Getting the Best Deals On Diapers

babies in diapers

This is a guest post by the Thrifty Couple.

Diapers, diapers, diapers everywhere! At least that is what you think, feel, breathe (ICK!) for the first few years of your precious little blessings lives! We love our little blessings so much, but really hate to shell out the funds for the diapers. They are one of the “necessary, but annoying” expenses of life. No matter how you choose to diaper – it is an expense that faces every parent.

Truth be told, you really can save big in the area of diapers. For over six years now we have been able to consistently score name brand diapers for less than the generic brands. Generics are typically 15 – 20% less money everyday than the name brand diapers based upon our “on-the-field” research. You can easily make up this 15-20% difference (and more!) with coupons and sales on the name brand diapers.

We have put together a diaper size chart that shows each brand of diapers, type of diapers, package size, and the number of diapers in each pack (we will be adding store brand diapers as well). Our assessment led us to name the average price of name brand diapers at 27.5 cents per diaper after factoring in average cost of each package and the number of diapers in it.

Now lets ask the question no one wants to hear the answer to – just how many diapers your baby will use until he/she is potty trained?! Here is a quick calculation to help. Please note the number of diapers per day is actually a bare minimum – imagine how much more the total probably will be!

  • 1-3 months old uses around 7 diapers a day for 92 days = 644 diapers
  • 4-5 month old uses around 6 diapers a day for 60 days = 360 diapers
  • 6-12 month old uses around 5 diapers a day for 182 days = 910 diapers
  • 12-24 month old uses around 4 diapers a day for 365 days = 1,460 diapers
  • 24 +months (the average girl is potty trained around 2-3 years and average boy around 3-4 years, so we are going to calculate up to 3 years) uses around 3 diapers a day for 365 days = 1,095 diapers

The Grand Total of diapering your child for 3 years: A WHOPPING 4,469 diapers!

How much would this cost with our average – 4,469 x 27.5 cents = $1229 for each child.

Did you know that you can easily get name brand diapers for .20 or less on a regular basis just by using coupons and shopping sales? If you were able to buy diapers for .20 normally – you would save around $335! Many times you can even get them much lower which will yield even greater savings!!

Here’s are some tips on how to save:

#1. Know Your Price Point – Your price point may be different than ours. The price point depends on the size of diapers your child is wearing, the length of time your baby spends in each size, and whether you are brand specific. Your price point is what the cost of the diaper is if you were to go to the store now and buy it. Don’t ever buy diapers at the price point, you can usually easily beat it! You can calculate your price point by dividing the shelf cost by the number of diapers in the package.

#2. Use Diaper Coupons – This is an essential key in saving money on name brand disposable diapers. Most diaper coupons will be for the name brand diapers. We often find that just applying the coupon value brings the cost close in price to generic or store brand diapers. The most common places to find diaper coupons is in newspapers, mailers, diaper company promotions, or even inside of a previously purchased package and printables.

#3. Combine Coupons with Sales – Each week we do provide the matchups for the national stores (such as Walmart, Target, Drugstores and more) to help you figure where to get the best deals each week. Combining those coupons with the sales will help you maximize those savings and bring the price way under that of the generics.

#4. Know When to Stock-Up – If we beat our price point of $0.24 a diaper, then we are doing decent. However, if you can stock up on diapers and beat your price point by a lot – the you are doing very well! A starting stock-up price is about 30% less than your price point. If you get to 30% off or more – it is time to stock-up.

  • If you end up hitting 50% off or more from your price point RUN – don’t walk when it comes to stocking up!
  • Begin stocking-up when you are expecting. It can be a several month process to have enough stock to keep you going without having to buy diapers “spur-of-the-moment.” With each of our babies, we stocked-up while I was pregnant with them. Overall, this saved us hundreds of dollars during a time that we could use every extra penny that we could save.

#5. Know Which Sizes to Stock-Up - We are always asked which sizes to stock-up on when we don’t know what our baby will need. Our answer – don’t stock up on newborn and size 1. Babies grow very fast and they grow out of these size diapers even faster! Plus, many diaper baby gifts are often in this size already. If you plan to stock-up, only have a handful of size 2 packages on hand. You are probably going to be pretty safe stocking up a lot of size 3 and size 4.

If you stock-up on a size that you end up not using all of, just have some sort of note attached to the package saying where you bought the package from – nearly all stores, including the major national chains, will exchange an identical package of diapers for a different size.

As you can see, this is an expense that you can greatly reduce with just a little effort! Think about your savings over the 3 years with one child…two children….three children etc. You just might find the next family exotic vacation hiding in those diaper packs.

Cassie and Alex are the authors of The Thrifty Couple in which they teach others how to live frugally and stretch your money in every area of life. In addition, they feature a weekly compilation of the Best Diaper Deals for that week showing coupon matchups with the store sales. They should know this subject well as they have four children ages six and under and have been buying and changing diapers without a break!


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here
  • Jessica K

    I have two in diapers right now. We are working on potty training with my two year old son, but he still has a ways to go. I love Huggies, but can only afford them if they have a good coupon and sales. We normally fall back on Luvs since they are reliably lower priced. We’ve tried some store brand diapers, but they never seem to fit quite right, and end up leaking. I guess I’m lucky, my 9 month old normally uses 4 diapers a day, and my two year old normally only needs 3 (unless he’s eaten lots of fresh fruit!). Thanks for the article.

    • Megan

      I disagree. I have never liked Luvs. We tried them once because their marketing campaign promises quality on the cheap. However, I found that they leaked with my son and were BARELY cheaper than Huggies. Now that I’m couponing I mostly get Huggies but when I can’t get them for a good enough price I go with Target’s brand of diapers. We’ve never had a problem with them and they are inexpensive PLUS target usually has coupons for them on their website making them even cheaper!@Jessica K,

      • Shannon

        @Megan,

        There was a time when Luvs were significantly cheaper than Huggies. Mind you I haven’t purchased diapers since 2004 – but at that time Luvs was much less expensive.

  • Jillian

    Great article, but, I disagree by a long shot on how many diapers a day a child uses. I have a 16 month old, and she goes through about 8-9 a day. No where near the 4 they say. Also, depends on the diaper that you use. I go through far less Huggies than Pampers. With Pampers, I have to change her every 2 hours, or less if she is drinking a lot of water. Hugggies, I can get away with changing every 3-4 hours.

  • http://thriftyfrugalmom.blogspot.com/ Lydia

    Interesting! I’ve always wondered roughly how much it cost me to diaper my son but was too lazy to try to figure it out. My buy price is $0.10/diaper (I go by the amount in the size 3 package to figure this). And often I can get them less than that. So I was comforted to know that my cost was far less than I had though!

  • http://www.i-heart-deals.com Stephanie

    I agree. I use cloth diapers 80% of the time, and it is super easy!! My husband can even do it!! LOL! They now have liners that you can put in the diapers (I use Bio Soft) that is like a little fabric softner sheet. When your child poo’s, you just lift the liner out (which catches the poop), and you flush the whole thing down the toilet!! AND – no plastic pants or pins. I use Bum Genius Organic all-in-one diapers. They fit from birth to potty training. They have snap closures, and they come in lots of colors. When we are out of the house and at naptime, I use regular diapers, and I always buy them on sale and with a coupon!

  • carrie

    Great article! Would you consider doing a guest post about cloth diapers? I bet many would be surprised to see how far cloth has come! It would be great to compare the savings as well as other benefits of cloth diapers.