All about…DIAPERS! How to find good deals on diapers and wipes, cloth diapering 101, and more!

 Welcome back to “You’re Welcome” Wednesday, where I share a tip with you that’s bound to make you say…THANKS! 

 As a mom, I can tell you one thing… 
Bodily. 
Functions. 
Rule. 
My. 
Life. 

That’s just the way it is!…And it’s so worth it :) That being said, there’s a few other things that I’ve learned.
1. Whoever invented the diaper is my hero.
2. Whoever decided that diapers should be as expensive as they are should be punished.

 My kids are 18 months apart, and the plan is that my 3rd won’t be too far behind, so I’m going to be neck-deep in diapers for yeras. The cost of diapers can really add up! But, luckily, there are some easy ways to save.

How to save on diapers 
  • Number one rule – figure out what the cost per diaper is

Take the cost of the diapers divided by the # of diapers in the box. This will help you know when you see a good deal. If a box has 200 diapers in it and it costs $40.00, take

$40.00 / 200 = $0.20 each diaper.

  • Look at your options…cloth diapers? Or Disposable diapers?

I, personally, have chosen to go the disposable diaper route. The convenience for me is worth every penny, and the debate is still out as to which one is harder on the environment (throwing them away? Or the water and electricity used to do more laundry?). BUT, for those of you who prefer the cloth diaper route (or simply want to know more), check out the “Cloth Diapers 101″ guest post HERE.

Since I am no pro on cloth diapers, I will skip right ahead to disposable.

This is how I, personally, buy my diapers. It’s simple, it’s easy, I shop there anyway, and they are a good deal with zero effort.
I recently had a private meeting with a GM of Costco (more posts on this to come!!! It was amazing and fascinating!!). In our meeting I learned that their products are, in fact, cheaper than anywhere else. because they have buying power that you wouldn’t believe. Thus, their diapers are – as is – a good deal.

Here are a few things about buying diapers from Costco: 

  • Kirkland and Huggies are the two brands they carry. 
  • They have coupons for both Kirkland and Huggies diapers. Their coupons rotate every few months, so if Huggies are on sale this month, you will see them again in 2 or 3 months. In my experience with my two kids (a boy and a girl) both Huggies and Kirkland are good diapers. The Kirkland diapers tend to run a little bigger, so we put them in Kirkland at night or during naps because they hold more, and use Huggies the rest of the time.
  • Insiders’ scoop that the GM told me? Huggies makes Kirkland diapers…so they are – quite literally – equally as good.
  • Their coupons are pretty good! They are usually $5 or $6 off per box. If you don’t get their coupons in the mail, go to the membership desk and ask to be put on the mailing list, ask them if they have a spare coupon book, or look online because…
  • …They post most of their coupons online now so you can see what’s on sale before going to the store. As of today, there are no current coupons running – they don’t start until 6/14. 
    • BUT just FYI…from 6/14/2012 to 7/8 their Kirkland diapers are $5 off, limit 2.
  • Costco sells diapers online, and has free shipping. So you can certainly buy them online and have them shipped to your house easily if you don’t want to go into the store. The coupons are automatically applied when you buy them online. 
    • I just went online to look at their diaper and their Kirkland boxes were $7 off per box, just for fun! They are sold out of every size but size 6, unfortunately. But check online, their prices differ than those in the store sometimes.
  • My advice again…always take note of the cost per diaper. Their boxes online are sometimes bigger or smaller than the ones in the store, and like I mentioned above, sometimes their pricing is different. 
  • The coupons have a limit, usually limit 2 (meaning you can’t buy more than 2 at a time). My advice? Buy two boxes…then go back and buy two more…then go back and buy two more. If you’ll use them, buy them! 
    • If you have a young baby that grows out of diapers quickly – that’s ok. If you haven’t opened the box yet, take it back and exchange it for the appropriate size. If you have opened the box and used some diapers, I wouldn’t recommend returning them because it raises the prices for the rest of us over time. I keep my unused diapers in a sturdy rubbermaid bin in my garage and save them for the next baby, even if it’s been 2 years they are still just fine! 
    • If you don’t want to hold onto them, make a diaper cake for a baby shower, donate them to a food bank, or give them in a cute basket as a shower gift. 
    •  If you are going to stock up on any size, I recommend stocking up on size 3. Your baby will stay in a 3 longer than most sizes…unless your my baby and jump right to a 4 and 5 by 8 months :) 

Other ways to save on disposable diapers:

  • Buy bulk. Regardless of where you buy them from, buy the biggest box they have because they end up costing less per diaper.
  • Keep in mind that simplicity has to be worth something. For me, I’m willing to do extra work to save money…to an extent. I don’t recommend bending over backwards and jumping though hoops of fire to save $0.01 per diaper. It just really probably isn’t worth it.
  • Many of my friends buy from Amazon. If you sign up for Amazon Mom and apply coupon codes you can get good deals. I did this once or twice for wipes, but found that the time it took didn’t save me enough to make it worth it for me, personally. However, some of my friends get great deals, so give it a try! I don’t know enough about it to give tons of tips, but I do know that it’s an easy option for some because it’s all online. 
  • Use coupons. I signed up for mailing lists and get formula and diaper coupons in the mail ALL the time. Use them!
  • Keep your eyes peeled for clearance (see HERE for an example). Diapers have different trends, and cycle through store shelves just like any other inventory. Huggies “jeans” diapers were hot for a while. When they were out of style, they were going on clearance everywhere. The next trend was Camouflage diapers. Don’t know if those are on the outs yet, but keep your eyes peeled!
  • Take advantage of samples. Whether they come in the mail, or whether there’s a sign up sheet in your OBGYN’s office, sign up and give them a try!
  • Watch sales. I bought some diapers from Babies R Us once because you got a $25 gift card when you bought so many boxes. It ended up being a pretty good deal, but I think it was close enough to Costco’s pricing that I probably wouldn’t do it again. Mostly because I don’t buy much from Babies R Us because their prices are high, so their gift cards don’t do much for me. Plus, their return policy is strict and if my kids grew out of the size of diapers that I bought, I would only be able to exchange the box for a limited amount of time. BUT…if you shop there and could use their cards, keep an eye out for their sales!
  • Use rewards. On all the Huggies diapers (that I buy from Costco) there are little coupon code things that you can enter on their website. 

Each code is worth a certain number of points, and you can cash them in for rewards. For a long time I ignored these, then decided to see what would happen if I stocked up my points. It’s a tiny bit obnoxious to hold onto the diaper wrapper until I get around to entering the code online, but it’s been worth it so far! 

The other day I cashed in some of my points and got 2 free Jumbo packs of diapers…for doing nothing but entering codes. WORTH IT!

 A few notes on wipes: 

  • Always wet them down and you will use way less of them, and they will work better. 
  • I buy them from Costco also because, like diapers, they always have coupons.
  • I prefer the Kirkland wipes to Huggies wipes…but that’s personal preference.
  • I like the wipes that come in those plastic packs rather than keeping mine in a small, hard plastic wipes case. I like the packs because as you use the wipes, the pack gets smaller rather than it always taking up the same amount of space in my diaper bag. Plus, they hold a lot more than the cases…but that’s just me!

So there you have it!
Anything I’m missing? How do YOU save on diapers? I’d love to hear it.

Have a good Wednesday!
Oh, and you’re welcome ;)

Comments

  1. Jenalee says

    Thank you so much for this post. I'm having our first baby in November and wanted/needed all the help/tips out there! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  2. Jenalee says

    Also… Do you have any tips/helps on Baby Lotion, Baby Wash/Soap, Baby powder and diaper rash ointment?!?!

  3. funcheaporfree says

    YES! Here's my tip…
    The store-brand baby wash, lotion, soap, rash ointment, etc. are just as good as the name-brand stuff most of the time. From my personal experience in trying both, I have found that the store-brand items have been just as effective as the name brand items…at about 1/2 the price. BUT – every baby is different so just buy a small container of it, try it, and decide for yourself. But don't discount the "cheaper" products because many times they are just as good!

  4. Rachel says

    I really love reading your blog and I appreciate all the tips you have taught me. However, I followed your advice and tried to 'take advantage' of the free samples by clicking on one of your links.. and now I feel like they're taking advantage of me! I get calls at least 3 times a day now.. Do you really truly go to those companies for 'free samples' and put up with all the annoying calls? I really am curious. (It even took me to the 'free cruise' which I researched online and found it to be a scam) :(

    Not a happy camper!

  5. funcheaporfree says

    Rachel – OH MY GOSH I'm so sorry about that! Yes, I usually only post links that I've used before…but this was one time that I didn't. I felt bad mentioning "get free samples" without a source for you to try, and the link I've posted on my blog before is expired so I tried to find a new one. I apologize! I'll remove the link right away, thanks for letting me know.

  6. Bekah says

    How did you cash in your huggies points for the free diaper vouchers?? Were they in the rewards catalog or somewhere else? I have been saving my points for something like that but I can never find them! I considered donating my points just because I didn't want any of the "stuff" in the catalog.

  7. funcheaporfree says

    UGH it's so frustrating, I don't think they offer free diaper vouchers any more. I keep going back and checking and it looks like they pulled that option. I'm bugged too because I have so many points lying around. So I'm sorry, I don't know what to tell you! But yes, I got it from the rewards catalog back when they offered it.

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