If you are a parent, then you have probably encountered that all important task of diapering your baby’s bottom! Have you ever considered just how much money you could be literally throwing away at each changing? Or what about over 2-3 years of diapering one child? The word that comes to mind is YIKES!! We think we might know a thing or two on this subject as we are now in the middle of diapering our fifth child and have been diapering (is that even a word?) for almost eight years now! But we didn’t want you to just take our word for it – we compiled the following estimate of diapering usage from a vast number of resources including our own experience and numerous websites.
Please note the number could be a low estimate as each family and child is totally different – aren’t they all?! Age Diapers/day Total days Total Diapers 1-3 mo 7 92 644 4-5 mo 6 60 360 6-12 mo 5 182 910 12-24 mo 4 365 1,460 24+ months* 3 365 1,095 Total: 4,469 * The average girl is potty trained around 2-3 years and the average boy around 3-4 years, so we are going to calculate up to 3 years Grand Total for 3 years: A WHOPPING 4,469 diapers! But though you might be intrigued by the sheer number of total diapers you have been changing, what you really care about as a parent is how much all those diapers cost! Right??
First we need to establish a base price per diaper. One great source we always love to reference is our diaper size chart which provides you an exhaustive list of information including the package size, associated cost and number diapers in each pack for each brand and type of diapers. Our analysis led us to define the average price of name brand diapers at 27.5 cents per diaper. Total cost to diaper your child using brand name diapers = $1,228.98 You might quickly state that you use generic/store brand diapers for that exact reason. Well stated as our further research led us to name the average price of generic diapers around 18 cents per diaper. Total cost to diaper your child using generic/store brand diapers = $804.42 And we’ll only briefly mention to not forget the cost of wipes, diaper rash cream, and other supplies you might need such as disposal and storage systems. I hope we haven’t scared you away, because there is good news and light at the end of the wipes tub!
What if we mentioned to you that you can easily purchase brand name diapers for 15 cents per diaper on a normal basis? What if we said that with just a little bit more work you could diaper your child for 10 cents per diaper? Better yet, what if you knew that on certain occasions you could purchase those brand name diapers for as low as 1-3 centers per diaper? Can you start to see how much money you could save in just this one area of your life? Can you imagine how that could impact your family’s budget? It would definitely be a blessing! Our goal then is to help you wade through all those diapers to give you the tools to get the best deals on diapers on a normal basis. As we mentioned above, we’ve been diapering children for almost eight years. But what we didn’t share is that when we had our first child that we were struggling under a mountain of debt. It wasn’t long until we realized the extra expenses from just diapering our daughter was going to add a huge strain to our budget.
My husband has always joked that when the diaper package states “for 14-20 lbs” it really refers to the amount the diaper will hold before needing to be changed. Although we joke, this is honestly how parents can feel when you see diaper after diaper going into the trash each day – you want to hold on to those hard-earned dollars for as long as possible. It is a seemingly well known fact that generics can be a good way to go if you are in desperate need of diapers and you can’t find any sales or coupons. But you can easily get name brand diapers for a lot less than the generic counterparts just by incorporating a few of our tips. So here is the nitty-gritty on diaper savings:
1. Know Your Diaper Price Point
When determining your price point, you need to consider a few things first: your price point will change as you move into different size diapers because the larger the diaper the more costly they are. You also may have a certain preference (or your baby’s bum might demand it) of a certain brand or type of diapers. These will all affect your price point. So just what is a price point? Your price point is what the cost of the diaper is if you were to go to the store now and buy it. For example, one of our families favorite diapers is Pampers Baby Dry. So to figure our price point, we use the diaper size chart and average the price per diaper for the big packs (these are the boxes of diapers). Currently the Big Packs (our 19 month old wears size 4) average at $19.49 and contain 82 diapers = 24 cents per diaper. $0.24 now becomes our price point. We want to beat the price of $0.24 when we buy diapers!
Many people often think in terms of what a jumbo pack of diapers costs. The average retail price of the jumbo pack costs around $10.49 (check the diaper chart for the specifics on your brand/preference). So if you can find jumbo packs for less than your base jumbo pack price, then you have found an even easier way to figure whether or not you are getting a good deal! Using our above example on Pampers Baby Dry, the average jumbo pack price is $8.99 – so $8.99 each jumbo becomes our price point when using this method! The first trick is to never buy diapers at your price point as you can usually easily beat it!
2. Use Coupons and Sales to Grab the In-Store Deals
This is an essential key in saving money on name brand disposable diapers when purchasing in-store. Most diaper coupons will be for the name brand diapers. We often find that just applying the coupon value brings the cost close in price to generic or store brand diapers. The most common places to find diaper coupons is online, newspaper and inserts, store or diaper brand mailers, diaper company promotions, and even inside of a previously purchased package of diapers. We show a list of all of the current diaper coupons (both printable coupons from the internet, newspaper and other sources) available for everyone to utilize now so that you have quick access to those coupons! This is a quick easy way to grab a coupon and save a buck or two! But you can even drop your price a little lower, and many times below the generic/store-brand diapers cost, by combining those coupons with sales! Every week, we provide the matchups for the national stores (such as Walmart, Target, Drugstores and more) to help you figure where to get the best deals each week – it is also in a customizable and printable format to make it super easy to use. But you can also use the list of diaper coupons we post to help you match up coupons with diaper sales occurring in your local area and your local grocery stores. Most of the time, surprisingly the best deals are often found at the three national drug store chains: Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS with Target and Walmart as close seconds!
3. Embrace the Age of Technology and the Internet To Snag Amazing Deals
With this day and age, it is amazing how the virtual world can save you loads of money, save you a ton of time, and make the daunting diaper task less daunting as those sweet little diaper gems arrive to your door at a nice price! The key is to watch for the online promotions/sales, FREE shipping deals and ecoupons. The more discounts that you can stack, the lower or better price you will be getting! Amazon.com is a top notch online competitor and even compared to those in-store deals. You can also find deals on sites like Diapers.com, Walmart.com (where shipping on diapers is FREE) and more! The internet offers such a large selection of deals to be found, we make it easy for you there by also providing a list of the best online diaper deals each week as well!
4. Know When to Stock-Up
If we beat our price point of $0.24 a diaper or $8.99 a jumbo pack, then we are doing decent. However, if you can stock up on diapers and beat your price point by a lot – the you are doing extremely well! A starting stock-up price is about 30% less than your price point. If you get to 30% off or more – it is time to stock-up. Using the example of the Pampers Baby Dry diapers – our price point is $0.24 per diaper or $8.99 a jumbo pack. 30% off would be $0.17 per diaper or $6.29 = a VERY good time to stock-up!
- If you end up hitting 50% off or more from your price point RUN – don’t walk when it comes to stocking up!
- You can even be stocking-up when you are expecting. It can be a several month process to have enough stock to keep you going without having to buy diapers “spur-of-the-moment” With our last baby, we stocked-up while I was pregnant with him. We were able to stock several months of different sizes of diapers before he was born. Overall, this saved us hundreds of dollars on each child. We continued to stock-up even after his birth of course and continue to do so today.
The surprising news is that you can get quite amazingly cheap diaper deals nearly every week and using our in-store diaper deals or the online diaper deals will also save you a ton of time in research each week! We break down the scenarios on how to score those deals. Some are very simple scenarios such as using a coupon with a sale and others have more extensive scenarios utilizing even in-store coupons and rebates. But we break each step down for you to make it as clear and easy as possible! As an example of the deals just this week alone:
- Walgreens has diapers as low as $3.99 each jumbo pack with their store register rewards (i.e. store coupons) and manufacturer’s coupons used together
- Amazon.com has diapers as low as $4.43 each jumbo pack delivered to your door with FREE shipping
- Rite Aid has had their store-brand of jumbo packs on sale for $4.49 each after store coupons and rebates
- Target has Huggies as low as $4.90 each jumbo pack
5. Know What Sizes to Stock-Up On
This is a question that we are always asked: “How can I stock-up if I just don’t know what size my baby will need in several months?” Our answer – don’t necessarily stock up on newborn and size 1. Babies grow very fast and they grow out of these size diapers even faster! Plus, many diaper baby gifts are often in this size already. If you plan to stock-up, only have a handful of size 2 packages on hand. You are probably going to be pretty safe stocking up a lot of size 3 and size 4. Our own kids seemed to stay in these two sizes of diapers forever! Our 19 month old started size 3 diapers nearly a year ago and has just moved into size 4 where she will probably be for quite some time. There is also a way to handle the overstock: if you stock-up on a size that you end up not using all of, just attach a note to the package saying where you bought the package as nearly all stores, including the major national chains, will exchange an identical package of diapers for a different size. For example, if you had a size 2 Pampers Baby Dry package left that you purchased from Target – return the package to Target in exchange for a size 3 Pampers Baby Dry, etc.
6. Consider Different Brands/Types
This tip is more for those times that you happen to run out of diapers and your specific brand/type is not on sale this week and you need diapers NOW. These things just happen, and after grabbing great deals, it is gut wrenching to pull those diapers off the shelf and see their MASSIVE price beeping in front of you on the register. Well, if you get to that gut wrenching state and you are just plum out of diapers, consider buying the brand that is on sale that week, even if it is not your usual brand! We have had to do this many times. We have only had one baby out of five that has had a picky bottom and had to use a certain brand of diapers, but if you find that your baby is fine with different brands, then this will not hurt anything, but make your wallet smile a bit bigger! So, if you can remember and apply each of these tips you will be on your way to saving some good money. With all considerations, we probably average around 10 cents per diaper, which means we’re just shy of diapering each child for $447 – a savings of $781 from our original estimate of diapering one child with name-brand diapers. Considering that we have five children thus far, that means we’ve saved over $3,905 using these simple tips! The final step is to take a breath…..step back a moment and consider what you could do with that kind of money, and get to it! You could actually enjoy diapering your child. Ok, we won’t take it that far, but we promise you’ll enjoy saving all that money! With a little effort, part of your babies college education could be found hiding in those diapers!
Alex and Cassie are known as The Thrifty Couple after working hard and finding creative ways to pay off over $100,000 of consumer debt! They are a fun and upbeat couple that love to save money and help you stretch your budget in every area of life! They are on a quest to help other families reach their financial goals by providing money-saving tips and resources. In addition, they are known for their Best Deals on Diapers that are posted every week to get your son or daughter covered for less. Stop on by and say hello – they love their community and think you will too!