old mix 60 ml of milk with 30 ml of boiled water and add 6g of sugar for infants 3-4 months old mix 80 ml of milk with 40 ml of boiled water and add 8g of sugar For infants 5-6 months old mix 100 ml of milk with 50 ml of boiled water and add 10g of sugar
The following is recommended for preparing a substitute using evaporated milk and for each feed: For the one-month old mix 16 ml of evaporated milk with 44 ml of boiled water and add 4g of sugar For the two-month old mix 24ml of evaporated milk with 66 ml of boiled water and add 6g of sugar For infants 3-4 months old mix 32ml of evaporated milk with 88ml of boiled water and add 8g of sugar For infants 5-6 months old mix 40ml of evaporated milk with 110ml of boiled water and add 10g of sugar"
Those who need to use baby formula on an extended basis may want to use the recipe found on Dr. Mercola's website for a do-it-yourself baby formula, cow's milk or goat's milk versions. You do need to sign up for his newsletter to get access but it's easy to unsubscribe. The ingredients include whole milk, whey, lactose, bifidobacterium infantis, cream, cod liver oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, coconut oil, nutritional yeast flakes, gelatin and acerola powder. He also gives sources for these ingredients as well.
Whichever steps you choose, it is possible to greatly reduce the amount of money you spend on baby formula!