Are you looking for ways to save money on your baby? If so, then I highly recommend the practice of stockpiling diapers – starting now! To date, I have saved our family hundreds of dollars and paid only $100 out of pocket for ALL the diapers my 22 month old son has worn. I’ve been tracking all the diapers I bought for years and you can see the full list here, if you want proof. This is a (long) step-by-step post of how I have done it.
This post contains affiliate links but only of products I have used and can honestly recommend! You can read more in my disclosure policy.
Some of you may remember when I first wrote about stockpiling diapers for my son. I started stockpiling diapers before I was even pregnant. Granted, diaper deals have changed a lot since I started buying diapers 4 or so years ago, but I believe it is still possible to stockpile diapers for a fraction of the cost. I know because I’m doing it again right now for our second baby – due in March.
Before you start actually buying diapers, you need to make the decision of whether to use cloth diapers or disposable ones. I realize this is a heated discussion but I don’t think it needs to be. If you want to cloth diaper, go for it! If you want to use disposables, that’s fine too.
I have nothing against cloth diapers but here is why we use disposables. We live in a small town where our water bill is very high. By very high, I mean that we pay triple what most people in the city of Fort Wayne pay. It’s unfortunate but it is our reality. For that reason, I don’t need to be adding more loads of laundry to my weekly schedule with the accompanying higher water bill. I’d much rather spend my time finding the good deals on diapers at the store so I can use disposables without worrying about the cost.
I know it can be overwhelming to think about stockpiling diapers but it doesn’t have to be! I’m going to walk you through the process as I answer many of the questions I myself had and that others have asked. By the time I’d done, I hope you’ll be excited to go stockpile diapers for your baby – saving lots of money in the process!
Are you ready to learn how to stockpile diapers? Let’s get started!
Why should I stockpile diapers for my baby?
Stockpiling diapers isn’t for everyone. Not everyone has the time or desire to shop around for deals on diapers. However, if you are willing to invest a bit of time, I think stockpiling diapers is an amazing way to save money on your baby. You will have enough new expenses that come along with a baby that it’s always good to save money where you can.
Let me show you what I mean. You can see all this in my personal diaper stockpile list here, but since I started stockpiling diapers, I have bought 3968 diapers for my son. For the sake of comparison, this does not include diapers I have bought for my (unborn) daughter. These almost 4,000 diapers have a list price of $920.74. The cost to me has been $237.77. Of that cost, over half of that was paid for with gift cards, store promotions and ECB deals (at CVS). Therefore, the out-of-pocket cash that I have paid for ALL of these diapers is only $103.10. I have saved almost 89% on diapers, paying an average of only $0.03 per diaper.
I hope this shows you that it can be done and the opportunity for savings is unlimited! It doesn’t take long, either. You can scan the diaper deals in 10 minutes or less a week and then just stop by the appropriate store when you are out and about for the week. The time invested – especially for my savings – has made this a very worthwhile endeavor for our family.
If you are ready to stockpile diapers with me, then let’s get started with the first step.
How many diapers should I buy?
First, you will want to set a diaper goal. I found a chart (years ago) that is no longer active online. I found the guidelines to be pretty accurate. It recommended buying the following counts of diapers, based on average size, growth, diaper changes and age of potty training.
- Newborn – 196 diapers
- Size 1 – 770 diapers
- Size 2 – 924 diapers
- Size 3 – 756 diapers
- Size 4 – 588 diapers
- Size 5 – 1176 diapers
Those above counts were the numbers I used when stockpiling diapers for my first. He was born at 8 pounds and ended up using the following number of diapers. It should be noted that I kept my son in the smaller size until absolutely necessary to move up to the next size, as diapers tend to cost less at the lower size. We also are still in size 4 diapers at (almost) the age of 2. I’m sharing these diaper counts for comparison purchases.
- Newborn – 234 diapers (38 more than suggested)
- Size 1 – 552 diapers (218 less than suggested)
- Size 2 – 893 diapers (31 less than suggested)
- Size 3 – 1329 diapers (573 more than suggested)
- Size 4 – 960 diapers (and haven’t used them all yet)
- Size 5 – Haven’t reached yet at 22 months and 28 pounds
Now that I’ve done this once, I’m using the numbers from Nathan to stockpile diapers for the next one, presuming our babies will follow the same general growth patterns. Yes, there is a lot of guess work in stockpiling diapers! I’ll talk more about that below.
If you want more help in figuring out how many diapers to buy, check out the website called How Many Diapers. It was developed by a new dad of twins and utilizes the CDC growth charts to give you an estimate of how many diapers your baby will use. You can even enter your due date and a guess for the weight and go from there. It’s another helpful resource for giving you guidelines of how many diapers to stockpile.
What brands of diapers should I buy?
I recommend you buy a variety of brands for a couple reasons. First, this allows you to find the best deals and save more money. Second, every child reacts differently to diapers. Having a wide variety of brands in your stockpile (especially in the beginning) allows you to figure out which diapers work best for your child.
We were very fortunate in that my son did well with all kinds of disposable diapers. I did find that the CVS diapers were too flimsy for my taste and so I won’t buy those again. Pampers were my absolute favorite but tend to be more expensive so I watch closely for deals on those. Of the generic brands, Target diapers are also some of my favorites. Luvs and Huggies worked well for us too. I hope our daughter will do as well, but I’m still buying diapers in a variety of brands to make sure.
How much should I spend on diapers?
I did a lot of research on the topic before Nathan was born. See my original article on stockpiling diapers for more information and links on that. I personally use a $0.10 per diaper stock-up price. (As of February 2017, I still use this as my stock-up price point.) Anything a dime or less a diaper means it is time for me to buy diapers! You really can’t set a package price because every brand and every size of diaper is different. For that reason, I found the per diaper price to be a good rule of thumb when I was watching for deals.
Some people like to set a monthly budget of $20 (or so) to spend on diapers and wipes once they discover they are pregnant. Others (like me) start watching for the best deals and start stockpiling diapers before they are pregnant. The earlier you start buying diapers, the better deals you will be able to find because time is on your side.
How do I stockpile diapers for my baby?
This is where the actual work comes in – but I think it’s fun to work on saving money while dreaming of your baby!
- Watch the deals. Money Saving Mom shares deal match ups on various stores around the nation each week. It’s easy to find the grocery stores that are local to you with this resource. I still glance over them to see if there are diapers deals worth picking up. The more you stockpile diapers, the more attuned you will be to the best deals. Read the grocery ads (online or in print) and look for good deals on diapers. Between grocery stores and drugstores, you can find good deals almost every week. The trick is then to turn the good deals into great ones.
- Shop around. To save the most money on diapers, you have to be willing to shop around. Shop at different stores and for different brands of diapers, buying diapers only when they meet your stock-up price. I buy diapers at our grocery stores (Meijer and Kroger) as well as drugstores (CVS and Walgreens). I also buy diapers at Target and online at Amazon, when the deals are good. I am willing to buy diapers wherever I can find a good deal. It’s another reason I am able to save as much as I do.
- Use coupons. The way to turn a good diaper deal into a great one is to buy diapers on sale – with coupons. I print most of my coupons through Coupons.com – where they almost always have coupons like this $2/1 Huggies coupon. There are always diaper and wipe coupons available to print and I like that you can sort by category at the top. Just look for “Baby & Toddler” under categories to find the current diaper and wipe coupons. It is worth noting that you can print 2 of every coupon, per month, per computer. Coupons also have a set print limit so don’t always stay around all month. For example, if high value coupons appear (like the occasional $3/1 Huggies coupon), those tend to disappear quickly so print them while they are available. Don’t wait for the deals and then print your coupons. Print your coupons and hold onto them until you see a good diaper deal.
- Stack the deals. Stacking the deals is the way to make a great diaper deal even better. These happen when you can pair a sale and a coupon with a store promotion or a catalina. For example, I did this just last week at Kroger. Diapers weren’t on sale but there were 2 catalinas running. If you bought $30 of Huggies, you got a $10 coupon back. If you spent $40 in the baby aisle, you got another $10 coupon. I bought 4 packages of Huggies and a package of Pampers wipes to meet both requirements. Plus, I used four $2/1 Huggies diaper coupons that I printed and a $0.50/1 Pampers wipes coupon. Just like that, diapers that are normally $9.49 a package, now cost me $2.49 a package! Sites like Kroger Krazy or Hip 2 Save alert you to these deals and give you directions on how to make those promotions work in your favor.
- Take your time. You don’t have to buy 2000 diapers for your baby all at once! The best deals are found when you are patient and willing to wait for the good deals. You might not buy any diapers one week and buy 6 packages at 2 different stores the next week. The best diaper stockpiles are built over time.
What else can I do to save money on diapers?
In addition to stacking the deals on diapers, there are a couple other ways you can save money on diapers.
You can play the drugstore game to find great deals on diapers. CVS regularly has diaper deals that produce ECBs. These ECBs can be then used to purchase more diapers…or another ECB deal. This will keep your out of pocket cost down low. I have earned free CVS gift cards by clicking on emails from MyPoints, to stretch my money even further.
I also search with Swagbucks and set aside some of those earnings for my diaper shopping. This allows me to earn free money that I can stack with good diaper deals on Amazon and buy more diapers for free. Here is how I use Swagbucks (in only minutes a day) to earn free gift cards. You can also redeem your Swagbucks earnings for gift cards to use at Walmart or Target, if you prefer shopping for diapers that way.
If you shop online at Amazon for diapers, be sure to watch for diaper coupons that you can clip. If you are a Prime member, you can get free shipping. Whenever you are purchasing diapers, be sure to sign up for Subscribe & Save to save an additional 5%. Subscribe & Save is very simple to cancel afterwards if you don’t want to continue to receive diaper shipments. You can also sign up for Amazon Family rewards, for an additional 20% discount. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime and Family Rewards here, to see if it is worth the savings. I do love my Prime account!
What can I do with leftover or outgrown diapers that my baby never wears?
Because stockpiling diapers is a practice in estimation, I want to answer this question. You do have options! First and foremost, you can exchange your diapers. Some Moms I know taped each diaper receipt to the diapers as they bought them. You can also exchange diapers at Walmart without a receipt – provided the brand and counts match. This is a big tricky because different stores sell Huggies in different count packages. Still, it’s good to know and have as an option if you end up with lots of extra diapers in a certain size.
Of course, you can always save the extra diapers for your next baby. If you are stockpiling diapers for your first and have the space, this is what I recommend. It’s what I did with the extra diapers that Nathan didn’t wear in size 1, 2 and 3. I already had several packages waiting in the closet for this new baby.
You can also give away extra diaper packages as new baby gifts. What mom doesn’t love a practical gift like new diapers? Finally, I also recommend donating diapers to your local pregnancy care center. They are always in need of diapers!
What else do I need to know about stockpiling diapers?
As you purchase diapers, tuck them away wherever you have space. I store lots of diapers under beds and in closets until they are needed. You can also stockpile wipes as you are stockpiling diapers!
Remember, stockpiling diapers takes time. It can save you hundreds of dollars on baby expenses. It’s a learning process that can easily be adapted to you and your baby. Find the deals on diapers at stores that work for you.
I hope I haven’t overwhelmed you with too much information! These are all the things I have learned – and wished that I knew – when I started stockpiling diapers.
Any other questions? Ask them in the comments and I am happy to answer them! Have you stockpiled diapers for your babies, or are planning to start? I’d love to hear your insights as well! Oh, and be sure to check out 17 practical ways to get ready for baby for lots more helpful ideas.