Have you ever really thought about just how much money is being thrown out every time you change a diaper? Have you ever considered how much money you have thrown away over the lifetime of one of your children? Over the lifetime of all of your children?
Well, let us give you an idea of just how much money you are investing into something that you want to get rid of as fast as possible (the diapers…not the child) :).
The following chart will hopefully give you an idea and is based on our own experience with four kids and then verifying our assumptions from numerous websites.
It displays some minimum figures on how many diapers you might use at each age level from birth to potty-training (approximately 3 years old) – imagine how much much more these numbers would be if your actual usage was higher!
- 1-3 months old uses around 7 diapers a day for 92 days = 644 diapers
- 4-5 month old uses around 6 diapers a day for 60 days = 360 diapers
- 6-12 month old uses around 5 diapers a day for 182 days = 910 diapers
- 12-24 month old uses around 4 diapers a day for 365 days = 1,460 diapers
- 24+ months (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) uses around 3 diapers a day for 365 days = 1,095 diapers
Grand Total for 3 years: A WHOPPING 4,469 diapers!
Now remember that we stated these are low numbers – most parents actually use 30%, 60% or even double the amounts of the numbers above. But we didn’t want to scare you too badly.
But the real question we’re sure you are asking is just how much do those 4,469 diapers cost?!
Our assessment led us to name the average price of name brand diapers at 27.5 cents per diaper after factoring in average cost of each package and the number of diapers in it.
Cost of Name Brand Diapering = $1,228.98
For generic diapers – our research has led us to the conclusion that most generics will average around 18 cents a diaper.
Cost of Generic Diapering = $804.42
What if we actually told you that you can easily purchase name brand diapers for 15 cents on a regular basis? Or how about even 10 cents? Better yet, there have been a few known occasions in which people were scoring name brand diapers for as low as 1 – 3 cents! Imagine just how much money you could save in this area, or more importantly, what would that do to your family’s budget! It would be a blessing none the less.
Well, this post is designed to help you wade through the sea of diapers to score the best deals on diapers on a continual basis.
Let us give you a bit of our history: our first child was born six years ago. Since that time, we have had three more children and most of the time we been on double diaper duty – we seriously needed to figure a way to save quick!
When we became first-time parents we were also struggling to get out from under all our debt. It didn’t take long to realize the expense we were going to be taking on with baby diapers would be immense. My husband makes the joke that when the box states the diaper is for 14-20 lbs it really means that this is how much the diaper can hold before needing to be changed. We joke about it, but this is seriously how parents feel as they see their dollars in the trash everyday – they want to hang onto those dollars as long as possible.
For over six years now we have been able to consistently purchase name brand diapers for less than the generic brands. This actually became very important as our children have only been able to wear Pampers, Huggies and Luvs as others we tried caused rashes – it was out of necessity that we found a way to save on these brands – and were blessed with paying so much less than if we (or baby’s bums) settled for less.
We all know 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 adding coupons and sales!
So here is the nitty-gritty on diaper savings:
1. Know Your Diaper Price Point
There are many factors that can affect your priced point. Obviously, this will change often as you are moving into different sizes of diapers. Also, if you prefer (or baby’s bum demands it) a certain brand or type of diapers, that will affect your 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! Don’t ever buy diapers at the price point as you can usually easily beat it!
2. Know Where to Find the Diaper Coupons and Sales
This is an essential key in saving money on name brand disposable diapers. 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 in newspapers, mailers, diaper company promotions, inside of a previously purchased package and printables. We show a list of all of the current diaper coupons available for everyone to utilize now so that you have quick access to those coupons!
To drop your price even lower, and many times below the generic/store-brand diapers cost, combine those coupons with sales! Each week we do 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. 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.
3. Know When to Stock-Up
If we beat our price point of $0.24 a diaper, 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. 30% off would be $0.17 per diaper = a 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!
- Begin 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 her. We were able to stock 9 months worth of diapers before she was born – meaning that we finally used up all of the diapers we purchased when I was pregnant when she hit nine months old. Overall, this saved us hundreds of dollars even in her first year of life. We continued to stock-up of course and continue to do so today.
The surprising news is that you can get quite amazing deals on diapers nearly every week. We post the best deals at national stores each week for diapers to help you find diapers at the lowest possible price 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!
Just this week alone:
- Rite Aid has diapers as low as $13.50 each big pack = an average of 17 cents for each name brand diaper
- Amazon.com has diapers as low as 3 cents each delivered to your door
- Target has their brand on sale this week for $12.89 each big pack = an average of 16 cents each generic diaper
4. 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 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.
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 – 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.
5. Diapers Make Wonderful Baby Gifts
Diapers make great gifts, especially for the moms like me who already have had four kids and still have both boy and girl clothes – I want diapers. Some of the most fun baby shower gifts are the diaper cakes – they are very simple to make with your extra diaper packages and a wonderful addition to any baby shower. Plus they are an excellent gift for the expecting mom and dad! We have received a couple of diaper cakes in the past and have loved them each time! I have even made a couple of them myself with diaper packs we had in our stock and picking up a few travel size or dollar store baby items for the decorations! They are fun, cute, practical and memorable!
If you 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 diapers 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. Now considering that we have four children thus far, that means we’ve saved over $3,120 using these simple tips!
Step back a moment, 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!
Cassie and Alex are a frugal, budget-conscious couple that blogs at The Thrifty Couple.