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By Thea Theresa English

Getting infant formula on a budget

New moms know that formula is expensive and are probably looking for a way to save money on it. One method is to take advantage of weekly sales and buy in bulk during the times when the formula is on sale. Another idea is to stick with powdered infant formula because it's cheaper than the liquid version. Here are additional strategies:

Stock up on free samples

While you are still in the labor and delivery room, the nurses might hand you a bag filled with useful goodies and these include bags or boxes of formula samples. Your baby's pediatrician might also have samples to give you during visits. You can join a formula manufacturer's membership club and periodically get samples.

Take advantage of manufacturer's coupons

Sign up on coupon websites and have infant formula coupons mailed to your home or email inbox. Most supermarkets and drugstores accept them and depending on the store, they will let you take advantage of their weekly sale on formula while still using the manufacturer's coupon for bigger savings.

Go generic if necessary

If your budget is really tight, consider purchasing generic formula. These brands are cheaper than the mainstream versions and they do not taste all that different from the brand-name ones. Buy these in bulk and you will have enough to last a few weeks.

Hit the wholesale stores

Wholesale stores often have formula at really low prices so you should check out these places when trying to save money on infant formula. Keep in mind that in order to take advantage of the savings you will need to become a member first.

Consider getting WIC or SNAP benefits

WIC and SNAP are both programs in which mothers can receive monetary benefits to help them pay for infant formula. To be eligible for WIC vouchers you will need to present proof of income and your baby will need to be examined by a doctor. For SNAP benefits you can apply through your state's department of health and human services website.

Compare prices

Another way to save money is to compare prices at different stores. Take note of the different prices you see and create a price book to compare prices at the stores. Then shop at the places that offer the most decent prices on your favorite formula.

Try independent online baby retailers

Independent online baby retailers also sell infant formula at affordable prices. Sign up for the stores' newsletters to get the latest discounts. Also check the stores periodically.

What not to do to save money on formula

Some people try to conserve formula and save money by modifying the mixture during preparation by diluting it but doctors warn against this because it will interfere with the nutritional value of the formula and the baby will not get the nutrients he needs.

With these strategies families do not have to pay a lot of money to feed their babies, and they can be used interchangeably during the month to maximize savings.

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