Returning Baby Formula (Receipt & Exchange Policy for All Stores!)


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What happens if you go to the store, and come home to find out you purchased the wrong baby formula? Or worse, if the formula you bought does not sit well with the baby’s stomach and you shouldn’t serve it to them at all?

Most physical and online stores will allow you to return or exchange baby formula, especially if there is a defect or the product was sold past its expiration date. Whether or not a store will allow you to return opened formula, however, will likely depend on individual store policy and, if you have a receipt, and when the item was purchased.

Read on to discover some of the limitations and restrictions for returning baby formula from various stores like Target, Walmart, Kroger, Aldi, and more. 

Returning Baby Formula to Target

Since it’s a one-stop-shop, Target stores are popular amongst parents looking to purchase both groceries and other baby supplies such as diapers.

On its website, Target does not include grocery items or baby formula in its return policy. However, according to a chat agent on the website, Target stores do not accept returns for baby formula.

You may still want to check in with your local Target to see if a manager can work with you depending on your situation and why you need to return the product. The general return policy at Target is that most unopened items can be returned to the store within 90 days of purchase. RedCard members get an extra 30 days to return their items. 

When you want to return an item to a Target store, make sure you have your ID and the receipt. If you ordered something online, you can also return it by mail. Just log in to the Target website and locate your purchase. Select “Return by Mail” and follow the steps to see if your baby formula is eligible for a refund or store credit.

Also check out Target’s policy for returning diapers

Can You Return Opened Baby Formula to Target?

You may have more trouble trying to return a canister of opened baby formula because of safety reasons. It’s difficult for a store to know if a container has been opened (and used) after a customer left the store. And grocery stores want to avoid exposing their team and other customers to contaminated items.

Since Target does not generally allow baby formula to be returned, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to return an open package unless there is a product defect or other issue.

If you had an issue with defective packaging or a damaged item, you may be more successful contacting the manufacturer directly. Often, baby formula companies will work with customers who had an issue with their products and potentially get you your money back. 

Can You Return Unopened Formula to Target without a Receipt?

Many stores do not allow returns without a receipt, especially for items like groceries. If you need to make a return without a receipt, try bringing your ID and/ or the card you used, as this may be easier for the cashier to look up your transaction. You may only be able to get store credit without the receipt, or they may refuse you flat out if you don’t have proof of purchase.

Since Target does not typically let customers return baby formula, you likely will not be able to return it without a receipt either.

Still, you can always try to speak to a manager and hope that they are able to make an exception.

Returning Baby Formula to Walmart

Walmart is often known for its pretty lax return policy—the store will accept a return for pretty much anything. However, they tend to be a lot more strict with baby formula. 

On its website, the Walmart return policy states that most items can be returned to a store up to 90 days after purchase. However, this also will depend on the department, as certain specialty items will have their own return policy.

In the Grocery section of Walmart’s return policy, it states that you can return non-perishable food items, such as baby formula, within 90 days of purchase like regular items. Certain specialty formulas that need to be refrigerated would be excluded from this list.

Although Walmart is pretty good at accepting returns for at least store credit—if not a full refund—it’s often more difficult to return baby formula. According to parenting forums, many people have had issues with Walmart stores not accepting formula even with a receipt. Walmart is a nationwide corporation, but it seems like many parents have had different experiences depending on where you go.

Also check out Walmart’s policy on returning diapers

Can You Return Opened Baby Formula to Walmart?

You will most likely not be able to return the opened formula to Walmart. This is often to protect themselves and customers from safety concerns. However, if your items were purchased from Walmart.com and arrived to you damaged or defective, you can return it by mail, or you can visit a store for a refund or replacement.

Can You Return Unopened Formula to Walmart without a Receipt?

With some items, Walmart will allow you to do a return without a receipt. Most of the time, you’ll just get a replacement item or store credit.

For formula, though, you’ll need a receipt. Many parents have stated on forums that cashiers will not even let you exchange the item without a receipt. This may be due to WIC guidelines and to prevent scams.

Always requiring a receipt helps to make sure people are not purchasing formula with WIC vouchers, then trying to return them for cash.

Returning Baby Formula to Amazon

We all know that shopping online can be risky, even with America’s most popular online retailer. That’s why it is crucial to read through and understand a seller’s return policy. Amazon accepts returns for most unopened items within 30 days of delivery. 

Grocery items, including baby formula, are not eligible for returning to Amazon, but you can request a refund or replacement if you are not satisfied. Amazon may offer you a refund for the formula or replace it if it comes to you damaged or already expired. On Amazon, you can return the item by following these steps: 

  1. Once you’re logged in, visit the “Your Orders” section.
  2. Find the item you’d like to return and select “Refund.”
  3. If the baby formula is eligible, simply fill out the provided form and follow Amazon’s instructions.

This return policy is applicable to Items that were fulfilled and shipped by Amazon. However, third-party sellers may have different regulations. Make sure to look at the fine print before clicking “Add to Cart.”

Can You Return Opened Baby Formula to Amazon?

Amazon does not ask for grocery items back if you request a refund for them. There are guidelines on the website for returning damaged or spilled grocery items if you receive a defective container. They’ll offer you a refund up to 30 days of your delivery. 

Can You Return Unopened Formula to Amazon without a Receipt?

Because you are required to log in to Amazon before making a purchase, it will save your receipts and ordering information for you. So, you will just need to access your account in order to request a refund for unopened baby formula.

Returning Baby Formula to Kroger

Kroger, the first grocery store-only company on our list, probably has the most strict return policy right now. And for good reason. Grocery stores are highly sensitive to issues involving contamination or potential tampering with food items.

The website states that Kroger stores will only accept certain grocery items (fresh produce, meat, dairy, seafood, and deli products) for returns when they do not meet their freshness standards. There is no mention of non-perishable items like baby formula.

It is possible that you could return a sealed container of baby formula to Kroger provided that you have the receipt and the product is still in date. If there is a defect with the product or another issue, a customer service representative could offer to replace or refund the purchase.

And because they are sister companies, Ralph’s may also have a similar return policy.

Can You Return Opened Baby Formula to Kroger?

You cannot return opened baby formula to Kroger for safety reasons. If your product was defective or expired when you purchased it, try to reach out to a manager of the store or contact the manufacturer directly. That way, you can explain your situation and potentially request a replacement.

Can You Return Unopened Formula to Kroger without a Receipt?

The website states that items without a receipt may not be returned to their stores, especially items that can be purchased with WIC. Due to concerns over scams, it is highly unlikely that you could return baby formula to Kroger without a receipt.

Returning Baby Formula to CVS

CVS has a pretty simple return policy, but it does not specifically provide details on its procedure for baby formula returns.

In most cases, you should be able to return a sealed, unopened container of baby formula to CVS provided that you have the receipt and the product is in date. If there is a defect with the product then you should be able to receive a refund or replacement without issue.

The CVS return policy states that the store reserves the right to refuse any refund or exchange that they feel is not eligible. Most unopened items can be returned within 60 days of purchase for an exchange or refund. To do so, you may need to present your photo ID and definitely your receipt.

Can You Return Opened Baby Formula to CVS?

The CVS return process includes a “third-party verification process,” which seems like a team lead making a final decision about the quality of an item. So, items that are already opened or do not pass their inspection may be denied a return.

Can You Return Unopened Formula to CVS without a Receipt?

While it’s hard to lose sight of CVS’s giant receipts, things still happen, like losing a receipt. While the store return policy states that you need a receipt to complete a return, you may still have options without one. If you misplaced your receipt, CVS says that most items can be exchanged for the same item or refunded through store credit. 

Returning Baby Formula to Walgreens

Walgreens has a similar return policy as CVS, but with a smaller window of time. On the Walgreens website, its return policy states that most products can be returned to a store or by mail within 30 days of its purchase. In-store, you can return an item for an exchange or refund. 

When you have the original receipt, you can get a refund for the full amount back with the original method of payment. The policy also states that the company reserves the right to refuse any refund.

There’s no policy for returning food items, let alone baby formula specifically, at Walgreens but you should be able to return a sealed, unopened container of baby formula provided that you have the receipt. If there was a defect with the product or another issue then you should be able to receive a refund or replacement.

So, you may want to call your local Walgreens to learn about any potential limitations.

Can You Return Opened Baby Formula to Walgreens?

You probably will not be able to return an opened container of baby formula to Walgreens. However, if a product gets to you damaged after ordering online, the company encourages you to contact their customer service department. That way, they can work to remedy the issue or offer you a replacement.

Can You Return Unopened Formula to Walgreens without a Receipt?

You will most likely not be able to return baby formula to Walgreen without a receipt. The general rule in its return policy is that most items can be returned before 30 days, as long as you have proof of purchase.

Returning Baby Formula to Costco

There are many perks of being a Costco member. And according to some online forums, one benefit is the company’s great return policy. 

Costco’s satisfaction guarantee means that customers can return almost any product if they’re unhappy, and the store will offer them a full refund or exchange. However, there are some exceptions listed on the website, like electronics and alcohol. Unfortunately, there is no specific policy about baby formula.

In most cases, you should be able to return baby formula to Costco if it is sealed, unopened, and you have the receipt. If there is a product defect you should be able to receive a refund or replacement product.

To make a return or to see if the store will give you a refund for your unwanted formula, visit the returns counter at your local Costco.

Can You Return Opened Baby Formula to Costco?

While people say Costco has a pretty good policy for returns, the store still may not take back opened formula. Like many other stores, they often refuse to take back opened items to avoid contamination and as a general safety precaution.

Can You Return Unopened Formula to Costco without a Receipt?

It’s good practice to keep your receipts in case you need to return a product. However, because Costco has a good reputation for a fair return policy, you may be able to return an item without a receipt for store credit. 

Returning Baby Formula to Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club has a pretty lenient return policy, with no specific details on its procedure for baby formula.

You should be able to return baby formula to Sam’s Club within 90 days if it is unopened, sealed, and you have a receipt. Product defects or expired product should be refunded or replaced without much issue.

The Sam’s Club return policy also does not provide a time limit for bringing an item back. It does state that customers have the following three options for processing a return: 

  • Returning it to a store for an immediate refund
  • Returning online purchases via mail
  • Contact the customer service line for assistance

Can You Return Opened Baby Formula to Sam’s Club?

There are not many details on Sam’s Club’s limitations on returning grocery products. But, like many other stores, it’s safe to be that the retailer may not accept returns of opened baby formula.

Can You Return Unopened Formula to Sam’s Club without a Receipt?

The website says that they prefer customers to bring their receipts when they want to return an item they purchased. However, it also says the company will work to process the return as best as they can without it. This lenient policy is for general store returns, however, so they may be more strict with baby formula. 

Returning Baby Formula to Aldi

Instead of offering its customers a fully-detailed return policy, Aldi provides its customers with a 100% satisfaction guarantee

You should be able to return Aldi’s Little Journey brand of baby formula without any issue, especially if it is an opened container and you have the receipt. Meanwhile, product defects or other issues would likely be covered under their ‘twice as nice guarantee.’

This “Twice as Nice Guarantee” means if you are not satisfied with an item, they will not only replace the product, but also issue you a refund. Unfortunately, like many other stores on our guide, Aldi does not point out specific about baby formula and any limitations with returning it.

Can You Return Opened Baby Formula to Aldi?

Aldi offers a satisfaction guarantee, so they may be able to accept opened containers of baby formula if you are unhappy with it. However, because of safety concerns, many stores may decide to refuse these returns. 

Can You Return Unopened Formula to Aldi without a Receipt?

In order to receive a refund for your item via the original form of payment, you must have the original receipt with you. Without a receipt, you may only be able to get a replacement item or a card with store credit for the purchase amount. 

What Should I Do If I Can’t Return My Unwanted Baby Formula?

Parents may need to return baby formula to the store for a variety of reasons. Maybe hubby accidentally bought the wrong kind. Or, maybe your infant’s changing body has suddenly lost the ability to digest dairy. Either way, you don’t want a perfectly good container of formula to go to waste even if your baby can’t drink it.

If you cannot return your unwanted formula, and it’s still in good condition and not expired, don’t just throw it away. Here are some ways you can pass it to hands that may benefit from it:

  • Donate the container to a local food pantry. Some may not accept open containers, but it’s always worth it to try when you could be helping someone in need!
  • Sell it online to a marketplace like OfferUp or Craigslist. If you can’t get a refund, maybe you can make a couple dollars back another way.
  • Give it to a friend who may need it. If you have friends who are parents of infants, check to see if any of them could use a container of formula for their little one.

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Josh

I'm the dad in charge of Natural Baby life. With 10 years of parenting experience across three children, I am constantly learning how to raise children more naturally. I'm passionate about doing whatever it takes to raise a happy and healthy baby! Find out more about me here.

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