Stop Leaking Money! 7 Smart Tips for Finding Cheap Diapers


New parents spend a whole lot of money on diapers. Did you know those first weeks you may find yourself changing your little one 10 times a day? If you do the math, 240-320 diapers a month are on your shopping list.

Multiply this out by the number of months your child will spend in diapers (hint: 2.5 to 3 years) and you can see that it’s quite a large amount.

That you spend. 

On waste.

We can help you save money and find cheap diapers. The average baby uses nearly 4,000 diapers before potty training.  Let us share our hints to help you save.

What’s in That Diaper?

We know what your baby will put in that diaper, but do you know what’s there already? All disposable diapers have virtually the same construction. Generic or brand-name, all disposable diapers have the same premise.

Starting next to your baby’s skin, you have a top sheet. Often it is a one-way permeable membrane made to wick moisture away from the skin. After that comes the absorbent core. The core is usually made up of a wood pulp fluff and some sort of absorbent polymer.

The fluff is meant to spead moisture around so the absorbent polymer can soak it up. Finally, the diaper has a waterproof outer cover. This cover is made out of a petroleum-based or plant-based plastic material.

Money-Saving Tip #1 Avoid Disposables

Cloth diapers, even part-time, can save tons of money. Although there is an upfront cost, using a cloth diaper and laundering it at home works out to pennies per use. Also, no icky chemicals or iffy plastics next to your baby’s skin.

Least expensive are the old fashioned rectangular cloth, pins and waterproof pants. But if the idea makes you cringe, there are cute all in one diapers with buttons, snaps or velcro fasteners.

You can save even more by purchasing used diapers and covers from other parents. Use word of mouth, yard sales, and eBay to find bargains. Cotton diapers get more absorbent with use, so a hot, sanitizing wash and extra rinse make even used cloth diapers good to go. 

Don’t Be a Brand Snob

The major disposable diaper manufacturers want you to believe there is a huge difference between brands, store-brands and even styles of diapers. Given the basic construction of all diapers, you probably won’t find a huge difference between cheap diapers and brand names other than price. 

That said, you may want to experiment to find what works for you. Babies with narrow backs may find one brand better than another. A brand that works for your baby’s chubby legs might not be the right fit for a lighter limbed child.

The only exception we make is for parents choosing organic and eco-friendly diapers. In that case, brands and construction matter. 

Break Out the Spreadsheet to Find Cheap Diapers

Sales, coupons, buying in bulk and online programs can save you money! Unfortunately, you can’t tell if you are actually saving money without doing some calculations to get the cost per diaper. Sometimes it isn’t easy, with different diaper counts per package and coupon plus store discount policies.

Diapers go on sale very frequently. How do you know what is the real price? If you aren’t one for frequent coupon cutting and cost comparisons, sign up for an online buying program. Be aware that sometimes buying two small packages is less expensive than one large purchase.

Amazon’s family discount will keep you in diapers automatically for months at a time. Also, they calculate the cost per diaper for you. If you are more of a Costco, Walmart or Walgreens shopper, bulk diaper buys are frequent on their websites and there are often coupon combos to lower the price further.

Bulk Up!

Other than the very smallest sizes, don’t be afraid to stock up when you find a bargain. By bargain, we mean diapers for less than $0.20 each. Remember, you will use nearly 4000 diapers before you are done.

Combining coupons, discounts and bulk buys, it is possible to purchase diapers for HALF the regular price of premium brand name, full-price diapers. You can get as low as $0.17 per diaper, but that isn’t always feasible. Try out a small number of diapers before committing to a bulk buy.

Two to four months worth of diapers can take up a large space. Be sure to factor in storage space when buying your bargains. Most people recommend no more than two weeks worth of Size 1, a month of Size 2 and then three months or more of Sizes 3 and 4.

Larger Diaper Sizes Mean Fewer Per Package

When you purchase larger size diapers, the package size stays the same. This means that your product will include fewer diapers and each one costs a little more. Remember that the weights for each size diaper are suggestions. 

Your baby might fit into a smaller size for some time. This gives you time to find some comfortable bargains. Only move up when your baby is no longer comfortable in their size. This will maximize your baby’s time at the lowest cost per unit diaper.

If you find yourself with unopened packages of diapers, many stores will take them back for exchange. Check with your retailer. Opened packages can be traded for other things need. You can also give them to charity.

Save 40% or More

Remember to use these tips to find cheap diapers for your thrifty baby. With some careful comparisons, you can easily diaper your child for 40% less than retail. With online purchases, you can avoid impulse buys and save even more money.

Want some helpful tips to wring out even more spare change? Keep reading our blog to save money on pets, education, funerals and more. This Momma has you covered!

Anything to Add? Leave a Comment!

Follow Us On: Thrifty Momma Ramblings Facebook for more great tips for thrifty living!