Hands down they ate up the biggest chunk of our monthly baby budget. And since not using them wasn't an option, I looked for ways to trim costs where I could. We signed up for automatic shipments; we bought in bulk; we returned superfluous gifts and used store credit; we happily accepted unused leftovers from friends.
So when I read about some lawmakers' efforts to make diapers more affordable for parents in their states, I all but stood up and started clapping. As Elissa Strauss details in her column for The Week, there are two new bills on the docket that could put some much-needed cash back in parents' pockets. In Connecticut, Bill 06595 would exempt diaper purchases from the state's 6.35 percent sales tax and save the average family there $300 a year. In Illinois, the current proposal is to lower the sales tax on diapers and wipes from 6.25 percent to 1 percent, which is the same as you'd pay for essentials like food and medicine. Moms and dads in Illinois wouldn't save a bundle—maybe around $45 a year—but hey, every little bit counts, especially for those of us taking unpaid leave, juggling multiple jobs, or caring for other children.
Now, is lowered sales tax as awesome as, say, Finland's baby starter box or Sweden's luxuriously long paid leave? Not by a long shot. But these two bills are a step in the right direction and, hopefully, just the nudge other states need to make this very essential baby item a little more affordable for parents.
Tell us: How do you save on baby supplies, especially diapers and wipes? Share your tips in the comments below.