New BabiesThe number one advice given to new mothers who are looking for ways to save on feeding their newborn baby is to breastfeed. However, that is not always an option, and even breastfeeding can be expensive. Pumps and other breastfeeding accessories can cost anywhere from $200 to over $500 a year. (Compare prices).
If you plan to nurse, you may want to consider talking to friends and family about contributing to the cost in lieu of other gifts given at baby showers. Also, always check what your insurance company will pay. Some cover the partial cost of equipment. Depending on your income, you might also qualify for help from your state's WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program.
Borrowing or Buying Used Pumps
Borrowing or buying used pumps is not recommended because of possible contamination. If you do go this direction, you should only get a closed-system kind, which is what they use in hospitals. If you plan to rent a pump, the USDA suggests that you "ask for references from a trusted health professional such as your doctor or lactation consultant. Also check with your local Better Business Bureau and the device manufacturer before renting a pump to ensure that the agent is reputable and the breast pump you will be renting is safe for multiple users."
Before buying a second-hand pump, consider the overall cost. What if it breaks? Manufacturers will only cover the cost for the original owner. If you borrow one and it breaks, you will need to replace it. In the end, buying a new pump could be the most overall cost-effective way to go. Compared to the cost of baby formulas, you will still see the benefits.
Ways to Save on Baby FormulasBaby's aren't cheap and 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.
Buy Powdered FormulasBaby formulas come in three types - Powdered, concentrated liquid and liquid. The least expensive of the three is powdered formula. You can save close to 50% by choosing the powdered over liquid formula.
Join Formula ClubsOnce you know the formula that works best for your baby, join the formula's company club.
Top formula club websites:
Many of the formula manufacturers also send formula checks to club members. Formula checks are great because they are a form payment, not a coupon which means they can be used with coupons. The formula companies will send out formula checks in the amount of up to $15 or more when you first sign up, then follow-up periodically with additional $3 to $5 checks.
Grocery Store's Baby ClubsMore savings can be acquired by signing up at grocery store baby clubs. Stores offering these types of clubs include:
Shop at Warehouse and Big-Box StoresAccording 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 and drugstores are 19% higher than supermarkets. Remember too, that Walmart will match the prices of competitors.
Buy in Large QuantitiesBuying 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
Look for CouponsCoupons for baby formulas can be found in parenting magazines, at the pediatrician's office, on product packaging and online.
Baby FoodYou can find savings on baby food much the same way as with formulas by joining the clubs mentioned above, using coupons and reading online parenting forums. Another way to see substantial savings is by making your own baby food.
The following article, How to Make Baby Food at Home, offers simple ways to prepare and freeze baby food.