While a lot of this is just ripped from How to Save Money on Baby Formula, I thought this topic deserved it's own post. If your baby is on Neosure, Alimentum, Nutramigen or another specialty formula, that can put quite a strain on the budget! I am fortunate that I didn't have to provide this for my baby–I was shocked when I saw the prices! At least $25 for the small can, and there's not even an option to buy a bigger quantity and save a little money. A mom in my parents group refers to Enfamil Nutramigen as “liquid gold” for good reason. It's expensive, but the turnaround both of her daughters experienced when they switched to it made it well worth the price.
Here are a few suggestions for saving money on Neosure, Alimentum, Nutramigen, and other specialty formulas:
Formula checks are used as a form of payment towards formula, and retailers deposit them as checks at a bank. They are not coupons. Most checks that I have seen are good towards a particular brand, but not a specific type of formula. This makes them very useful in bringing down the cost of the more expensive types! Formula checks are usually mailed to consumers who have signed up to receive offers from the various formula companies. You can sign up using the following links:
Your hospital or pediatrician's office may also be able to provide you with formula checks. I have heard that many doctors receive tear pads of checks from formula companies that can be used towards the purchase of specialty formula. If you have access to these, make sure you ask for extras. They don't cost the health care providers anything, and they are of great benefit to you!
Formula checks are great for several reasons:
- They can have a high value. People have been known to receive checks for $10, $11 or $12!
- They can be traded! It's in your best interest to sign up with all of the companies. This will allow you to trade the ones you don't use for the brand that you need. You can find potential traders on coupon forums such as PinchingYourPennies, or by posting a “For Trade” advertisement on Craigslist.
While coupons for formula are rare, they do exist!
- Be alert at the checkout: Many grocery stores and drug stores (including Walgreens) have Catalina machines that print coupons when you purchase certain products. Baby formula purchases generally produce a coupon, although it's usually for a competitor's brand. Even if you don't use that coupon, hold onto it for trading!
- Ask your doctor! I ask my pediatrician for formula samples every time we have an appointment. She always gives me at least two small cans, and I'm sure I'd get more if I asked for it! These samples are given to hospitals and clinics for free from the formula companies. I wish doctors just offered them, but it seems that you do have to ask to get them!
- Ask at the hospital before you're discharged. Hospitals usually receive oodles of samples from the formula companies in the hopes that the babies will grow accustomed to that particular brand. These also don't cost the facility any money, and it's to your benefit to get as many as you can!
- Network. If you're in a parents group, you may be able to trade or just get formula samples that another parent isn't using.
Craigslist and Ebay
Check for your preferred formula brand on Craigslist and Ebay. You can often find them at deep discounts. Remember to do your homework before making a purchase. Some suggestions include ensuring the cans/bottles are sealed and not expired! Also check the seller feedback ratings on Ebayto make sure they have satisfied previous customers.You can also purchase formula checks on Ebay. The checks often sell for close to their face value, but it may be worth your while to check it out.
Craigslist can be a good venue to obtain formula checks. You can post a “wanted” ad on your local Craigslist site, or you can check and see if anyone is selling or giving away the checks that you want. I have obtained quite a few checks this way!