How to Save Money & Build a Diaper Stockpile (includes approximate diaper usage for 1st year!)
If you’ve read my post about 7 Easy Ways to Save on Diapers and Wipes, you know that one of the big ways that I save is by stockpiling. In fact, I take diaper stockpiling so seriously that by the time our daughter was born 2 years ago, I had already stockpiled 42 packages of diapers and around 30 packages of wipes, all bought at rock bottom prices.
Stockpiling has helped us save significantly because it meant that I never had to pay full price for either diapers or wipes. Since I planned ahead and started buying diapers while I was still pregnant, I could wait and purchase diaper/wipes when they were at their lowest prices and add them to my stockpile. As a result, I had a nice sized stockpile by the time our daughter arrived and then was able to continue to purchase diapers and wipes only when they were at rock bottom prices. In fact, I’ve never had to pay more than $5 for a package of diapers and $1 for a package of wipes, which is at least 50% savings off of the regular price!
For me, one of the hardest things about diaper stockpiling was knowing how many of each size to buy. When I was pregnant with our daughter I discovered that a friend of mine kept track of how many diapers her son used in his first year. I found it incredibly helpful to refer to that when I was I was purchasing diapers for my stockpile and, although we ended up using different amounts, it gave me a bit of a guideline to go by.
I kept track of our daughter’s diaper usage during her first year too. Below you’ll find both my friend’s and my record. Hopefully it will help give you a bit of an idea of how many of each size to stock up on.
(The packs referred to below are the smaller jumbo size packages of diapers, not the larger mega packs or boxes. I included the approximate number of diapers since some of you may prefer buying the big boxes instead.)
Our Daughter’s Diaper Usage During First 12 Months (she weighed 8lb. 4 oz. at birth)
Newborn: 6 packs (approx. 216 diapers)
Size 1: 4 packs (approx. 160 diapers)
Size 2: 16 packs (approx. 640 diapers)
Size 3: 19 packs (approx. 684 diapers)
Friend’s Son’s Diaper Usage During First 12 Months (he weighed 7lb. 12 oz. at birth)
Newborn: 7 packs (approx. 252 diapers)
Size 1: 7 packs (approx. 280 diapers)
Size 2: 14 packs (approx. 560 diapers)
Size 3: 38 packs (approx. 1368 diapers)
A couple of tips for diaper and wipe stockpiling:
1. WATCH DIAPER SIZE
Huggies Little Snugglers diapers are smaller than Huggies Snug & Dry diapers of the same size. (I’m meaning that the diaper itself is smaller, not the package.) So if you buy any of the Snug & Dry diapers, be sure to use them first as your baby will grow out of them more quickly.
2. WATCH PACKAGE SIZE
You’ll find that the Huggies Little Snugglers and the Pampers Swaddlers diaper packs have less diapers per pack than the Huggies Snug & Dry or the Pampers Baby Dry of the same size. Some stores don’t carry the Snug & Dry and Baby Dry diapers in size 1 & 2, but if they do, I try to purchase them instead of the Little Snugglers and Swaddlers just because I’m getting more diapers for my dollar.
Also, currently Huggies has more diapers per package than Pampers brand. So, if you aren’t set on using Pampers brand diapers, often it is cheaper to buy the Huggies brand because even though the packages might cost the same amount, you are getting several diapers more in each package!
3. SET A BUY PRICE
Figuring out how much you are willing to pay for diapers and wipes makes it easy to know whether a deal is worth buying or not. If you aren’t sure where to start, it might help to peruse store ads a bit and see what the sale price of diaper/wipes typically is in your area. Once you figure out your “buy price”, stick to it and only make a purchase when you can get them at that price or lower.
* I typically try to pay no more than $0.13-$0.14/diaper.
Since diapers vary a lot in cost per diaper depending on the size and brand, I simply figure my cost per diaper by using size 3 diapers. This works well for me since diapers are typically the same price per package no matter what size diapers you buy.
When diapers are on sale and I want to figure out whether a deal is worth doing, I just calculate the cost per diaper figuring the size 3 package amount. So if there are 36 diapers in a package and they are on sale for $5.00 then I divide 5 by 36 and figure out that they are $0.14/diaper.
* I typically try to pay no more than $0.02/wipe
Again, I figure this price by dividing the cost of the package by the number of wipes. Most packages have 64 wipes in them and if I watch sales and use coupons I can often get them for $1.00 which comes to just $0.016/wipe.
4. KNOW WHERE TO GET THE BEST DEALS
I’ve discovered that I can usually get the best deals on diapers and wipes at drug stores and here’s why. Places like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens have programs that give you money back via store rewards when you buy certain items. This means that when I can combine a sale and one of those reward deals with a coupon I can often get really good prices.
For instance, CVS often has diapers on sale for $10 each and when you buy $30 worth you get $10 Extra Bucks (a coupon that gets you $10 off your next CVS purchase). So I’ll purchase three packs of diapers and then use a $2 coupon on each of those 3 packages, maximizing my savings. That means that I can get each pack for $4.66 or for just under $0.13/diaper when using Size 3 as my price guide.
Obviously, some of you aren’t going to feel like shopping drug stores is feasible. If that’s the case, I’ve found that Amazon is the second best place to get diapers and wipes. They frequently run deals on diapers and wipes and although the prices aren’t quite as good, they still are very decent! Plus, you can get the items shipped right to your front door which is pretty convenient! FortheMommas.com does a weekly Diaper Deal Round-up post and this is a great way to find out what deals Amazon is currently running.
How do you save on diapers and wipes? Do you find buying ahead helpful?
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