So by now we’ve all heard it about 7 million times: breastfeeding a baby is cheaper than formula feeding a baby. It’s true. We get it. (#FedIsBest)
However, for most families breastfeeding isn’t completely free. In fact, the cost of breastfeeding can creep up on you if you’re not careful.
Use these tips to reduce your breastfeeding-related spending and save your family some money!
How to Cut Breastfeeding Costs and Save Money
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1. Be strategic about buying nursing clothes
You’ll most likely need to invest in a few pieces of nursing clothes, but you certainly don’t need to create a whole new wardrobe. Use these tricks to cut your nursing clothes costs:
Instead of buying expensive nursing tank tops and bras, make your own!
Use Maven to Save on What You Do Buy
When you do buy nursing clothes, add them to a Maven board before purchasing to get money back.
If you’ve never heard of Maven before, it’s a Pinterest-y way to make and save money. You “pin” items that you like from Maven’s massive list of participating retailers to boards, and when you or someone else purchases from your board—you get a commission!
I did this with my Favorite Nursing Clothes board and saved some cash on things that I was already going to purchase. 🙂 Pinning on Maven is also one of the ways that I made some extra money for my family during nursing/pumping sessions.
The best part? Maven is completely free to use, and you can sign up here.
2. Invest in reusable items
If you have a long-term breastfeeding goal (1 year or more), you can save a nice bit of cash by investing in reusable items. A few to consider are:
Investing in reusable nursing pads is a super smart way to cut costs and do our environment a solid.
Even if you use an affordable disposable nursing pad (up&up nursing pads from Target, for example), you’ll need to buy at least two 100-count boxes per month (that accounts for 1 pad per breast, changing pads several times a day).
Disposable up&up Nursing Pads for 1 Year of Breastfeeding: $183.36
Reusable Nursing Pads for 1 Year of Breastfeeding (These pads are my FAVORITE) + 1 Box of Disposable Nursing Pads for When Laundry Just Doesn’t Happen: $13.97 + $7.64 = $21.61
Total Estimated Savings: $161.75
Milk Storage Bottles
I love the convenience of disposable breastmilk storage bags (especially for when you’re traveling while breastfeeding), but if you’re a mom who pumps regularly and is really interested in pinching some pennies, reusable is the smarter option.
For our money-saving example, I’m going to factor the cost of an affordable disposable milk storage bag (up&up from Target 100-count). Let’s say we are talking about a working mama who mostly pumps during the workday, and uses 1 100-count box of storage bags per month.
Disposable up& up Milk Storage Bags for 1 Year of Breastfeeding: $110.04
Reusable Milk Storage Bottles for 1 Year of Breastfeeding (This is the set I used and it was fantastic!) + 1 Box of Disposable Milk Bags for When Dishes Just Don’t Happen: $23.02 + $9.17 = $32.19
Total Estimated Savings: $77.85
If you exclusively pump or breastfeed for longer than a year, your savings here will be even more.
Now, I will point out that if you’re a mama with a really high milk supply and/or you’re building up a gigantic freezer stash, you may need to buy an extra set or two of reusable milk storage bottles, or invest in more disposable milk storage bags. If this is you, calculate your costs according to how long you think you’ll breastfeed and figure out what option will save you the most cash.
3. Check Ibotta and Ebates regularly to get money back for your breastfeeding purchases
If you’re a mom looking to save money and you haven’t already signed up for both Ibotta and Ebates—do it right now!! These apps are completely free and using them regularly saves our family $100s of dollars each year.
The biggest way we cut breastfeeding costs with these apps is by finding deals on snacks that help boost breastmilk supply, like oatmeal and ground flax seed. You can also use both apps to get cash back on your regular grocery and household purchases.
You can set up a free Ibotta account here and a free Ebates account here. As an added bonus, you’ll get your first $10 for free from both Ibotta and Ebates when you use my special links. Woohoo for free money!! 🙂
4. Research your breast pump options
I faithfully used my Medela Pump-in-Style when I returned to work after the birth of both of my girls. It’s what all of the other pumping mamas were using, plus it was recommended by Nancy Botwin in an episode of Weeds. Of course I was buying this pump. And you know what? It works great! It’s gotten me through over 2.5 years of breastfeeding and it’s still kickin’.
But guess what? It’s not cheap. And there are plenty of other options out there.
A few great tricks to cut your breast pump cost are:
Check to see if you can get a free or discounted breast pump through your health insurance.
Consider a more affordable hand-pump. I actually fell completely in love with the Medela Harmony Breast Pump when I used it regularly this past summer on family road trips, to my complete surprise. It’s crazy efficient and super affordable.
Start a mom blog, then reach out to breast pump suppliers to see if you can try a pump for free in exchange for a review.
That last one will obviously take a little time and money to set up, but for me, starting a money-making blog is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my family—and I start it while breastfeeding my daughter.
One of my favorite parts of being a mom blogger is getting great products for free to review. (That’s actually how I got this really great jogging stroller for free when we didn’t have room in our budget for one.)
Since starting my blog a few months ago, I’ve received $1000s (yes, thousands) worth of free products to review—things like fresh baby food, diaper bags, admission tickets to family activities, and some crazy-cute mama jewelry, to name a few.
If you’re interested in starting up your own mama blog, you can check out my step-by-step guide here.
Got any great money-saving tips for breastfeeding mamas? Share them in the comments below!