Friday, March 26, 2010

Formula Shock

The kids in our agency's care centers drink formula called "Nan" and it is the most comparable to Nestle's "Good Start".  It is recommended that we start our girls on this. Yesterday I was at Babies R Us and had a coupon for formula if I bought two large cans.  I was rushing, dropped them in the cart and proceeded to check out. 

WHAT?!

$26.99 a can?

What insight can you share with me on formula?
Where do you get the best deals?
Is there a generic that is just as good?

11 comments:

Sandra said...

I have to admit I used name brand for my first child and paid about 22$ a can!! I have since gone to generic formual and save so much more and if you take note to the back's of the can and compare generic to nongeneric there is HARDLY a difference and your kids will grow just fine and healthy on generic. I think half the time its in our heads that we have to give nongeneric when really there isn't any significant difference. Remember if generic wasn't fda approved it would NOT be on the shelves. I never used Good Start...but Similac and I bought generic at Meijer or walmart. I think its 12$ a can. I am certain that Sam's Club(need a membership, but its worth it cause its the cheapest place for decent diapers too and formula). You can get a 2 lb can at sam's club(I want to say 28$ or something like that)....and even though you didn't ask about diapers....sams club I think are great. Ive NEVER with ALL 3 boys had a problem(not sure about girls:))....but their Member's Mark diapers are great...don't start until size 2 though. I think. Welcome to parent hood and spending a fortune:)!!

Sandra said...

wanted to correct myself...the sam's club members mark formula comes in a 3 lb can(not 2 lbs) and its compared to Enfamil.

Amber said...

Ahhhh, formula. Fun - huh?! : )

A couple tidbits:

1. Know that for a while, while I'd like to say otherwise, it WILL be expensive. Yet God DOES provide and it will work out. And it will not be forever.

2. Shop around. You'll see where the formula you want is consistently cheaper (Toys R US, here, is pretty expensive normally for formula. It had to be a sale/coupon combination for me to buy there, same with diapers). Then you'll know where to buy it if you can't find it on sale, and you'll quickly know your sale price you want to aim for.

3. Keep talking to your doctor. After your girls are a little older/bigger, you can probably switch to generic formula. For us, that was around 6 months for Kate and 7 months for Olivia. Then we started buying our formula at Sam's Club - for around $20, we got the equivalent of 2 Nestle containers. After using Similac Sensitive for 6 months, that was SO nice (although I had mainly nursed for 4 months which was so nice).

4. If you have to stay with namebrand, shop online. You can buy the formula in bulk at a reduced cost (which is nice since you'll go through it fairly quickly too). I've had several friends who have had great luck finding really good deals for formula online.

JILL said...

I don't have too much more insight to add besides that if the orphanage is recommending Nestle, I would stick with it. With Laynie I wanted to choose Enfamil or Similac because we would be more likely to get coupons in the mail for those brands, but after other problems switched back to the Nestle Good Start. That brand is actually what our doctors recommended most for children as far as that is what brand is the gentlest on stomachs and easiest to digest. If you find the girls are adjusting well and doing fine on the Good Start you could always switch later on, but for the transition I would recommend the Nestle Good Start because it really is the easiest to digest for babies. As far as nutritional value goes, I am sure they are all the same :) That is just my two cents once again. Also, highly recommend Sam's Club and Walmart. That is where I found the best prices.

Mouseymom said...

Great advice from everyone! Also everytime you are at the Dr. ask if they have an samples from vendors of the formula that you are using. Often they have lots and don't have anything to do with it. My doctor used to give me boxes worth so that it would not expire in their office. Also when I would feel sticker-shockish I would pause and remember to think of the blessing of formula and how without it our children would have a very hard time getting their nutritional needs met.

Jennifer M said...

Whoever said babies weren't expensive, they clearly never had to buy formula or diapers! I celebrated the day my kids transitioned to milk, and then celebrated again the day our daughter was potty trained. Felt like a we received a raise! :-)

The advice you got above is great on where to buy so I won't repeat that. What I will say though is that our son came home 3 months ago today from the IAG care center, and I too had the Nestle Goodstart all stocked up and ready to go. The problem is that he came home with Giardia and lactose makes the symptoms REALLY bad. (Not to mention that a large percentage of people who are lactose intolerant are people of African descent.) At any rate, I had to put the formula I had previously bought aside and switch to a lactose-free brand of formula. One last thing to note is that even after the medication for giardia is complete and the stool repeatedly tests negative, the symptoms can continue to linger for another 2-6 weeks. I kept him on the lactose-free formula for about 3-4 weeks after he stopped treatments, and that really helped.

I felt so bad for the little guy though. The giardia plus the lactose in the formula made for one very gassy little baby boy and it hindered his sleep patterns too. Two other IAG mom's clued me in on the lactose-free formula which helped so much!

Wendy said...

I like some of the others used Sams formula since it was cheapest. Although, I found with Ella that brand and type didn't matter. She'd drink whatever and didn't have any issues. I nursed for 8 months so I didn't start till later. What I found helpful is I went online to several formula brands websites, a lot of them offer free samples of their formula and are often a full size can. Wal Mart and Sams offered samples of some of the brands they carry too. I would go online and sign up for the samples. Even months later, after I was done with formula I would get a full size sample can in the mail from the same places again.

chavarria family blog said...

I breast fed and formula fed both of mine, I used Target Brand for Leigha and Max we used Meijer brand and Sams Club. My doctor said you can use generic right from the start just switch from one brand to a new one slowly.Like buy 1 of each can and slow mix the two, in case it would upset their tummies!! Good luck!!!
As far as diapers, the best place to buy Luvs is walmart $15/case. And Meier has 150 Pampers for $28. Sams isn't bad priced but they usually only carry size 3 and up. And for generic diapers, Kroger brand( in the green box) are great!!!

Peggy said...

Totally agree with what everyone here has said. I can also add that I had a lot of success buying formula on Ebay. You look for a reputable seller and go for it. It was SOOOOOOOOOOO much cheaper. I also agree with the rest that perhaps you might not want to stock up just yet. I did that with Josie and she ended up needing special formula and then all of the formula I stocked felt like wasted money. I am going to assume that your babies are doing fine on the brand that they are currently on so I guess I would start with the closest that we have to that. Then, if they continue to do well, gradually switch (one ounce at a time every couple of days) to a lesser expensive brand. Meijer brand formula was actually recommended to a friend of mine by the Laleche League people. Anyway, take heart, they won't be on large amounts of formula much longer as food will become their main source of calories very very soon.

Jane E said...

We have found that the Target brand (Up and Up) which is comparable, if not identical , to Similac Advance and Enfamil Lipil, is the least expensive-even more so than walmart brand (parents choice). Think of it this way, even though you will be buying twice the amount of formula, hopefully you won't have to much after the girls are a year old and can switch to Vit D. milk:)

Betsy said...

Hee hee - I use NAN too... :)