Baby Food Aisle

Save Money on Groceries: Baby Aisle
by Michelle Jones, GrocerySavingTips.com

Our family has been blessed with four children so as you can imagine, we've found many ways to save money on baby items over the years.

Here are some helpful ideas to help you save money on baby food, diapers, infant formula, and supplies:

Tip # 1  - Nursing vs. Formula

Nursing your baby (if you're able to), instead of using formula will help you save a fortune during the first year, not to mention the health benefits for you and the baby. It's also a wonderful bonding experience!




Tip # 2  - WIC Program

If you’re using formula and are living on a low income, we have a program here in the U.S. called WIC (Women Infants and Children) that’s available through the health department. Call your local office and set up an appointment to see if you qualify. It will be well worth the time and effort if you do!

Tip # 3  - Baby Bottles

If you're bottle feeding your baby there are expensive bottles and there are cheap bottles. When our babies reached the age of being able to drink juice (6 months) and regular milk (12 months), we always bought the cheaper bottles and they worked just fine. You can usually find them at the discount stores, for .50 cents each. That’s a lot better than paying over $2.00 for the fancier brands!


Tip # 4  - Coupons

If you don’t qualify for the WIC program, be sure to use coupons whenever you can. You can even contact the manufacturers directly by the 800 numbers listed on the package and ask them to mail you coupons if they're available.

Tip # 5  - Ready Made Formula

In general, ready made formulas are much more expensive than the powder mixes, unless they're on a really great sale. You can save money by stocking up on sale items, just be careful to note the expiration dates. Especially on formula!

Tip # 6  - Cloth Diapers and Homemade Baby Wipes

We used cloth diapers and homemade diaper wipes with our first child to save as much money as possible, they're not as difficult to use as you might think. Read my column, "Save a Bundle Using Cloth Diapers and Homemade Diaper Wipes".

Tip # 7  - Discount Store Medicines

When purchasing over the counter medicines for your baby you'll usually save a good bit by getting them at the discount stores. Grocery store prices on this aisle are usually pretty high.

Tip # 8  - Store Brand Medicine for Infants

Check with your doctor to see if store brand over the counter medicines are acceptable substitutes for your infant. This will also help you save a lot, especially over the next 18 years!



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Readers' Tips...

"I have a 4 month old baby so we go through a lot of diapers and will continue to do so for quite a while.  We received all the premium brand diapers as gifts but when those ran out I started shopping for cheaper brands.  I've found that the store brand of our local discount chain store are actually better fitting diapers for my daughter than even the supreme version of the famous brands.  Every babies tushie is different so you may have to do some shopping to find what works best for your baby, but I'm saving an average of $4 a package so it's definitely worth the effort!" - Jennifer M

"I used the store brand of baby formula that was comparable to Enfamil with my daughter.  I compared the ingredients and nutrition and found there was no difference except in the price.  I saved about $7 per can of powdered formula." - Tonya W.

Editor's Note: Thank you Jennifer and Tonya!  Whenever we needed disposable diapers or formula for our babies we also used the store brands and found them to be very helpful.  More people should give them a try!

"A great money-saving tip is to buy baby products from a grocery store that gives discounts for "points". At Kroger, I save $10 for every 200 points I accumulate. National brand items accumulate 1 point per dollar while Kroger and FMV brand items accumulate 2 points per dollar. I buy all my baby products at Kroger and my WIC there too (yes, that $100 worth of formula counts, too) I usually save about $10 every two months this way. Winn-Dixie also has a system like Kroger." - Alicia Hart of Georgia

"Ask your pediatrician if they have any formula samples, especially if your baby requires a special formula.  Drug reps give them to them and many times they do not give them out.  My pediatrician had a closet full, including a special formula that my cousin had to use for her baby.  He gave me all of it! It never hurts to ask." Laura W.

"I have found that making my own baby food has been VERY economical for my husband and I.  We bought an expensive name brand of baby food for a while, and we saved all of the little jars and plastic containers from the food, and we decided to make our own.  Apples were super easy, a bag of apples you can find on sale for 2-4 dollars, and you just peel them, core them and cook them in a little water until tender, and puree them to desired consistency!  Then put them into the little containers and put them in the freezer!  My son loves carrots this way too.  Just about any fruit or veggie can be done this way. :)" - D.T.

"Don't buy jars of baby food. Most of the foods you already eat can be pureed with a blender or food processor and frozen in ice cube trays or muffin tins and put into labeled plastic bags. Not only is it cheaper, but you control what goes into the food so you can make it more nutritious. Your baby also learns to eat the things your family is already eating, and gets a wider variety of foods that what's in the baby food isle. I often puree or chop leftovers and freeze them this way for when my son can't eat what I'm eating (like if I'm eating a raw salad etc.)" - Holly N.

"I am a nursing mom and our family uses WIC.  They offer food for nursing mothers, plus baby cereal and baby food when your baby is 6 months old.  They also offer meat to nursing infants after 6 months.  Not only this, but after I signed up, a worker from their offices came out to my house and gave me all sorts of resources.  It's really a great thing to participate in!  Also, I found all sorts of coupon sites, like www.GrocerySavingTips.com, where I print off the ones I need-including many baby coupons.  Then I watch the weekly ads and they often coincide.  I saved over half (about 60%) on my grocery bill last week." - Heidi

"I make my own cloth diapers. I have found that you can use old receiving blankets for cloth inside and out. You can make the inside liners with old towels from your home or they sell them in bags at good will. I use nylon tent cloth from Walmart at a fraction of the price of pul cloth, for water proofing. They take about 2 to 3 hr to make start to finish and are about 2 dollars or less to make. I am proud not to be contributing more disposable diapers to our land fills." - Kristy

(Editor's Note: Good for you Kristy! We managed just fine with cloth diapers and homemade wipes for our first child. Everyone thought we were crazy, but boy did we save a bundle! ;o)

"A great money-saving tip is to buy baby products from a grocery store that gives discounts for points. At Kroger, I save $10 for every 200 points I accumulate. National brand items accumulate 1 point per dollar while Kroger and FMV brand items accumulate 2 points per dollar. I buy all my baby products at Kroger and my WIC there too (yes, that $100 worth of formula counts, too). I usually save about $10 every two months this way. Winn-Dixie also has a system like Kroger." - Alicia Hart of Georgia

"Ask your pediatrician if they have any formula samples, especially if your baby requires a special formula.  Drug reps give them to them and many times they do not give them out.  My pediatrician had a closet full, including a special formula that my cousin had to use for her baby.  He gave me all of it! It never hurts to ask." Laura W.

"I have found that making my own baby food has been VERY economical for my husband and I.  We bought an expensive name brand of baby food for a while, and we saved all of the little jars and plastic containers from the food, and we decided to make our own.  Apples were super easy, a bag of apples you can find on sale for 2-4 dollars, and you just peel them, core them and cook them in a little water until tender, and puree them to desired consistency!  Then put them into the little containers and put them in the freezer!  My son loves carrots this way too.  Just about any fruit or veggie can be done this way. :)" - D.T.

"Don't buy jars of baby food. Most of the foods you already eat can be pureed with a blender or food processor and frozen in ice cube trays or muffin tins and put into labeled plastic bags. Not only is it cheaper, but you control what goes into the food so you can make it more nutritious. Your baby also learns to eat the things your family is already eating, and gets a wider variety of foods that what's in the baby food isle. I often puree or chop leftovers and freeze them this way for when my son can't eat what I'm eating (like if I'm eating a raw salad etc.)" - Holly N.

"I am a nursing mom and our family uses WIC. They offer food for nursing mothers, plus baby cereal and baby food when your baby is 6 months old. They also offer meat to nursing infants after 6 months. Not only this, but after I signed up, a worker from their offices came out to my house and gave me all sorts of resources. It's really a great thing to participate in. Also, I found all sorts of coupon sites, like GrocerySavingTips.com, where I print off the ones I need-including many baby coupons.  Then I watch the weekly ads and they often coincide. I saved over half (about 60%) on my grocery bill last week." - Heidi

"I make my own cloth diapers. I have found that you can use old receiving blankets for cloth inside and out. You can make the inside liners with old towels from your home or they sell them in bags at good will. I use nylon tent cloth from Walmart at a fraction of the price of pul cloth, for water proofing. They take about 2 to 3 hr to make start to finish and are about 2 dollars or less to make. I am proud not to be contributing more disposable diapers to our land fills." - Kristy

Editor's Note: Good for you Kristy! We managed just fine with cloth diapers and homemade wipes for our first child. Everyone thought we were crazy, but boy did we save a bundle! ;o)

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