Bringing a baby home is exciting, but it comes with plenty of surprises – and one of those is just how much it costs to keep your newborn fed, healthy, and happy. Parents who rely on baby formula find themselves spending hundreds of dollars on their child’s nutrition alone.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on baby formula month after month, try these tips to start saving money.

Ask Your Doctor for Free Samples

There’s no better way to save money than getting what you need for free. And while baby formula is costly, there’s one way to score the formula you need without paying a cent – you just need to ask your doctor.

Doctor’s offices are typically given different formula samples from a variety of brands. These brands hope that, when a doctor hands these free samples to his patients, the patients will become lifelong fans and start buying that specific formula.

But just because a brand or manufacturer has high hopes for your money doesn’t mean you should avoid these samples. Ask your doctor at your next visit if he or she has any free formula samples, and you’ll get a can – or possibly a few cans – at the cost of $0. And don’t be afraid to ask for samples during return visits too!

Look for Manufacturer’s Coupons

In addition to passing out samples of formula to doctors, formula manufacturers and brands also try to attract new customers by offering discounts and coupons to new parents. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to find savings on your favorite formula, just head to the manufacturer’s website and see if there are any coupons available.

It’s very common for formula manufacturers to list coupons on their websites – and there’s no limit to how many coupons you can grab or how many times you can come back and grab a new coupon. Here are just a few samples of baby formula coupons offered by manufacturers:

While these manufacturer’s coupons may be limited (such as one coupon per transaction or per formula purchase), you can always keep coming back for more coupons in the future. All you have to do is search for your favorite formula brand and see if any coupons are offered online.

Join Brands’ Membership Clubs

Another way to score savings you can’t find in stores or offline is to become a member of formula brands’ membership clubs. Sometimes also called rewards clubs, these special membership programs are designed to offer parents special discounts, gifts, and freebies for sticking with a particular brand.

Sign up for a formula brand’s membership club, and you’ll be notified of specials, discounts, and coupons before the rest of the world – and sometimes, these discounts and savings are only available for members. You could net dollars off formula, get coupons to use in-store, and even have free samples sent right to your door.

Here are a few samples of the money-saving perks you could get by signing up:

  • Enfamil Family Beginnings – New parents get up to $400 in free gifts when signing up, regular samples of Enfamil products, and receive a formula coupon every month.
  • Similac StrongMoms Rewards – Members get up to $400 in perks, like coupons for Similac baby formula, free formula samples, and manufacturer’s coupon.

Here’s another tip for maximizing your baby formula savings through membership clubs: don’t limit yourself to just one membership. Sign up using your email, your partner’s email, or even your work and other spare email addresses, and you’ll double or triple the amount of coupons, freebies, and discounts you receive.

Comparison Shop Before You Buy

Lastly, the most important step in saving significantly on baby formula is to comparison shop before heading to the store and buying your tried and true brand. A quick online search could reveal that you’re actually overpaying for formula – and that same search could help you find a more cost-friendly option.

Search online before visiting the store to find current specials, discounts, and up-to-date pricing for all kinds of baby formula. You can check grocery store pricing as well as prices for buying in bulk at your favorite warehouse club stores. Sometimes, buying in bulk or buying certain quantities will net you big savings.

The smartest shoppers always check baby formula deals and prices online – and doing the same can help you slash your spending by choosing the right products at the right price.