A new baby is a wonderful gift. It is also a very big expense. After you bring baby home from the hospital, you might get a cost break for a while thanks to all the gifts you racked up over the course of baby showers, well-wishing co-workers and more. But, soon, you’ll be doing what every parent does, spending lots of money on baby.
Perhaps the biggest ongoing expense for babies is diapers. Unfortunately, unlike most other expenses, this one doesn’t go away for a long time. Your baby will wear diapers from the day he is born, until the day his potty trained. For many kiddos, that’s two to three years. Especially in the beginning, babies and toddlers can go through several diapers each day. The cost adds up quickly.
Buying Diapers Online
The first way to save money buying diapers that occurs to many parents is buying them online. After all, buying online is a great way to save money on certain things. Amazon offers a rock bottom price on lots of things, so why not diapers?
The catch to diapers is that they come in big bulky, expensive to ship, boxes. While Amazon offers free shipping on orders over $25, they don’t do that out of the kindness of their heart. They need to make sure that the profit on each item covers its fair share of the shipping cost. With diapers, that’s a tall order.
As of this writing, the price for a 140 “giant” pack of size 4 Huggies costs $34.39 plus $4.99 shipping at Diapers.com. You can get free shipping by spending over $49, so with just two boxes, you clear that hurdle. However, is that a good deal on diapers?
Consider the local King Soopers, here Denver, sells the same size 4 Huggies “value” pack of 140 diapers for $34.99. So, not only do you potentially have to pay shipping and wait for your diapers to arrive, you aren’t even getting a discount on the price.
So, who is online diaper shopping a good deal for?
Parents who live in mountain areas, rural areas, or areas with a high cost of living might find that $34.39 price to be a significant discount to regular grocery store diaper prices.
Best Diaper Value at Stores On Sale with Diaper Coupon
For parents looking to save money living in areas where there is plenty of competition between local grocery stores and big box retailers like Target and Wal-mart, the best prices on diapers can often be had from those same stores. The trick to getting the best diaper value for your money is watching the sales and getting the coupons.
Grocery stores offer their sales via member rewards type cards. Diaper brands seem to rotate through sales at the local stores. If Huggies are on sale at Target one week, then Pampers might be on sale the next week. The trick is to make sure and watch for your diapers to be on sale and then plan ahead. There is no need to stock up for months at a time, but don’t let your stash run down so low that you have to buy without a sale.
Even better deals are available if you can get a coupon. Match the coupon up with a diaper sale and you can get $5 to $6 off. When you have a good coupon and a good sale, be sure to go for the biggest box that qualifies to maximize your savings.
Don’t forget, many grocery stores offer electronic coupons that you don’t even have to clip. Just load them onto your grocery card before you go shopping. For example, Safeway has a $3 off of Huggies or Pampers electronic coupon. Add it to your card, and then wait for your brand to be on sale. Just make sure you beat the expiration date.
Buying Diapers in Bulk
The other idea that parents get is to save money on diapers by buying bulk. This method often works for other items, so why not diapers?
The catch is that most parents already buy diapers in bulk. The box mentioned above holds 114 diapers, and costs just 25 cents per diaper. Smaller bags hold just 25 diapers and cost closer to 30 or 40 cents per diaper. They make bigger boxes, but the per diaper cost doesn’t drop too much after that because it actually doesn’t get any cheaper to put more diapers in a box.
A jar costs a manufacturer about the same amount to make regardless of size. Thus a 10-gallon jar is much cheaper than 20 half-gallon jars. So selling big, at Costco for less makes plenty of sense (and profit). Unlike jars, however, boxes are dirt-cheap. Putting more in a box only saves pennies. Worse, diapers are big enough that bigger boxes are harder to ship and store for retailers and manufacturers, so there isn’t really any savings to pass on once you cross a certain size. A 200-diaper box takes up the same shelf volume as two 100-diaper boxes, so there isn’t any saving to achieve their either.
If you’re thinking about higher volumes being more profitable, you’re right, but parents with two or more kids in diapers are already buying three or four boxes per shopping trip, so where would the bulk quantity be? 10 boxes? 20 boxes? Most parents are willing to buy in those quantities just to shave a few more cents per dollar off.
How-To Save Money On Diapers
The best way to save money on diapers is to get them when they are on sale, and to use coupons whenever possible. Otherwise, this just isn’t one of those areas where being a savvy shopper isn’t going to save you much money.