One of the big lessons I learned when I became a mom is that your baby doesn't need much at all in the way of material goods. Well, except for diapers. Your baby is going to need a whole lotta diapers, and it could be your greatest expense. In fact, some financially strapped families are struggling to afford diapers, facing the unthinkable dilemma of choosing between food and diapers. And, well, going diaperless is not a real alternative for most families. So we need make sure every penny spent on the things count. Here are some ways you can save money on diapers.
- Use cloth. I know -- it's not for everyone. But you know that upfront investment will save you money in the long run. You're basically trading off time for money.
- Use coupons. Another obvious one, but worth mentioning! Just keep in mind, sometimes coupons get you a lower price on more expensive brands, and you end up spending the same amount as you would on a cheaper diaper anyway.
- Start cheap. Certain brands have a reputation for stellar performance. But do your own homework -- find your own perfect balance between cheap and effective.
- Try store brands. While you're doing your "cheap brands" trials, give the store brands a try as well. Some are better than others.
- Don't switch sizes so quickly. Most diaper companies charge the same amount per package. But they pack more of the smaller-sized diapers in per box than the larger-sized diapers. So try and stick with the smallest size you can get away with. Wait until you kid starts leaking before you move up; don't just go by the age or weight bracket on the diaper package.
- Make sure you're diapering right. If your baby is leaking in the front, try shifting the front up higher. If your baby is leaking from the back -- oh, you know the deal.
- Stockpile during sales. If you see a great price, buy as much as you possibly can. Just make sure you're not buying so many that your baby will outgrow that size before you use them all.
- Buy in bulk. Even if you're not stockpiling, buying in bulk will save you more than buying one package at a time. I know this is hard to do, though, if you're just getting by paycheck to paycheck.
- Compare price per diaper. When you're comparing prices, go by price per diaper, not price per package.
- Amazon Mom. Amazon Mom gets you 20 percent off baby supplies plus free shipping. You can also set up regular, automatic shipments of your favorite baby supplies, which saves you gas money as well.
Do you have any other tips on saving money on diapers?
Image via Angie Garrett/Flickr