As a mother of twins, as well as two older children, I constantly find myself balancing a tight budget without having to compromise the quality of nutrition I strive to provide my family. With my first two children, I never strayed from a particular Name Brand Formula when they were babies. It worked for them, therefore, I felt the most confident in that particular formula when breast feeding was no longer an option for me. After discovering we were having twins, my husband and I decided it would be best for me to stay at home for a few years and manage our growing brood. This also meant tighter purse-strings and learning how to make a dollar stretch. Everyone knows that “breast is best,” and it truly is heart breaking when the time comes, for whatever reason, when you can no longer nurse, and have to switch your baby from the best nutrition ever to something that is an artificial replacement. Naturally, you want to provide them with the best products available. When I could no longer nurse the babies, and was ready to move them over to formula, I searched days on end for a way to make the Name Brand Formula I had become attached to work within our budget. I tried contacting the company for additional coupons, joined membership clubs, searched high and low for websites that sold my formula in bulk; I even drove across town a few times to get savings (not thinking about the gas money I was blowing!). One day I came across a website in regards to Store Brand Formula. It spoke to how all formulas are created equal and how the FDA mandates that all formulas, Store Brand or Name Brand, maintain specific levels of nutrients for babies health and growth, and how the Name Brand Formulas are “name brand” because they are backed by an insane amount of marketing dollars, which are then passed on to the consumer. In other words, the cool looking label on the can? It’s in the price. The nice little pamphlets they mail you to “help you as your baby grows”, they may appear free, but you paid for that when you bought a can of their formula. I continued my research on this, because as someone with a marketing background in my work experience, I got that right away. But, I still wasn’t convinced that Store Brand Formulas could compare to the “Gentle Comfort Proteins”, the “DHA & ARA”, and the “Pro and Pre-biotics” my sweet angels were getting from their Name Brand Formula. If the Store Brands were putting that into their formula, then they must be compromising the integrity of the ingredients in order to keep the costs affordable for the buyer. However, it was worth looking into if it meant I could use the savings to spring for a Date Night!
After the twins were born, I was constantly finding myself at Walmart for the most affordable options in baby care: diapers, wipes, onsies, formula water, and even the Name Brand Formula I was buying, so I decided to give their Store Brand Formula, Parent’s Choice, a go. Parent’s Choice Infant Formula is Walmart’s private brand formula available exclusively at Walmart locations nationwide and online at www.walmart.com.
I went onto their website, I found the formula most comparable to what I was feeding the boys, and requested a sample. I am a huge label reader. I read every ingredient, and if I don’t know what it is, I look it up. As soon as I received the sample, I compared ingredients right away, which were pretty much verbatim, with the order changed up every now and then. Next, on to the vitamin and mineral content. Give or take, for either brand, there may be one with a higher Vitamin C content, and the other a higher Vitamin B12 content, but all in all, not enough disparity to really make me say one offered more than the other. Finally, what I really liked was that the Parent’s Choice Formula had the same exact amount of DHA per 100 calories (17 mg) as the Name Brand Formula I had been using. With the fat and caloric intake being exactly the same, the next big reason for me to switch? The price.
Having to buy formula for two babies is not cheap; it’s not cheap to buy formula for one baby. If you figure a Name Brand Formula costs on an average of $25 a can, and I personally, go through a minimum of 6 cans a month…I know you can do the math…$150 a month just on formula. Not to mention all the other necessities and the additional costs of two more children. Geesh! That adds up! Buying Parent’s Choice Formula at Wal-Mart cuts that cost literally in half. Same ingredients, same benefits, half the cost. It feels great to know I am providing my babies with the same nutrition their older siblings got, but at half the cost! Wow! What will I do with all of that savings? Start their 529 plan?
Speaking of, as if it wasn’t enough for Parent’s Choice to pass on their savings to us, they are also giving our little ones the opportunity to win a $10,000 college scholarship. You can enter their sweepstakes at Parent’s Choice Infant Formula Savings Sweepstakes between June 15-August 15, 2011, one entry per family. Visit their site and fill out the form. In fact, I encourage you to request a sample that is comparable to what you are feeding your baby (or babies) now, and see for yourself if there is much difference. I will bet the biggest difference you will find is in the cost. And that’s a whole lot of Date Nights…or shoes, or facials…or just plain savings!