Baby formula is one of the priciest items that parents will buy for their infant in their first year of life. The average family spends $1,500 a year on formula alone.
This can be difficult to manage along with other expenses, causing many families to struggle with purchasing everything they need from month to month. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to get free baby formula or buy it at a greatly discounted price.
Top Ways to Get Baby Formula for Free
There are at least a dozen ways to get baby formula for free or cheap. Many of these options require minimal effort and only take a few minutes of your time.
Here are the best ways to get free formula.
1. Register With Formula Manufacturers
When your little one arrives, you can register with manufacturers to get free formula samples and coupons. This is especially helpful if your baby can only drink a specific type of formula.
Many manufacturers are happy to send out samples and coupons in the hopes you become a customer. Most will give you samples for infants and may even provide ones as you transition to the toddler stage.
Similac is one of the top brands in the space. You can join their rewards program and receive up to $400 in offers.
If you choose Similac, they have multiple formula options. These include:
- Formula with probiotics
- Formula for sensitive tummies
- Organic baby formula
- Formula with iron
- Formula for premature babies
You can find all of their options on their website.
Enfamil is another brand that offers rebates, coupons, and samples. Not only does Enfamil have a rewards program, but they also offer points for every purchase as well as other ways to get cheap baby formula.
They even offer free shipping over $50, so you could have a monthly supply of formula delivered directly to your door for free. Teachers, military personnel, and first responders receive an additional ten percent off as well.
When you sign up for their Family Beginnings program, you receive coupons, free samples, and the opportunity to earn points on every purchase.
While Gerber doesn’t seem to offer free samples (unless provided by your doctor), they do have coupons directly on their site.
They also participate in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which means lower-income families may qualify for free baby formula.
Under the WIC program, Gerber provides more than just formula. They also offer over 100 different products, many that infants can have once they are able to eat solids.
Need a special formula that’s organic, plant-based, or non-GMO? Have no fear. There is a formula that meets those specific qualifications.
Nature’s One offers vegan and organic options. They even have a formula for sensitive tummies.
Similar to Gerber, Nature’s One doesn’t have a direct sample program. However, they do have a medical hardship program.
This program helps parents who:
- Have premature babies that need a specialized formula
- Are lower-income but have specific needs
- Have a baby with a disease or disorder (examples include cancer, Cystic Fibrosis, Celiac disease, and Down Syndrome)
If your family falls under any of these categories, you may qualify for free baby formula samples.
Nestle does offer formula to Canadian residents. When you join the Nestle Baby Program, they send you $130 in free samples. This includes formula.
The program also offers savings for other essential baby supplies you might need.
2. Earn Cash Back While Shopping
You will likely buy items you need for your baby at the grocery store. A terrific way to save on baby formula is to use a cash rebate app when making purchases.
Ibotta is our favorite app to use when shopping for groceries and other necessities. You can use it at most grocery stores, including Walmart or Target.
The app often lets you redeem offers on multiple purchases so you can increase your earnings.
Once you reach a $20 balance in your account, you can redeem earnings via PayPal. This is an excellent way to get cash to buy free formula for your baby.
Frugal Rules readers receive a $20 bonus when they open an Ibotta account.
|Ibotta - get rebates on your shopping|
Get a $20 bonus!
This popular shopping app works at the grocery store and online. Redeem earnings for cash or gift cards.
3. Ask Your Doctor for Free Samples
Even if a formula company doesn’t offer free samples to individuals, many offer samples to hospitals and doctors’ offices. This makes asking for free samples from your pediatrician a no-brainer.
You can ask for samples during your baby’s checkups. Just let the doctor know their needs and ask them if they have any samples you can try.
I was able to get four full-sized containers of formula from our pediatrician when my daughter was an infant. Not only was it free, but it helped us decide which was the better (and least expensive) option for us as a family.
4. Apply for WIC
If you qualify for WIC, there is no shame in using it to feed your baby. WIC is specifically designed to provide free baby formula for low-income mothers, as well as food for their children.
WIC gives vouchers for baby formula and food as your infant gets older. You can qualify for free or low-cost formula if you meet these eligibility requirements.
If you think you may qualify, you can apply through your state’s WIC website.
5. Start a Baby Registry
You may have generous friends and family that want to get you what you need for your baby. While clothes and toys are great, sometimes you need more practical items.
Baby registries are easy to sign up for and make it simple to add the items you need. While there are several good options, our favorite is the Target baby registry.
The Target baby registry allows you to:
- Get a free $100 welcome kit
- Receive additional coupons for your child’s first year
- Access a 15 percent discount on any items that aren’t purchased and gifted from the registry
You can always add other items to your registry, but getting a few containers of free formula is better than paying for everything out of pocket.
6. Contact Local Churches
Many churches have pantry and food donation programs. You’ll have to do some digging in your area, but you can call or email local churches to see if they have formula donations available.
If you go this route, try to check with as many churches in your local area as possible. Even if one church doesn’t have formula, there may be others that do. Also, find out what you need to do to qualify for the formula.
Many churches are happy to give away their stock, but some may require proof of income or a small donation to receive what you need.
7. Contact a Food Pantry in Your Community
Another legitimate way to get free baby formula is by going to a local food pantry. You can do an internet search for “food pantries near me” to see what’s closest to you.
These pantries typically have pick up times or are first come, first serve. Remember to call ahead to check for availability and see how you can pick some up.
You may also be able to get put on a list for a particular item and receive a call when it is available. Similar to asking local churches, not every food pantry will have what you need, so it pays to check with more than one.
8. Shop Through Swagbucks
Swagbucks is an online loyalty rewards site that lets you earn points, known as SB points. The site pays you to complete surveys, watch videos, and use its online shopping portal.
When you shop through Swagbucks, you receive points you can convert to cash or gift cards. Some gift cards are redeemable for as little as $3.
Like Ibotta, this is a terrific way to earn a little cash back for what you’re already doing.
The shopping portal works with numerous retailers, such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
If you buy baby formula online, it pays to use Swagbucks to get cash back you can use for other needs.
Frugal Rules readers receive a $5 bonus when they open an account.
|Swagbacks - get cash back on your purchases|
Get a $5 bonus!
Earn points doing small tasks - paid surveys, watching videos, even shopping! Redeem earnings for cash or gift cards.
9. Use EverydayFamilies.com
EverydayFamilies.com is a site that offers resources, coupons, and discounts for all things baby-related. You find support as a formula-feeding family, access to discounts, and get coupons that you can use for items you need for your baby.
The site is also a great resource for checking on pricing. If you don’t plan on being brand loyal, you can use it to see what the best prices on formula are when you plan to buy.
10. Sign Up for Motherhood’s Perks Programs
Although manufacturers offer samples and coupons if you contact them directly, that’s not the only way to get free formula from a perks program. You can also sign up for the Motherhood’s Perks Program.
Not only do they offer samples, but you can get discounts on other items as well. For example, if you breastfeed for the most part and supplement with formula, you may want nursing bras.
With the perks program, you can get discounts and coupons on brand new nursing bras, saving you even more money.
11. Ask Your Friends and Family
You may be surprised to discover which of your friends have extra formula they don’t want to toss. Don’t be shy. Ask your friends and family if they have a few cans to spare.
You can post about this on Facebook. If you have many mom friends, you could also send out a group text asking if they have formula that they don’t plan on using.
Of course, you shouldn’t solely rely on friends and family. If you can, offer them something in exchange for a can of formula.
There are plenty of other options on this list that can help you if you’re in a rough spot. But if you only depend on friends and family, you may be disappointed or even cause strained relationships.
Other Ways to Save
Getting free formula is a proven way to reduce costs. However, there are additional ways to save.
Here are a few common questions new parents have about providing for their newborn.
Do Food Banks Give Baby Formula?
Yes, food banks are a good way to get formula for your baby. Be sure to check availability before you make the trip. They aren’t guaranteed to have what you need, but it’s worth trying if you’re in a pinch.
Does Insurance Cover Baby Formula?
While insurance doesn’t typically cover the cost of formula, insurers will cover it in special cases. If your infant needs hypoallergenic formula or some other specialized type, ask your pediatrician for a prescription.
You will want to discuss it with your provider, but it’s worth investigating if there’s a real need.
How Can I Get Free Samples of Similac Formula?
The best way to get free samples is by going to the Similac website. You can also ask your doctor’s office and use the above tips to reduce costs after your samples run out.
Buying formula doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. While it is expensive, there are many ways to cut costs and even get it for free.
Saving a few dollars per container could equal up to hundreds by the time your baby is ready to move on to solid food. Considering how expensive babies are, it’s worth it to pursue all options.
How do you save money on essential baby supplies? Do you save money for your needs before having a baby?