Store Brand Moms

Our Store Brand Moms blog publishes postings from real moms like you. We know that store brands are just as good as nationally advertised brand-name products, but cost less because they are not promoted with expensive marketing programs. The store brand story highlights the savings that are passed along to smart shopper like us. The best example of this is in the world of baby formula, where all brands, store brands and big name brands, must meet the same FDA regulations. Store Brand Infant Formula, however, costs up to 50 percent less than the advertised brands. Learn more on our website, storebrandformula.com.

I have one very picky four year old.  As an infant, he was the one child of my four who had a problem latching on when he was nursed, and I needed to pump and feed him from a bottle.  When I switched over to baby formula, he was sensitive to the regular infant formula.  I was thrilled when he was able to tolerate on the Gentle Formula, and even more thrilled that when I switched from premium to store brand that he thrived.  As we started introducing solids, it became obvious very early on that he was going to be a picky eater.  Three years later, Louis is still a picky eater.  Oh how I wish they made baby formula for pre-schoolers!!!

I always frowned upon mothers that would cook separate meals for their picky eaters.  With four children and a full time job, I find that I do it every now and then myself just to avoid the tears.  Louis will eat any kind of pasta, any kind of cheese, chicken (especially nuggets of course, but luckily he will eat chicken in general), pizza and that is about it.  Breakfast foods he is great with: eggs, pancakes, french toast, cerals, oatmeals he will eat.  Lunch is usually a cheese sandwich.  He will eat any kind of fruit (thankfully), and he does like many veggies (there is a GOD!)  But dinner is usually a fight.  I refuse to make him chicken nuggets or pastina unless he has absolutely eaten nothing from our dinner, and we do make him at least TASTE the meal I have put on the table before I will agree to a special accommodation.  Thing is, with Louis, if he sees something new on his plate, he refuses to even taste it.  Nevermind taste it, he refuses to even smell it!  Thankfully his older sister, his twin and his little brother are much better eaters, or else I think I would lose my mind. 

Of course I know that kids will be kids, and naturally I was bound to have one picky eater out of four, but oh how I miss the days of Gentle Formula and baby food, when Louis would not give me a fight every evening!

Our Store Brand Formula website was delighted to publish an article by consumer products expert Sandra Gordon.  Interestingly enough, Sandra did not use baby formula; she successfully breastfed both children and refers to her positive experience as keeping the “breastaurant” open 24x7.  Her article is titled “Confession: I Never Used a Drop of Baby Formula!” and can be accessed in its entirety here: 

http://www.storebrandformula.com/articles/never-used-formula.aspx

Sandra’s story centers on personal choice and circumstances.  Experts recommend breastfeeding and we certainly agree it should be the first option for infant feeding. Like Sandra, we also recognize that some mothers choose to buy baby formula when the time is right.

We hope you enjoy reading about her  story about breastfeeding and find the information on infant formulas helpful.

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Sandra Gordon writes frequently about baby products and infant nutrition. She is the author of theConsumer Reports Best Baby Products Guide series and Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear. To learn more about Sandra, visit http://www.sandrajgordon.com/about.

…just happens to be the three things I never really liked!  Can you believe I spend more time with my mop, broom and vaccuum than I do with my husband?  Don’t believe me?  Well, if I detailed my weekly schedule with you, you will see that I do about 18 loads of laundry a week and sweep my kitchen, dining room and living room at least 4 times a day (each room!)

I remember when I was a little girl, when my mom would use the expression “Well, the fairies aren’t going to come in the middle of the night and clean it!” with regards to how we needed to pick up after ourselves.  I have tried this with my kids, and so far, it has not worked.  I do not know how they always manage to bring a snack into the living room or find any little paper to tear up on the rug.  And no matter what they eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner, under my dining room table is screaming “SWEEP ME!”  I have been doing a ton of laundry every week since we had the last three babies.  Now that it is winter time (more layers of clothing) and the boys are potty training at night (changing sheets every morning), I am doing more laundry than ever before.

The price of  laundry detergent and dryer sheets is ridiculous.  The store brand dryer sheets smell AWESOME and are a third of the price.  Thank goodness for that!  I also recently replaced my Swiffer Wetjet with a store brand device — do you believe this thing uses your own floor cleaner, the pads are washable (yes, this increases my laundry load BUT saves me a ton on disposable pads!) AND you don’t need batteries (it is a spray!)  I LOVE this thing!  Totally beats a mop and can run circles around the Wetjet.

With four kids, I just wish I could spend one day home and not have to clean up after someone all day long.  Until that happens, I guess I might as well call my cleaning supplies my friends.

When I first became pregnant, I thought about everything that was to come, everything that we had to have in preparation for our new little one. Making sure we were fully set with clothes, diapers, bottles, wipes, all of it. I wasn’t planning on breastfeeding at first because honestly, I thought I would be a little creeped out. Then around 7 months into my pregnancy, I was determined to breastfeed. I read up on all the benefits and it just can’t be beat. A few weeks before I gave birth, I had the colostrum but nothing major so when I asked my doctor about it, she said that after I give birth and we start to nurse, I will become engorged and produce milk. Well, after Shaughn was born we tried nursing and it pleased him so I was very happy. That was about it with my nursing happiness because I couldn’t produce. The lactation consultant was trying frequently so that I could get my full supply that I have been waiting for and reading about but we didn’t get very far. There was some milk but definitely not enough.
 
With my hormones racing as it is, I began to think of the failure I already was as a mother because I couldn’t provide milk for my child. The nurse came in with a 2oz bottle of Enfamil Lipil infant formula and I bottle fed him. I still was set on breastfeeding. After talking with the lactation consultant again she suggested Fenugreek capsules to help out. So after we were released from the hospital I went into GNC and bought the biggest bottle they had. The first day I noticed that I did produce much more than I was in the beginning so I thought this was very promising but never could even produce an ounce. I rented the hospitals breast pump to measure how much I was producing into a bottle and was disappointed. I figured my son wasn’t fussy so maybe he was satisfied and I continued to try. Well day 2 of Fenugreek and I swore I was a pancake house! Everything, and trust me girls, I mean EVERYTHING, on my body spelled of maple syrup. Breast milk, sweat, urine… I mean, at least I didn’t smell bad, but I wanted waffles all the time now!
 
During the first week of my son’s life in the outside world, I became sick with a bad cold. I didn’t want to get him sick so I kept my distance from him and tried to pump so he could still get breast milk. My already low supply quickly lessened and I asked my doctor what to do. She prescribed me Reglan which has a side effect of milk production. That worked little. I gave in to the fact that I just couldn’t do it and started feeding Shaughn Enfamil. When he was 2 months old, I would walk into Walmart every few days and pick up the can of Enfamil for $26 when I finally looked on the shelf above it and saw Parent’s Choice Milk Formula and their amazing price. I remembered the name and decided to go home and Google it before giving it a try because regardless of price, I needed to be sure what I was going to feed my child. After searching all the ingredients and comparing notes, I came across a forum that spoke highly of the brand. I was convinced!

In comparison, Shaughn has been less gassy and seems to really enjoy his mealtime. The baby formula even has fewer bubbles at the top after I shake it to mix which I think is pretty neat. I would never do anything just to save money that could put my family or me at risk but I have truly been impressed with Parent’s Choice Infant Formula. Even though I was saddened by my lack of ability to breastfeed, I didn’t also have to be depressed with an empty wallet because I was saving so much! Current calculations on their website show that I save $719.84 over a year’s time. Hey, I’ll take that bonus ANY day!

-Krystle

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the best event I have been to in a while… ok, maybe I am a little partial because Target has always been my favorite place to shop. I always love the convenience of being able to pick up stuff for the house, toys, clothes, crafts and pretty much anything else I might need, NOW INCLUDING FOOD, and loving the quality and shopping experience at the same time. I remember when my 10 year old was a baby, I used to get her a pretzel every time we shopped at Target. At two years old, she would beg me “Mommy, can we go get Target food… PLEASE???!!!” Looking back now, I can’t help but laugh. Target has REALLY come a long way with “Target food”. So much so that I am seriously considering doing away with my regular grocery store runs, replacing my shopping for meats and produce with specialty stores, and doing everything else at Target! I am in complete awe with everything Target has to offer, and my taste buds (and ALL four of my kids plus my Mom!) are very happy! We got to sample foods, snacks, dinner options and more. And I got a chance to meet and talk with Target “Mommy Brand Ambassador” Soleil Moon Frye. Growing up, I always loved to watch Punky Brewster. She and I were around the same age (I learned yesterday that I am 2 years older!) and were going through the same phases at the same time. Here we are years later, both moms and both loving Target! Take a look at the dinner sampler we enjoyed!

Gobetti Pasta with Pancetta and PeasRecipe Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients:

1 lb. Giada De Laurentiis for Target Gobetti Pasta

1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus 1/4 cup 8 oz. pancetta, finely diced

1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups (5 oz.) sugar snap peas, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) shelled edamame peas

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. kosher salt 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Add the shallots to the pan and cook until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in the snap peas and simmer for 2 minutes until tender. Add the pasta, cooked pancetta, edamame peas, petite peas, Parmesan cheese, the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, pepper and mint leaves. Toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen the sauce. Transfer to a large bowl and serve. Makes 4-6 servings

Archer Farms Mediterranean Quinoa Burgers on Naan

Ingredients

½ cup Archer Farms Quinoa

¾ cup water

1 can (15.5 oz.) chick peas, drained

1 cup matchstick carrots (or 1 cup shredded), divided

¼ cup coarsely chopped red onion

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 ½ tsp. Archer Farms Dried Oregano

½ tsp. Archer Farms Cumin

¼ tsp. black pepper

1 pkg. (4 oz.) crumbled feta cheese (about 1 cup)

2 eggs

1 to 2 Tbsp. oil

1 pkg. Archer Farms Naan, Original (or Garlic)

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

1 cup Archer Farms Tzatziki Dressing

Prepare quinoa with ¾ cup water according to package directions; allow to cool. Place chick peas, ½ cup carrots, onion, oregano, garlic, cumin and pepper in bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade. Pulse 10 to 15 times until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa (about 1 ½ cups) and feta. Pulse 5 to 8 times or just until mixed. Pour mixture into large bowl. Stir in eggs; mix thoroughly. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F. Heat naan as directed on package. Cut each into 6 pieces. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over MEDIUM heat. Form ½ cup quinoa mixture into balls. Place balls in skillet and press gently to make 3 ½-inch patties. Cook, covered, 4 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and fully cooked. Repeat with remaining mixture, reducing heat if necessary. To assemble burgers; layer spinach leaves on half the naan. Top with quinoa burger, Tzatziki dressing and remaining carrots. Garnish with fresh dill, if desired. Top with remaining naan. Makes 6 servings TIP: In place of dressing, in small bowl, combine 1 carton (6 oz.) Greek yogurt, ½ cup chopped cucumber, ½ cup chopped tomato, 1 ½ tsp. fresh dill weed (or ½ tsp. dried) and ¼ tsp. salt.

I can say with certainty that the ingredients you will find by Target are not only delicious, they are so much less priced than other comparable items you will find on grocery shelves!

This is not a sponsored post and all opinions expressed are my own!

Perrigo Nutritionals, maker of Store Brand Infant Formulas, is the proud sponsor of The American Academy of Pediatrics/AAP National Conference & Exhibition.  The conference, which is being held October 26–29 at the Orange County Convention Center, is the hottest spot for the latest best practices and pharmacological and technical advances brought to you by the leaders in pediatrics.  Perrigo/Store Brand Formula is also a premier donor of the AAP’s Friends of Children’s Fund,  which provides resources and supports educational and philanthropic initiatives that impact the health and well being of children.  Perrigo is also a sponsor of the AAP’s website educational website HealthyChildren.org.

A video of our medical advisory board member, Lisa Thornton, M.D., F FAAPMR (American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation), will be shown this weekend to pediatricians at the AAP conference.  A pediatrician and mom, Dr. Thornton addresses her colleagues on infant nutrition and shares the truth about Store Brand Infant Formula.

Here remarks in full can be viewed here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gShtYuGTWh4&feature=share&list=UUqqxQqc8Xvk50Lv_vjyAJng

FROM OCT 2013

The makers of Store Brand Infant Formula have been racking up the awards this year with the recent launch of the new SmarTub™ package. 

Last week, Packaging Machinery Technology magazine awarded Perrigo Nutritionals Packaging Line of the Year for the formula makers’ complete redesign of the classic baby formula tub at its Vermont facility. Listed as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Forbes, Perrigo invested more than $29 million to move from traditional round containers to rectangular plastic containers with mom-friendly features. 

The Store Brand Formula equipment on the line has several new-to-the-industry components and has placed Perrigo ahead of big name brands at the forefront of infant formula packaging.

Similarly, UBM Canon Packaging Group’s inaugural Visionary Awards competition recently paid tribute to Perrigo Nutritionals for its vision and leadership in:

  1. Innovation

  2. Differentiation

  3. Savings

  4. Growth

The Visionary Award recognized the Store Brand Formula SmarTub™ package. In addition, the Vermont infant formula factory received praise for its innovative packaging line featuring one-off equipment with advanced systems for automated on-line quality inspection. 

The key takeaway for moms is this: Store Brand Infant Formulas are now available in one amazing package and the savings are passed along to parents.

Read the whole article at - http://mysqueakysneakers.com/2013/12/03/generic-vs-brand-name-baby-formula/

It’s no surprise that every new parent on the planet wants the very best for their little bundle of joy, especially when it comes to infant nutrition. But what does that mean for mommy and daddy’s wallets??

As a working mom, I had to begin supplementing with formula, even though I do my best to breastfeed when I am home and pump at work. (For a full insight into my personal story (and struggle) with the first few months of breastfeeding, check out my post Pregnancy Schmegnancy)

At first, supplementing with formula didn’t seem to have an effect on us financially because we had a plethora of free samples and donations from family and friends.

But now those freebies have dwindled down to nada, and we have quickly realized that adding this new expense to the family budget has made quite a difference in our finances. So, unfortunately no more glasses of wine at dinner.

I had never considered looking into any other brand of formula that what we use now, until I was given the opportunity to sample a few store-brand infant formulas from Perrigo Nutritionals.  

Read more at http://mysqueakysneakers.com/2013/12/03/generic-vs-brand-name-baby-formula/

Tips from Our “Working Mom” Expert Jill Smokler Hit the Newspapers this Month

Store Brand Formula’s “Working Mom” Expert Jill Smokler is being featured in leading newspapers across the country. Today, Jill’s tips and tricks are featured in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Jill is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of A Scary Mommy and Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies) and owns the website http://www.scarymommy.com/. Her humorous approach to parenting and women’s advice is a welcome reprieve for many moms who want to do the very best for their little bundles of joy. New moms often face a variety of emotions, especially guilt and stress. Jill’s articles help moms relax and cope with the challenges of motherhood and returning to work.

Aside from funny pointers for moms who are reentering the work force, this article discusses a feeding plan for baby. According to a survey conducted online by Harris Interactive, approximately 42 percent of moms returning to work are stressed about how they will feed their baby. Many discover substituting or supplementing breast milk with baby formula can make the transition into a working mom much easier.

And you guessed it: there’s no better value than supplementing breast milk with a store brand formula.

Good luck and enjoy!

Can you believe we are halfway through July already? Today I am going to do FRIDAY’S FIVE, naming five things that I would still like to do by the end of the summer. If you have your own Friday’s Five, be sure to share!

1. Take the kids at least once to Sesame Place (we have had season passes for the last 3 years but this year we decided to try something new… Still want to take them once!

2. Take the kids to Lake Compounce. I am sure they will love it!

3. Stick to our plans to get together once a month with dear friends for our couples nights out!

4. Make some new friends and introduce the kids to other kids their ages in our new neighborhood.

5. Successfully pack and plan for our move with the least amount of stress possible :)

I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, the weeks really went by much slower than they do these days.  I feel like we just rang in the new year, and now we are more than halfway through the year!  Pretty soon we will be talking about BACK TO SCHOOL!  These days are going TOO fast, I just can’t seem to keep up!