A few months after we found out we were having a baby I started thinking about the enormous amount of diapers we would be needing in a few short months. I had never really considered diapers as something I would be buying only to throw away hours after strapping them on my child’s bare bottom. When I worked at a child developmental center and as a nanny, other people supplied the diapers and I never thought about the cost of them. One smart mother had a diapers only baby shower that supplied her TWINS with diapers through their first year of life. I didn’t realize she had saved hundreds, if not a thousand dollars or more by having others supply her with diapers.
On a routine trip to Target in October, my husband and I decided to take a quick look through the baby isles. Upon entering the diaper isle I noticed there was a sale on Target brand diapers. Not only was there a sale, there was also a Cartwheel discount! After scouring the internet for articles on how many diapers we should buy and at what price, I stumbled upon this blog post that has been incredibly helpful over the last three months. Southern Savers breaks down diapers into sizes and the lowest prices you should aim to buy at. According to Southern Savers, we should be buying diapers at the following prices:
Newborn: 13¢ – 16¢
Size 1: 11¢ – 14¢
Size 2: 14¢ – 16¢
Size 3: 16¢ – 19¢
Size 4: 19¢ – 22¢
Size 5: 22¢ – 26¢
Size 6: 26¢ – 30¢
She also does the math on how many diapers in each size you may need starting at a starting weight of six pounds, a 1/2 pound weight gain per week (initially), and changing ten diapers on average for a day/night:
First Four Months
Newborn Size: 2-3 packs (not really needed most can go straight to size 1)
Size 1: 840 diapers needed to get to 12 lbs
Size 2: 560 diapers needed to get to 16 lbs
5 months to 12 months
Growth slows to 1 lb every 3 weeks on average
Diaper Changes on average 6 per day
Size 3: 1512 diapers needed to get to 28 lbs
This is 2,912 diapers in ONE year. When I read that it absolutely shocked me. Almost three thousand diapers in a year?! Now, I’m assuming that our baby will not be born at six pounds since at 36 weeks (this Thursday) that’s what our baby should be close to weighing. If I make it the full 40 weeks or even to my 41st week, our baby should weigh somewhere between seven and nine pounds. That being said, that won’t stop him from going through the same amount of diapers, it will only force me to adjust how many of each size I might need to buy.
Will all of this information in mind, Chase and I did a lot of math standing in the diaper isle of Target. We realized with the sale on diapers, a Cartwheel coupon for an extra 5% off, and the 5% from our Target card, we could buy most of our size one and two diapers for an average of 14¢. That may have been the high end of size one price, but it was the cheapest size two price! What really ended up making the night a total win for us was that there was a complication during our checkout, forcing us to customer service, where they gave us $12 off our bill as an apology for the hastle. This drove our diaper price down to only 12¢ per diaper! Chase and I made it out of Target with over 800 diapers and only spent $105. That’s almost a third of our estimated diaper needs! A week ago I noticed another Cartwheel offer for 15% off Target brand diapers. Again, I did some quick math and realized we could buy almost all of our estimated size three diapers for only 14¢ a diaper. Way cheap!
This being said, not everyone can or wants to buy store brand diapers. I only decided to do so after spending hours reading reviews on diaper brands and coming to terms with the fact I could save us hundreds of dollars if I went with Target instead of Pampers. That’s hundreds of dollars I could be spending on things like clothes or a really nice rocking chair that might last us through all of our children. A few people have warned me that this diaper brand might not work for us. Unfortunately, we won’t know if it will or won’t until he’s born. If they work, HALLELUJAH. If they don’t, I kept all of the receipts and I will return the diapers and try a different brand. Until then, I am going to take pleasure in the fact that I have a stockpile of 1,700 diapers and I’ve only spent $200 to get them.
I may not know how many diapers we’ll end up going through, but I plan on keeping track for future reference and as a way to help anyone else who might be struggling to know how many diapers they should buy. From my experience so far, I would recommend sticking to the prices listed above in order to find the best deals, whether they be Target, Walgreens, or anywhere else, and keep your receipts! We’ve done a great job saving money so far and hopefully this will inspire others to be able to do the same. Best of luck!