Babies are expensive. Everyone understands that. When you’re a new parent, you quickly learn the exact source of much of that expense: Diapers. A newborn goes through an average of 10 to 12 diapers per day, and a child may use an average of 7,500 diapers before being potty trained. The cost adds up quickly.
Fortunately, diapers are one of the most controllable expenses. There are many ways to save money on diapers, depending on the choices you are willing to make. In the end, you could save yourself thousands of dollars.
Here are 8 ways that you can save money on diapers:
Coupons are one of the best ways to save money on any regular expense. The good news is that coupons for diapers are plentiful. Save yourself time browsing through the newspaper every week, and sign up to a coupon website to get alerts when new coupons become available. Take advantage of double- or triple-coupon promotions are your local grocery store to compound your savings.
Sign up for this free special program at Amazon and get 20 percent off diapers and wipes plus free shipping. Diapers are sent by automatic subscription, meaning that you decide to have a certain amount sent to you every month — which is how often you’ll be buying the diapers anyway. You can cancel the service with no penalty, but you have to stay current to get the discount.
Know some other moms? Kids grow so fast that it’s likely they have diapers that no longer fit their little ones. Get together a group of moms to trade the extra diapers you have for the sizes you need. You’ll save money by not having to replace unused diapers.
Cloth diapers are more expensive than disposable diapers — usually cost about $10 to $15 per diaper — but they can be used again and again, making their life-time cost much less. You can spend an average of $2,700 on disposable diapers for your baby before she is potty trained, compared with just a few hundred for cloth diapers. You’ll also reduce the waste that ends up in the landfills!
If you’re crafty — or just adventurous — you can easily make your own cloth diapers. You can make a professional-looking all-in-one diaper, or you can use 100 percent wool sweaters to create a “soaker” that is covered with a plastic pant. For a few dollars and a little ingenuity, you’ll have some diapers that will last you years.
Freecycle is an online community that connects people in your area who want to give away items to people who need them so they don’t end up in the landfill. It costs nothing to sign up for this mailing list. Many items are given away through the list, including clothing, household items, furniture, and much more. Diapers, especially cloth diapers, are often given away through the list. Sign up and find people who are giving away diapers in your area for free.
Many cultures practice what is known as “elimination communication,” or infant potty training. The idea behind this practice is that you learn to read your infant’s cues and take him or her to the potty when it is time. Infants learn to use the toilet instead of diapers. If you have the energy and the time to devote to this practice, you could reduce your diaper budget to zero.
Babies don’t always need to be in diapers. A little naked time is good for baby’s skin, and it helps reduce the amount of diapers you need. Simply place baby on a towel or waterproof surface, and let him or her enjoy the open air for a few hours. You’ll save a little on diapers, and your baby will benefit from going au natural.
Do you have any other inventive tips for saving money on diapers? Tell us your ideas in the comments!
Carlina Yepinski is the primary researcher and writer for networkmonitoring.org. Her most recent accomplishments includes graduating from Kentucky State with a degree in communications and computer science. Her current focus for the site involves network sniffer software and system monitor.