diaper-stockpiling-price

Diaper Stockpiling Tips & Rock-Bottom Prices (Tips For A New Mom)

Jo asked this question on the diaper deals roundup this week:

We are expecting our first in July and being new to this baby world, what do you consider a rock bottom price for wipes, and diapers by size? I want to stock up, but smartly because money is about to be REALLY tight. Any advice from “expert mommies” is welcome!

Congratulations, Jo!  Babies are such a gift from God, poopy diapers and all!   That’s my fifth in the image above; isn’t she adorable?  Not that I’m biased or anything. ;)  That picture was taken just a few minutes ago for those of you who have been looking for a baby update!

Just like anything else, what’s considered a “rock-bottom” price for wipes and diapers is not really that simple.  There are a lot of things that factor into what your personal rock-bottom price would be, but I promise I’ll give you an idea of what to shoot for after I give you some tips that will help you stretch your diaper dollars as far as they can go.

Don’t buy too many of one size.

First, be careful when you are buying diapers well in advance of when your baby will need them.  You don’t want to buy too many of one size, no matter how good of a deal they are, or they instantly become a bad deal.

Now, you can usually return diapers and exchange them for the next size up, even without a receipt, but that can be a hassle so I would advise understocking rather than overstocking.  (And if you do overstock, there are plenty of places that would love to have them donated.)

How many diapers your child will need varies by child.  My most recent baby was 8 lb, 10 oz at birth and wore newborn diapers for about the first two weeks.  As is typical for many babies, she lost a little bit of weight while waiting for my milk to come in.  So, in my experience (four 8 lb+ babies and one 7 lb), you’ll need size newborn diapers for at least a few days,   We went through one jumbo package of Huggies Snug & Dry and then moved up to size ones.  (I love the umbilical cord cutout that Huggies has in newborn size!)

I can’t really give you any advice as to how many diapers to expect to use for other sizes – it just depends on how fast your baby grows!  With all my kids, it seemed like they were in size threes for the longest, so when I stock up, I tend to buy size threes.  I’ve heard other moms say this as well – has it been true for all of you moms?

My diaper stockpile - hopefully I don't have too many size 1-2s!

Beware the waste factor of big boxes.

At first, buying diapers at Costco or Sam’s seems like a good idea – they have good everyday prices, and there’s no coupons or fancy gift card deal to juggle.  However, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard moms say that they have half a box of size such-and-such from Costco that their baby outgrew.  All of the sudden, the cost-per-diaper went up 100%, and it wasn’t that great of a deal after all.

I think you can buy diapers in big packages at Costco or Sam’s and not end up wasting any, but you do have to be careful – not being able to use half of a $40 box of diapers is not very budget-friendly, and you can’t return them once they’re open.

Don’t stock up too much on brands you might not like.

This is kind of tricky, since, if you haven’t had a baby yet you won’t know which diapers you like or don’t like.  And, don’t bother trying to get other mom’s opinions on which are the best diapers – there are as many opinions as there are moms and babies!

My sister-in-law likes Pampers because they seem to “fit” her baby best and found that Huggies leaked.  I can’t stand Pampers; they get super squishy the minute they are even remotely wet and leak way sooner than Huggies.  See – you can’t win!

And, even a mom that’s experienced in various diaper brands may not want to stock up too much.   I used to like Pampers pretty well until they came out with that Baby Dry stuff a couple of years back, and since they I’ve avoided them like the plague.  I used to love Pampers Swaddlers and then with my last baby, after they’d changed the design, I found that they leaked super fast, way faster than they used to!

Always use up the diapers.

The frugalista in me is proud to say that I don’t believe I have ever moved a kid up a diaper size without first finishing my stockpile of the smaller size first.  Babies grow fast, but not that fast, so as long as you don’t buy boxes and boxes of one size, you can usually use up partially-open packages of the smaller size, even if it means changing the diaper a few extra times because it’s fuller.

Don’t be afraid of store brands.

Generally, I’m a Huggies fan, but if I can’t get a good deal on Huggies and the store brand is a lot cheaper, I’ll buy store brand.  I really like the Walgreens brand and they are actually my second choice behind Huggies, and they often put them on sale so that they are around $5 a jumbo pack (usually a buy one, get one free sale), and sometimes they go even cheaper.  I’ve heard that Costco’s brand is comparable to Huggies as well.

King Soopers’ Comforts for Baby and Parents Choice at Walmart are OK – not my favorite, but I haven’t had horrible experiences with them.  Some of you have said that Albertsons brand is pretty good, too.

The price to shoot for.

OK, so you wanted a rock-bottom price.  I’m almost there – just two things that you need to keep in mind: one, your personal rock-bottom price will depend on how brand-loyal you are and what brands you are loyal to.  Huggies tend to go on sale much more often than Pampers, and Luvs almost never go on sale.  If you’re brand-loyal to Luvs, you’ll pay more per diaper than if you’re loyal to Huggies.

Off the top of my head, this is how I would rank the on sale + a coupon price points diaper brands that I’m familiar with, from cheapest to most expensive: Walgreens, Huggies, Pampers, and Luvs.

That’s also how I would rank the frequency of the sales – Walgreens probably most often has sales on their brand of diapers, Luvs are the brand that go on sale least often.

Secondly, your rock-bottom diaper price will depend on how badly you need diapers.  If you have nine months to stock up on diapers for your upcoming baby, you can afford to wait around for the best sales.  If your baby is here and you’ve got just a couple of packages stored away, your price will be higher.  You know how I say to wait to buy something until it’s on sale for the lowest price, and do without until it hits that price?  That’s kind of hard to do with just a couple of things like diapers and toilet paper. :)

All right, here you go: a typical price for diapers is about $0.20-0.22/diaper.  This is the price that you can get by walking into the store and picking up a box off the shelf at Sam’s or Costco, and you can typically get it with a $1 off coupon at just about any other store.  So, I would not pay more than this for diapers.

If you are already actively diapering and don’t have much of a stockpile built up, I would consider $0.15 to be a “minor” stockup price.  Here’s the deal: unless you have made extreme couponing your full-time job and spend 40 hours a week driving around time buying diapers, it’s almost impossible to stay on top of a diaper stockpile.  (My guess is that most moms with a baby are like me and simply do not want to drag their children in and out of stores all week just to get the best deal on diapers.)

So, if you have a few extra packages of diapers but not too many, I would buy a few more when they hit $0.15/diaper.

When you can get diapers for about $0.11 or less, that’s when I’d stock up.  We used to see this price a lot more often, but as with everything else, diaper prices have gone up and sales and coupon offers have gone down.

Where you’ll find the best diaper prices

Lately, I’ve found the best deals to be at Target, when you combine coupons with their gift card deals.  Not all of their gift card deals are good prices, though, so be careful.  Here’s an example of a recent deal at Target that was good enough that I did it a couple of times to get stocked up.

It’s actually been awhile since I’ve bought diapers at King Soopers, but I know that their regular shelf price for Huggies is around $9.50.  Occasionally they’ll do an instant savings or catalina deal that works out to be a great price, but we haven’t seen that much as of late.

I can’t even remember the last time I went down the diaper aisle at Walmart, but as I recall, their every day prices on name-brand diapers are comparable with King Soopers.

As I mentioned above, Walgreens puts their store brand on sale fairly often – maybe once every month or two?  The only problem I have with shopping at Walgreens is that they keep so little in stock that it’s hard to buy more than a couple of packages of the size you want.

Sometimes you will see great prices diapers on Amazon when you are part of Amazon Mom and subscribe and save.  Amazon Mom has decreased their subscribe & save discount, though, so we aren’t seeing as many good deals there.

And, occasionally you’ll snag good deals at other sites, like Seventh Generation diapers for $6.58 from Vitacost or half-off at Diapers.com with a daily deal voucher.

I tear Huggies wipes in two for little babies!

Stock-up price for wipes

I would consider $0.02 per wipe a great deal, and anything less than that is definitely a stock-up price!  I personally prefer Huggies wipes – especially when you have a little baby that makes messes that don’t really require a whole wipe to clean up.  Huggies wipes are really easy to tear in two and I’ve never found another brand that I like.  (Though I’ve definitely tolerated some off-brands when Huggies wipes weren’t on sale!)

I know that some moms make their own wipes and I’ve toyed with it, though the one time I attempted it years ago, they molded quickly so I would need to figure out how to get away from that.  If any of you have successfully done it, I’d love to hear your tips!

What’s your expert diapering advice?

So I know some of you have to have opinions about diapers and wipes and stock-up prices and what’s a good brand and all that.  Help your fellow readers out by sharing your tips and opinions – I can’t wait to hear!

See also: Baby Gear – What’s Really Necessary?

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Comments

  1. Thanks, Carrie, for the baby focus in your posts lately. I know it’s been on your mind recently, but as a soon-to-be first time mom, like Jo, I appreciate all the valuable insight!

  2. I had to laugh about your comment about the different brands and that you ‘cannot win’ when getting other mom’s opinions. So true! I ONLY use Pampers as my 1st had ridiculously sensitive skin and reacted horridly to LUVs, and Huggies just leaked on him no matter what I did. My daughter just seems to go through diapers twice as fast as my son did (but that probably is directly related to her love for food : ).

    Since I am a brand loyal diaper buyer, Amazon Mom used to be the best way to buy. Now, if there is a coupon, I often get one of the smaller packages through them using the Subscribe and Save as the coupon is the same no matter how big the box. I used to routinely get the Pampers sensitive wipes off Amazon Mom for .02 or less each, but it is a bit harder now. When they have a coupon, I buy a case. I too use the Target deals with coupons and gift cards to stock up.

    The one store brand I love is King Sooper’s wipes that come in the green travel packs. They are frequently 10 for $10 (or at least 4 for $5) and they are SO thick and strong that I used them when we are out and about for wiping tables, kids, etc.

    I have found both of my kids (one 8 lbs. 7 oz. and the other over 9lbs. if she had been allowed to go full term) have stayed in 3’s a long time compared to other sizes. I would also caution against stocking up beyond a size 5, especially if your little ones have a skinny shape. I have yet to move to a size 6 before potty training, but again, that is specific to each baby.

  3. Tacy Melvin says:

    I had three babies that were never in newborn size diapers, so we don’t buy those at all when we are working ahead of a baby. I figure they’ll send me home with enough to get us through til Daddy gets to the store if we need newborn size. And you’re right on with the stockpiling sizes. My kids were in 3′s and 4′s forever! My youngest is 6 months and still has a lot to grow before she’ll get to size 3. But I have a case of 3′s and just replenished my 2′s today!

  4. had to laugh about not needing the newborn size… all 4 of mine were full term (just 1-2 wks early) but my LARGEST baby was 7 lbs. 7 oz.!! They stayed newborn size for a while! Now my 3 month old grandson was born at 6 lbs. and just recently hit 9 lbs.!! He is still in size 1 diapers! I guess we just have tiny babies! But thanks for the info Carrie… it will really help my daughter in law adjust to knowing what, when and where to buy!

  5. Just another data point for you, my girls were preemies (twins) born at 4 pounds and 5 pounds 2 oz, so we used the preemie size for a bit – but the hospital sent us home with a TON, so no need to buy those, frankly. They were in N for a while, blew past 1 & 2 and then used 3′s forever; and we never needed 6′s thankfully. Now my son, 7 pounds 5 oz, he whipped through every size til we got to 4s and that’s where we are now (at 10 months) but he leaked more and so we use Huggie Overnight diapers at night. (Is it a boy thing?) Due to the volume of diapers with twins we always bought at Costco, but with one baby we have had to move up a size before using them all up!

  6. Sams brand of baby wipes are comparable to Huggies. They are thick so they get the job done but still easily tear in half if you want to tear them (we always use half a wipe for wet diapers). They price at $0.02/wipe.

  7. I love love love Walgreens brand, I’m glad you mentioned that! I stocked up today on them, getting each pack for 3.99, with the mil discount :)

    • Nice! I forgot to mention that I really just keep the jumbo pack price of $5 or less (these days, it’s $6 or less for Huggies) in my head and stock up whenever it reaches that, instead of trying to figure the cost per diaper. So $3.99 is a great deal IMO!

  8. I just had a baby in December and can recommend you purchase a few differet brands at first. We had gotten both pampers & huggies at our baby shower and for the first two-three weeks we had to change his clothes everytime he peed bc it would go straight out the top or side! We switched to luvs and haven’t had an issue since! Dont be afraid to experiment with different brands until you find what works best for your little one!

  9. Thanks so much for the info Carrie…the price per diaper and price per wipe are especially helpful. Like Jo, I am about to be a first time mom and had no idea what to pay and what a good deal on these items was.

  10. I totally agree with you. I use Amazon Mom a lot mixed with Swagbuck gift cards to get the the best deal. So in other words, I use my Swagbuck points to cash in on an Amazon gift card (usually $5 a month- every little bit helps!) and wait for good deals. I’m a big Luvs fan and their diapers are a good price (using amazon mom and swagbucks). We’ve also used the amazon trade in program and scrounged our house for unused books and electronics and traded those in for amazon gift cards as well. The whole process is really easy and one time we got enough money for our trade-ins that we had enough money to get free diapers for two months!
    Just thought I’d share :)

    • Great idea on trading in stuff at Amazon to pay for diapers! Amazon is about the only place I’ve seen deals on Luvs, aside from a handful of times!

  11. Thanks for writing this! I had a baby two months ago and have been wondering what good diaper prices are. I didn’t coupon when my first child was a baby so I’m trying to figure it all out.

  12. Jennifer says:

    We make our own baby wipes. Yes they will mold if you don’t use them quickly enough but I have found that we use them fast enough that it rarely happens. We just use a roll of paper towels cut in half. We place it in a round airtight container. Then we have the pump baby soap, 15 squirts into 2 cups of hot water. Pour it over the paper towels and let it sit for a few minutes to soak in. Pull the cardboard from the center and the wipes come out from the middle. The amount of water you need will depend on the brand of paper towel you use. We use bounty and buy it in the big packs from costco when they send out coupons.

  13. I also like the Target brand as far as generically go.they run about .13 -.17 on regular price. They are a bit thicker than huggies when wet, but they do ok when huggies aren’t on sale.

  14. Thanks for the info, very helpful!! Can’t wait to diaper our baby!

  15. I love pampers, but once I had to buy WF 365 brand diapers because we accidentally ran out. I was pleased to see that they didn’t contain chlorine, and the price was pretty close to what I pay regularly for Pampers. However, these actually gave my daughter a diaper rash! I have never had this problem before – not with any of my 3 girls. So back to Pampers at Target – which is fine because I can pick up everything else there too!

  16. I was so brand loyal to Pampers until they screwed them up with Max Dry. Now I’ll use whatever is cheapest. I even bought Kroger Super Value brand once because they were only $0.05/diaper on manager’s special. At night time I use a premium diaper though. Huggies, usually, because they are the least expensive. I shoot for $0.10 a diaper or lower for diapers I use during the day. And $0.15 or lower for night time diapers. Also, the bigger size diapers your kids wear, the harder it is to find a low price.
    I never buy wipes unless they are $0.01 each or lower. You can get that price at Costco when they have their $4 off Kirkland wipes instant coupon (like right now) and at Walgreens quite often. KS sometimes during their catalina sales.
    So, for the most part, I’d say you’re right on with your post, Carrie.
    @Jill, just FYI, it’s the law that all diapers are chlorine free. Lots of companies use that as a marketing gimmick, but no diaper contains chlorine. In fact, 7th Gen. even dyes their diapers brown so they look more natural. What a farce!

    • Max Dry, that’s what it’s called! And I love your tip about buying more expensive diapers at night.

      Interesting about all diapers being chlorine-free… Evidently it’s the “all-natural” gimmick for diapers?! (IE, means absolutely nothing but fools a lot of people.)

  17. My favorites are the Walgreens and Albertson’s diapers (they are the same). As mentioned, they are often on sale at Walgreens and sometimes Albertson’s has a good sale. My favorite part about them is that they run big, so if your kid has outgrown the size 2 Huggies or Pampers, the size 2 Walgreens will still fit for another couple of pounds. The smaller the size, the more diapers in the pack so I keep mine in the smallest size I can. My daughter was in size 3 Walgreens diapers for 2 full years, I kid you not.

  18. I cut my wipes in half. Then you don’t have to worry about which brands tear. My mom used to do this, so it’s something I grew up with. More recently I have been buying Huggies wipes because I thought it would be easier just to tear them as I go, but more often that not, I find that they don’t actually get torn in half (especially when my husband changes the diaper) and it seemed like we were going through wipes like mad. So, I’m back to cutting. I continue this until they are potty trained. One of my children actually never made it past a size 3 diaper. He was potty trained at 3 and he’s pretty little…almost 4 now and still under 30 lbs.

    I’ve had good luck with selling partial packages of diapers or brands I didn’t like on Craig’s List if they outgrow a size and I still have some left. They usually get claimed super fast.

  19. For me, Walmart diaper wipes work great and are quite cheap. A box of 500 wipes costs about $9. Also, I agree with Carrie, that Huggies are my favorite and Walgreens is a close second! Great post! :)

  20. My first 3 I only used Pampers tried others but we just had issues but after my twins were born I tried the Target brand and Loved them and still use them on child #6. I know some people say they liked Walgreens but they gave my kids rashes and so does the Costco brand.

  21. I was a firm believer in the Amazon Mom thing… with the subscribe and save plus amazon mom plus prime membership (free shipping) I could get a HUGE pack (costco size) of LUVS for around $25 (or less). I didn’t have to chase down deals and they came to my door. :) They just changed the discount though so it’s not quite as great and my free prime membership just ended so this is helpful since I”ve been doing through Amazon for so long… trying to decide if it’s worth it pay the Prime membership fee… anyway, it’s worked for us!

  22. Danielle says:

    Target brand diapers and wipes have been the best for our family. The price is perfect, they don’t leak, and the wipes are thick which means I usually only use one per diaper change! Can’t say enough about the Up&Up diapers!

    • I don’t think I’ve ever tried Target brand wipes – would you say they are comparable to Huggies? I don’t like Pampers and the other off-brands because they are too thin (and dry).

  23. Congrats Jo

    This is good info—

    Larger sizes are more expensive. I am a huggies mom my kid rashed up on pampers so kinda particular. Luckily found a mom to give the large pack of pampers to but lost out on the money for them as we only used one and it was bad. My babys but was rashy anywhere the diaper touched.

    I find for the largest size 6 (which we need)diapers they are more like .27 a diaper at costco on coupon and that is ok I have scored them for .25 at target before with a stacking scenario and gift card. Ball park for size six is .27-.32. They are .32 on amazon currently. So in need of size 6 I am buying costo today.

    I have 2 disabled boys hence the larger size. Not mentally ready to potty train almost. Diapers are a big expense and I am hoping after this summer we will be done with them during the day. Wish me luck.

  24. I would suggest trying cloth diapers. I was very hesitant b/c I thought cloth diapers were like what my mother used, folding it…those awful rubber pants…terrible. But it’s not like that anymore at all. I use Kushies cloth diaper, they are an all in one diaper that works just like a paper diaper, velcro and all. I was shopping all the sales for paper diapers, which is time consuming, and finally switched to cloth. I invested around $200 to get going and I calculated it would take 5 months of diapering to break even, with the rate I was purchasing paper diapers. I had another 18 months of diapering at least remaining so that is 13 months of not buying diapers!! I really feel great too about not filling my garbage w/ diapers. The Cloth Diaper Market on N. Carefree is a wonderful resource for cloth diapering questions and products, although I bought most of my diapers from diapers.com for the best deal.

  25. When my 16 month old was born, I started out matching coupons and sales but soon found it too much confusion and time for me to keep up with. Now we buy Huggies or Costco brand when Costco has coupons for either. Right now there is a $5 off for Costco brand out. He is in size 4 now and last time I calculated it was 16 or 17 cents each. For us this is a good combo of ease and cost effectiveness.

  26. Ana Iris says:

    My stock up price is .10cents and below on diapers and no more than $1.00 a tub for wipes. So far I have bought 861 diapers ranging from Size Newborn to Size 4 and paid $66.25 oop but got back $34.00 from either ECB or RR either from CVS or RIte AId so really I paid $32.25 after the money back.

    ***using Coupons/and matching it with sale prices is the key. just an FYI sign up for all the diaper brands you can think of i.e. HUGGIES, PAMPERS, LUVS, etc. they may usually mail or email you coupons on basis, just about every month I get coupons from Huggies through email, this month I received $2.50 off diapers and a .75 cent off wipes. Also both pampers and huggies website have a rewards program everytime you buy either a huggies product or pampers product there are special codes inside those packages you input those codes that can later be redeemer for sometime free packs of diapers, and different other rewards and gift cards even toys all you have to do is sign up.

  27. I buy Luvs did with my other 3 and do for my 4th for me it has been the best diaper aorund, no leaks, love the baby powder smell, and the price is great. I buy size 3 Luvs at Bjs its .14 cent a diaper and when they put out there 5 off coupon it makes it .12 cent a diaper this is when I buy 2 boxes which last me 2 and half months til the next coupon pops up. I do admit I like Pampers Baby Dry also but at .20 a diaper I just cant see my self spending that much I will grab a box at BJS if they have there 6off coupon AND I can use high value manufactor coupon with it too but like I said we mainly stick to Luvs its what works for us.

  28. Christina says:

    Walmart’s ~ Parents Choice ~ Unscented Baby Wipes. Are my go to for wipes. $11.97 a case for 7 ~ 100ct packages with pop top lids, I’m not a fan of the hard side wipe containers. I used them with my 1st daughter who is now 7 and I plan on using them with #2 Due in October. My husband like these wipes as well he uses them on all sorts of non baby related things be cause they don’t leave that slimy film like the other brands. We tried both Huggies & Pampers.

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