Cost Savings of Breastfeeding

Posted 11-22-2013 at 07:21 AM by angelaw

I guess I never really thought about it until recently, but there are HUGE savings for the breastfeeding mom’s family over using formula. I have nursed my two boys for well past their first year of life (youngest is 26 months and going strong!) and have never supplemented with formula. I honestly didn’t know how much it cost until I looked it up to make sure I was accurate before writing this blog.

I am part of an online baby and children’s resale group and noticed a lot more demand for formula. Even at a ‘discount’ mothers are paying around $15-17 a can from other moms on the site. I have heard that a can usually lasts around 3 days maybe up to 5 and that the retail of the average can of formula is around $25. So, just by nursing exclusively the first six months, I saved my family approximately $1500! Now, I’m sure that if I were to have chosen formula, I would have used coupons and shopped sales, so that may not be an exact. But, I think that my estimate is pretty close to the savings I have benefited from by breastfeeding and what I figured above was just for the first six months each time.

I won’t lie and say that there are no costs when you choose to breastfeed. I, myself, bought a breast pump and around 5 nursing bras and a couple nursing tank tops. I also would consider the increase in the cost I saw when I went to the grocery because of my ‘nursing mom’s appetite’. But, if I am supposed to add all of those up when comparing breastfeeding over formula feeding, I should probably consider all the bottles, bottle cleaning tools, drying rack, purified water, etc. that also come with formula feeding.

Surely, there are tons of blogs, articles, etc. online about the savings that come with breastfeeding over formula feeding. When I looked, I saw a number of them (some outdated). And while cost savings was one of the motivators for me when I first decided to breastfeed, I guess I never really looked into how much I was saving. There are also things that I’m sure I haven’t even considered such as lower health care bills throughout the year because of breastfeeding and the savings I personally get from not having to take birth control (we use the LAM) for the first six months. So, overall, I know that my savings really add up.

Was the cost savings a motivator for you in your choice to breastfeed?

Do you spend so much on the extras (breast pumps, storage bags, nursing bras, covers, tank tops, special shirts/dresses, etc.) that you feel you aren’t really saving any money at all?



6 Responses to “Cost Savings of Breastfeeding”

  1. junvwekt on November 22nd, 2013 8:40 am

    I was just thinking about this topic yesterday… I have probably spent $150ish in breastfeeding supplies, so that’s a lot of savings!!! :) Cost was definitely on my mental list of “reasons to breastfeed”.

  2. jen_mahar on November 22nd, 2013 11:15 am

    We just had our 4th and final baby in August…..I nursed all the others gave and never gave formula a thought until my last one was born. he was 6 weeks early and did not latch well for the first 8 weeks, so he was fed pumped bottles….but his weight gain was slower than even a breast fed baby…so we decided to suppliment. he gets 2 bottles a day that are 2oz bm and 2oz high calorie formula. I am shocked at the cost. one can lasts us 2 weeks & is costing us $18 after coupons…..I love nursing tanks and watch for them to go on sale. Yes, bf has saved us a lot of $….I am quite frugal, but did it more for the reason that it is better for our children.

  3. Nerissa on November 22nd, 2013 11:58 am

    I know I saved money. My pump was free through insurance. Even with buying storage bags for frozen pumped milk and bottles and liners for daycare I saved money. I don’t buy any special nursing attire. I wear normal tank tops and normal bra’s. While my last baby did get really sick twice last winter (4 month and 9 months) with pneumonia both times, I know nursing kept us out of the hospital. My two older boys were formula fed from 7 months till 1 year. That was expensive enough.

  4. Amysgong on November 22nd, 2013 4:25 pm

    I tried breastfeeding my first but end up need to supplement a lot to satisfy him…like a full bottle after nursing. I am now doing better this time around breastfeeding my second with better knowledge and determination. I would say 1500 for six months formula is a bit over. My first use up a Similac box of powder from Costco about every 10 days average costing 30 each. So the first 6 months about 20 boxes, 600. later when we start solid and my little milk dry-up after the six months mark, he actually drink less not more…I estimate 1100 is how much we spend for a year of formula.

  5. dagmomma on November 22nd, 2013 5:18 pm

    I hear alot about moms being overwhelmed with breastfeeding. My sister was one of them. I was overwhelmed with the idea of formula feeding. I watched my sister ( long before children of my own) prepare bottles, clean bottles, loose bottles. I also would do late night runs with her to the store to get formula and was in shock of the cost of formula. I was fortunate that I was able to breastfeeding all four of my children. Not sure I even want to think about what I saved it may make me sick.

  6. kimberlyfaith81 on November 26th, 2013 7:38 am

    I never really considered the cost when deciding to breastfeed. I made the decision knowing that breastmilk is exactly what my little one needs. However, I can see what a difference it makes. I made a one time investment in a breastpump, three nursing bras, and two nursing tank tops. I paid $4 a piece for breastflow bottles for the sitter (yay for sales!). I won’t have to buy another thing. My storage bottles for the milk are reusable. On a month to month basis, it’s a huge difference in my budget. I can’t imagine adding in the cost of formula every week. And cloth diapering is so nice to my budget too! Basically, my budget hasn’t changed a bit since before baby, other than the cost of the sitter. Well, and a little more food for a hungry nursing mama.

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Leave Your Comment Join Diaper Swappers or login to comment!