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Ask the Readers: Saving money on formula?

We've talked about a lot of different things recently related to Having a Baby Without Breaking the Bank. As many of you know, I'm a big proponent of breast-feeding and believe that in most cases, with the right support and determination, most moms are able to breastfeed.

That said, I know there are cases where breastfeeding is not possible–such as when there are medical or physical conditions hindering a mom's ability to breastfeed or when you are adoptive parents, etc. And in those cases, buying formula can quickly become very expensive.

Sariah recently emailed me her predicament and I wanted to post her question for discussion since I know she's not the only one who is struggling or has struggled with this:

I'm about to give birth to our fourth child. For reasons that
are too long to get into here, I can't breastfeed my kids. The last three children have required a gentle formula for
digestive issues, and I've been very brand loyal to Enfamil. It's
scary to me to consider switching to another brand, but Enfamil is so expensive.

Do anyone of your readers have ideas on how to get name brand formula at a discount or input as to whether
any of the generic brands (such as Wal-Mart or Target) are comparable
to the name brands? -Sariah

If you have suggestions or input for Sariah, I'd love to have you take a moment to comment.

Note: As I do my best to keep this blog upbeat and free from debate and I understand that the topic of breastfeeding vs. formula feeding can (sadly) quickly become a very divisive issue, I would like to kindly ask that all comments be kept to the questions at hand. Thanks so much!

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253 Comments

  • Michelle says:

    Go onto their website and see if you can sign up for their newsletter and a lot of times they send you coupons. I know this works for Nestle Good Start and Similac. The coupons help!

  • Camille says:

    We used Sam’s Club brand successfully with our first daughter. It is MUCH cheaper and the money you will save will more than make up for the cost of the membership.

    You can also ask your doctor for samples; look on Freepeats; and check ebay for sales.

    I’ve been getting $5 Enfamil catalinas all month at Walgreens and our Kroger store when I purchase other baby items (mostly diapers).

  • Jenae says:

    My son stopped nursing at 8 months…he was just done and was getting extremely difficult to feed. We used the Sam’s Brand (Member’s Mark) formula that is comparable to Enfamil. I think they have a Gentlease generic kind now too. I compared every since Vitamin and supplement in the containers and found that the generic had equal or more of each one. My dad is also a family physician and he says there really is no difference. The large cannister usually lasted me 2 weeks and it cost $19.99.

  • Christine says:

    I also have had children with tummy problems related to normal formulas. I have found that the good start soy is really good. I have also used Sam’s brand soy and gentle on the tummy formulas and both of those work great.
    I don’t know if you are eligible, but WIC is super great for when you have a baby cause they give you 9 cans per month and you can request the soy.

  • Suzanne says:

    I’ve tried both the Wal-Mart and Sam’s brand (comparable to Enfamil). My babies didn’t seem to have any problems with them. And it’s a good thing because, as you said, Enfamil is super expensive!

  • Shauna says:

    After weaning at 7 mo. we used the Target brand of the Enfamil Lipil (yellow can @ Target) at the recc. from our pedi. We were using the free samples from enfamil and our daughter did well on them. Our pedi said that the Target or Walmart store brand is just as good and is probably made at the same factory. She said infant formula is strongly watched by the FDA. I believe it was around $13 a can (which we used one a week at 7 mo) and it save us at least $10 a week.

  • I’m not sure what Sariah’s income is, but she could check to see if her family qualifies for WIC. With four kids, it is possible that she could get free formula and other food items for herself and her baby.

    If that’s not an option, then I highly recommend signing up for all of the coupon/rebate check deals for formula and watching the sales. Ask the doctor for free samples. Ask the hospital for free samples. Check out the couponing boards to see if you can trade coupons for formula rebate checks.

    I have also used the generic brand (Walmart), but didn’t like it as much as the name brands.

  • Sarah says:

    I have heard that the store brands have to be equal to the other name brands, so if you can – you could try those.

    Also, my pediatrician said that enfamil and similac were pretty much interchangeable, one had more stuff for eye health and one had more for brain health. She said that we could use both if we wanted, just not switching back and forth every feeding. If I was out of coupons for one, and had a bunch of the other, I would ween off of one to the other, like 3/4 enfamil and 1/4 similac then the next day 1/2 and 1/2, next day, 1/4 enfamil and 3/4 similac.

  • Carrie says:

    I was a 100% basket case when breast feeding didn’t work out for us, but my daughter is fine and I was able to feed her name brand organic formula without breaking the bank. I used similac for no real reason other than the hospital where I delivered offered that as a supplement when she was born. It agreed with her so we kept it. I was able to find a variety of coupons on ebay (ranging from $1-$10 off each formula product). I was able to use them at a store that doubled them so most of the time I fed her for free or at max $5 per can of formula. Her doctor’s office also had heaps of coupons and no one asked for them so they usually threw them out. I would ask the pediatrician for coupons and sign up for all of the fomula companies mailing lists. It wouldnt hurt to call them to ask for coupons as well. I was able to swap samples, coupons and “checks” (from the fomula companies) with other local moms who were using product lines we were not and vice versa. Best of luck with your new bundle of joy!!

  • Dana says:

    I had trouble breastfeeding my daughter due to some health issues, and after exclusively pumping for two months, switched to formula. We were spending so much on a name brand, until finally, our pediatrician told me that I should consider switching to a store brand. She said that there are very strict government standards on formula, and that store brands have to be, by law, on par with the name brands. So I did my research, and compared formulas. She was right. So we tried both Target and Walmart brands with my daughter, and finally settled on Walmart’s. There was no difference at all, and the switch was easy. I would recommend giving store brand formula a try. It’s about half the price of national brands. Even with coupons, you can’t make up that difference on the national brand. I hope that helps!

  • Jennifer says:

    Our daughter had to use the Lacto-Free formula, and you’re right that the cost does add up! I always tried to snag a few coupons when we went for check-ups. It seems like there are always tear pads of coupons at the doctor’s office.

    Now that I know how to do the CVS Extra Care program, I would recommend earning Extra Care Bucks from other items, and then using them to reduce the cost of your formula (if you can get it at CVS).

  • April Lewis says:

    I’m not sure if Enfamil has a mailing list, but I know Similac does. And if it’s any help my first born had a lot of problems with digestive issues and we used Similac Advance – the pink kind. So of course that’s what we went with for our second one as well and we’ve never had a problem. Similac has a mailing list and they mail you 3 to 4 coupons at a time and if I’m not mistaken it’s $5 off ONE CAN! Which would then bring it down to about $12 a can in my area. Hope that helps.

    https://similac.com/signup-similac

  • As a nurse, one of the best resources I’ve given my patients is to speak with Social Workers directly concerning financial issues BEFORE they become a problem. I would think that maybe Sariah’s OB could give her contact information for someone. You’d be surprised at how willing and helpful they are. It may be something as simple as contacting a formula rep on her behalf to helping her complete any needed paperwork.

    http://thefrugalkennedys.blogspot.com

  • Sue B says:

    I was determined to breastfeed for a year. However, my little guy decided he didn’t want to after 6 months so I pumped for awhile. After becoming very sick for a few days I basically could not get back the supply I needed and had to supplement with formula. I did use some Enfamil but because of cost used mainly Target brand. I had no problems with this. A friend of mine (who’s also a pharmacist) used the Wal-mart brand and said there are basically no differences.

  • Melissa says:

    Sam’s Club sells Member’s Mark, Infant Formula that’s comparable to Enfamil Lipil. The can is 3 lbs. 3.4 oz. and sells for $20. You would be required to have a membership.

  • Monica says:

    I love, love, love Target forumla. We started off on Enfamil and after a few days of half and half it was smooth sailing. Less than half the cost, too. I think we pay $11.89.

  • I am also unable to breastfeed because I had breast reduction surgery when I was just out of high school. I attempted with both, but because my ducts were permanently damaged, I was unable to produce milk. That being said, I had to 2 formula fed babies. With my first, we used strictly Enfamil. This time around, with the economy being as it is, we could not afford name brand formula. Our pediatrician recommended Kirkland brand (Costco) formula. It is a gentle, milk-based formula and costs 19.79 for 2 large cans. Much cheaper than Enfamil which costs 23-25 for a single can. We have not had one single issue with the Kirkland formula and I could definitley recommend it to others who are in the same situation.

  • 5 tips for saving on formula:
    1. Make sure you’ve signed up at the sites of the major formula manufacturers to receive formula checks and coupons.
    2. Ask your baby’s doctor for formula samples. You’ll get them.
    3. You can often pick up free formula samples from your local Freepeats.org Formula Offers board if you live in a city where there’s a group.
    4. Join a coupon trading group and trade for the coupons and checks you need.
    5. You can save up to 50% by buying store brand formulas (and yes, they have the same nutrition as the premiums).

    HTH!

  • Lorrie says:

    I found a lot of my formula from Craigs list. Companies send out samples all the time and not all mom need them. I was also able to get coupons and the checks that companies send out for formula on Craigs list.

  • Kacie says:

    I know you can sign up for Enfamil checks on their web site. Maybe you can get checks from other moms who either use another brand or breastfeed. You can get checks on sites like Freepeats or eBay.

    Congrats on your baby-to-be!

  • Sherri says:

    I have always used the parents choice brand at walmart, but a friend told me that Costco has 2 large cans for $20 I believe. I hope this works
    Sherri

  • Stacy says:

    I have used formula with my 5 kids. The first 2 my pediatrician told me to only use Enfamil (some would say theirs told them Similac)…anywyas, the last 3 I used Sam’s brand. It is SO SO much cheaper and you can compare on the pacakge all the ingredients compared to Enfamil and Similac. Mine did fine with all of them.

    Hope this helps.

  • Natalie says:

    I was unable to breastfeed also, so I understand your predicament. We had several family members who would go to the companies’ websites and request samples of the formula. That led to them getting good-sized tubs of the formula and being on their mailing list for future sample-mailings. The downside is that they will be getting coupons, etc for a year or more, but I know we saved quite a bit of money doing this. Also, the sample-sized tubs were perfect to leave in the diaper bag.
    We spent an entire hour at Wal-Mart one evening, holding the generic and name brand tubs side-by-side and comparing. I don’t know how much it has changed in the 6 years since we did this, but they were identical as far as RDA of vitamins, nutrients, etc. The only difference was the name on the label! Look closely, too, some of the generic brands are packaged in the name-brand factory…read the fine print! Good luck!

  • Gina says:

    With my first child, I used only Similac. When my son was born, he was started on Enfamil. One day while we were in Sam’s I compared the ingredients of Enfamil with that of the Sam’s brand. They were the same! I discussed it with my pediatrician (who also happens to be a very good friend), and we made the switch. My son had absolutely no problems whatsoever, and it saved us loads of cash. All formulas have to meet strict guidelines to be sold in the US (thankfully!), so store brands should be just as good. And for us, they were. JMHO, though.

  • Erica says:

    After breastfeeding my daughter for 6 months I was giving her Simlac, to save a few bucks I changed her to the target brand and all has worked out fine I even think she digests its better! I asked the doc and he says by law they have to have all the matching ingregients! So give it a try? See what u think? Love the target diapers as well!

  • RebeccaC says:

    I could never breastfeed exclusively–there isn’t enough fat in my milk to give my babies enough calories. I always had to supplement with formula, and I too was loyal to Enfamil. The less expensive Walmart brand made my babies spit up way more than they would with Enfamil, and my pediatrician recommended only Enfamil for my girls.

    A few things to help offset the costs: sign up ahead of time for the Enfamil program. They will send you some free samples (I think I got 2 or 3 small cans of powdered formula this way), a diaper bag, and $$ off checks to use. The checks are usually $4 or $5 off a can. Buy at Walmart and then use their checks first, just like you would a check of your own, then pay the balance. Those checks also used to be transferable, so I sometimes got them from friends who were not formula feeding. I don’t know if you can still do that, but if your friends have the checks they won’t use, ask them to buy the formula for you and then reimburse them for the discounted price.

    Also, ask all your friends to sign up for the Enfamil club too, and accept any formula they don’t plan to use.

    If friends are giving you a baby shower, ask for a formula shower. I’ve been to diaper-only showers when the family already had all the basics. Why not formula too?

    And if you qualify financially, I don’t see any reason not to participate for a little while in your local WIC program. They will provide vouchers for the formula your baby needs for the first full year as long as your income is below a certain pre-set level. (That level differs by state. Check with your county health department.)

  • Cynthia says:

    My only suggestion is to be sure that you register with Enfamil so that you get the checks/coupons in the mail, those really help. My understanding is that you can use other folks checks…so you could put the word out that you are using formula and see if you have any breastfeeding friends that will give you their formula checks. Another way to get more checks might be to use your local Freecycle.

    I am anxious to hear other responses, I am due with baby # 3 in 10 weeks and will hopefully breastfeed some, but my other 2 ended up on specialty formula and it does add up quickly.

  • Cristina says:

    My daughter is a formula-fed baby and we just use the Target brand that is comparable to Enfamil Lipil. She has had no problems with it and it’s the cheapest I have found so far. I had a whole stack of $5 off coupons for Enfamil, but even that combined with a sale has never beat the price of the Target formula. We still are currently spending about $50-60 per month on formula, but that’s far better than $125 or more!

  • Jessica says:

    I talked to my pediatrician about it and he said that the only difference between Enfamil (and other brand names) and the store brand is the same as any other product- marketing. You are “paying” for all those free samples and tote bags and cute brochures.

    Check out the ingredient lists- the Enfamil and Target brand are identical. Formula has strict quality standards in this country and few companies would be willing to take a chance on something with such a heavy risk of legal issues.

    I pumped and did Enfamil until my daughter was 6 months- then I switched to the Target brand. We saved a ton of money.

    Two other things- You can also “mix” the formulas- by a can of each and mix them together half and half (if you are concerned that one may be a higher quality). This is also a great thing to do for dog food BTW- if you are brand loyal, just cut the food with whatever is on sale to make it last longer.

    I know that Kroger is notorious for printing really good coupons for formula if you decide to stick to a name brand.

  • Rebecca Haggard says:

    My daughter used the Members Mark soy formula from Sam’s Club. My grandson did fantastic on it. I would not hesitate at all using a store formula. They are all regulated by the FDA and meet the standards for nutritional requirements. The price was about 60% less than the Prosobee made by Infamil. Good luck!

  • Shana says:

    I do know that store brands ARE comparable to the name brands. Formula is federally regulated and even the least expensive generic brand has standards. I’ve used store brand without issue.

    If you qualify for WIC, you can get formula for free but right now it’s Similac, not Enfamil.

    If your pediatrician writes a prescription stating it’s medically necessary to have a certain formula, you may be able to obtain formula through your health insurance company for a copay or even free. Your Dr’s office should be able to tell you all about it and you can always contact APRIA healthcare for assistance. APRIA got us formula for my son when he needed soy formula delivered to our door!

    Hope that helps!

  • Melanie says:

    A great resource is your pediatrician’s office! I’m a pediatric nurse, and at our office, we get samples of formula in almost every brand and type imaginable! Unfortunately, sometimes it sits on the shelves until it expires. When parents ask me if we have samples of a particular formula, I try to give them several if we have extra on hand. Every office policy is different, so it may not work in all situations, but it never hurts to ask!

  • jenny says:

    I also, for various reasons was unable to breastfeed my three children past their first month of life. We have used the Target brand gentle formula for all three children. I have a 7mo right now that is currently drinking this. My first child had terrible tummy pain from gas and constipation and this formula was one of the only ones he was able to keep down and gain weight on successfully. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  • Amy P says:

    I also used the Walmart brand and had no problems at all. I started out with the expensive brands and eventually switched over. I don’t think my son noticed. He’s 5 now and doing just fine!

  • Laurie says:

    I have adopted 2 beautiful babies from China. My first was 10mos and my newest princess is 16mos. So in my situaiton formula was the option. For my fist DD I had her in formula until she was about 16mos and I used any store brand and she did just fine. For my DD now 16mos I have her on soy formula for a variety of reasons and I am currently using Kroger brand as I am getting the large can for less than $9. I have compared labels with Similac and then store brand and they are identical. I am also seeing more store brands that are lacto free, ones for easier digestion and organic. Walgreen’s and Kroger had so many BIGI free coupons out over the last 6 mos that I was getting Enfamil dirt cheap as I paired it with a formula check and was paying approx $8 for 2 smaller cans.
    Laurie

  • Melissa says:

    Sariah,

    I am expecting my fifth. I’ve had to supplement 3 of the 4 children we have so far and used the Walmart brand, Parent’s Choice. I have another friend with 6 kids and she was the one who told me about it. She’s used it as well as we both suffer from not being able to breastfeed completely. Be sure to sign up for all the formula clubs at the hospital and if other mom’s you know are expecting ask for their coupons if they don’t need them.

    If you are still able to nurse a little, I did that. My midwife told me that even if you have very little milk they still get antibodies from nursing. I would just let them nurse and then follow with the bottle. My last one did that and nursed until he was 10 months. I had another that went 18 months like that. Just an idea that lets you have the closeness and gives you the chance to give them what you have.

    Thanks for keeping the discussion positive. I am totally pro-breastfeeding, but much to my disappointment I’m not able to do it exclusively. It’s hard for us moms who want to do it, but have to get that bottle out and use it!

  • AJ says:

    I understand the feeling. I had to stop nursing my third child at 6 months after a serious injury that required weeks of pain management. What help our family save…….

    ASK: Your pediatrician will have formula samples. I asked at each check up and left with no less than 3 cans and coupons for more. The samples are there, all you have to do is ask.

    SIGN UP; Emfamil, Good Start and Similac all have online programs. You sign up, and receive checks, coupons and information each month.

    TRY; Don’t be brand loyal. Unless your child has special needs, there is very little difference from one brand to the other.

    TRADE; Formula checks and coupons are traded just like other coupons. There are tons of forums out there that allow you to trade coupons, formula checks and more.

    BUY; My first experience with formula, I purchased the bulk of it from ebay and craigslist. People purchase too much or are given excess samples often sell them to make extra money. This is a great opportunity to buy formula for around 50% of what you would pay at the grocery store.

  • ann says:

    Make sure that when you are at the hospital, you make it clear that you aren’t breast feeding. They will give you samples. Make sure that you tell your babie’s doctor that you are formula feeding. They should give you some samples. You know those checks that you can sometimes get in the mail from Enfamil? There are people that will sell or will give you their checks that they aren’t using. I will check those sites frequently for those. Kroger stores often have BOGO catalina’s for enfamil. If you combine the checks and BOGO, you could really save some dough!

  • Sarah says:

    With my first daughter, I switched back and forth between enfamil prosobee and similac isomil without any problems. I signed up for coupons and had my friends and family members sign up as well. There weren’t but a couple of times that I bought formula without a coupon and then I just bought the store brand (no problems with that either).

    My second daughter ended up on a prescription formula due to her medical and developmental problems. It was super expensive and there were no coupons. Thankfully our insurance ended up covering it. I’ve heard of insurance companies covering nutramigen and alimentum as well, but I don’t think that happens too often. Its worth looking into though.

    My third daughter was on enfacare at first and then ended up on nutramigen. We used coupons, but it was still more expensive than regular formulas (but not as expensive as the prescription formula DD#2 had been on). We tried to get it covered by insurance, but they wouldn’t cover it. I would ask her doctor for a sample every time I was at the office for any of my girls. They had no problem giving them to me and it helped a lot.

  • Vanessa says:

    If you need to use Enfamil, I’d suggest searching around on Craigslist too! Many times, people like myself, give catalinas or coupons away to those who need them. I’ve had 4 catalinas print at Walgreens this month for Enfamil, and I have no use for them, so I post them on Craigslist and they are usually gone within a day. Most of the time people will just send me a SASE, or I’ll even send them paying postage out of my own pocket, just so they go to someone who will use them! 🙂

  • Sarah Ross says:

    If she’s willing to contact me, I would be happy to send her the formula coupons that I receive in the mail. I never use them.

    Also, you can buy additional coupons on eBay. They usually sell for less than half of face value, which would still save a fair amount of money.

  • Karen says:

    I gave my daughter Enfamily and she did fine on it. My son, constantly cried and spit up all the time. I took him to the doctor several times over the first few weeks and the doctors said he was fine. Then I didn’t follow their advice and I switched to Good Start. The crying and spitting up completely stopped within 4 days.

    Honestly, I think we have been a bit brainwashed about Enfamil. Doctors push the brand to us constantly and put fears in us about other formulas. Formula has come a long way in the past 30+ years since I was a kid and I turned out alright. It’s come a long way even in the last 10 years. So basically what I’m saying is, don’t be afraid of the other brands.

    As far as saving money on formula, my best savings came from signing up through the formula companies. I loved all the free samples, coupons, and checks they sent.

    I also lucked out one time when Winn Dixie was going out of business. Everything in the store was 75% off. They only had the expensive Enfamily Neutromigen left. I bought it and sold it on ebay and made enough to buy my son’s formula for a while.

    You might also try the Target clearance rack. I picked up some Good Start there one time on clearance. If I remember correctly it was 75% off. It’s because it was one of those promotional cans where you get 25% more free or something like that. I ended up getting these big cans of formula for about $6.24/can. I remember buying a bunch of it and stocking the shelves in my garage.

    Ask your friends to keep an eye out for sales and clearances on formula. Also, they might pass down their formula samples to you.

    If all else fails, go to the generic brand of formula. Sam’s is supposed to have a generic Enfamil that is significantly cheaper.

    Good luck!

  • Sheri says:

    After my first son was 4 months old I began supplementing with formula. I settled on the Target brand. I compared the labels and found them to be the same and my son had no problems. I think I was paying around $11 to $13 for the large can. If you do want Enfamil I would follow what others said and get on their mailing list and request samples. I received tons of few formula and checks for $5-$7 off for doing this. (I settled with the Target brand because it was still cheaper than this). Also, if you can somehow get on the Target baby mailing list, I think I did this by registering but there may be other ways, they send out baby coupons which include different formulas. I have seen Enfamil coupons and if you combine that with a manufacturer coupon/check you could get them fairly cheap.

  • Aimee says:

    I too had problems nursing and had to suplement formula. With my second child I discovered the Kirkland brand at Costco – I could get 2 large cans for less than what I was paying for one can of infamil! I saved so much money shifting to the Kirkland brand and had no problems but I’m not sure if they have a “gentle” formula ….

  • Laura says:

    I used Sam’s Club or BJ’s brand — the ingredients are exactly the same as Enfamil, and it’s about half as cheap. My dauhter did great with it.

  • April T says:

    I found Parent’s Choice formula (at SAM’s Club) to be comparable to Enfamil, if you compare the ingredients and nutrition info, it’s very similar. I did breastfeed both my children but my son weaned himself at 8 months and he loved this formula. We used the milk based one cause he didn’t have any digestive issues but as you see they have a “gentle” one. Visit this link to get FREE samples: http://www.parentschoiceformula.com/baby-formula-samples.aspx
    Even though I breastfed, I received so many formula coupons in the mail from Enfamil and Nestle for the first year of both my children’s lives. If I knew someone who was currently formula feeding, I’d give the coupons to them, if not, I’d sell them on Ebay. So if you know anyone who’s breastfeeding, ask them for the coupons they get (and the sample canisters) or you might try Ebay. Many people sell a bunch of coupons in one listing. You could potentially get $30 worth of coupons for around $10 or less. If you have a blog, you may also want to solicit your readers for their coupons, it only costs a stamp to send them to you. I’m not sure if that is considered rude or against “blog etiquette”. I’m sure the veteran bloggers out there will correct me if I’m overstepping there. I’m new to blog world.

  • Due to medications I take I was never able to breast feed any of our children. First off ask your favorite nurse caring for you when your baby is born for additional samples/supplies at the hospital. Usually they will happily provide extras. Then start asking each time you go to the Pediatrician for samples, coupons, etc. If your Ped isn’t getting the formula you prefer ask them to sign up to start receiving them from a representative from that company. Make friends with your Ped’s nurse! When our twins were born one of the nurses would put back a case of formula for each of my twins to give to us at each appointment. One time they sent my husband home with 4 cases!

  • Rosie says:

    I quit nursing my daughter at 7 months… and she was a part-time nurser becuase I worked parttime. We put her on the Walmart Parents choice formula. You can get a free sample from them to try out… they have a basic and either a gentle or a soy I think. Its always worth a shot, as the walmart fomula was half the price of the others. Google “Parents Choice Formula” and you should easily find the site to request your free sample.

  • April T says:

    Darn, I gave the wrong link, the formula I was talking about at SAM’s is Member’s Mark (not parent’s choice) here is the correct link http://membersmarkformula.com/free_sample.aspx
    Heck, try them both. I think Parent’s choice is Wal-mart’s brand but I know you can get a 3 lb canister of Member’s mark at SAM’s for just under $20

  • Dory says:

    We used Target (yellow can) for my first and now use Target fussy (purple can) for my seven month old. It is comparable to enfamil fussy baby. We have no problems with either baby. Good Luck!

  • Rosie says:

    also, a second thought… when you sign up with the major formula brands to get their coupons/checks, they send you the good one (high value) for the first few months, then they get smaller and stay small. If you sign-up close to your baby birth, sign-up again under your husband’s (or someone else’s) name a few months later to get more high value checks. You can also write directly to the company and say something like “I really like your brand, but I have to buy another brand becuase that is what I have coupons for”… more than likely they’ll respond with more coupons for you. =)

  • The Target brand formula seems to be the same as Enfamil. I was able to use both and did not have any issues with my son. I would buy the Enfamil when I had coupons or it was on sale and the Target generic the other times. Also, make sure and register at the Enfamil website. They will send you lots of coupons!

  • I didn’t read all of the comments, but my first two children were 1/2 breastfed, 1/2 Enfamil. My third was 1/2 breastfed, half kirkland brand (Costco). The budget was pretty tight with my third, and so Enfamil wasn’t really in the budget… He did really well with it and it was less than half price! I’d say it was a little more “foamy” than the enfamil, so I’d just premake the day’s bottles at night and then the bubbles would be gone by the time he needed a bottle. Hope this helps. Good luck with your 4th!

  • Leah says:

    My son wouldn’t attach to be breastfed so I pumped but 6 months later I had a minor surgery done and was not able to build my supply back up like it had been so I had to formula feed 2 bottles a day. I used Enfamil only because I signed up at their website and I received tons of formula checks from them. you can ask on freecycle, their are plenty of people that receive the checks that do not use them.

  • Mary says:

    I too have some Enfamil coupons. I will give them to her for free if she wants them.

  • heather w says:

    My aunt is a pediatrician, she has assured me that the generic brands of formula are just as safe as the name brands. I have 4 daughters, age 6 and under. For all of my girls I have breastfed, then around 6 months I both breastfeed and give them iron formula. It has worked well with all of them. But, all that to say that I love the Target brand formula. It is 11.99 and usually lasts a week (although I still nurse her at night and in the morning) she is 9 months old now. I even switch back and forth between Target and Good Start. I buy Carnation Good start too because you can get a lot of the 11.00 off coupons. I search Craigslist and other sites, you would be suprised how many coupons I have gotten for free.

  • Coupon Geek says:

    I, too, was not able to breastfeed either child. I worked with 3 lactation consultants and they all said to give up. (I never thought they said that!!!) It broke my heart! I find deals on formula by using $$ off coupons at CVS and Walgreens and use them with the checks that I get from Goodstart (Enfamil also sends them out.)

    If you have a Kmart, you can buy 2 cans there and then send in for a $25 gift card. Details here:
    http://www.coupongeek.net/2009/03/kmart-deal-ideas.html

    Doing deals like this…I’ve never paid more than $10 a can. And chin up. Sometimes breastfeeding just can’t happen no matter how hard we’ve tried. It’s truly sad and it can depress you but in the end, sometimes we just have to accept it.

  • kp says:

    I get great deals on craigslist – free, low cost, even coupons and checks

  • beth says:

    I only breastfed for 4 months and my baby didn’t gain weight, so I put her on formula. Sams club brand has been in many studys and has shown to be BETTER than other brands(sorry, not positive the specifics). But she switched to that and gained weight and is a normal little peanut now. Its inexpensive and really high quality, do your research, it really is great!

  • Brenda says:

    I used A Full Cup’s coupon forum to trade coupons and such that I would not be using for people who wanted to get rid of formula checks. The Hy-Vees in my city lets me use as many checks as the formula costs. Since my daughter was born 11 months ago I have only paid for 2 containers of formula. I figured how much she would need to make it until 1 year and traded and traded until I recieved enough checks to purchase that much formula. This has totally saved us. These checks were for Enfamil and Efamil Next Step. And she had severe reflux and this worked for us.

  • Kim says:

    My daughter was in a NICU for several days on a feeding tube, and by the time she got to me, she wasn’t up for the hard work. 🙂 So I pumped for a while, until my milk ran out, then had to switch to formula. I actually started out with Enfamil, but compared the Wal-Mart brand ingredients (I used the one supplemented with DHA and ARA – at the time it was a little less than $14 a can, that lasted about 8 days) and they were the same, or the Parent’s Choice brand had more of some things.

    Even though I wasn’t using them, I signed up for all the different formula coupons – Enfamil, Nestle Good Start, and Similac, and sold the coupons on ebay once I got about $15-$20 or so of one brand together. I’d usually get about half of the coupon’s worth (so, about $8-$10 for each one set I sold), and that REALLY helped reduce the cost. I ended up paying only about $15 or so a month for my formula after using my ebay money.

    Good luck with your endeavers – hope they work out well!

  • Felicia says:

    My son is almost two. Luckily, I was able to breast feed the majority of the time.. but I did have to supplement occasionally, and I remember reading the nutritional value in the Walmart brand (parent’s choice) and remembering it was exactly the same as Enfamil. If things haven’t changed.. maybe check it out!

  • Gina says:

    I’m a breastfeeding mom, thankfully I was able to do that. However, just in case, I always signed up at the formula companies’ websites for their clubs. They sent very generous coupons in the beginning (over $10 off) and then “wean” you off those. 😉 However, there are some trading boards (I wouldn’t eBay them, personally) where you might be able to score some of the high dollar ones — I’d give mine away to members of my expecting once I knew breastfeeding was successful.

    Also, since you’re about you have your 4th (this is directed to the mom w/the question), I would suggest that you check with your state’s WIC office – you may well qualify as a family of four – especially if you’re living on one income. You can get formula very inexpensively – or perhaps even free. Do NOT be too proud to accept that help!!!!! Please! You and your baby and your other children need to eat and if WIC helps – use it!!!

  • Dawn says:

    I was very happy with the Walgreens brand and found it very comparable to the Enfamil. Walgreens also runs some really great sales on their formula.

  • Lindsey says:

    I am CONVINCED that Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and Target formulas ARE Enfamil. All the packaging is the same, even! Exact same gold lid, same scoop, same everything except label.

    And the way it’s packaged at Sam’s is an awesome deal.

  • Mel says:

    My daughter had a milk allergy during formula feeding and insurance covered part of it. We had to pay a portion and it was a little tricky to figure out. But it saved us a lot of money.

    Just a suggestion to look into if there are medical issue and need for special formula. You never know unless you ask your insurance.

  • Nicole says:

    See about WIC first. If you qualify and the baby can’t tolerate the formula they offer (Good Start in our state) you may be able to get another brand. My daughter was on Enfamil lactose free formula which was provided by WIC because the pediatrician wrote a prescription for it.
    If you don’t qualify for WIC or don’t want WIC I would recommend buying the store brand.
    Ebay would be a great resource for coupons if you don’t or can’t use the store brand.

  • liz says:

    The target brand is made by pbm products. They also make the walmart brand, The Sam’s club version, the walgreens version, and bright beginnings. I think there are a few other labels they use; you just have to read the cans. So for all those brands I listed? It is the SAME EXACT FORMULATION. Which ever one of those companies has it on sale that week, buy their brand. You should be able to switch without problems. Walmart or Sam’s club is probably the cheapest option, without a sale or coupon. Those labels are analagous to Enfamil.

    My son didn’t tolerate Enfamil well, so we used the Kirkland brand from Costco. Luckily, it was also the cheapest around, ($19 for 2 25oz cans).

    Infant formula is regulated in the US. When you do your research, you realize there are really only 4 companies making infant formula…Abbot labs (Similac), Mead Johnson (Enfamil), Nestle (Good Start) and PBM. PBM is the only one that is ISO 9000 certified. Sometimes they are listed as Wyeth labs, but Wyeth isn’t the actual manufacturer; PBM is.

  • Amy says:

    First, let me say THANK YOU for your carefully chosen words about not all moms being able to breastfeed for medical reasons. Being one of those moms, I often feel defensive when the topic of breastfeeding comes up. And, I’m noticing in your comments here, nearly all of us who have used formula feel the need to explain why. ::sigh:: But anyways, I appreciate the positive tone you set here.

    Back to the formula question.. my pediatrician told me that all brands are regulated and safe, but each one has a slight difference in their formula. For my two with sensitive stomaches, she recommended staying with the same formula and not switching brands. So my only tip there is to find one and stick to it, not shop around and switch brands week to week to get deals.

    And I second the person who said to make friends with your pediatrician’s nurses. My kids were both on a special preemie formula (basically the most expensive one on the market) and after hearing that I had trouble finding it in stores, the one nurse started getting sample cases of it for us for free from the company. It was such a huge blessing!

  • Heather says:

    two of my children were adopted at six months and after using the more expensive formula for a few months the pediatrician found out and said, “no….use walmart brand! by law it has to have certain things in it to be safe and they are all basically the same”…so we’ve saved TONS of money getting it from Walmart.

  • Janette says:

    My baby’s pediatric GI doctor said there is no difference between the store brand and name brand in terms of nutritional quality. I switched my son to the BJ’s Warehouse brand, which is about half as expensive.

  • Leslie says:

    Enfamil used to have a program where they would send you formula…free. Now, this was almost 11 years ago. When my son was a baby, I received free cases of Enfamil sent to my home. Talk to your doctor and see if they have a rep that brings in samples that may know if they still have this program.

  • Martha says:

    I was unable to breastfeed my son past 5 weeks for physical reasons. We used Enfamil until he was about 8 months. I had heard great things about Costco’s Kirkland brand formula, so I asked my son’s pediatrician about it. He said that this brand was perfectly acceptable. When we switched my son over to this brand, he did not even notice the change! The Kirkland brand is $19.97 for 2 cannisters.

  • Sophia says:

    We had to switch to formula when my son was 6 months. We used Similac Sensitive with no problems. If you live near a Publix, they accept Manufacturer, store, and competitor coupons for every item. Food Lion often has Similac and Enfamil coupons, as does Walgreens. Publix will run coupons for it regularly. My OB signed me up with Similac so I often receive $5 off checks. I combine all three and stock up when they are on sale.
    Hope that helps!

  • Jenn says:

    My first had major stomach issues and I had to use the super expensive formula for her (like $25/can). I think it was Enfamil and it was called “Gentle Ease”. I didn’t even have the option of trying a cheaper formula b/c no other brand had that type of formula. FINALLY, Parent’s Choice came out with one! And she had no trouble when I switched. Check out the ingredient list…I’m pretty sure they’re all exactly the same and all you’re paying for is the marketing for the “name” brand. (Sorry if I repeated anything…I didn’t read through any other comments!).

  • I used Wal-Mart brand formula with my children I breastfed them but never made it to a year with any of them so I had to switch to formula until they could drink milk. I was completely satisfied with the formula and price. I compared the nutritional information on the back to the major brands and also consulted my doctor about it and he said the WM brand was fine.
    I also used the Carnation Good Start – which yes, IS considerably cheaper..but I noticed that the scoops were bigger and you used more dry powder per ounce of water, which led me to wonder whether it was really cheaper or not. After that I just stuck to the Walmart brand. 🙂

  • Anissa Ortiz says:

    If you have a prescription plan, call them to see if they cover the cost of the special formula. Two of my co-workers had this problem and were able to get Alimentum delivered to their home for only the cost of their co-pay (the ready to feed one!). The formula was shipped to them a month’s supply at a time. The babies’ doctors had to write a prescription that said (approximately) how much formula the baby would consume on a monthly basis. It took a couple of times going back and forth between the doctor and the insurance company, but it didn’t take more than a day or two. This is not something that many people know, but it’s a HUGE (VERY HUGE) help when it comes to feeding a baby that has digestive problems. If the special formula is medically necessary, it might be covered. It’s worth a try.

  • Beth says:

    So, I would reccomend the same things as others have said, however I have a couple other comments as well. I breastfed my daughter exclusively for seven months while working full-time as a teacher. After that, all the pumping was just too much! I personally LOVE Enfamil. I think that it blends the best without getting clumpy, and it does not stink as bad as other formulas. That said, I like to use my $10 off a $50 purchase CVS print-outs in combination with ECB’s and the Enfamil or Simalic checks. If you play your cards right, you can get it really cheap that way. If you are not into CVSing (I’d suggest you try it out), then I have used the Target brand adn like it–especially the price! However, as I said before, I just prefer Enfamil if I can do the CVS thing. Good luck!

  • Jenn C. says:

    Sam’s Club is definitely the way to go! I had to stop breastfeeding b/c I got pregnant and felt terribly drained! We use the regular, but a friend uses the gentle formula from Sam’s. There are EXACTLY nutrient-wise like Enfamil. You can get a sample off the member’s mark website, I think. I’ve also talked to a lot of mom’s that said RAW goat’s milk is very similar nutritionally to human breastmilk. If you can find a farm or someone you know who has goats, that might be an option (not sure how cheap, but at least we know it’s organic 🙂

  • Jenn C. says:

    I also thought I’d add (since I have a medical background) that generic formulas are just as good as brand name, if your baby does well with them. Nutritionally, all formulas are required by the government to have a minimum of certain ingredients/vitamins/nutrients. So, don’t consider “generic” to mean “not as healthy” or “not good enough.” They all have basically what your baby needs.

  • Lura says:

    We used Walmart brand formula. Our 3 boys never had any problems with it and it is so much cheaper than the name brands. Our pediatrician said it was fine to use.

  • Kahle says:

    I didnt read through all the comments but I noticed many had mentioned the Sams club formula which is what I used to supplement and after my dtr weened from breastfeeding. Another option which I didnt see anyone post about is buying goats milk, mixing it with carrot juice. The baby gets all the same nurtients as with formula but is also receieving the hormones which are missing in formula. We tried this but I would reccommend that if you use this option not to use the formula first as the goats milk and carrot juice has a different taste. Many of my in-laws have used it and love it! It can give baby a bit of an orange tint. 🙂

  • first off, ask your pediatrition EVERY TIME you are in for a check up. Ours always gave us as much as we could carry (she told me that is what it is there for) never hurts to ask. We were very blessed that none of our four children were sensitive so I was able to use any brand I could get for free or REALLY cheap. They all did just fine. Someone may have already said this (I did not read all of the comments) all formula whether it is name brand or “generic” is regulated by the FDA. If you read the back of them they are all VERY similar. Try the much less expensive stuff, if it works, awesome!

  • May says:

    My baby had tummy issues – although I stuck to breastfeeding- and the doctor gave us a ton of formula for free. They offer it at every appointment. I would suggest asking your childs doctor. Also, stock up at the hospital, they gave us a ton there too. I also signed up all the formula company’s websites and I got several $5.00 and $3.00 in the mail and still do.

  • Tiffany says:

    1.Definately join the enfamil club! https://www.enfamil.com/app/iwp//ConsumerRegisterLoadConsentInfo.do
    that is the link

    2.Ask the dr for samples- they have them! I couldn’t breast feed my first and my second I was able to breast feed until 9 months and after that point I asked the dr every time we went if Icould get a sample.

    3.WIC if it is avaliable is the best option

    4. Check out freecycle in your community- I know there are usually postings about coupons that people won’t use that you could get

    5. Post soemthing on a church bulleton board and talk to family members about saving any coupns they may recieve. Ask around.

    6. I have used Walmarts brand of enfamil and both my kids did just fine on it and I am a loyal Enfamil person too 🙂 I didn’t use it all the time but on weeks where times were tough they survived just fine- sometimes I even mixed Enfamil and Walmarts together (esp when I was trying it out- used a scoop of each)

  • It’s up to you and Sariah, but she would like to get her address to me, I have 4, $5/1 Enfamil Lipil q’s from the Huggies deal last week (they printed out with the $10 RRs). Also, Walgreens has a coupon in their ad next week for, I think, $2 off a can. So that would be $7 off each can next week. I would happily put them in the mail to her as soon as I had an address – no formula-feeding hate mail, I promise! I can’t use the coupons, so I’d love to get them to someone who can!

  • Mindy says:

    When you sign up for the manufacturer’s website, they will send you coupons. You can also ask your mother or MIL to sign up as well so that you can get double the coupons. They are afterall having a baby too (grandbaby).

    I personally used the Safeway Select formula for my son and found it to be almost identical to Similac.

    Good Luck to you!!!

  • Bonnie says:

    I asked my pediatrician about this with my second baby because I was struggling with the price of Enfamil, which I too was brand loyal to. He said that their were no differences and that many times the generics are made in the same factory, just labeled differently to make the different “brands.” After some research, I found that the Members Mark, (Sam’s Club and Walmart) is the exact same thing as the Enfamil and they do make a Soy version.

  • Rebecca says:

    Walmart brand is the same as Enfamil. You could sign up for WIC and then get the formula and lots of other stuff free if you qualify.

  • Becky says:

    I wrote a blog post about saving money on formula in February:

    http://bargainbecky.blogspot.com/2009/02/bargain-formula-shopping.html

    I found with my second child, BJ’s brand was the best option.

  • Laurie says:

    I have medical problems that prevent breastfeeding also. For my first child, I bought Gentlease Enfamil at BJ’s (like Costco if you don’t know) for cheaper. The can is 32 instead of 25 oz for the same price as CVS. If it is on sale at CVS, I will buy it there. I signed up for the Enfamil club and got the coupons and samples. I also signed up for the Similac club and traded the Similac coupons for the Enfamil coupons with a person that prefered Similac, usually on Freepeats or Craigslist. Also, at my supermarket (Shaws/Star), they have a baby club that will give you catalinas when you purchase formula or diapers for a competing product. I would trade these also. For my new guy, I’ve been using Enfamil LIPIL, but the same idea applies. Good luck!

  • I love the Target brand. It’s about half the price of the brand name stuff and it was less gassy for my babies.

  • Michelle says:

    tips
    1. call the manufacturer not just sign up on their website. They may give you extra coupons if you explain to them your situation.
    2. Shop around ..different Walmarts have different prices on Enfamil…21.45 at one and 24.45 at another
    3. Ask pediatrician for samples and coupons

  • stephanie says:

    I used Sam’s brand for our 3rd daughter who I was unable to nurse. They also have a gentle formula. You can buy a large can for about $20 … I’m trying to remember the ounces, but I know at the beginning it would last me 2 weeks.

  • Kellie says:

    I used Parent’s Choice soy formula for my children. My pediatrician had no problem with this, and it was much more agreeable with our budget than the name brands 🙂

  • Kristin says:

    Check with your doctor and/or hospital. They might be able to help you get Enfamil at cost. If friends and family want to purchase gifts for the baby, you could suggest buying formula instead. I would second the idea of signing up with the company and getting on their mailing list. They often send out good coupons. Good luck!

  • Holle says:

    My 5 month-old son just started taking some formula, and when I asked my pediatrician, he said to just get something “economical” because all the brands (store and name brands) have to meet the same standards.

    In the last couple weeks I’ve rolled some Register Rewards at Walgreens for their large cans of formula (blue lid, gold letters). Two large cans for $28 minus a $10 RR from a Huggies deal= $9 for a large can, plus I got a $10 RR for my next purchase. Basically it came out to about a third of the cost of a large can of Enfamil.
    And he does fine with it. He actually spits up LESS with formula than with breastmilk. Go figure!

  • Angela O says:

    This may have been mentioned, but in case not: have your breastfeeding mom friends save their formula coupons for you. If they aren’t on the mailing lists, ask them to sign up. I know I get very large-quantity checks from the companies and often I can’t even find anybody to use them. I’d love to give them away!

  • Christy says:

    If your income is low enough and there is a medical need, you may qualify for the assistance programs that the major formula makers have. Here is a link for one of them:
    http://www.patientassistance.com/profile/meadjohnsonnutritionals-177/

    Neither of my boys could latch correctly so I ended up pumping and then much later supplementing with formula. If you haven’t pumped before, there are several online groups that can help! EPers or exclusively pumpers are kind of a well kept secret. Just get a good pump and be ready to feel like a milk cow. The other benefit to pumping is being able to donate extra milk for premie babies. I did that with DS #2. Just a thought! Good luck!

  • Catherine says:

    I’ve never had to buy formula, but still get loads of enfamil coupons in the mail. Make sure you sign up for their coupons, and also let anyone you know who might get coupons but not need them know that you would love to have their coupons. I cloth diaper also and save the Pampers and Huggies coupons for friends who use them too. I bet most people wouldn’t mind.

    Also, I second the WIC idea – the income restrictions are not that low if you have 4 kids.

  • Amanda says:

    You could also speak with your pediatrician to see what ideas they have. Our child had a specific medical issue that required him to have to eat a special formula. We called it “liquid gold” 🙂 It ran over $100 per week. The pediatrician helped us find a way to receive assistance to pay for it since it was medically necessary.

  • Jen L. says:

    I was unable to breastfeed my 3 children. However, the first child I pumped for a year. Second child, I pumped for 8 months then purchased Enfamil. Expensive but only for 4 months. My third child, I was able to pump for 2 weeks and that was it. I started out with Enfamil but with three in diapers and the economy…a friend suggested Target’s brand (yellow canister). After discussing it with my pediatrician, she gave me the okay to switch. She said both brands are exactly the same. I now purchase 2 Target canisters for the price of 1 Enfamil. Talk about a relief! And now we are down to two in diapers!

  • Karen says:

    I used Target Brand Formula / Lactose Free. I called the 800 on the back and they would send me some really great coupon $5-$3 off.

  • Dawn says:

    I used the Walmart brand of Enfamil with both of my children and it worked great. Our pediatrician was very supportive because he said that all formula had to be manufactured the same way according to govennment regulations. It was a huge relief to me to know that I wasn’t sacrificing nutrition to save money. It’s been about two years since I’ve bought it but then it was half the price of the Enfamil brand for the same amount. Best of luck!!

  • Karen says:

    By this time, everything has probably already been said. 🙂 I’d suggest first seeing whether your family qualifies to receive WIC. It certainly doesn’t hurt to check. http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic
    Also, the FDA holds all formula makers to the same high standards; it’s certainly a matter of taste to your baby. I also saw on the news [disclaimer!] that some off-brand kinds are made at the same factories as the pricey ones. I would call an off-brand company & express my concern–they may send you a sample before you buy it. Again, it never hurts to ask!

  • jamie farace says:

    I always used Wal Mart’s Parents Choice formula, and diapers. My Pediatrician said there is no difference except the price. They now make all different sorts of the formula all of which are a fraction of the cost of the name brands. Hope this help. God Bless You!

  • Kara says:

    I have had two boys with very sensitive stomachs. My first son would only take the Good start brand of formula but my second son has settled on the Walgreens Gentle Formula. I was amazed. It has saved us a ton of money because I am always able to use register rewards on purchasing it. Even two weeks ago they had a register reward on the formula that I rolled into the diapers. I am stocked up now until I am done with formula.

  • Cindy says:

    My husband and I switched from Similac to Parents Choice (walmart) brand when y daughter was 3 mo old and she did not have a problem with it. They have the same types of formula that Enfamil and Similac would have. Compare the cans adn I would also talk to your Ped and get their input! This next child may have the same problem has your other children but may not. I would at least try a cheaper brand…the worst that will happen is the new baby cant tolerate it and then you go to Enfamil. Unfortunatly, you will never know unless you try 🙂 GOOD LUCK I know you will make the correct decision

  • Bethany says:

    Walmart brand is great. Target brand didn’t desolve quite so well (though its been a couple of years). The best thing I did was to buy it at my grocery store where they do baby bucks. For every $75 in baby products they give you a coupon for $10 off. If you use the checks or coupons on the formula it really helps to get that extra money back on top of it!

  • Michelle says:

    As always, you should first consult with your pediatrician. That being said, I used the Walmart brand – Parents Choice – for all 4 of my children. My pediatrician was clear that the FDA has the same requirements for all formula so the Parents Choice was just as good as the others. And I found it was at least half the price of Enfamil. And, Parents Choice has several varieties from which to choose – iron, no iron, soy, and even Lipil. So if your child has a sensitive digestive system, you have the same options as Enfamil.

  • M says:

    I hope this is not considered too debate-y, but many moms may not know that there are milk banks and ways to get breast milk from donors. One wonderful resource is http://milkshare.birthingforlife.com/ – this is just another option for the mom who, for whatever reason, is unable to breastfeed.

  • Tosh says:

    I love the Costco formula and it is very inexpensive!

  • Niki says:

    My son had serious issues with protein allergies (cow and soy milk) and colic and acid reflux. He could only use Similac’s Alimentum (not even Enfamil’s Nutramigen) which was nearly twice as much per can and about half as much in the cans!

    -We always asked the ped for samples. They forget to offer them so you have to ask! Sometimes they had lil sample cans of powder but many times they had full size jugs of ready-to-serve liquid.

    -Sign up for those dollars off checks through the formula company’s websites. All brands, even the ones you don’t use. You may be able to swap the brands you don’t need with other moms in a playgroup, church, etc. I also had our son’s grandparents sign up using their addresses so I could get more checks. We did not qualify for WIC, even as a new SAHM with no job.

    -Watch out for Catalina coupons to print out at the grocery store. They usually give you coupons for the competitor’s brand, for like $10 off. High savings! Again, swap with other moms.

    -Check out your local Freecycle website and see if anyone is offering any samples or coupons they have that they don’t need. Mine is always posting them!

  • Janine says:

    I know these brands have been mentioned already, but we have been very pleased with the Parents Choice formula from Walmart and the Members Mark brand from Sam’s Club. (I think their brand is Members Mark) With one child we used soy formula (Parents choice) and he had no problem. Baby #3 is due soon and we plan on using the Members Mark/Sam’s Club brand since we have a membership there. I checked it out not too long ago and they have a new one that is supposed to be gentler on the stomachs, you may want to check that out?? Our pediatrician assured us many times that the store brands have to go through the same regulations as Enfamil/Similac so it is completely safe.

  • Mandy says:

    Enfamil Gentlease is the Enfamil version for fussy tummy’s. Target also makes a generic version of the Gentlease in a purple can – it’s about $15.89 at my local Target per can. Right now (I have a four month old) a can will last us a week.

    I tried the BJ’s store brand but it just made her constipated. Also, like others said, sign up for ALL THREE formula companies to send you the formula checks/coupons and swap/trade the ones you don’t end up using. There is a board specifically for trading on thebump.com and often members post right on the 0-6 month board looking for swaps.

  • Ramie says:

    Store brands have never been an issue for us….we used the Costco (kirkland) brand with baby #1, and used the Target brand with baby #2 (til he needed Alimentum…which is double the cost of regular Similac formula!)

    If you have your dr prescribe a specialty formula (some will for health issues), sometimes insurance companies will cover it (ours did not….but I have friends whose insurance did, and they got their formula for $3 a can).

    Good luck!

  • Kathryn says:

    Talk to your pediatrician and see if they get samples. I was a nurse in a peds office until last year when I decided to stay home with my girls. We would talk to our formula reps and get formula for people who had trouble affording it. They even helped me out when my daughter was young. (She had a lot of medical problems and I had to miss alot of work. No work, no pay.) It doesn’t hurt to ask 🙂

  • Michele says:

    When my old daughter was 4 days old, she had to be hospitalized for severe dehydration due to my body not producing milk. My second daughter was adopted from China. For my third child, I was determined to give him some breastmilk. I pumped for two months and still could only produce 10 ounces per day at most, until my milk dried up completely. So, first of all, there is some support for you. Not all women can breastfeed exclusively. Period.

    I agree with everyone else – use a store-brand formula. We used Parent’s Choice for all of our children and have had absolutely no problems. Good luck to you and DO NOT FEEL GUILTY!

  • Amy says:

    You should sign up for coupons and rebate checks for all brands of formula and then you can sell the ones you don’t want on e-bay or trade with another mom to get more coupons. I did this for my daughter, and ended up getting Enfamil cheaper than any store brand. Also, my local Hy-Vee will give you “baby bucks” for any baby items you purchase. After $150, you get a $10 gift card. It’s not much, but it helped.

  • When I had my first son I used Nestle Goodstart – probably the most expensive one on the market. When I had my second, the price point on Goodstart was not an option, so I went with the Gentle formula by Parent’s Choice (Walmart). It was just a matter of coming to the realization that when it all comes down to it, this less expensive formula had to pass the same stringent formula standards as the the more expensive brands that spend millions to entice consumers with warm and fuzzy marketing.

    I carefully studied the back of the cans, and realized that Parents Choice appears to be Walmart’s generic version of Isomil Advance and ProSobee LIPIL. You can call PBM Nutritionals (the makers of the Parent’s Choice brand) at 1-800-272-5095 once every 30 days (note it on your calendar) and they will send you a sample on the first call and mail you a $3 coupon on each subsequent call. The coupons generally take 4-6 weeks to arrive, and even if you have not received a coupon from your first call, you can call to request your next coupon.

    You can get an additional free sample this week at http://walmart.triaddigital.com/In-Stores-Now-free-samples.aspx.

    Another option is to check out sites such as http://www.freepeats.com. I’ve often seen not only free formula on there but also an abundance of parents trading formula coupons. Also, don’t hesitate to search on Craigslist for coupons and to put up a free post asking for coupons. If you set up a system, you’ll truly never pay full price for a can of formula.

  • If you are using formula and want to save money – do not scrimp on the quality of the water you are using. I know that many people live in towns where their tap water is great (I do) but if you do not – seriously consider investing in a Brita or another way to make sure that water-based formula is not delivering any bad stuff along the way!!

  • Tammy says:

    The Parents Choice (Walmart) worked great for us. I weaned both of my children at about 6 months and they didn’t miss a beat with this formula. My husband is a physician and swears that there is no difference in the store brands of medication or formula. In fact, before I discovered CVS/Wags we never had name brand anything in our medicine cabinet. I’m convinced that the name brand companies try to make new moms think that they have to spend lots of extra money on their brand or they will some how “harm” their babies. New moms have enough stressers…spending more money than necessary on formula should not be something that we feel like we have to do! The generic diapers also work like a charm for little ones. Once babies get bigger and spend more time between diaper changes (or at night) they do tend to get saturated quickly, but for newborns who are changed frequently, they are great.

  • Mary says:

    The biggest difference between name brand formula and the generic is the marketing budget. Enfamil costs so much because they send free samples to every new parent in the country! We used Target brand (yellow can) for our daughter when we figured out that I simply did not produce enough milk (I have Raynaud’s Syndrome). She did just fine!

    Good luck!

  • Rene says:

    I just adopted a daughter this past year. I did breastfeed my bio-son, but in this case…… I use Walgreens version of Enfamil and love it. (The label is white with navy blue and gold on it. It says “Infant Formula, Milk based….with Iron.”) If you read the info on the label, the content is the same. Walgreens has sales fairly often, so I stock up then. They sell for $15 per can (reg price, which is half of the Enfamil cost.) I usually work the sales so that I am paying $8-10 per can. I overstock when the sale price is $8. Walgreens just changed the label on the formula can, so I found the “old” cans on clearance for $4.95 per can. I bought every last one of them! Another thing I like about the Walgreens brand is that it is easier to mix up than the Enfamil (no lumps, smoother appearance, less burping.) I had a friend who used Target brand and was happy with that. If we had a Target closer, that would have been an option as well. Good luck and enjoy that baby!

  • Kristen says:

    Additionally, if you are unable to use any other brand, frequently formula coupons ($5 and more sometimes) are hot commodities on coupon trading websites. You may consider trading for formula coupons on one of these sites.

  • Sarah says:

    I’ve used Enfamil and the Target brand. The only down side of the Target brand is that it doesn’t have the same consistence as Enfamil. I found that it clumped up a lot more in the bottle and mixing the formula with a spoon seemed to help.

  • emily says:

    My friend used the Costco Kirkland brand for her son with reflux. It was a great price and nutritionally comparable to the name brands.

  • Margaret says:

    I know I am dittoing what many have said before, but…
    I tried all types of formula when breastfeeding did not work out at 4 months. My son just had too many problems on the samples of Enfamil and Similac. We did use Good Start for a while since it was recommended but talk about expensive. I tried a sample of Gentlease and when it worked, I immediately switched over to Member’s Mark (Sam’s brand) Gentle formula. (My doctor told me all formulas are manufactured by the same folks, just packaged differently) It does work just as well. I give him about 25-27 ounces a day and it seems to last me 10+ days. All for about $80/mo. (way less as someone has pointed out than even Enfamil with coupons–even Enfamil at Sam’s which is cheaper than anywhere else) A Sam’s membership only costs $40, I think.
    As someone above said, try the free samples. They are a day’s worth of formula for free! They do arrive and come promptly (I have received my samples) And if you think that this little one might be able to switch to non-Gentle formula, try that sample as well. The milk based is even a bit cheaper.

  • heather says:

    I used the Walmart brand (Parent’s Choice) just fine when we switched from Enfamil. It was the same thing, and my child didn’t notice at all.
    Good luck!

  • Heather says:

    We supplement with formula for our 7 month old. We had a stock of samples from companies and also friends, but quickly found out she had a sensitivity to the regular milk based formula and so switched first to Enfamil Nutramagin, which she would not take because of the taste. We then moved on to Similac Sensitive, which is Lactose free and once we knew that was good for her moved over to the Target brand Lactose Free formula. We never did any 1/2 and 1/2 to transition. They are essentially the same formulas so didn’t feel the need.
    We have also found that Walgreens offers a store brand lactose free which is good if you don’t have access to a Target. Walgreens lactose free is about $4 more than Target for us, but I think prices can range for any store based on your location. Best of luck with the new addition to the family!

  • Rachel says:

    I had to stop breastfeeding when my daughter was six weeks old. She was allergic (to cow’s milk – the doctor’s think), and no elimination diet would work. It was bad. We used Enfamil as well, nothing else worked for us. We ended up getting some through WIC and we would also gather Enfamil checks/coupons when we could. Sometimes we would ask for formula instead of gifts that year!

  • I, too, was going to suggest WIC for 4 children and medical necessity. It’s worth a shot at least.
    My kiddos are all adopted and therefore were not nursed at newborns. Enfamil was very successful for us with #1. With #2 and #3 we used the WIC provided Similac and it did not go as well. It appeared to me that Similac caused some babies to have reflux; Enfamil is not as foamy. However, Similac is made in our homestate and that’s why WIC promoted it. Ah well… the boys survived and thrived.

    Also, I have heard only good things about the Walmart and Sam’s Club brand. My guess would be that Enfamil supplies them but I haven’t looked into it.

  • Brandy says:

    I also agree – Target brand formula was the same texture and consistency as Enfamil (regular). I didn’t like some that were very powdery – it didn’t seem like it was similar at all. I used Enfamil exclusively with my first and used Target brand for the most part on my second child…for the third – I’ll be using Target brand as well.

  • Katie says:

    I have a friend who’s daughter has severe digestive problems, and can only be on certain formula. Her new pediatrician spoke with her insurance company, and because it’s a medical necessity, they are helping to cover the cost of the formula, so you can also speak with your insurance agent. Good luck!!

  • Erin says:

    I have used Member’s Mark (Sam’s Club), Parent’s Choice (Walmart), and Target brand formulas. I think they are interchangable, because the manufacturer is the same (I’d have to check to be sure). All 3 of my kids have done great on generic formula.

    I tried using all my free samples (Enfamil and Similac) with my second baby, but she was fussy from switching back and forth. With the third, I just used the generic from the beginning. To me, giving up on the free samples was worth not having a crying baby.

    God bless!

  • Crystal says:

    Here are ways I manage to afford Enfamil Formula –
    1. Always ask the hospital, ob, and Ped. for free samples. Especially for the speciality formulas
    2. Ask everyone you know to register at the Enfamil website and pass along the checks once they start receiving them, I have also got free cans sent to me.
    3. Trade for formula checks, there are quite a few reliable trading boards for this. I have signed up for every formula companies checks and trade them for the ones I need.
    4. I have never had a problem using enfamil checks on any form of Enfamil products. Also checks can be combined with coupons/catalinas.
    5. Right now with a $5.00 check and $5.00 catalina at Walgreens, I can get the box of 16 individual packets for 1.50 after coupons, or the small cans for around 3.50.

    Hope this helps and good luck

  • Erica says:

    I, too, was unable to breastfeed my son exclusively and while it broke my heart, when the lactation consultant said there was nothing more they could do after 4 weeks, I knew I had done everything I could. Anyway, the best way I found to save money on formula was to utilize my pediatrian. Now this may not be possible at large clinics, but we go to a smaller clinic where everyone knows your name when you walk in the door. They had formula samples, which were the 12 oz cans. I was using Similac Organic and apparently I was the only person in their practice using it. They would give me 6-8 cans every time I went in for a well baby check. That helped immensely. I have also heard that ordering in bulk from places like diapers.com can save some money. We tried generic formula, but my son didn’t tolerate it well. However, nutrionally it is the same, so it may be worth a try too.

  • Amanda says:

    When I had to give up breastfeeding my twins, I also used Sam’s club…they have a gentle formula too. It was so affordable and I felt comfortable with it. The only difference I noticed is that it was not as fine grain as the enfamil…it required a little more mixing.

  • jamie says:

    My little man had LOTS of reflux issues, but for us…

    He did the WORST on Enfamil, every different kind. He also strangely did terrible on Target’s generic. He does the best on Walmart generic versions of Gentletease or the Soy generic (based off Similac I think). He does pretty well on the Kroger generic which is even CHEAPER than Walmarts.

    I got tired of buying a can only to have it completely not work so I usually asked for samples of different kinds at his well-baby checkups. Luckily we found a couple he could tolerate so at six months I gave up trying to exclusively pump! Good luck!!!

    Also definitely register with the different formula companies because you can often get them just as cheap with a good rebate. I also registered with my Mom’s address for double coupons 🙂

  • Melanie in KS says:

    My now 10 year old son had severe reflux as a baby (still has it), and some immune issues that made it necessary for him to have added nutrition longer than my other children. So after I weaned him, he was still using formula.

    We used Enfamil, and I thought, after carefully reading the label and finding the ingredients were basically the same, that I would try store brands. It was a huge mistake!

    He had no end of trouble until I accidentally found that a switch back would eliminate the problems. I have since discovered that even though the ingredients are the same, the cheaper formulas are milled different and cause tummy problems. Personally, I wouldn’t take the chance again, or if I did I would be very cautious.

    Sometimes you get what you pay for. KWIM?

  • Heather says:

    My pediatrician told me the same that others have posted – most all formulas are essentially the same. We used Enfamil for a while, but then switched to Parent’s Choice (sold at Walmart) and I found it easier to mix and serve than the Enfamil. Good luck to you!

  • Pam says:

    Definately sign up with the formula companies. The coupons they send are treated by the store as checks. Sam’s Club, which doesn’t accept coupons – but has good prices on formula, WILL accept them.

    It made our formula purchases cheaper.

  • Elizabeth Sue says:

    Take heart, you are not alone. I supplemented my sweet little girl too! I bought the Walmart brand (aka Parent’s Choice) Organic Formula. She is now a healthy and happy two and a half year old!

  • emily says:

    I haven’t read all the other posts so I apologize if this is redundant. I was loyal to Enfamil, as well. However, my brother and his wife started with Enfamil and then switched to Target’s brand. They were more than pleased with it.
    Another thought…..most moms get starter packs of both Enfamil and Similac after the birth but most moms stick with one brand. At our church, moms leave the brand they don’t use in the nursery for other moms to grab. I do this with my formula coupons, as well. This won’t get you too far but does provide a week or so of free formula!

  • Angie C says:

    I agree that most women can succesfully breastfeed, however I had a friend that medically couldn’t. She was so sad. The FDA does watch baby formula carefully. The name breand right alongside the generics have the same exact amount of vitamins and minerals and such in them. And as one woman stated her doctor said they are probably made at the same plant. This is true about a lot of generic products in general. They are just packaged in a boring container and there is no commercial funding. However if you feel you have to be brand loyal sign up on the web for freebies have family sign up for freebies and get on all their websites. I think Enfamil sent me tons of formula checks for both my kids and I breastfed so they went to waste.(At the time I didn’t know someone else could use them as they had my name on them) This time my SIL just had a baby and I am due in August so all those checks will be going to her. You can look at ebay they sell these checks and even though they have somone elses name on them they are JUST coupons and anyone can use them! Lastly join a coupon group and I am sure people like me would be happy to give you the coupons we don’t need and probably would just throw away. God Bless you and your little one.

  • Liz says:

    I breast-fed our babies for the most part, but did suppliment with formula when they reached 7-8 months. I would reccomend setting up a WIC appointment to see if you qualify. I never had to buy one can of formula – we have 3 little ones – and I actually had some left over that I was able to donate to food drives.

  • Swap Savers says:

    My children have had problems with formula too. We saw a GI doctor who recommended Good Start and it is less expensive then Enfamil and Similac. You can also sign up for Good Start coupons. Good Luck!

  • Laura says:

    We were fortunate enough to be able to use Target formula for our first child and hopefully for our second as well. We had absolutely no problems with the formula and it was at least 50% cheaper than Similac/Enfamil/etc.

  • Ashley Jene says:

    I have two adopted children and we used formula with both of them. An adoptive friend of mine suggested that we try WIC as our babies were only 3 months apart and our son was on a special formula that combined with our daughters would hav cost us upwards of $500 a month! We simply couldn’t afford that, at first I didn’t want to because we didn’t want someone else paying for our children, but we decided to go ahead and use WIC for formula…we dropped out after they didn’t qualify for it any more.

    Good luck! I am an Enfamil fan myself, both my kids would get real fussy if we tried anything else!

  • Kristin says:

    All generic formula is amde by the same company so buy where it’s convenient and cheapest for you. We tried the gentle generic fomula but unfortunately it constipated my three month old so we went back to Enfamil. Sign up on their website under as many names/addresses as you can and stagger your sign up dates to get more checks. Also sign up on Similac and Nestle and trade those checks for Enfamil ones. Watch for sales and buy in bulk – Sam’s Club sells Gentlease but their per ounce price is not good if you can buy the big cans for $23 or less (which you can often).

  • Charlotte says:

    I nursed our second daughter until my milk dried up from being pregnant with my third. We panicked and our neighbor let me borrow a can (I didn’t even own bottles!) At any rate my husband happened to run into someone and they started talking forumula. They swore that Costco’s brand was the equivalent of Enfamil.

    Our neighbors daughter is medically challenged (you name it she has it) her specialists told her mom to use Wal Marts brand. We live in a MAJOR city so I would trust the doctors.

    We still opted to go with Similac which is what we used with our first, but I have always retained that info.

  • Rae says:

    I have used the Walmart brand, Target brand, and Costco brand all without a problem. The Costco brand has been the cheapest $20 for two of the 24.-whatever oz cans which are the big ones but I don’t know if they carry the gentle kinds. I know that the Walmart does carry the gentle ease (not sure what they call theirs) though. It is around the same price for the huge can as it is for Enfamil’s small can. And sometimes they will have the bonus cans w/ 20% more for the same price. If you happen to see this, stock up.

    Also:
    –Sign up for the “clubs” for Enfamil, Similac, and goodstart. Even if you won’t use a certain type of sample/check they send you, you can trade it on Craigslist (or elsewhere) for the brand/type you do want
    –Sign up for samples of the Parents Choice (both regular and gentle) and Members Mark. Check out Mysavings or some other freebie website for the links
    –Check Craigslist free section often as well as Freecycle.
    –If you are eligible for WIC, that is a great program
    –Always keep an eye out in the clearance section of pharmacies/drugstores. I have seen several times when the “special” types of formula were marked down my 75% and the dates were still far away. The only reason I didn’t get them was because I used the basic type.

  • Kel says:

    We have 5 month old twins (33 week preemies) and I was only able to breastfeed for two months. We use the Wal-Mart Parent’s Choice milk based formula. In our area it costs $11.88 a can. We use 4-5 cans a week so this is a huge money saver for us. Enfamil, Similac and Nestle start at $25 a can here. Our ped was fine with using the generic and the girls are growing great!

  • Chelssya says:

    I breastfed my children, so my recommendation is coming second-hand. A close friend who was unable to breastfeed used Target brand formula for her second child. Her pediatrician recommended it because she found it was better for babies with sensitive stomachs. The ped also told her Target formula is manufactured by either Enfamil or Similac (sorry, I can’t remember which one!) and is almost identical to the name brand. My friend was very skeptical because she’d been brand loyal with her first child, but she actually liked the Target formula better.
    Also, if you qualify for food pantries, you can often formula there for pennies. A local pantry sells the free sample size of formulas for .20 cents.

  • Tiffany says:

    I use Similac Gentlease because WIC helps me out. but if that ends too soon then I give my son Walmart brand gentlease. He has no problem switching between formulas.

  • Meghann Roberts says:

    My friends and I have done quite a bit of research on different formulas. I have 3 children and have only been able to nurse each of them a max of 3 months. The first had to be on a Enfamil, but the price was so high. Costco’s brand of formula has been wonderful for us. It is about half the price of other formulas! It’s comparable to Enfamil. Also, the doctor’s office usually has an abundance of formula samples. They gave me enough samples for about 6 months, so you may want to ask your pediatrician if they are willing to give you formula!

  • If you are committed to only using Enfamil then make sure to sign up on their site and request coupons. Ask everyone you know to save formula coupons or to request them also. Check out ebay and amazon for deals.
    I did use formula for my second baby. I talked to our pediatrician about using store brand. He told us that as long as it had the same amount of iron and the other items were comparable, then we were okay. I ended up using Parent’s Choice at Walmart and had no trouble. It costs about half as much as Enfamil or Similac do with a coupon, so it is a HUGE savings.

  • Meagan says:

    My daughter is on WIC, and that gives us 9 cans of formula a month. It’s usually Similac, but if you get a prescription from your doctor for a different kind, they have to honor it. Also, I’ve discovered if I use my WIC at Albertsons, A b1g1 Enfamil coupon always prints out. I use these for when I run out of WIC formula.

  • Helen says:

    We used Enfamil for our triplets after I stopped BFing them at 3 months. We found the cheapest place to buy it was Sam’s Club. Sam’s also accepted the formula checks that Enfamil sends to people on their mailing list, which made the price even cheaper.

    I was on the mailing lists for both Enfamil and Similac and I was able to then trade those Similac formula checks with moms who had Enfamil checks but couldn’t use them. Also, if you frequent message boards with moms you’ll sometimes see that someone has formula checks up for grabs to the first person who can respond.

  • Julie Perrotta says:

    Our son too had issues. He was adopted and prior to getting him was on Gentlese, but due to cost I tried Nestle and it worked just as good. You can call Nestle and they can send you coupons as well. Good luck

  • Kavita says:

    We started with the name brand stuff but realized that was adding up to quickly, our peditrician said that they are all basically the same, just a different label. So we switched to the walmart brand and my kids did great with that!
    Good luck!

  • Rachel says:

    Sam’s Club and Costco are good places to buy forumula. You get it in bulk and it is much cheaper than at the grocery store that way.

    WIC helped us tremendously when we had to buy formula for our baby.

    Another thing that helped was signing up for the different infant formula company’s mailing lists. They send out forumlua checks each month. They are kind of like a coupon, but the amounts are much higher. Some are worth $5, $10, or even more. Nestle Good Start and Enfamil have the best programs. Joining both can save $30 or more each month.

  • Katherine says:

    Here’s an article from an expert about generic vs. store brand formula.

    http://www.babycenter.com/404_are-generic-or-store-brand-formulas-less-nutritious-than-bra_1334547.bc

    The formula in the U.S. has to be FDA approved and there are very strict guidelines for infant formula. I used the Enfamil Lacto Free for my first child and there wasn’t a generic for it then, but I’d get the Enfamil coupons in the mail. For my second child he’s on the generic Enfamil Gentelease (Sam’s Club Brand) and my doctor has told me it was just the same to use it.

    See if you can ask your doctor about samples, I ask and get 2-3 cans every check-up.

  • Sariah says:

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions – it’s going to take me some time to read through them all!

    I did request a ton of formula at the hospital (and they freely gave it to me – those ready made bottles have lasted me the past two weeks – so convenient for night time feedings!), asked my pediatrician for some at my one week visit, and had already signed up for Enfamil/Similac/Good Start’s baby clubs to get coupons.

    He seems to be having the same digestive problems the older three had, and we will most likely have to change him to another formula. Thank you again for all the advice!

  • Dawn Perkins says:

    I can’t breastfeed either. Try WIC – the cap for a family of 4 is a little over $39,000. After that, we used Member’s Mark at Sam’s. WIC even told us it’s the same thing! It’s 19.96 for a giant can (equivalent to about 3 of the Enfamil). But just be warned – it isn’t cut as fine and you have to measure it a little more carefully, but it’s worth the small extra hassle for the price difference! If you don’t have a Sam’s membership, it’s worth it even just for the formula. In just one month, we saved enough on formula to cover the membership fee… GOOD LUCK! 🙂

  • Holly says:

    I have a $5 off Enfamil coupon. Does anyone want it? Email me at holly@hollysmalley.com.

  • kim says:

    We used Parent’s Choice (from wal mart) and Sam’s Club Member’s Mark with my second child. He did really well on them.

  • Lisa S says:

    Our daughter had to have Nutramigen formula and that is about $27/can in the store, we ended up buying all her formula on EBAY!!! We would get the formula, including shipping for about $17/can, so I highly recommend that you look into that option. Usually it was mom’s who were done with the formula and trying to sell the remainder of the cans where I got the good deals.

  • I have a great article on my website about saving money on formula:
    http://tinyurl.com/cz7trt

    Here’s saving money on specialty formula:
    http://tinyurl.com/cth36n

  • Claudia Johns says:

    I have some coupons from Enfamil that I would love to pass on. I have no children and didn’t know that to do with them. So, I would love to bless someone with them. They are $5 a piece. Please just let me konw were to mail them. The Lord is so GOOD.

  • Courtney says:

    After 6 months, my daughter weened herself and we were left wondering which formula to use. My pediatrician said she always used the walmart/sam’s club brand because it was made by the same parent company (Wyeth) of Enfamil or Similac. Plus, all formulas have to meet very strict standards for health and safety. So, with that knowledge, I was able to save a lot of money buying the walmart brand and then save even more at sam’s by buying the largest members mark can for about $20!! Congratulations.

  • Monica says:

    Sam’s club formula is the least expensive. Used it with the last baby beginning at about 4 1/2 months–no problems at all. It’s essentially the same as the name brands, so as long as your baby doesn’t require a special formula for some reason, use this one. You’ll save money and your baby will get all the nutrients he/she needs. Best of luck!!!

  • Cee says:

    We were also unable to breastfeed past the first month. We met with four lactation consultants in the hospital and through our pediatrician, we tried pumping — but finally switched to formula. We started off with the regular Enfamil through our pediatrician, but then started using the Gentlease formula at his recommendation (our DD had digestive problems). After realizing how much we were spending per week on formula, we began to look at other alternatives. We have used the Target brand (purple can, comparable to Enfamil’s Gentlease) and we save about 50% each can. We have had no problems with the formula, and find that it dissolves better than the Enfamil brand, even though our daughter prefers her bottles at room temperature.

  • Erika says:

    When Ihad to stop nursing because my son would not stop biting me with teath ( I cring still to think about the feeling) at 6 months I was concerned because he had had stomach and a mild case of reflux and out pediatrian had recomended and said it was the most comparable to Good Start which I think is the most digestable was the Costco Kirkland Brand of formula and I want to say at the time which was 3 years ago it was something like $18 something for 2 huge cans a steal of a deal in comparison to the little can you would get from Enfamil. it is worth a shot to try GOOD LUCK! You might just have to try a bunch and see what works for your baby!

  • jen b says:

    Costco’s Kirland has a comparison chart on their formula for Similac and Enfamil- they are very similar to Kirkland brand, and cost only $20 for 2 large cans of formula. My little one has been happy with it, as we had to wean her rather abruptly at 7 months due to my health issues.

  • Cee says:

    Also I have found that I get a Target $1 off formula coupon with each receipt generally when I buy formula. I usually pay about $11-13 a can pre coupon 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    store brand, sign up for coupons (have some sent to a friend’s house too so that you can have extras). Also, The name brand formula goes on sale at Target about once a month. I’d always go then and stock up (twins). I’d buy up what was left and then would ask for a raincheck. I was paying about the same per week for formula as I was for milk when we switched over (but that’s when milk was almost $4 a gallon).

    Also, never get the individual serving packets – big waste! you can find plastic small reusable containers meant for formula or small baby snacks at the dollar tree. My daughters were also on special formula for acid reflux and we found they did just as well getting half special formula and half regular formula.

  • amanda says:

    I too had to switch to the Kirkland brand (Costco) formula when my son stopped nursing. They have recently reduced the price from $19.99 to $17.99 for two giant cans. My son loves it and it doesn’t clump up or get really frothy like some off-brands tend to do. I’m in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area so I don’t know if the prices have come down for all stores. Hopefully the new baby won’t have any digestive issues and you’ll be able to use something cheaper.

  • Bethany says:

    We used Parent’s Choice Gentle (compare to Gentlease), and we LOVED it. It didn’t bother our sensitive boy at all. We both breastfed and used formula (didn’t have enough milk for my 9 pounder). It was around 13.00, but you can email the company (and have all your family email too) once a month and they’ll send you 3.00 coupons.

    It’s definitely worth a try!

  • Karilee says:

    My last baby was fed with formula, which was a new thing to me since I’d nursed my other 4 children. BUT, in reference to the question….I used mostly generic formula, unless I had a coupon that made it cheaper. I wasn’t loyal to which store it was purchased from, but I did only use the “gentle” labeled formulas. My Pediatrician said that was fine to do, as long as it seemed to take well with baby.
    Also, as others have mentioned, sign up for every mailing list you can find. My friends and relatives also signed up for the mailing lists and then sent their coupons to me. THAT was a great blessing!

  • Jen says:

    First of all, congratulations! 🙂

    We were very happy with Target brand formula. However, once I started doing deals at Walgreen’s, we switched and were happy with that as well. Between rebates and register rewards, we were able to get formula and diapers practically free.

  • Margaret says:

    I breast-fed my son for the first five or six months, and then we switched to formula. We were using Similac, but after comparing labels, doing research and talking to our doc, we switched to the Target yellow can. And then switched to Kroger’s “gentle” formula (because it’s closer to run to Kroger if we run out than to run to Target). I think the Kroger brand dissolves better and clumps up less than the Similac we were on.

  • Jessica says:

    Hey. I dont know if you qualify but look into WIC. You have to meet certain critea. But like me I dont work and my husband is military, plus we have two children. But they gave us 10 or 12 cans of formula a month, milk, eggs, peanut butter, 2lbs cheese, etc. Once the baby is older they give you juice, rice, etc. You can get on it while pregnant and they will give you things as well. Its a great program for those who qualify. The formula alone saved us over $100 a month. Now my kids are 1 and 2 and they are still on it. I believe every state has one. They even help you if your child is on a special diet. Like my kids were on soy formula. And now they are on Lactaid milk. All of which was WIC qualified. And lactaid milk is not cheap. Godo luck to you.

  • TJ says:

    I stopped nursing my son at 6 months due to the medication I needed to start taking. I spent very little on formula a variety of ways:
    1. I had saved all the free samples that the dr’s office and hospital gave me.
    2. I had a friend send me her free samples. She was also nursing, but supplementing soy formula. So I sent her my soy, she sent me all of her regular.
    3. I used the Target Brand! It worked great.
    4. I used some of the big coupons from enfamil and matched them up with sales to buy it for less or the same price as Target.

    My son is a happy, healthy almost 3 year old now. And with number 3 on the way, I’ll be sure to save those samples and coupons again.

  • Lisa says:

    Be CAUTIOUS when buying the Enfamil/Similac/etc CHECKS off of ebay or Craigslist. It clearly states these are not to be transfered or sold (names are printed on these checks), and would void the check if done so. Most cashiers don’t check the names, but if they do, some will not let you use them. Just a warning because that would cost you money!

    As mentioned, formula is VERY regulated. Enfamil and Similac tend to be more expensive due to marketing and research. Target, Wal-Mart and Maker’s Mark (and other store brands) are usually identical. They use the info found in name brand research to develop their own, thus saving in research costs, and they isn’t marketing costs.

    I had twins, and breastfed for 6 months. My body couldn’t keep up with the demand, so I also suplemented with formula. And once I went back to work, pumping was so limited my supply severely depleted. I tried Similac, but it constipated my boys. I switched to Enfamil, but once the checks ran out along with free samples, I switched to Target brand and then to Member’s Mark. No problems switching at all. I even used Kirland’s brand. Their digestive systems were well-developed then, so switching didn’t bother them, although I settled on Maker’s Mark because a Sam’s was right up the street from me. I would not reccomend switching while they are very young becuase it upsets their tummies.

  • Carrie says:

    Definitely sign up for any Enfamil newsletters you can…I’ve been receiving coupons from them for their formula. One thing that really helped us out was another family who takes care of a lot of foster children. She had A LOT of leftover formula that she hadn’t used that hadn’t passed their expiration date. That really helped us out.

  • I have used generic formulas from Target, Walmart and BJ’s and have had great success. If you compare the nutrition information they are basically the same.

  • Cindy J says:

    I used Enfamil and Member’s Mark (Sam’s brand) with my twins. The twins had no problems with the Member’s Mark brand. Also if you don’t know this Sam’s will take the formula checks that you get. I always used the really big ones there to save even more money.

  • Laura says:

    I gave my first child both similac and enfamil my nutritionist and pediatrician said that enfamil and similac are very similar so i fed my son both i went to every store looking to see who sells it cheaper and at the time it was genevese which is now rite aid for my second baby we werent as lucky as to buy formula i got on wic which helped me alot and i signed up for everything i could for coupons magazine sites baby sites
    https://similac.com/signup-similac
    http://www.enfamil.ca/en/enrollment/index.html
    http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/
    hope this helped

  • Laurie A says:

    This may have been mentioned above (I didn’t read through previous comments thoroughly), but every time I go to the pediatrician’s office, I ask for samples and coupons. Even if I’, there with my older son instead of the baby I ask at the desk. I’ve gotten cases of Similac on occasion and almost always get six or so $5 off Similac coupons. I take the coupons to Rite Aid and use a $5/$20 or $5/$25 coupon (with a small filler that I need – milk, bread, chips – or one that cheap after SCR), and I get a total of $10 off of a big container of Similac.

    I could also use two of the $5 off Similac coupons and get two smaller containers to use with the $5/$25 and no fillers are required.

    When CVS was liberal in giving out the $4/$20, $5/$25, and $10/$50 coupons, I did the same thing – coupled it with one or more Similac coupons from the pediatrician’s office.

    This is what’s helped me save a great deal.

  • MB says:

    Sorry if this is repetitive, I didn’t check all the posts ahead of me. I have been able to get 8oz cans from my pediatrician. I have use the allergy-free kind (alimentum) for my son and it’s super expensive. Last time the doctor gave me 3 cans. I just ask every time I go.

    Also, I’ve seen people either giving away unused cans on Freecyle or Freepeats and selling it cheaper on Craigslist.

    I think it would be worth trying another, less expensive brand too. If it works, then you will save in the future. If it doesn’t work, well then at least you know.

    Good luck!

  • Lindy says:

    Sometimes you can get a deal on ebay. Or ask your friends if you can have their coupons. All of my friends handed me their coupons with my first son. Saved a bunch.

  • Aimee Bacon says:

    Sorry, but you will have to give the store brands a try to know whether they will work for your baby. With my second child I used the Walmart brand and it worked great and saved me lots of money. With my third baby (4mos now) I have tried almost every brand and the only one she can tolerate is Similac Sensitive. So I use all the checks that they send me and just have to pay the prices. Every baby is different and tolerates different things. But give them a try if they work, great.

  • S. Mullinax says:

    I have used Sam’s Club – Members Mark formula regularly with both babies and it comes in a gentle form. The money you will save will pay for your membership probably after your first visit! Also have had no problems with Walmart or Walgreen’s brand as they are some times on sale even cheaper. The ingredients are the same you just don’t have to pay for the “label” or marketing of the over priced name brand. Nursed my first with no problems but was unable to pump so when I went back to work she had regular formula. My second was extremely gassy and fussy and refused to nurse most of the time so we used the gentle formula till she was almost 6 months old. Both my girls look just as healthy as my friends nursed and name brand feed babies;-)

  • Mary says:

    I am an L&D nurse and we get this question a lot. Here are a few tips:

    1. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t get samples or much extra formula from your nurse or peds. We had to stop giving them out because of hospital policy. We also don’t give out the bags with free samples (even though the company lists our hospital!) This isn’t because we don’t agree with bottle feeding, it is because of legal issues.

    2. Almost all generic and name brand formulas are made at the exact same factory (the generic is generally even made by the name brand manufacturer!) and then just labeled differently. It is literally the exact same formula. All in the marketing! (This is true for many products!) So rest assured you are feeding your new baby a great product!

    3. Almost all formula companies have coupon programs, sign up for them early on and have your friends/sisters/brothers sign up too. They’ll have to say they’re having a baby as well but I’ve done it for friends.

    4. Sign up for WIC, you’ll get formula and some foods provided for you and your family if you qualify. And there’s nothing wrong with accepting help!

  • kimberly says:

    i too couldn’t breastfeed due to medical reasons and since enfamil is what they gave my son in the hospital, thats what i wanted to keep him on. but my gosh that stuff was SO expensive and we didn’t qualify for wic so i looked into the walmart brand. he did fine with it. but when the pediatric nurse found out we didn’t qualify for wic, she would give us the extras from the hospital.

  • Carrie says:

    This may not work for you but my grocery store would print out a coupon for the name brand everytime I brought the cheaper brand. I would sell that coupon on ebay. So I was saving by using the cheaper brand and making a couple bucks on ebay- not much but easy to list and mail.

    I would also keep posting on Craigslist that you need it. So many people get samples and don’t know what to do with them.

  • Jessica says:

    Just like others have been saying…we used the Target and Walmart brand. I switched back and forth depending on which store I needed to go to that week. I saw no difference between either of them. My son tolerated them just as well as he did the expensive brand names. Good luck!!!

  • jenn says:

    HI I nursed both my sons till they were 6 months and then I used the Sams club brand.The best part I can get a 3lb can for $19.98 the price has not changed around me in 3years.My oldest tried sililac but was real gassey once a friend suggested sams brand no more gas..good luck

  • Becky says:

    My son had to stop nursing at 10 months and we had to buy formula for a little while because he was having weight issues…I bought enfamil and like you are very brand preffered…we have a publix nearby and i would buy it there…i would use a competitor coupon for like $5 off $30 and then use a manufacturer check and a store coupon and would get it for $10 or less! I had friends that breastfed that got the checks that would give them to me and i signed up for EVERYTHING online and they would send me free samples some too!

  • Jennifer B says:

    Both of my daughters needed spcial formula. Our medical insurance covered it! Our doc wrote a perscription for it. IT can’t hurt to check your insurance. See if and what kinds they cover.

  • Alison says:

    I discovered that my local kids’ resale shop sold formula at a significant savings. My son was on Similac Alimentum and I was able to buy it there at about half the regular price. The cans were still sealed and it was just like buying it at the store.

  • Stephanie Kirby says:

    We had to use Enfamil Gentlease for my daughter and a friend told me to try the Walmart brand (I’m thinking this might be the same as Sam’s but I’m not sure). We did not have any problems switching her over to the store brand and for 1/2 the price it worked exactly the same.

  • Karen says:

    If you are eligible for WIC, the brand of formula they provide is Enfamil…ask for samples at each doctor’s appointment…join your local freecycle group and request the checks/coupons…always use your customer card at the grocery store; I often get catalina coupons for enfamil from Jewel when buying other baby products.

  • Davonne says:

    This may have already been said, but just in case it hasn’t…

    Regulations on formula are so strict that even the off brands are perfectly fine (unless your doctor tells you otherwise of course). The important thing is that they’re fortified with DHA and DRA, so check the label for that.

  • Laura says:

    We used standard Similac initially and then switched to their soy formula, but when I saw the much lower price of Target soy, we switched with no problems whatsoever.

  • Jamie says:

    Sign up for Freecycle in your area and occasionally post a wanted for any formula coupons of the brand you decide to go with. Some people are probably just throwing them away if they don’t need them! You may not get any but it doesn’t hurt to try. It’s already been mentioned but definitely check ebay and Craig’s list as well. You could post a wanted on Craig’s list too.

  • Tasha Via says:

    My son had reflux and I tried every kind of formula under the son. Neither of our babies could stomach Similac but I did find that Target brand for sensitive tummies was the best for our son, and almost $10 cheaper. It’s worth giving anything a try. None of the formula carried in the stores will hurt your baby, just try different kinds to see which one works best for you, your baby and your wallet.

  • Rita says:

    I have used the Sam’s brand formula with great success with my 11 month old daughter. In the times I’ve run out and not been able to get to Sams right away, she hasn’t liked the name brand formula I’ve given her instead!

    Also, ever since buying a can of Enfamil at Walgreens, every time I make a purchase the register spits out a BOGO free coupon for Enfamil. I don’t know how the system decides which coupons to print, but I’m guessing it’s based on the type of purchase you make, so maybe if you buy Enfamil there you can start getting some coupons also.

  • Kim says:

    I used Target brand formula (lactose-free) for my daughter. I was able to get it for about $11 a can. However, some Targets carried it for $14 a can. So, check with different Targets around you…they may have different prices.
    ALso, every time I visited the doctor for well-checkups or sick visits I would ask for samples. They would give me Enfamil that lasted for at least a few days! That was always helpful!

  • Jenny says:

    Just this morning, my pediatrician told me that the generic brands are just as good/basically the same as the name brands. I use the Sam’s brand ones and had no trouble, but my son didn’t have any digestive issues…

  • I recently wrote a post on saving money using Formula. Here is the link. http://30dollarweeklygrocerychallenge.blogspot.com/2009/03/saving-money-on-infant-formula.html
    Hope it helps.
    I used to use Enfamil and recently switched to Parent’s Choice milk based formula. I have found it very comparable to Enfamil and my baby has done very well on it. I was very pleased. And the price difference is great and a big blessing! of course, had she not done okay on parent’s choice, i would have definitely paid the higher price for Enfamil but luckily Parent’s choice worked great!

  • Brittany says:

    If you can not get enough Enfamil checks, I suggest checking Ebay. Many mothers who buy too much formula(including the special digestive kind) sell the “extra” on Ebay. The expiration dates are usually not for another year from the listing date, so it can work out to be a great deal. Most of these sellers offer free shipping too!

  • ashley says:

    Be sure to check with your insurance company … ours covers formula and a three month supply is $60 regardless the quantity, so we asked the pediatrician to write the prescription for the max amount she could!

  • Jiya says:

    We are using Walgreens formula exclusively with our baby girl now, and we used it to supplement breast feeding until she was 8 months old. It’s the same nutritional value as Enfamil Lipil, and about $10 per can less. Walgreens has a sale on its formula about once per month — sometimes it’s a few dollars off per can, but earlier this month it was buy 2 cans for $28, get a $10 coupon off your next purchase. You can also order it online at Walgreens.com for the same price as the stores, and shipping is free if you purchase over $50 (3 or 4 cans will usually meet the free shipping price). They have online discounts occasionally as well.

  • leah says:

    if you’re scared to switch brands, you can get enfamil coupons on ebay:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230331646564&category=82228&_trksid=p3907.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSI%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D15%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D54

    that should help keep the prices comparable to store brands. good luck – we were enfamil-loyal too 😉

  • Becky H. says:

    I scanned the comments, and didn’t see this mentioned. One option, if you are comfortable with it is milk donation. There is a group called MilkShare where you can get donated breastmilk – either through a local donor or through the mail. The website I’ll link below has guidelines for milk recipients on finding a donor for you. If you find a local donor, it’s possible you may only pay gas money to meet the mom and get free breastmilk!
    http://milkshare.birthingforlife.com/
    I saved my formula coupons and samples and gave them to moms that I knew formula fed. I also gave away all my samples to a very grateful mommy! Just keep on eye on Craigslist and Freecycle for coupons and cans/samples!

  • Penny says:

    These are all great ideas. I just wanted to add a few thoughts. I formula fed both my babies, and found that I was able to switch formulas on them with no problem. I know not everyone is that lucky, but I was able to buy whatever brand I could get the cheapest.

    I signed up for the mailing list of every formula company and they all sent samples and coupons. I didn’t see Carnation mentioned here yet. They publish a magazine that includes coupons for other Nestle products too.

    My mom, sister and best friend also signed up on the mailing lists for me and gave me their coupons.

  • Nicole says:

    My son wouldn’t nurse so we had to use formula. I used Similac Gentle which was so expensive!!!!! Then I stumbled on to Parent’s Choice Gentle. It was 11.88 per can. I couldn’t beat that deal. I highly recommend using Sam’s club or Walmart formula. It’s the same as the name brand except for the cost!
    Nicole

  • Wendy says:

    We used Enfamil for our first two babies and for the first six months with baby three. In trying to cut back on expenses though we switched to Target’s formula and he never noticed a difference and it was half the cost of Enfamil.

    One thing a lot of people don’t know is that you can even get coupons for the Target brand formula. Go to http://www.pbmproducts.com and contact them to receive coupons. I believe they also make the formula from Wal Mart so you could probably get coupons for it also. I think after I initially contacted them I would just send an email every month to request more coupons.

  • Jess says:

    I am also a ped nurse and at our office we will happily give samples although I will say that we dont get as much as we used too. The reps have bigger territories to spead there budget out too. Craigslist and EBay seem to have really good deals.

  • Kim N says:

    I really liked the Target brand. In fact, I liked it better than the name brands. I did not however like the Costco brand at all. It stinks, it foams too much, and my baby spit up a ton after drinking it.

  • debra says:

    My daughter was born with a condition called gastroschisis (basically, her intestines were outside of her body). I pumped for 3 months and never made more than 2 oz a pump (even tried numerous meds and herbals with no luck). When we came home from the hospital, we had to supplement with a prescription formula. Then, we moved onto Enfamil Alimentum and by this time she was straight formula. Next, we moved up to Enfamil Gentlease. I, too, was scared to try a generic formula especially considering her medical issues. However, I was assured by all of her doctors that there was no difference. So we made the switch and she never once had a problem. I had used formulas from Meijer, Kroger and Walmart and never found a difference between the 3.

  • Brandi says:

    I supplemented breastfeeding with formula, especially after I returned to work. We found that the baby did well with Parent’s Choice Gentle formula. It seemed to help her gassiness. I’ve currently got her on just the plain formula which is a few dollars cheaper. I recently tried Walgreen’s version and by comparing the labels, I found that it and the Wal-Mart formula was made by the same company. You even had to call the same number if you had comments or concerns.
    Another thing that we have noticed is that Wal-Marts in different states charge different prices for the same product. We live near the AL/TN line and Parent’s Choice formula is a dollar cheaper per can in AL ($11.88 v. $12.88).

  • I understand your dilemma, I had the same issue with one of my babies. Try looking on eBay for formula coupons. Many moms who won’t need them batch them up and sell the coupons on eBay. You can check this link for recently completed listings for Enfamil coupons http://tinyurl.com/d6jswo

    I personally wouldn’t buy the actual formula on eBay (even though people do) as this is a food product that your baby will be ingesting – too much risk for me. But the coupons can certainly help reduce your price on the product.

    Best of luck~
    Suzanne

  • Betsy says:

    I have fed my three boys on Walmart’s formula- PArent’s Choice. Just had my third son 12 weeks ago and he, too, is on this formula. I asked my pediatrian to doublecheck whether it is comparable to Enfamil and she confirmed. you are just paying for the name-brand. Hope this helps you! It will certainly save you a BUNDLE!

  • Jenny says:

    My daughter had to use the expensive Enfamil Nutramigen and it had to be RTF, because of her reflux issues. The only way to save money was to wait for them to go on sale and use the Enfamil checks.

    For just a basic formula, your doctor should be able to tell you the pros and cons of each. Store brands usually have the same ingredients as the brand names.

    The cheapest way to go is powdered formula, if you can.

    Good luck.

  • Kelly says:

    I use Similac Sensitive for my son and I tried the Target Brand in the sensitive formula. Unfortunately it made him constipated within 24 hours and then he passed some really difficult stools. So now we are sticking with what works, THE SIMILAC!

  • By Federal Law, all formulas, store brands included, must undergo the same restrictions, requirements, and guidelines. With us, it wasn’t about price, we would pay whatever necessary for safe, nutritional formula that promoted our children’s brain and other development. However, saving money was an issue if we could. We researched and found that the well known store/generic brands meet or exceed all federal requirements. I believe that the American Pediatric Association website would have some information.

  • Kristi says:

    We used generic with both of our kids once they were weaned. With my daughter we did use name brand for a little while because the doctor’s office had given us a can as a sample and she seemed to take okay to it so I was afraid to switch. Once we tried it though she had no problems with it. I have used Member’s Mark, Target brand and Parent’s Choice all depending on what was on sale and I never had any issues. Just stick with the same color can and it is all pretty much the same. I will say that I prefered the Target brand just because of the consistency. It was easily scoopable, but dissolved quickly. Some of the others were a bit more clumpy IMO.

    I even wrote an article about this and other saving tips for babies on associated content. Here is the link if anyone wants to check it out. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/460552/offsetting_the_estimated_7000ayear.html?cat=25

  • Debbie says:

    ok, here is how i got formula for both of my boys practically for free! we use/d goodstart supreme. on top of the coupons they send, they would also frequently run deals at stores (Catalinas) where you would get BOGOs or $5 or $10 off a 12 or 24 oz can. The seemed to switch back and forth between enfamil for a few months and then they’d run goodstart. When my brand was running I’d go to ebay and buy a ton of coupons along with the Goodstart checks. Between the $10 off Catalina and a $11 Goodstart check that pretty much paid for a can. When it would run, I would work the deal to death for a few weeks and then I’d have my formula for the year!

    Also, I was a faithful member of the Whattoexpect.com site and made lots of friends so I’d send them my Similac and Enfamil coupons and they’d send me their Goodstart checks. So, network for those coupons!

    **note** I just briefly checked ebay and it looks like the deal is running for enfamil right now!!! Do you have an Albertsons? I see some one is selling the Albertsons $5 off Enfamil CATS. Combine those with the checks and you’re well on your way!

  • Renee Meredith says:

    i get the checks and take advantage of CVS’ deal when they so the 2/10 on ready to feed. my son seems to like it better.

  • Kristen says:

    I recently switched from Enfamil/Similac to generic brands such as Publix brand (local grocery store) for $16.99 a can and then found Kirkland Signature from Costco which is only $19.95 for two cans. My son hadn’t even noticed the switch. I wish I had used it from the beginning. Formula is regulated by the FDA so you have nothing to worry about with generic brands. A friend also told me today that she really likes the Kirkland Signature baby wipes so I’ll be making a switch to those as well. Yay Costco!

  • I am in the same boat – four babies and as hard as I try, very uncooperative boobies. Here is what I do:

    1 – Sign up myself, my mom, my mother in law, my best friend, everybody I know on all the websites: Enfamil, Similac, GoodStart, etc. They send both samples and checks. The stores do not care whose names are on the checks.

    2 – If you have a Costco near you, Costco sells the cans of Similac that are larger than the ones at Sam’s. They also take the checks because they are not coupons. You can get a gigantic can of Similac for $15 this way.

    3 – I kept my babies on Similac from Costco for the first 4 months. Once they began solids, I switched brands with no problem. Then I used up all those other checks and samples, and also bought whatever was on sale. Periodically Target will switch their label and clearance out all their formula – once my mom went to two Targets to buy me about 25 cans of formula that was marked down to $9.99 only because they changed the label.

    4 – Ask the pediatrician’s nurse for samples every time you go.

    5 – I begin the switch to cow’s milk at 10 months. I start by giving them one bottle a day, then a week later two, etc so that by one year they are exclusively on milk.

    6 – In the hospital, each time they brought my baby on the cart I removed the formula that was in the bottom of the trolley. They replenished it, I removed it again (I/my insurance company certainly paid for it.) Ask the nurses at the hospital to give you more. If one nurse says no, ask another.

  • Megan says:

    My twins solely use Enfamil. I know and highly respect someone who works at Mead Johnson, and yes, some of the cost goes to marketing, but they’re also leaders in research. The bargain brands are using MJ’s recipes, so to speak. You won’t see Target or Sams Club coming out with a new formula.
    Anyway, since nursing twins while taking care of two older children was practically impossible, I found that I qualified for WIC. WIC uses Enfamil and if you qualify, they provide roughly 80% of your monthly supply. The rest I buy either at Sams Club $32 for 38 oz) or through sales at drugstores.

  • Ashley says:

    I used enfamil, and switched to to the wal-mart brand. my daughter did amazing with it. it is half the price and just as good!! however, when we tried to target brand, she did get diarrhea until we switched her back to the wal-mart brand. hope this helps

  • Christina A says:

    I know it’s been said earlier but WIC is available for a reason. If your child has a particular eating disorder that won’t allow lactos, soy, etc, a script for their doctor will allow WIC to pay for the specialized formulas they need verses what ever the standard at the time is.

    All three of my children were unable to breastfeed. My oldest due to a breast infection. My middle due to a lactos intolerance and GERD, and my baby girl due to the worse cause of GERD I have ever seen. Each child needed a different thing and WIC came through for us.

    What WIC didn’t cover, because I had healthy eaters with bit appetites once we found what worked, the formula checks that companies send out did, so always, always sign up for the programs formula programs offer.

    Also look for programs at your local market. Publix offers a baby program and Kroger used to. You may find money saving offers where you shop.

  • Fiery says:

    If your really want to use Enfamil or another specific name brand then sign up for their Coupon Program. Get other Family and Friends to sign up as well. Also certain stores also have Catalina’s (coupons that print out at the register) for certain formula that will print out when you use the store card. I was getting huge discounts from Stop and Shop on Enfamil $13 and change off 2 cans any size. If you have other people purchase a can of formula with their store card they will get the coupons when the shop at the store from time to time.

    Also find out what formula other mom’s are using and sign up for those brand’s coupon clubs and have them sign up for the brand your using. Exchange coupons.

    Ask at your Pediatrician’s Office, Check with your OB/GYN, I know my DD’s Pedi had a coupon basket where they offered coupons and parents could give and take coupons.

    See if you qualify for WIC. Though know that each state uses a different brand of formula ( Similac, Nestle Good Start, Enfamil). You should talk to your child’s Pedi’s as soon as possible if your going to want to use a different type of formula other then Milk Based so you can get a note since they give you Milk Based right off the bat.

    We used the Walmart Brand during months when the WIC formula was not enough to last the whole month. My DD who had Reflux issues and was on Soy Formula did fine switching back and forth between brands. I found she actually did better with her reflux when on the Walmart Brand then the WIC offered brand which was Nestle Good Start.

    I also found that the Walmart brand was the same price for a LARGE can as it was for the SMALL can of the name brand formula. Use powder over concentrate or ready to feed to save more money as well.

    As your baby increases their formula intake offer a smaller amount and if they finish it and are still hungry offer more to keep from having to throw out uneaten ounces. You can also make a small batch of formula in a sip and saver or other storage container and store in the Fridge..Then just warm up a bottle of formula in a crock pot of water as you need it. Formula stored in a container is good for 24 hours as long as the child is not drinking out of the container.

  • Julie Chapman says:

    I nursed for about six months and then used Enfamil samples until we had to buy more formula. When those were finished we opted for something cheaper but Enfamil seemed to work the best for him(we tried many brands). Saying that, we found decent deals on Enfamil formula. I had signed up at Enfamil.com to receive the formula checks and received them almost the entire year(later on we recieved the checks for the toddler formula which we loved too!)

    We found good deals at Walgreen for the most part. When the formula would go on sale for $22, we would use the $5 off $20 purchase(They haven’t had these for a while but Rite Aid has so You can probably check Rite Aid too). If there happened to be a $2 coupon in the newspaper, I would use that too. Depending on the check amount and if coupons were available, the total would be 13-17. I would stock up on those trips with separate transactions(my husband and mother did transactions too with the $5 off $20 coup) until there was a sale again. Also, about six months ago or so there was a $10 rebate for three cans and sent that in when I stocked up at Walgreens. My total then was $26 for three cans after rebates, coupons, and checks. That was the best deal I had on Enfamil.

    Kroger also has a catalina for a Buy ONe get one free Enfamil of the smaller can that I used whenever I would get one. They usually are dispensed after purchasing baby products or formula but not sure exactly what you need to purchase. I received one the other day if you would like to have it. Let me know and I would be glad to send it to you! Jbchap930@gmail.com
    Keep a look out for sales, coupons, and those checks. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for wanting to use Enfamil or not being able to breastfeed. I hope I was helpful. Take care and Congrats! =)

  • Julie Chapman says:

    OK so I totally did not add up my amounts correctly. Not sure what I was thinking. Anyways, I would get the Enfamil at Walgreens around $10-15 depending on if I had the coupons, checks, and sales. I would receive $5 or $7 dollar checks and when you put it with the $5 off $20 purchase it would make it between those amounts. Sorry about that. Make sure you give the $5 off $20 or $25 purchase first then the checks because they count as a payment type. Like I mentioned before Walgreens hasn’t had them lately but Rite Aid has and not sure if the formula goes on sale there.

  • Marie says:

    Make sure to talk to your pediatrician. They are always getting a ton of samples. My friend’s son requires a special formula that is really expensive. Every time the baby sees the DR. they give my friend some of the special formula. never hurts to ask!

  • Jacinda says:

    EBAY!!!

  • Sandra says:

    My husband and I just adopted 5 months ago, so we have been strictly formula. I started out with Enfamil and tried others, but they always seemed to negatively affect his digestive system (stickier, nastier on the exit). So, I started trying to figure out how I could go back to Enfamily as cheaply as possible.

    1. Make sure to sign up on Enfamil for the Enfamil Beginnings program. We’ve gotten several trial cans mailed to us as well as regularly receiving $5.00 off cans.

    2. In our area, Toys R Us is the cheapest place to buy the big cans – $21 instead of $25 at Walmart & Target. I know, it shocked me too. If you combine the $5.00 coupons with that, you are down to $16 for a large can.

    3. Another recent one is that my friend keeps getting buy 1 get 1 free on the small cans (exactly half of the big ones) at Walgreens from their catalina machines any time she buys anything baby related. She gives those to me and I had $5.00 off catalinas too. I combined those one two cans and paid $8.99 for the equivalent of one of the big cans.

    Anytime you can get “the real stuff” for cheaper than the store brands, I’m all about that.

  • Sheena says:

    I started using Enfamil with coupons, but when those ran out, I switched to the Wal-Mart brand, milk-based, sensitivity formula (DS was a big spitter-upper). DS showed no problems, even when I switched back and forth when the coupons showed up.

  • i know a lot of places for freebies for formula but my list is to long to post on here so ill give you the link to MY group on cafe mom group..i have posted a list on there some time ago that has free formula and my memebers have found helpful..plz feel free to use that list..you dont have to be a memeber to look at the list..

    http://www.cafemom.com/group/49836/forums/read/4226819/FREEBIES

    i hope this helps anyoen who needs the freebies..

    good luck with your new baby and congrats!

  • Bridget says:

    Dear Sariah–
    I can’t tell you much about formula brands, but if you have a Crisis Pregnancy Center in your town, you could check to see if they have a material assistance program. They offer a wide variety of formulas for free, in return for such things as reading parenting articles, attending church, prenatal appointments, working, volunteering, etc. Typically there are no income restrictions, and we seemed to always have an ample supply. If you have enough time, you can build up a bit of a stash (expiration dates permitting :0)!)

  • Candi says:

    Please consider MilkShare! Milkshare helps moms connect with other moms who will donate their milk for free, usually for the cost of dry ice shipping! That works out quite cheap if the mom can ship a lot of milk at a time. It’s a great way for moms who can’t breastfeed to give their babies the gift of breastmilk.

  • Lisa W says:

    I’ve compared ALL of the ingredients in the COSTCO brand formula to those in SIMILAC and have found that they are almost in identical in composition. If you compare ingredients in SIMILAC and ENFAMIL, you will find that they too are almost exactly the same.

    That being said, I’ve found you can get DOUBLE the amount of COSTCO formula at half the price of the name brand. We used it all the time after I figured that out and saved a TON of money!

    I hope this helps and GOOD LUCK

  • Rebecca says:

    After having our twins, they were born 2 months early, the hospital put them on Similac Neocare….can’t remember the name…special formula but I do know that it was similac. ANYWAYS it was hard to find so I ask my doctor where I could find this brand because I was having trouble finding it in the stores…..HE SAID THAT HE WOULD TALK TO THE REP. that always stops by his office and get them to deliver me some …free of charge. I was so grateful. So a few days past maybe 4 days and when we came home one afternoon there were CASES of formular sitting on our porch! I was overwhelmed! I thought mayber a can or two at the least…I never thought that I would receive enough formula that would last my twins until they were ayear old!
    So ask your docotor to give a formula REP. a call….

  • Kristy says:

    My daughter LOVED the formula at Costco and her doctor said it was very comparable to Enfamil. They also have 100% guarantee so if it doesn’t work out, just take it back!

  • Marz says:

    I have 8 $5 coupons and 1 $3 coupons for Walgreens that I am willing to give away, all due to exp at the end of April. I also have 4 $5 coupons for Similac due to exp 08/09. I will be more that happy to send them to anyone who needs them.

  • KimNC says:

    I used both Walmart and Sams generic formulas for all of my kids. Two of them also has sensitive tummies, so i had to use soy versions with them. I actually came to these brands after trying all the more expensive name brands. they actually made the reflux worse.

    Formulas must meet strict federal guidelines. There is nothing wrong with the store brands and they can save you lots over the year of formula feeding!

    Good lUck!

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