Six Steps to Save Money on Diapers
Ah…the baby years- some of the most meaningful, memory-filled, blissful (yet sleep-deprived) times in yours and your child’s life.
From a more pragmatic point of view, the baby years are loaded with extra expenses (often at a time when incomes may be interrupted, reduced or removed altogether). Being frugal and proactive in cutting costs is becoming an essential part of the early parenting years.
Until that happy day, when your child is toilet-trained, and you move on to that next stage (which includes among other things, a certain freedom in not having to drag around a heavy, huge diaper bag), diapers are a major cost centre- so it behoves parents (from expecting to infants to toddlers) to plan, plan, plan to shave the budget down.
To really figure out if you are saving the most money you can, you have to be able to compare apples to apples, as they relate to diapers, of course!
All diaper brands and packaging are not equal, so although a price may seem attractive, you have to know what you are really paying- and this can be determined by understanding what the actual cost per diaper is.
This is easily calculated (Cost of package/ number of diapers). Be prepared with this info, along with your calculator, when you are shopping for diapers.
Coupons are one of the best, most consistent ways to shave down on your diaper expenses.
Be proactive in collecting coupons and ask non-baby family and friends to collect them for you. Some stores will even allow you to double up on diaper coupons (depending on the store, and depending on the diaper brand).
Skim product websites, and join their email lists to get coupons sent right to your inbox. Coupon sites (like smartsource.ca for instance) offer printable coupons. Don’t forget about social media, and check out some of your preferred brands on Facebook (likes can mean savings!).
Watch for inserts to your local paper as well.
Although something appears to be less expensive on the surface, there are certain factors to consider to make sure that you are actually saving money.
Cheap quality, ill-fitting diapers, for instance, will need to be changed more often (not to mention the extra loads of laundry), so what appears to be a cost savings, balloons quickly into extra expense.
Know your baby too, and how certain brands work for them. Not all brands work well for all kids. This has to do with quality- sometimes, but also with your baby’s individual behaviour and needs (i.e. squirmy babies etc.).
Also remember that the bigger the size, the less diapers that will be in a package, and factor that in as well.
Think outside the Diaper Box
Beyond the usual, grocery store/pharmacy locations to purchase diapers, source out all possibilities, to add to your price comparisons (and raising potential targets for sales etc.).
Think of toy stores, department stores, and children’s clothing stores, club warehouses, as well as online. Many online services have free shipping if you spend enough (and honestly, when completely sleep-deprived, taking another errand off your list is golden!)
No Brand Allegiance
There is nothing more fickle than a frugal parent on the hunt for a deal. While it makes perfect sense to stick with brands you know and trust, you should probably have a list of a few that would work for you. Watch for sales- and whichever one offers the best deals, or are on sale, etc. – that is your winner!
When you do find a great deal, stockpile as many as you can manage. Think ahead too, to collect larger sizes as well, because before you know it, your baby will be in the next size!