Breast milk was once considered the primary option for healthy children. But modern baby formulas are often proven to offer similar or at least adequate nutrition for all newborn, infant, and baby stages.
Recently, supply chain issues and labor shortages have wreaked havoc for babies and parents nationwide. But as that infant formula shortage has come to a close, formula companies will have a new problem on their hands: the need to regain parents’ trust and customer loyalty on a global scale while keeping their supply low cost or at a low cost least affordable to the masses. But how can you get low-cost or free formula in the meantime?
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What to do if you can’t afford baby formula?
Anyone who’s spent any time pricing baby formula knows that any type of formula isn’t cheap, at least not in the quantities needed for proper infant nutrition. If you’re not going to feed your child breast milk for whatever reason, infant formula is required to give them the nutrition they need. Fortunately, there are some options to get reduced cost or even free formula, especially for low-income households.
1. Ask the hospital
Many hospitals give new parents special welcome packages, which often include free baby stuff, free samples of specific infant-related products, free baby formula samples, and coupons for free infant formula. Most hospitals will also help set up ongoing solutions to help low-income households continue to find free formula.
2. Talk to your pediatrician
Many baby product and baby formula manufacturers leave free samples at pediatrician offices hoping that new parents will like their products well enough to buy them. While it’s a good marketing strategy, you don’t have to purchase the brands to enjoy the freebies. Ask your pediatrician for any free samples and coupons they have, and you might be able to stock up on some low-cost or free formula.
3. Create a baby registry
Baby registries are great for new parents who are willing to ask for specific baby items they’ll need. These can include any infant products, including diapers and formula. Be sure to list the particular brands and amounts you want so you’ll receive enough free formula to feed your infant for months to come. Even if you’re primarily feeding your baby breast milk, the free formula can come in handy when on the go or during emergencies.
4. Sign up for free formula samples
Most formula companies offer free coupons, samples, and sometimes even free baby formula to their customers and even their potential customers. You can sign up for their newsletters or on their websites to receive free formula samples for all newborn, infant, and even toddler transitional stages.
5. Sign up for WIC
WIC is a special supplemental nutrition program that has been helping American families and low-income households for over 40 years. It’s free to join, and you can do so easily while you’re pregnant, before leaving the hospital with your newborn, or after you’re home and realize the free samples and free baby stuff you got from your shower or registry aren’t enough. WIC supplies families with nutritious supplemental food, they provide free baby formula, referrals to medical and mental health care providers, and more. WIC can be very beneficial to low-income families for the first five years of their child’s life.
6. Visit your local food pantry
Some food pantries keep baby formula in stock for low-income or struggling families. Some formula companies also work with these food banks and other programs to help offset costs. However, not every food pantry will offer free baby formula. So check the Feeding America database to see if your local food pantry or any local food banks are among those that currently provide free baby formula. If not, they may be able to suggest other food banks or solutions to find free baby formula samples or free infant formula, even if it’s just samples, elsewhere.
7. Collect coupons
Coupons are still out there and are among the easiest, although often overlooked, solutions for saving on infant formula. Baby formula coupons can range in value, but most actual name-brand baby formula coupons have a significant attached value ranging from $.50 to several dollars for a single coupon. Use them at stores that accept double or triple coupons, and you can practically get free baby formula. Many stores also offer samples of name-brand baby formulas or have their own BOGO deals for parents to get the most out of their samples and coupons.
How can I get free Gerber formula samples?
Gerber is one of the original American-based baby formula companies, and it’s still a favorite for many parents nationwide. With almost a century of experience, they know their stuff, and they’re also known for giving new parents free baby stuff, including free baby formula samples. If you want free formula samples specifically from Gerber, try these options:
1. Check your local grocery stores
Major grocers often run specials on baby products, including formula from name-brand formula companies. Be sure to load up on BOGO and free product coupons to get your samples and sometimes even score free formula.
2. Call the doctor
Pediatricians and hospitals are often given free baby formula samples to pass on to new parents. Call ahead of your next appointment or ask the receptionist if they have any free Gerber product samples or free formula samples for your newborn.
3. Join MyGerber Baby
Visit Gerber.com to sign up for MyGerber Baby and shop for your newborn or baby necessities. As a member, you’ll get access to invaluable information, parental suggestions or help, and even be sent free baby stuff, including coupons, product samples, and free formula samples.
How can I get free formulas?
Free infant formula isn’t always easy to get, especially during the shortage. But there are some places that provide free baby formula to those in need. These places include:
1. Pediatrician offices
Pediatricians care about the health and nutrition of your infant. So if you absolutely need help securing free baby formula or samples, put your pediatrician high on your call list. If she doesn’t currently have free baby formula samples on hand, she’ll be able to redirect you to a program or site that may provide free baby formula.
2. Sign up for Preggie Perks
Sign up for Preggie Perks at motherhood.com. Motherhood.com is actually a retail outlet that sells maternity clothes and intimates. But it has a great perk program for expecting or new moms. It’s free to join, and they send members a gift bag with several infant-related freebies, including free samples and free infant formula. Of course, the freebies in the goodie bag items depend on their current partners.
3. Sign up for Amazon Family
Amazon Family is a free option for Prime members, and it’s worth it if you have little ones at home or on the way. Get a 15% discount on baby registry items. You can also access tips and tricks for all childhood ages and stages. Take advantage of special sitewide discounts on products you need. You’ll also receive a free welcome box full of travel-size products, full-size products, product samples, free formula samples, and coupons.
If you’re not a Prime member, sign up now for Amazon Prime. You can get a free $15 cash back bonus for signing up for Amazon Prime (from Swagbucks) and earn 4% cash back rebates on select purchases.
How do I get Similac formula for free?
If your doctor’s office and local food bank or churches don’t provide free baby formula when you need it, head to Similac.com to sign up for Similac Strong Moms. This rewards program is free to join and offers over $400 in rewards and tips for new or recent moms. The rewards and offers vary depending on when you join. But Similac sends each new mom a bag full of free baby stuff, including free baby formula samples, coupons, and guidance by pregnancy and baby experts.
How else can I save money on formula?
Free baby formula is always a wonderful surprise, but it’s not the most consistent solution to achieving your newborn’s nutritional needs. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save on formula costs.
1. Collect free formula samples
Free formula samples can help offset breastfeeding and add to consistent savings when it comes to solely bottle feeding as well. Just be sure to keep track of the expiration dates on the samples.
2. Combine sales and coupons
Pay attention to special formula sales at all your local grocery, smaller budget stores, and big box stores. Most, if not all of these stores, will allow you to use coupons, so always try to combine sales with coupons. Especially pay attention to double coupon days and try to focus on the stores that allow customers to stack coupons to stretch their savings.
3. Buy powdered formula and buy in bulk
Some babies develop an intolerance to specific formula brands. But if your child tolerates a variety, don’t just focus on a single brand if cost is a significant factor. Most formulas have the same essential ingredients, although some are higher in specific vitamins or nutrients. Mix and match brands to get the best deals as long as tolerance is there. And try to buy powdered formula in bulk since it lasts longer and is far less expensive.
4. Sign up for rewards programs
Most stores and major brands offer their customers some rewards program. And that goes for formula brands as well. So sign up on formula websites to get special welcome packages, access to sales and deals, special coupons, samples, and more sent right to your home. You might even be able to get the best deals with subscription plans on the websites, so you never run out of your baby’s favorite formula.
5. Use your task and gig site rewards
Sites like InboxDollars, MyPoints, and Swagbucks offer points and cash rewards for specific tasks and survey completions. Join some of these websites and work on them daily or weekly to earn free money that can be used for formula or other baby needs.
Up to one-third of mothers never breastfeed, and almost 5% of breastfeeding moms stop entirely within the first week. So there’s nothing wrong or unnatural about using formula to maintain your child’s early nutritional needs. Cost is, unfortunately, a factor for many families. But if you plan and use the tips and strategies above, you’ll never have to pay full price for baby formula.
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