Monday, September 15, 2008

How We Afford Disposable Diapers

I have a system for buying diapers that I'm not quite sure how to put on paper (or a post, actually) but basically I will never pay more than $.15 for a diaper and usually pay less. This week for example, I was able to purchase the above two family packs of Luvs for a total of $17 or $.12 per diaper, which is pretty good for size 5's. These will last us about one month and we like Luvs. Although we have discussed moving to cloth for economical and environmental reasons, we have been able to keep the cost of disposable low enough to feel it is worth it for the convenience. If you are interested in cloth diapering, please buzz over to Kim's blog for her Cloth Diapering Series.

This is how I was able to get today's deal:
-Luvs were on sale for $15 per box at Target
-Target was offering a $5 Target gift card with the purchase of two boxes
-I printed 2/$2 off Target coupons from Full Cup Target Coupon Generator
-I had saved a $1/1 and $2/1 coupon from the Sunday ads (you can pair a manufacturer and store coupon in most stores but can not usually pair two manufacturer coupons, depending on the state and the store)
- So, spend $30, use the $7 in coupons and get a $5 Target card. For a grand total of $17.

Here are some strategies I have used to keep costs down that may help you:
-I use store brands and less expensive brands when possible. The exception is with a brand new newborn. Those little newborn bums are so little I really think the Pampers Swaddlers are the way to go and worth the money.
- I buy ahead (at the beginning of the month when we start a new budget or on a great deal) so I never have to run out and buy full price because we are almost out.
- I monitor prices in ads, online and on blogs such as Baby Cheapskate
- I am registered at Huggies, Pampers and Luvs online so I get as many coupons as possible. I also get coupons from the Sunday paper.
- I use Freepeats to get free diapers and diaper coupons.
- I buy diapers in consignment shops when I can find them- Occasionally I find some diapers on Craig's List in my neighborhood
- I only buy when the diapers are on sale and I can pair with a coupon. Some common scenarios for this are:
  • Babies R' Us will have a sale on Especially for Baby and then offer an additional $5 off a box on certain days.
    Safeway occasionally runs a deep discount on name brand diapers that can be paired with manufacturers coupons

  • The Entertainment book has a coupon for B1G1 on anything that is there store brand. This includes diapers and means I can get two jumbo packs for $7.99, I get extra coupons from anybody who isn't using the one from their book.

  • Target will run special deals that allow you to get Target cards if you buy two packs. I pair these with manufacturers coupons.

  • Costco occasionally runs a coupon on Kirkland Signature or Huggies diapers. I buy them here if those are available, depending on the deal.

  • I always cruise the diaper and/or clearance aisle of the grocery stores and discount stores I frequent to see if anything has been discontinued. You can get some awesome deals here! Ask the store manager next time you see him when they will be doing the next diaper reset and go in that day. Then I combine the discount price with a coupon!

Here are some brands we are content to use:
- Pampers (although we rarely get a good enough deal to purchase these)
- Huggies
- Kirkland Signature (Costco brand)
- Luvs
- Target brand
- Especially for Baby (from Babies R' Us or Toys R' Us)

We haven't had the best luck with very cheap store brands such as Walgreens, Bartells and Safeway. Although, I have been known to use one of these brands during the day when we are just hanging out at home (if the price is amazing) and then use the more expensive brand at night and when we are out of the house for extended periods.

If you aren't willing to put the time and energy into finding the best available price on diapers then Costco is the way to go. They have, on average, a lower price on diapers than the grocery or discount stores. But, you will be paying at least $.20 - $.25 a diaper depending on what size your munchkin is.

Baby Cheapskate has a great resource to help figure out what your cost will b. The How Many Diapers Per Pack chart is great!

How do I buy wipes? Kirkland Signature from Costco is the only way to go. Even with coupons and sales I haven't found a better deal. Costco currently has a $3 off coupon available for these wipes, but just through 9/28/08.

Do you have any tricks to share for getting a great deal on diapers? Do you have any brands you like that aren't on my list? Please share your wisdom!


Caleb, Bree,Zane And soon to be Claire Gilmore said...

Just like with the formula, I signed up with huggies and pampers and get coupons for all kinds of products with them. I also started savng the stickers on the insides of the pampers packs and got to use them for free stuff through their online rewards store. I am always signing up for different products when I can, you never know when it will save you a little cash. Unfortunately, the only brand of diapers that work well for Zane have always been pampers, so we do have to buy those, but I found that I almost always get the better deal at Sam's club/Costco.
And I toatlly agree on pampers swaddlers for newborns. In fact! I have a pack on newborn and a pack of size 1's just waiting for my baby now :)

Anonymous said...

You probably don't (being so coupon savy), but if you ever needed/wanted/would like diaper coupons, I am aquiring a stash that I will never use. I don't really know what to do with them!

The Heaviland Family said...

I think you forgot to say the Entertainment Book B1G1 coupon is for Bartells.