Last month I transitioned Jaden from breastfeeding to formula. He is almost a year old (next month), but I had no idea how much formula I would go through in two months - WOW. It has really made me appreciate the money I saved by breastfeeding! I have been on a mission to find the best-priced formula, since we are going through about a can a week. I have used different brands and Jaden has never known when I've switched them. He seems to like them all. The research I did on this said it is fine to switch brands as long as they are both milk-based and he is not on a specialized formula. The government regulates what goes in them, so I'm really not concerned about one being less nutritious for him (other than a few minor things here and there).
Right now he is on Enfamil Lipil, and a 12.9 oz can costs about $15. The bigger can costs between $20-$30. I have found that not only is it cheaper to buy the bigger can, but Wal-Mart has the best prices on formula that I have found anywhere. They are consistently as much as $10 cheaper than anywhere else. Here are some tips I have found for getting cheap formula:
- Shop at Wal-Mart. Not only are the prices the best, but they have an Organic brand of formula which I love, that is $10 cheaper than the already discounted Enfamil and Similac. That means I get a giant 24 oz. can for $15. The non-organic (regular) Wal-Mart brand is only $11 for this same size (and it has the exact same ingredients as Enfamil Lipil, with DHA & ARA).
-Check Craigslist. I know this might sound risky at first, but I have been on there every day seeing people selling brand new, unopened cans of formula because their baby switched brands. Some of them are cases still shrink-wrapped from Costco. People sell them as low as $8 a can if you're willing to go pick it up and take if off their hands. I also got 2 FREE cans of Enfamil from a lady on there who received the cans as samples from her doctor. They were unopened and saved me about $20.
-Ask your Pediatrician. They have tons of samples of formula to give away. I asked mine for a sample last week and she gave me three containers full.
-Sign up online for coupons and samples at formula websites. Enfamil.com and Similac.com both send free cans when you sign up and tell them when your baby is due (or was due). I got a few cans this way as well.
-Lastly, check your grocery store's discount bins. Usually these are located in the back of the store. One time I went to Ralph's and they were trying to get rid of about 100 cans of Similac Organic, because the label had changed or something like that. They didn't expire for almost a year, and they were only $5 each for 24 oz. (and larger) cans. I stocked up and bought so many that I ended up giving some away (they were expiring before Jaden was on formula).
I hope this helps some of you!!!