One of the biggest expenses new parents face is the cost of diapers. It is amazing how many diaper changes a newborn needs in 24 hours. For some parents, the cost of diapers is merely an annoyance; for others who are struggling financially, the cost of diapers is painful.
Some low income families have even had to choose between paying for diapers or eating. Recent news reports have also stated that some parents have tried to air dry their child’s soiled diaper to use it again, leading to serious infection.
While it is very difficult to get free diapers, there are many ways to lessen how much you pay for diapers.
For an initial $300 to $500 investment, you can cloth diaper your child for the entire 2 to 3 years they wear diapers. You can also check Craigslist and eBay for used cloth diapers to lessen your cost. This is an investment that keeps on giving because often the diapers can be used again for your next child.
A Heart for Home wrote about how to begin cloth diapering for only $20, without having to sew your own diapers.
To further reduce the cost of cloth diapers, air dry them. I know some people think they will be too stiff that way, but we cloth diapered my son for 3 years, and we always air dried the diapers to save on dryer expenses, and he never had any problems.
However, it is important to note that not everyone can use cloth diapers. Perhaps your child is in daycare, and they don’t allow cloth diapers. Or, you may have to use a shared washer, so cloth is not an option. If that is the case, there are ways to lessen the expense of disposable diapers.
–Use Swagbucks. Search the Internet using Swagbucks. Through regular Internet searching you should be able to earn at least enough points for $5 to $10 in Amazon gift cards a month. Last month I earned 652 Swagbucks, and the month before I earned 948. That was enough for three $5 Amazon gift cards, just by searching the Internet as usual. These can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards. Use these gift cards to reduce your diapering expenses.
–Subscribe to Amazon Mom. In conjunction with Swagbucks, enroll in Amazon Mom. You will receive up to 30% off each diaper order, plus you will get free shipping. Not only are you saving on diapers, but you are also saving yourself the gas and time going to the store.
–Join Huggies’ Enjoy the Ride Rewards. You earn points, which can be used for a coupon for free diapers. Currently, the coupon costs 300 points. Alternatively, you could try an instant win game for a free pack of diapers coupon or for a free wipes coupon. Each play is one point. (You can also play for the other gift cards that are currently available.) I have had luck here; I won a $10 Starbucks card, a $25 Kohl’s card, and a $25 Gas Card.
If you buy Huggies, save the wrapper and enter the unique code on the inside. You will earn points, usually 10 to 15. You can also earn points by taking polls, watching videos or entering codes that are shared on the Internet. (I frequent Freebies4Mom to find these.)
If you do have a little one in diapers, make sure to look for the offer code. This code doubles your points. So, if you enter the code for one pack of diapers, which may yield 13 points, add in an offer code and now your points have doubled to 26. You can find current offer codes at Retail Me Not.
–Join Pampers Gifts to Grow. This program is not quite as generous as Huggies. Like Huggies’ program, you enter a unique code inside the diaper and are rewarded with points that you can redeem for gift cards, toys, etc. I find the points price of the products to be a bit steep, but there are sometimes sales. Right now, 1000 points gets you a $10 certificate to diapers.com
–Use CVS ECBs or Walgreens Register Rewards. Pairing coupons with the freebies at CVS and Walgreens weekly can give you overages that will help offset the cost of diapers.
–Be willing to use different brands of diapers when they go on sale. My preferred brand of disposable diaper is Huggies. I like the way they fit and the absorbency. However, if I cannot buy Huggies at a discount on a given week, I am just as happy buying CVS brand diapers or Playskool brand diapers, especially if there is a great sale. Many of the off brand diapers work just as well as Huggies or Pampers. Buy a small pack to try them out; if you like them, add them to your repertoire of acceptable disposable diapers. The more flexible you are, the more you can save on sales.
–Check out Toys R Us or Babies R Us. I find that they frequently have unadvertised Friday only diaper deals that can result in significant savings.
Buying Diapers on a Limited Income
If you have a very low income, there are a few other options available to you:
–Cloth Diaper Foundation. This foundation was established to help parents afford cloth diapers. You must have a Pay Pal account and at least $16 to pay to have the diapers shipped to you if you have one child in diapers. (Shipping is $18 for 2 children or $20 for 3.) There is an application to complete, and this offer is available to all in the lower 48 states.
–Help a Mother Out. This organization helps low income families diaper their children with disposable diapers. Currently they are located in Arizona, Washington and Southern California.
A baby is a blessing, but paying to properly care for the baby can be a financial burden on some families. Utilizing some of these strategies may help lessen the burden.
I was a stay-at-home mom of four children who used nothing but cloth diapers, as did the generations before me. (I had two in diapers at one time too.) I was given diapers as gifts, and we bought some too. And believe me, we were poor! My husband was a student, and we lived on the GI bill in apartments. I washed diapers in laundromats for quite a few years. In one ground floor apartment, we had a fence-enclosed patio, so I was able to string lines on laundry day and hang the diapers when I returned from the laundromat. The Texas sun(where we lived at the time) was very helpful in sterilizing and bleaching diapers. My babies did not have diaper rashes.
Today, as a thrifty person, I am aghast at what people pay for diapers and how it is such a big part of the budget! My own children have spent what I consider a fortune diapering my grandchildren. I understand the daycare issues, but there are still many at-home parents who elect to purchase disposables. Diapering our babies was a non-issue for us. A modest initial investment in cloth diapers plus gifts saw us through four babies.
Yes, you are exactly right. It is amazing to think what we now think of as necessary that our grandmothers never had such as disposable diapers. If we had a house and didn’t have to share a washing machine with a clean freak neighbor, I would use cloth as I did with my son when our neighbors were a little more laid back.
Lynn @ Savings Soiree says
Great post! I posted your blog link on my blog for my readers! Great tips!
Sustainable PF says
Thanks you so much for the advice! We’re following this weeks advice, tips and giveaways VERY closely!
The Saved Quarter says
I like babycheapskate.com for finding the best deals on disposables. Each week they list the best diaper deals, where to find coupons, and when to stock up. Very handy!
Also, Huggies receipts can be sent in for $.75 per package through Caregivers Marketplace. http://www.caregiversmarketplace.com/FrameSetup.asp
Glad you mentioned it. I completely forgot to include Caregivers’ Marketplace.
Frugality Is Free: Cheap Bowling Night - LINKY HERE says
These are great tips.
I do not use cloth diapers, but I have used several of the ways you mention to get extremely cheap diapers . I completely agree with your mention of having to be flexible. I have a number of diapers that I prefer, and only one of them are a brand name, the rest are store diapers. I think Aldi diapers are the cheapest without sale and coupons at $5.49 (See my diaper price comparison ), but I have rarely had the need to buy these, as I can usually buy Huggies or other store brand diapers cheaper with coupons and sales. Just recently I picked up a couple of MEGA packs of CVS diapers for $3 each.
Living Simplistically says
Thank you for your submission to A Carnival for Saving and Making Money hosted by Living Simplistically!
Cheap Diapers says
Nice guidelines… First time moms surely need to read this! Babies grow fast, do not over buy a bulk of diaper or your baby might outgrow those stocks. You can also ask your friends or neighbors who has baby if they have a stock that has been outgrown by their baby. 🙂