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When pregnant (or expecting to adopt), subscribe to as many formula companies as possible. These companies send out samples hoping to bank on your purchase of their product later.
My granddaughter is 5 and when her mommy was pregnant I went to a site called freestuff.com and got a 1 year subscription to American Baby. I don't know if you can still do that but it's worth a try. as a result of this we both got samples in the mail on a regular basis ... diapers, wipes, baby food coupons, etc.
I noticed that there are a lot of requests for coupons for baby formulas. Most baby formulas companies have clubs that you can join for free. They send bunches of formula coupons.
By Laura from Chicago Illinois
I registered with Nestle Canada before my second son was born and was surprised by what I received. I had assumed that it was going to be coupons and a formula sample, but I received a great backpack style diaper bag, a sample Avent bottle, booties, an ice pack, "baby on board" sticker for the car, and the coupons & formula and more! I still get the emails from them and they are very informative. My son is now 13 months, and this site helped quite a bit when we started giving him "real" food. It was well worth the 2 minutes to register at their site! Thanks Nestle!
If you like the convenience of the individual packages of powdered baby formula but don't want to pay the price, measure out scoops of formula into empty M&M minis tubes. The smaller tube holds enough for a 4 ounce bottle, the larger tube holds enough for an 8 ounce bottle (you must pack the formula to get the 8 oz amount to fit). The tube fits easily into the corner of a purse/diaper bag and doesn't take up as much space as those round containers that hold 3 servings. The tubes are also good for holding raisins, goldfish, other snacks for toddlers.
Also, if you give your baby warm bottles instead of buying a portable bottle warmer (which doesn't work very well anyway), buy a good quality metal thermos (like the ones for holding coffee). You can heat up water on the stove or in the microwave, take the thermos full of hot water, pour in a bottle, add your formula from the M&M tube, and enough cold water as necessary to cool it to the right temp. We've heated water almost to boiling and carried it in the diaper bag for up to 8 hours with the water still retaining enough heat for a warm bottle.
I love this idea! However, I sanitized and ran a tube through the dishwasher, and it still smells like chocolate. Should I be worried it will get into the formula?