5 Ways to Save Money on Diapers

March 20, 2013

Photo by Sean McGinnis, via flickr

The massive amount of dinero most parents spend on diapers during the first two years stinks. If your child’s Huggies wreak havoc on the family budget, try these thrifty tips and tricks.

Use Cloth

On average, disposables cost $50 per month per child. According to Jenna Hoskinson, store manager at The Giggling Green Bean in Lakewood, an upfront investment of approximately $250 will get you set up with everything you’ll need for the first year of cloth. That’s just a smidge over $20 per month!

Cloth diapers are durable -- you’ll see the savings compile if you have subsequent children. If the idea of switching to cloth is a daunting one, The Giggling Green Bean is Denver’s one-stop-shop for all things cloth. The store hosts a free cloth diapering class and boasts a 100% risk-free cloth diaper trail package.

But if cloth just isn’t your thing, you can still conserve cash in the diaper aisle by making a few simple adjustments.

Ditch Name Brands

Experts estimate you’ll save nearly $200 per year if you opt for store brand disposables over popular name brands. One Consumer Reports test indicated store brand diapers such as Albertson’s Baby Basics Ultra Leakage Protection Diapers and Kroger’s Ultra Comforts are every bit as absorbent as the top name brands. Other options include Costco’s Kirkland Signature Supremes and Target’s Up & Up Baby Diapers.

Size Matters

Manufacturers typically charge a flat fee per box size (think: “small pack” vs. “big pack” vs. “bulk pack”), regardless of how many diapers come in the box. For example, a bulk pack of Target’s Up & Up diapers will set you back $25.99. A size 3 case holds 180 diapers, whereas a size 5 box contains a meager 138 nappies. To save money, choose the smallest size that fits your child.

Bulk Up

Buy the larger (but not largest) box size available. When it comes to up & up diapers, a 96 count “big pack” of size 3s is $14.99 and a 180 count “bulk pack” is $25.99. Thus, the unit prices are 16 cents and 14 cents, respectively. You’ll save two pennies per diaper just by buying the larger box size. According to Kids Growth, a baby goes through about 2,788 diapers during the first year - which means something as small as two pennies can really add up. Big is good, but don’t be fooled by the super duper jumbo diaper cases. A 384 count “case” of up & ups is $59.99, putting the unit price back at 16 cents per diaper.

Shop Online

Buying in bulk online is almost always cheaper. Diapers.com does a new customer promotion. The promotional details are constantly changing. Sign up at the right time, and you could be eligible for months of discounted diapers. Amazon  is another great resource for frugal parents.

This post was written by Jamie Siebrase, a Denver-based freelance writer and JD who specializes in parenting, homes and lifestyles, and local events. She writes a column for the Washington Park Profile, and maintains Spilled Milk: A blog for moms of all ages, stages, and genders.

(Would you like to write a guest post for The Dime? Email us at dimecontact@copera.org.)

Other articles you may be interested in:
There's an App for That: Cutting Coupons
Grocery Store Tips: How to Get More for Less