Many of the same frugal living strategies work towards saving on baby. See more of my Moneywise Baby series.
Ah, diapers, one of the biggest expenses during the first few years of your baby's life. I tried many brands with my son until I found what I thought was the best fit (he was a chubby guy). Then I had twins, while my 2-year-old was still in diapers, and it was trial-by-fire. There are basically four ways to shop smart for diapers:
- Play the Drugstore Game. I did this with the twins, and while it involved dragging two babies around making multiple trips a week, I paid an average of FREE-.11/each for my diapers. You're basically trading your time (and energy) for money here, between clipping coupons, chasing sales, and making the shopping trips. See Chief Family Officer's explanation of The Drugstore Game.
- Buy at warehouse stores. Some stores will allow you to use coupons along with those giant-sized-boxes of diapers, so you can shop less often, but you'll pay a little more for the privilege. I'd lump ToysRUs/BabiesRUs into this category as well; they offer sales where you can use coupons and earn back gift cards, plus they have a store rewards program.
- Shop at Amazon Mom. Until now, Amazon Mom was the cheapest way to buy diapers, by combining coupons from parenting magazines with Amazon's Subscribe & Save discount prices. Unfortunately, no coupons have been spotted in any April magazines, so I wonder if Amazon is taking a month off or halting the discounts permanently (let's hope not!). Little time and little money–best option while we had it.
- Use cloth diapers. There are many reasons to choose cloth, but especially if you invest in the diapers and covers with your first child (you can buy gently-used off Ebay or Craigslist), they'll last through several children and save you a lot of money long-term. Simple Mom has a great series on Cloth Diapering to learn more.
If you choose to go with disposable diapers, using coupons will help. When you're looking for multiple high-value coupons, think about signing up for the competitor's program and trading coupons with friends or neighbors. You can also have baby's grandparents sign up for the mailings, too.
With all of these programs, consider signing up for the competitor's program and trading coupons with a friend or neighbor. That's an easy way to collect more of the high-value coupons available via regular mail.
Pampers Gifts to Grow Program
Join the Pampers Gifts to Grow program to receive high-value coupons by mail and use your points to earn rewards like Shutterfly products, toys, and gift cards. You'll get a 100-point bonus at sign-up.
Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards
Join the Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards program to get high-value coupons by mail and earn rewards, similar to the Pampers program. Huggies also offers coupons in the Sunday newspaper inserts, and lately there have been high-value printable coupons, like the current $3.00 off any 60+ package and $2.00 off any size package.
Luvs Monthly Newsletter
Luvs doesn't offer a rewards program, but you can sign up on their website to receive special offers, diaper coupons, and samples via regular mail. Occasionally, they offer coupons in the Sunday newspaper inserts as well.
Last, two more great resources for you:
- BabyCheapskate is a great site with reader reviews of all diaper brands (including store brands) and a weekly diaper and wipes price comparison so you know where the sales are and what coupons match up.
- Freebies4Mom offers codes for both the Pampers and Huggies rewards program and alerts you to new opportunities to earn, if you enjoy using rewards programs for prizes.
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