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I can’t count the number of people that started couponing just to save on diapers! They are insanely expensive at their regular prices, so figuring out how to save is required for survival.
What’s A Good Price for Diapers
Every diaper company has at least 3-4 different “brands” under the main brand, and they all come in at least 6 different size packages. Do you want Huggies Snug & Dry, or Little Movers, or Snugglers?? To make it even more difficult some stores, both local and online, will have unique size packages that no other store sells. You can buy Big packs at Rite Aid, Mega Packs at Walgreens and Value packs at Walmart. I’m starting to get flustered just talking about it all…
With diapers, I need you to throw the box size out the window. I know that’s hard. Your grandmother taught you that the bigger the box means the better the deal. With diapers we need to take a per diaper price and stick to it across all package sizes. One big warning… the per diaper price will change by diaper size. In other words newborn diapers cost less per diaper than a size 5.
Broken down by size this is what we generally see:
Newborn: 13¢ – 16¢
Size 1: 11¢ – 14¢
Size 2: 14¢ – 16¢
Size 3: 16¢ – 19¢
Size 4: 19¢ – 22¢
Size 5: 22¢ – 26¢
Size 6: 26¢ – 30¢
How to get this best price?
If you head to Amazon right now and try to buy the biggest box they sell of size 1 diapers, even with the 20% discount from Amazon Mom and Subscribe and Save (plus right now an extra coupon to clip) you still end up at the high range on cost per diaper. So bigger is not always better, I promise!
Generally the best deals are in the drugstores. Seriously, they are. At least once a month CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid will put diapers on sale and make them print a reward at checkout. When we wait for these sales we can get jumbo pack diapers for as low as $3-$4 per pack for name brand diapers. That’s the smallest size package, but compared out by diaper price that may even beat the price per diaper above! One other tip, you will save more when you give up brand loyalties. This way you can snag whatever brand is on sale, rather than waiting for one particular product.
What about warehouse clubs?
Okay, you are still back at that bigger is the better deal problem… really the best deal is on the smallest size package. The main reason is that a coupon is good for any size package, so buying 3 jumbo packs and using 3 coupons is better than buying one big box (with jumbo packs inside) and using one coupon. To give you an idea though here are common warehouse club per diaper prices:
Size 1: 18¢
Size 2: 21¢
Size 3: 22¢
Size 4: 23¢
Size 5: 26¢
Size 6: 31¢
While size 5 and 6 are at the top end of the price per diaper we see in normal stores, it’s not really a savings when you add in the cost of membership and for some like me driving clear across town to get there. For the smaller sizes you are paying a lot more to shop at the warehouse.
Stocking Up On Diapers
We’ve got the great deals, now for the other half of our savings. Just like with groceries when we see a low price we need to stock up on it. We know drug stores typically have the best deals, but stocking up can get tricky as there are limits per household per week. So, you want to start early and maybe even enlist a family member to help.
I’m a numbers person so here’s my thinking on packs needed:
Changing on average 10 diapers per day/night
½ lb growth per week
starting weight of 6 lbs
First 4 Months
Newborn Size: 2-3 packs (not really needed most can go straight to size 1)
Size 1: 840 diapers needed to get to 12 lbs = 16-20 jumbo packs
Size 2: 560 diapers needed to get to 16 lbs = 13-15 jumbo packs
5 months to 12 months
Growth slows to 1 lb every 3 weeks on average
Diaper Changes on average 6 per day
Size 3: 1512 diapers needed to get to 28 lbs = 56-62 jumbo packs
Total Diapers needed in the first year: 2,912
I know that’s a lot of diapers… take a deep breath and remember you are starting early on this task. Just for a cost moment I am going to finish out the math for you though. Based on a average best price in the drugstore of $3-$4 per pack, we are looking at $276 to $388. This is one moment where the joy of couponing really shines. If you were paying retail that cost would almost triple!
Now looking at all of that, what is logical? That’s really up to your space on hand. We took over our guest bedroom closet and started shopping early. Baby Ada is set to arrive tomorrow morning, and I am very happy to say that we have…
(4) Newborn packs (I over bought)
(18) Size 1
(16) Size 2
(2) Size 3
If you over buy in any size, most stores will take them back for an exchange to a bigger size, so don’t panic.