Most parents are willing to spend a lot of money unnecessarily to provide the best to their children, sometimes even feeling guilty if they try and save money on the baby necessities. But whichever way you look at it, most parents can and should try and save a little money on diapers by adopting a few measures. Some of these tips are easier than others to implement and so you should choose the tips that suit you and your willingness to spend time and energy.
I have divided these measures into three categories in terms of difficulty.
Most Difficult to Implement
- Avoiding the use of diapers some of the time. -This strategy is more predominant in other parts of the world where mothers spend a lot of time with their babies, mostly outdoors and are more in tune with their “poo cues”. Understanding the elimination communication can result in lowering the use of diapers since parents can hold the child over the toilet when they release these cues. In the most practical sense it involves losing the diaper for a period of time immediately after the child has egested, letting him or her roam around without diapers for some period of time. There could be accidents of course but eventually you understand your child’s cues better. This strategy also accelerates the transition to potty training since children will start noticing their own cues and communicating them. Initiating potty training earlier can save you upto a years expense in diapers and should be the focus of every parent.
- Initiate the potty training earlier -If you are able to initiate potty training by the time the child is at least three, it could end up saving you up to six months of diaper expenses.
- Mix and match with Cloth diapers -We have talked about how using cloth diapers can result in cost savings provided you launder the diapers yourselves and in low temperature settings. Even if completely using cloth diapers may not be an option for you, it might make sense to use them occasionally as in the case where your child has taken a big dump and is not likely to do so immediately. Using cloth diapers in between also does not entail the sort of risks that we talked about in the previous section, in the worst case you will have to launder the clothes.
- Shopping for sales in big box retailers – Most big box retailers sell diapers at a higher rate than their online counterparts, and I would usually recommend staying away if you don’t have time to strategize. However if you are attentive you can combine coupons, sales, and mobile only discounts to buy at a lower rate. For example Target Red card entitles you to 5% discount, combine that with a coupon of 5% -10% that Target occasionally gives out. But please remember that you will have to pay tax on store sales, whereas some states still do not charge tax on online sales. However if you watch the coupons and are proactive you can get some deal in some store where you can stock up.
- Switch between brands depending on what is for sales. I have listed this under difficult to implement not because its difficult to look at which brand is on sale, but because this entails switching diapers often on your child which may prove troublesome for the child.
- Join rewards programs of manufacturers – Join the Huggies rewards program – https://www.huggies.com/en-us/rewards or the Pampers rewards program – http://www.pampers.com/en-us. These are like airline rewards programs created to engender loyalty and prevent price comparisons. However if you are predominantly using one or the other of these brands then it makes sense to join the rewards program which allow you to claim points for each sale and then redeem them. You also get special coupons and deals which you would not have access to otherwise. You simply enter the rewards code that comes with every purchase on the site, you also get free points occasionally on deal sites hwhich you can add to your account.
- Be slow in switching sizes – It is a well known fact that newborn diapers are extremely cheap compared to the larger sizes. When a new parent is deciding between disposable and cloth diapers he/she is likely to make teh cost comparison based on the cost of the newborn diapers and the cost difference may not seem egregious. The price per diaper goes up as the size increases and hence it makes sense to stick to lower sizes as long as is possible. Don’t be quick to move to the higher size.
- Buy Bigger Boxes but do a little planning -Stocking up is good because the diaper cost usually decreases with bigger box size- sometimes as much as 10c per diaper. But be careful during transition points – start buying medim sized packs when the child gets closer to graduating up to the new size
- Choose Value Brands or Sub-brands – Store brand diapers can save you a ton of money but there is an obvious compromise on quality. You should test out a few and see if it works for your baby – this can end up saving you a lot of money. If store brands are not your thing, an intermediate brand like Luvs could also do the trick. You can buy in bulk at only around 16c per diaper. With Luvs you have the assurance that it is manufactured by P&G, using pretty much the same materials that are used for Pampers and you can get prices very close to store brands if you use coupons etc. If you need to go for the big brands – choose their value brands – Huggies Snug & Dry or Pampers Baby Dry. Btter to avoid the specialty sub-brands like Huggies Little Sunugglers, Little Movers or Papmpers Cruisers etc – they cost more but do not offer more.
- Buy Diapers online – This is probably the easiest to implement and if you buy diapers online exclusively you can end up saving a lot. Amazon offers lower prices on most occasions and put a lot of focus on price matching other competitors. So you can go to Amazon with the knowledge that they will try and provide lower prices on most occasions. In addition you can save more by following the three additional steps
- 20% off diaper subscriptions by being an Amazon Mom member and using Subscribe & Save
- Coupons available almost all the time on this link
- Diapers.com is a great option as they have competitive prices and offer coupons every now and then. So please do not forget to check those as well. Check here for diaper.com coupon codes.