Here are some tips I wish I had known when I was starting to fret about finances with triplets.
- Certain retailers allow you to combine formula checks for just one can of formula. For example, if you have a $17 can of formula and two $5 checks for formula, you can put both checks towards that single can of formula, making it cost $7. Where I live, Target doesn’t allow this, but Food Lion and Walmart have allowed me to do it. To receive formula checks in the mail, you can sign up with formula companies online. (Similac’s program is called Strong Moms https://similac.com/strongmoms), Enfamil’s program is Family Beginnings https://www.enfamil.com/enrollment).
- Ask to speak to the baby formula representative at your pediatrician’s office. The formula representative isn’t allowed to give you free cans of formula directly, but they can order extra packages of formula and send them to the pediatrician, who can then pass them along to you. These representatives tend to be very helpful and generous towards triplet moms!
- Both Similac and Enfamil have a multiples program that will mail you a large case of free formula for each baby. We received three cases of formula (one case for each baby). If you use formula, you will need a lot, so every bit of free formula helps!
- Don’t forget to ask if your health insurance covers formula. Especially if your babies are on specialty formula, some insurance companies will consider the formula a type of prescription and will pay for the formula. Many insurance companies also cover the cost of a breast pump.
- If you are at a certain income level, you can qualify for WIC (http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/women-infants-and-children-wic). They provide free formula and free food when you are past the formula stage.
- Join the Triplet Recycling group on Facebook to find hand me down items in threes. (Search for Triplet Recycling in Facebook Groups). You can buy items that are near you geographically, or some sellers are willing to mail items, depending on the size and cost. If you are looking for something in particular and you don’t see it for sale, it is worth posting on there to see if anyone has that item for sale.
- Amazon has a Warehouse Deal option where they sell items that are like new, but may have damaged packaging or been very lightly used. You can search for lots of baby gear there and could find great discounts. When you are on the amazon site, there is a drop down menu on the search box. The search feature is called “Warehouse Deals.”
- Zulily sometimes sells car seats and other baby gear at a very discounted price. One particular brand of car seats that sit 3 across (Diono) sometimes are on sale on Zulily for a very good price. You have to keep up with the sales, but if you are a part of a local mom of multiples group, they will often alert you to a great deal for gear that is great for multiples. I used to think Zulily was only for clothes and luxury kid items, but it’s not.
- There is a National Diaper Network (http://nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org/) that may offer assistance for low income families.
- Many local churches or charities often have stockpiles of diapers for families in need.
- Even if you don’t have a financial need, many churches with nurseries have an excess of diapers from families that go to the church and no longer need a particular size. They probably would gladly give you some of the excess diapers because they are so infrequently needed.
Photo is of the free formula I received from the Similac multiples program.