Summer Diaper Bag Essentials To Save Money

Baby and Kids, Lifestyle

Be ready for anything, just by packing a few summer diaper bag essentials. Meghan is here today to share her favorite items that will not only make your summertime outings easier, but will also save you some money!

Summer diaper bag essentials to save you money from Fun Cheap or Free!

Hi Freebs! I'm Meghan Kingsford, and I'm so excited to be here with you today! I love moms, mom stuff, and moms who love mom stuff. Talking all things mom is my jam! If you love what I'm bringing to you, then follow along with me on YouTube and Instagram so we can hang out some more!

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Summer time is full of spontaneous adventures – don't be afraid to say “yes!” to a little fun just because you don't have something on hand! You'll also be prepared to combat the stress of emergencies, by keeping your diaper bag and car stocked with a few simple supplies. Check out what Jordan keeps in HER car so she's prepared for anything on the go!

Ready to find out what I pack in my diaper bag? Let’s get to it!


Here are five items to add to your summer diaper bag to help you have the most successful, fun summer with your family AND save you money along the way. But that was a given around here, of course.


No more using Grandma’s flannel blanket or ratty beach towels at the park. It’s time to invest (this one is only $25!) in a lightweight and compact blanket that is easily shaken off and wiped down.

A lightweight picnic blanket is perfect for laying out at the park, but it also comes in handy on chilly summer nights in an emergency when you're out watching fireflies.

Make sure when you are selecting one that is a good fit for your family to look for these features:

  • Weighted corners because there is nothing worse than your blanket running off without you.
  • An attached pouch, so you don’t have to keep track of two different items. That’s a recipe for disaster if there ever was one, I’d say!
  • Large enough for your family, so your beautiful trip to the beach isn’t ruined by bickering over who is breathing who’s air… again.


Do you know what one thing you’ll spend more money on during family outings if you don’t plan ahead? FOOD. Here’s what our family uses to fight those HANGRY feelings head on.

Summer diaper bag lunch box from Fun Cheap or Free!

When looking for a good bento-style lunchbox, I recommend finding one that:

  • Is dishwasher safe.
  • Has multiple compartments.
  • Is compact.
  • Is easy for little hands to open and close on their own without spilling.


Have you ever gotten all of your kids out to the park only to realize the city has already turned on the water feature you *may* have forgotten was there and realized at the end of this outing you’re going to be left with a half load of wet laundry? YUP, me too. That is why I’m obsessed with keeping a wet bag in my diaper bag all summer long.

Diaper bag for summer from Fun Cheap or Free!

Here’s what I look for in a wet bag that I can rely on to keep my wet stuff wet and my dry stuff dry:

  • Two compartments – I can keep all of my diapering essentials tucked away inside one zipper and have another compartment available for any soiled or wet clothing, swimsuits, shoes, etc.
  • Machine washability, unless you’d like to get the muck out of it with your bare hands. Personally, I don’t love doing that, but to each their own!
  • Leak-proof because I don’t want any water ruining my diaper bag or anything I have inside. Shocking, I know!


To be completely honest with you, I’m not usually one to always be searching out environmentally-friendly products. BUT, I am 100% interested in money-saving products that also benefit the earth. If you have recently purchased disposable swim diapers, you’ll know that they cost about as much as two appendages (i.e. an arm and a leg) every time you buy a tiny package of them. It’s truly painful for those of us who worship at the Fun Cheap or Free seat!

Let’s get down to it then! What to look for in a reusable swim diaper:

  • Leak proof! This one is a bit more expensive than some others that look similar, but it was rated the #1 reusable swim diaper by Parents Magazine. A pretty hearty endorsement, if I say so myself.
  • Adjustable waist and leg opening! A swim diaper that can fit babies from 8lbs to 35lbs is all good news in my book because it means I can use one product summer after summer until that great day of fully potty-trained-ness.


It seems like everywhere you turn, there are options now for cute and (relatively) inexpensive insulated water bottles. If you don’t have one yet, I say grab one because it’s going to save you money and time to add this to your diaper bag (here's the bag pictured) essentials list this summer.

Summer diaper bag tips from Fun Cheap or Free!

You never want to be in the position of being forced to buy water at huge markups out and about because you are caught unprepared! Trust ya girl, it’s also a major bummer to wander through a zoo looking for one not-so-clean water fountain and miss the one time-slot to feed the giraffes.

Here’s what I look for in a good water bottle:

  • Insulated! We live in Texas, so this makes good cold water a necessity during the summer.
  • Ease of use! I have three children under five and if I have to carry individual waters for each of them I may be a hunchback by 30, so I only buy ones all of us can use without spilling directly down the front of our shirts.
  • Cute! But, only if its on sale. I’m not a heathen, after all.

If you'd like to see all of these essentials in action, check out my YouTube video for them HERE.

Alright, there you have it! Are you excited about all of the fun summertime activities that you can take your soon-to-be-packed summer diaper bag to?

Be prepared for anything this summer with these diaper bag essentials from Fun Cheap or Free

Jordan has a great list of 100 Fun, Cheap or Free Summer Activities for Kids that I plan on doing this summer! Let me know in the comments if you have any must-have essentials in your summer diaper bag!


  1. Joanna

    Great suggestions! I *ALWAYS* forget to bring water, or bring the amount in my daughter’s cup but I like the idea of bringing cold water along in an insulated bottle for refills. Seems obvious enough, but I had not thought of it!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Yes! It’s always nice to have extra water. You always end up needing it when you don’t have it.

  2. Elizabeth

    The travel weighted picnic blanket is genius. I am definitely going to buy one since it’s so compact. I also really like her snack box with the compartments, so useful!!!! Thank you, Meghan!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Yes, the weighted picnic blanket is the best!!! And I agree with you, her snack box idea is great! We’re lucky to have her as a contributor.

  3. Amanda

    Awesome info! I didnt even know reusable swimsuit diapers were a thing!?Seriously great tips! I am totally excited for summer with my kiddos!?

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Meghan does have SUCH good tips! Reusable swim diapers are the best!

  4. Andrea

    These are all great tips. I never would have thought about keeping the reusable swim diaper in my bag but that is genius! We’ve inherited a large amount of swim suits this year so I plan on keeping spare suits in the car/diaper bag, just in case the mood strikes and we want to get wet, that and extra sets of clothes to change into. 🙂 Where did you find your wet bag? I’ve always just put the wet clothes in a separate bag but it’s never wet proof.

    • FunCheapOrFree

      That’s a great idea to keep extra swimsuits and clothes in your car already! This wet bag is great! You can find it on Amazon HERE.

  5. Jessica

    Oh my goodness Meghan! I’m so happy for your blog post to be posted here. I also follow Jordan, too.

    It seems so long ago when I met you at Costco when you only had one baby back then! Now you have three and moved to another state.

    Congrats! ?

    P.S. now I need a weighted blanket ?

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Oh, that’s so fun that you know each other! And yes, you NEED a weighted blanket! They’re so handy!

  6. Courtney Wilson

    Weighted corners on the picnic blanket?! Genius!! And two compartments on the wet bag, also genius!! Why haven’t I thought of these before? Thank you Meghan for basically changing lives over here!! Haha

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Right? Meghan is the best!

  7. Lacey wingo MS RD LDN

    I love this post! Always exciting to peek into another mama’s diaper bag! Wet bags are a lifesaver!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Yes, wet bags are the best!


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