We all know that babies can be very expensive. Between tiny clothes, daycare, formula and pumping gear, it adds up quickly.
One huge expense is diapers, with the average family spending close to $1500 a year on diapers before their child is potty-trained at around age 2.5-3 years.
The good news is that you can save money on diapers pretty easily with a little bit of know-how and savvy. I have two children under the age of 5 and I don’t think I have come anywhere close to spending even $300 on diapers for both of them in the last 4 years.
There are actually quite a few ways to get diapers for free or very cheap and I use all of them to maximize my savings.
If you want to see what other baby freebies you can get, make sure to check out my huge list of free baby stuff (and here is the Canadian version!)
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How To Have A Baby On A Budget
How to Save Money on Diapers
There are many ways to save on diapers, including shopping around, using coupons, and browsing through sales. It is important to find the best deal on diapers for your family’s needs.
Below you will find some ways I get diapers for free or really cheap. You can see which method works best for your family.
I have focused on the major brands here but of course, you can save money by using generic brands.
The reason I don’t use no-name diapers is because, in order to get my diapers for free, I normally use gift cards or coupons which are only valid on the name-brands.
I find that by shopping smart, I can get brand name diapers for cheaper than the store’s own brands which don’t have coupons or cash back offers.
Here are the different options we will look at:
- Buying diapers in bulk
- Using store loyalty programs
- Coupon clipping
- Get free diapers
- Earn gift cards to pay for diapers
- Use cloth diapers
Buying Diapers in Bulk
It can be costly to keep a household stocked with diapers, especially if you have multiple children in diapers at the same time.
One way to save money is to buy diapers in bulk. You can order them online or purchase them at warehouse stores like Costco. Buying in bulk typically saves you money on the per diaper cost, and sometimes you can get free shipping as well.
Stores like Sam’s Club and Costco often sell diapers at a steep discount, and they also offer larger packs that last longer. If you have the storage space, buying in bulk can be a great way to save money on this necessary item.
The key to stockpiling diapers in advance is know exactly how many you need. You don’t want to find yourself with too many newborn diapers when your baby has outgrown them in a few weeks/ That being said, some stores will let you exchange unopened boxes if you bought the wrong size. Walmart used to do this but I have heard rumours that it depends on the store so I recommend you check first.
New parents are often confused with exactly how to work out how many of each size they need but here is a rough guide you can use when buying diapers in bulk:
Newborn size: 250-300 diapers
Although these are the ones that you probably need for the shortest amount of time, as a newborn, your baby will probably go through 10+ diapers a day.
Size 1: 500-600 diapers
Your baby will probably be in this size until around 3 months.
Size 2- 1500 diapers
Size 3- 2000-2500
If you are wondering what size diapers do babies wear the longest, it is the size 3s.
This is the diaper size that many babies stay in for a long time so you will need a lot of these ones before moving to the next size.
Size 4- 1000 diapers
Size 5- 1000
Once you hit the larger diapers, you don’t want to buy too many because at some point you will want to switch to pull-ups and begin potty training.
Size 6/7 – Most people do not need these sizes so I would not include them in your stockpile of diapers.
Now you know roughly how many of each size to look for, you will want to familiarize yourself with the average price of boxes of diapers at different stores.
If you don’t want to buy your diapers online, you can still save a ton of money and take advantage of great deals.
Calculate your cost per diaper
According to a Global News Canada piece on costs for the first year: “The average child uses more than 2,700 diapers in the first 12 months, according to Investopedia. Disposable diapers tend to cost 20-25 cents each, so you’re looking at $550 a year at least.”
First of all, you want to make sure you know the per diaper cost when you are at the store.
You may have noticed that every single store has a different size of diaper box and they call them different names “jumbo pack” “super box” etc.
It’s easy to see the price per diaper if you use a flyer app such as Flipp. They normally show the price and the size of the diaper box.
Here is the Walmart flyer for last week for my area, you can see that the largest box of diapers came out to 14 cents per diaper for the 204 pack.
Obviously that price would go up for some of the larger sizes but even without coupons or cash back, this is a great deal.
Comparing prices on diapers
When it comes to buying diapers, you don’t just want to pay the retail price at your favorite store. To get the best diaper deals, you’ll need to shop around for the best diaper prices.
This can be a daunting task, as there are many different brands and styles of disposable diapers and the cost of diapers varies a lot. The good news is that there are ways to compare prices on diapers so that you can find the best deal for your family.
The first step is to decide which type of diaper you want to buy. Once you have decided on a type of diaper, you can begin comparing prices and building a stockpile.
One way to compare prices is to look at the cost per diaper. This will help you to determine if sale prices are really as good as they appear to be.
Don’t just assume that the larger package is always the best price. This is important as although the cost of the diaper package is the same regardless of the diaper size, there are fewer diapers per box as the sizes go up. You may also find that you get a better deal with a small package of diapers when you breakdown the unit cost.
Likewise, expensive brands like Pampers and Huggies have diaper sales that may work out cheaper than store brand diapers when you compare the unit price.
How to work out the cost per diaper
When it comes time to buy diapers, one question parents often ask is how much it costs per diaper.
This can vary depending on the brand and size of diaper you choose. To get an estimate of how much you will spend on diapers each month, divide the cost of a package of diapers by the number of diapers in the package. For example, if a package of Pampers Swaddlers costs $24 and contains 192 diapers, the cost per diaper is about 12 cents.
How many cents per diaper is a good deal?
Personally I never pay over 17 cents per diaper and try and get them as low as 15 cents.
Bear in mind that the cost per diaper changes depending on your baby’s diaper size as there more newborn diapers fit in the box than size 5 or 6.
Use Rewards Programs
If you have a baby, you know that diapers are not cheap. In fact, they can be downright expensive, especially if you are buying the name-brand variety. One way to save money on diapers is to sign up for store loyalty cards. Many grocery store chains have a loyalty program that offers discounts on diapers and other baby products– sometimes as much as 10% or more. You’ll also want to check out pharmacies and drug stores like Rite Aid and Shopper’s Drug Mart in Canada.
These work really well if you are not too picky about the brand of diapers that you use and are ok with store brands.
Join reward programs to save money in diapers
You should also join the reward programs of the big diaper companies as they offer coupons and free baby products when you redeem points.
The Huggies Rewards program is great because you can redeem points for non-baby items like gift cards and coupons.
You get points when you buy any Huggies product (wipes or diapers) plus you can get started with 500 points when you sign up here.
You enter the codes you find on diaper and wipes packages and redeem your points for Pampers coupons or merchandise.
Make sure to “like” the Pampers rewards Facebook page and twitter as they often post bonus codes.
Wait for sales on diapers to save money
Most parents know that buying diapers in bulk is the best way to save money, but many are hesitant to do so because of the high price tag. However, there are a few ways to wait for sales and still get the best deal on diapers. First, sign up for email notifications from your favorite diaper brands so you can be alerted when they have a sale. Second, check out online retailers like Amazon which often have better deals than brick-and-mortar stores. Prime members also sometimes get deals on diaper purchases.
Finally, keep an eye out for store coupons and use them to buy diapers in bulk at decent prices.
Use coupons to save money on diapers
It can be expensive to buy diapers, especially if you have a large family. However, you can buy diapers at a lower price by using coupons. Coupons can seem like a hassle but they are great option if you have a new baby and want to save some cash. There are many different places to find diaper coupons, including newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions of the coupon before you use it, so that you know what is required of you.
Where to get coupons for cheap diapers
In order to save money on diapers in the brick and mortar store, you want to get your hands on some quality coupons to reduce the price.
Here are my favourite sites for printable coupons:
- Huggies website has printable coupons for Huggies diapers and pull-ups.
- PG Everyday – if you use Pampers, the Proctor and Gamble website has a lot of printable coupons and almost always something for diapers and wipes.
- Pampers Rewards – If you collect the points on your diaper packs, you can redeem them for valuable coupons for diapers and wipes. I always redeem for a $5 or $10 diaper coupon which really reduces my costs.
Make sure to use Checkout 51 once you are done shopping.
Every week they have offers for either Pampers or Huggies which can bring your final bill down another $2-5 dollars. Simply take a photo of your receipt and upload it to the app.
How to get diapers for free
Obviously, if you want to spend the least amount of money possible on diapers, then getting them for free is your best option.
One easy idea is to ask your baby shower host if you can have a diaper shower. Everyone can bring a package of diapers instead or in addition to a gift and it will really go a long way to helping you save on baby diapers.
There are also quite a few places where you can get free baby gear including baby essentials such as diapers:
There are so many baby freebies for new moms including free diaper bags and formula samples.
Here are some of the current programs that offer free diaper samples by mail:
This is a program by diaper company Huggies. You can get a free pack of newborn diapers by signing up. Valid in the US & Canada.
Sign up for their free trial and get some super cute printed diapers for $5.95 shipping only.
Everyday Family Sampler Club
Join the Everyday Family sampler club and receive a new box of baby related samples every month as part of this exclusive program. You also get entered into a contest to win free diapers for a year.
More options for free baby samples
Your doctor or midwife – Most doctor’s offices get little sample packs of diapers to hand out. Make sure to ask if they have any samples.
Baby Registry sign-up – I’ve always got a few sample diapers in the goody bag when I started my baby registries at places like Toyrus or Target.
Free Diapers For Low Income Families
If you are struggling and need clean diapers for your baby now, you have a few options that I hope will help you ASAP.
Food Banks & Pantries – Most food banks have a stash of diapers and formula for moms-in-need.
National Diaper Bank Network – This is a US based charity that works with donation centres to provide diapers for the 1 in 3 US families that struggles to pay for them. Check their list for a centre near you.
How to save money on diapers on Amazon
One thing I did to save money on diapers was to take surveys for Amazon gift cards. I then used Amazon subscribe and save option for even more savings.
Here is how I got huge savings on diapers with this little trick:
The easiest way to get free diapers is online. You won’t be able to use your printed coupons or price match but you can get your diapers completely free using my strategy below.
- First of all, sign up for Swagbucks and start taking surveys, watching videos or playing games to get SB. It’s pretty easy to earn $25-50 a month in Amazon gift cards which will pay for your monthly diaper order.
If you have even more time to spare, check out this list of the best survey sites to earn gift cards and cash online
But wait! Don’t order your diapers yet. First let’s lower that diaper price on Amazon:
2. Next you want to sign up for the Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial. Amazon Family gives you 20% off diaper subscriptions so you are never out of diapers.
Consider Cloth diapers
Finally, consider using cloth diapers. They may require a little more effort on your part, but they can save you a lot of money in the long run. Cloth diapering is very popular and can save you so much money on diapers. You’ll still need to buy diaper covers and there can be a learning curve to avoid lots of leaks when you first start out but in the long run, you’ll have a lot of extra money!
How To Save Money On Diapers FAQS
What is the average cost of diapers for a year?
Assuming that the average diaper costs $0.20 and your baby will need around 2800 diapers in their first year, you can expect to pay around $500-800+ a year for diapers. That is why using the tricks above to save money on diapers is so important.
How much should I budget for diapers a month?
Experts say you should budget around $100 a month for diapers in baby’s first year but you should be able to cut costs substantially by employing the tricks above and in our other guide called How To Have A Baby On A Budget.
Make sure to also download our free book on Tips For Preparing Financially For Baby.
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