Saving money while breastfeeding and/or formula feeding

Before even beginning this post I just want to say that there is no ‘right’ way to feed your baby. Although studies show that breastfeeding has many benefits that formula does not offer many mothers do not have a choice as to what/how their baby is fed. I have dealt with this personally and will never tell a mother that one way is more correct over the other. Our oldest, LR, was formula fed while our youngest, JW, was breastfed. Both are healthy thriving children and that’s all that matters.

How To Save While Formula Feeding:
Join rewards programs
Many major formula companies offer reward programs that will send you free samples and coupons. Most coupons are $5 off one item. Although that may not save you much when buying large cans for full time formula feeding I used them to get premixed liquid formula for when I needed to supplement for JW. I would watch the sale ads of local stores and combine their offers with my coupons. Many times I could get the formula for just a few dollars or even better FREE.
Check out these rewards programs:
Similac Strong Moms
Enfamil Family Beginnings
Ask For Samples
Ask your child’s doctor for samples. Many times formula companies give pediatric offices large quantities of samples in hopes that new mothers will receive them and choose to use their product long term.
You can also call the major formula companies directly and ask for samples of their product. Once again many are willing to give away free samples in hopes that you will continue to use their product long term.
Enfamil: 1-800-BABY123
Similac: 1-800-515-7677
Gerber: 1-800-284-9488
Buy Store Brands
I found when formula feeding full time the biggest way to save money was to buy store brand instead of name brand formula. For instance at Walmart the Parents Choice Gentle Formula 33.2oz is $22.47 while the Similac Total Comfort 1.45lb is $27.48, the Enfamil Gentlease 21.5oz is $24.98, and the Gerber Soothe 30.6oz is $30.92.
For another example at Target the Up&Up Gentle Formula 36oz is $24.99, while the Enfamil Gentlease 21.5oz is $25.99, the Similac Total Comfort 1.41lb is $27.49, and the Gerber Soothe 23.2oz is $25.99. So even though you may have coupons for these name brand products you will still spend less per ounce when buying the store brand.

How To Save While Breastfeeding:
Find A Free IBCLC
IBCLC stands for Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Many hospitals are now offering discounted or free services to women who give birth at their facility. Ask about the lactation department at your hospital before giving birth to see what services are provided and what costs might be charged. If your hospital does not offer free services you can contact your local La Leche League for breastfeeding help and resources.
Free Breastfeeding Apps
If meeting with a lactation consultant is not possible for you or if you are not comfortable with that option there are many free breastfeeding apps available. Most have tips for breastfeeding issues that may occur along with ways to track things like breastfeeding sessions, diaper changes, and sleep.
Free Samples From Your IBCLC
Just like the formula samples that are given to pediatric offices many times lactation departments are given samples of breastfeeding supplies for their clients. Some of the samples may include nipple cream, soothies, breast pump tubes and flanges, breast milk storage bags and/or bottles, Supplemental Nursing Sytems, cleaning wipes and soap, and sometimes even formula if necessary.
Free Breast Pumps
With the new Health Care Laws in place many insurance companies now have to supply their clients with free breast pumps. When our children were both born our insurance did not cover breast pumps but we were lucky to have family members who had previously purchased pumps when nursing their children so I was able to borrow their equipment. If your insurance company does not cover a pump borrowing one from a friend or family member will save you a lot of money.
Free Weight Checks
I learned the hard way that scheduling a weight check with your child’s pediatrician may not be considered ‘wellness’ and could cost you a pretty penny. Many times your lactation department will fax your child’s weight checks to the pediatrician’s office for free saving you an office visit fee. (Mine offered this service but I thought our insurance would cover the office visit so that was a major mistake on my part.)

There are many ways to save when feeding an infant but the major way is to find many resources. Companies are constantly coming up with new ways to bring in customers so stay up to date with discounts and programs not only offered by the large corporations but also by smaller stores in your local area. One of these tips alone may not save you tons of money but when you combine all of your resources you are certain to save .

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How I saved $1,000(or more) on diapers

One of the top ways I saved money this last year was to use cloth diapers. JW is now one and we have only purchased disposables once. We were taking a long trip to visit family and I did not want to inconvenience them by needing their washer.

I know the initial purchase of cloth diapers can be very intimidating. There are many brands to choose from and buying a large lot can be very costly. I personally use fuzzibunz perfect size. I have purchased all of our diapers used and have found great deals on large lots of each size. We have a total of 70 diapers ranging from size small to large and I have paid around $2.00 a diaper(pocket diaper +2 inserts) by buying them from local consignment sales and sites like eBay. Check out this savings calculator for the first year after initial purchase of cloth diapers with a first child and this savings calculator for use with a second child.

Along with buying my cloth diaper stash used I also saved money by buying my wet bags on clearance because they were considered seconds. Many times you can get excellent discounts and the products only have minor flaws such as uneven stitching. I also save money by making my own cloth diaper safe laundry detergent using equal parts Borax and Washing Soda. Instead of purchasing cloth wipes and specialty sprays I use infant wash clothes that I have received over the years and I make my own wipe solution. All it takes is a spray bottle (I purchased mine for $1), water, and several drops of infant wash or shampoo.

My advice when choosing to make the switch from disposables to cloth diapers is to research all the brands until you find the style that will suit your family best. Talk with other moms that cloth diaper. Read the reviews on cloth diaper sites and understand the pros and cons of each brand and/or style before committing to a large purchase. And lastly take your time and look for deals. If you are not comfortable buying used diapers there are still lots of sites and stores that sell discounted new merchandise.

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