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How Much Infant Formula Costs

Infant Formula Is the Real Liquid Gold at One Dollar an Ounce

When people say that breastfeeding saves money, they're talking dollars not cents. Since the milk is manufactured by a mother's body, nursing a newborn is nutritious and free. Though breast milk is called liquid gold, it seems like it'd be a more appropriate term for formula once you run the figures on popular brands. On average, one ounce of the powder (which makes two ounces of fluid) costs about a buck with organic and conventional formulas at similar price points. Check out these numbers.

  • Similac Advance w/ Early Shield Powder Formula — 23.2 oz. ($22.49) = $0.97 per ounce
  • Enfamil Premium Powder — 23.4 oz ($24.99) = $1.06 per ounce
  • Earth's Best Milk Based Formula Organic Infant Formula Dairy w/DHA — 25.75 oz ($27.99) = $1.08 per ounce
  • Good Start Gentle Plus Powder — 25.7 oz ($26.49) = $1.03 per ounce
  • Bright Beginnings Milk-Based Organic Infant Formula — 25.75 can ($24.99) = $0.97 per ounce
  • Vermont Organics DHA Soy Based Organic Infant Formula — 25.7 oz can ($24.99) = $0.97 per ounce

Caring for baby can cost a bundle! Check out all our It Adds Up! coverage.

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MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
Sams is the same - they sell the name brand for 30 for a giant can, and then their own brand for 19. We bought the sams brand for our daughter when she was an older baby. It really isn't a dollar an ounce though, if you think about it, because it doesn't come ready made for that cost... 12 oz of powder combines with water and makes around 90 ounces of formula. The cost of the water isn't much. It's still a very depressing situation. Our son is a month old and eating on the heavier side and we go through a 23 oz can every 4 days.
wiseone2980 wiseone2980 6 years
Costco sells Similac in a larger (30 oz i think) container. And it was under $30. It also sells its own "Kirkland Signature" brand which is even cheaper and i think it is on par with Enfamil. Also, go to the forumla website and sign up for their newsletter and coupon programs - i got coupons for $3-$5 off several times a year which definitely helped with the cost as well.
danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
I was watching 16 and Pregnant this week and the couple mentioned that formula was $1 an ounce. This was the first I really thought about it. I mean, I knew formula was expensive, especially for those with certain allergies (a cousin had to shell out twice as much for what she had to use), but I never would have guessed $1 an ounce. For those who can't breastfeed, that really could be a financial hardship.
Zivanod Zivanod 6 years
Having to supplement, we go through a formula cannister every 5 days or so. It is really expensive. I can't wait for solids!
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
Ive been unable to breastfeed both of my kids, so we are on formula. Formula REALLY breaks the bank for families on smaller budgets. We use a store brand becuase the ingredients vary only slightly and most of these formulas are made by the same companies and just marketed separately.
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