If I could have all the money I spent on diapers back, I would probably have the means to a pretty decent college fund for my children. Having raised 4 kids with conventional diapers I have to admit that it was easier to spend the money then deal with the inconvenient, messy and horrid thought of utilizing cloth diapers. Yes, I am acutely aware of all the diapers that are currently lying dormant in land fills across the world, and I am proud to say that I have added at least 2,000 of them. I am all for going green, but not when it comes to diapers! As shallow as that may seem, the majority of parents agree.
When my twins were born I was supplied with enough diapers to last me at least 6 months. People bought me all the expensive brands and I never gave thought to how many a day I used until I had to begin buying them myself. Once I started purchasing them myself, I too bought Pampers and Huggies swearing that they were the very best for my babies. When I started spending around $50-$65 a week on diapers alone I began to research all other options (except cloth). I experimented with store brands and made trips to close-out or scratch and dent stores that sold diapers in damaged packaging. Some of the leading grocers were notorious for extensively discounting diapers that had a ripped package. I was able to save tons of money this way. One of my local grocery stores would even them sell them directly to me (after talking to the manager) at 50% percent off rather than liquidate them back to the company.
Some of the diapers I tried in this process of saving money were useless at keeping my kids even remotely dry. Some felt like rough and scratchy toilet paper and others left behind a diaper rash. In my experience it seems that the way they fasten has a lot to do with how well they fit or prevent leaks. I no more want to scrape poop of my child’s pants than I do a cloth diaper, so non-leaking diapers are a must! Unfortunately you can’t see how they fasten by the packaging alone. I used to stop and ask store personnel to open them for me or even learned that they were returnable once I bought them if they didn’t look right. I have noticed in recent years stores Like Wal-Mart will have one of each type of diaper out on display for you to look at. This makes sizing them up for quality and fit a good bit easier.
By the time I figured out which diapers fit my porky little twins the best they were almost, thankfully potty trained. It turned out that Drypers were not only soft, smooth, hypo-allergenic but they worked rather well without leaking or leaving white residue on my babies bottoms. They were half the price of the expensive brand named diapers and normally I could purchase them even cheaper than I could the damaged packages of diapers.
Another buying diaper tip is to sign up with the diaper clubs. I had to show proof of my children being born, but once I jumped through the few hurdles of red tape I began receiving large coupons or free diaper vouchers every month. There are also tons of coupons available online for diapers that you can print yourself. On weeks that were short this came readily in handy. I can vividly remember one week when I was at home with twins and ran out of diapers but didn’t have a dollar to my name. That afternoon I received a voucher in the mail for a free pack of diapers. It was definitely a godsend and I partied all the way to the store.
I have noticed that my mother in law always used twice or three times the amount of diapers a day that I do. I think this has something to do with her thinking it is fun to change babies so often. Whenever my little ones were going to her house for a visit I would purchase the cheapest I could find knowing there would be none left when I picked them up. No sense in spending good money on diapers and only getting one little pee out of them.
By the time my subsequent children came along I was a diaper buying pro. I never found myself running out or paying full price. I would pick them up when they were on sale and stock up on larger sizes when they came available. As I became unable to find Drypers, I began very happily using Luvs. For a brief stint my youngest daughter decided that Elmo emblems were a real treat so I used the expensive brand for a while – but realized that by buying the best or cutest diapers I was really just prolonging potty training and wasting money. I still utilize coupons as much as possible and for the most part I still receive monthly offers from the big distributors. Luckily, I am very close to putting all this diaper business behind me.
Buying Diapers is one of those things that becomes habitual by the time the baby is 3 months old. One of the nice things about it is that it isn’t a forever task, but there are ways to save great deals of money in the mean time. Soon they will be out of diapers completely and it will be toilet paper that you are stocking up on and hoarding in the linen closet (especially if you have girls). I suppose that in buying diapers I look for similar qualities as I do with toilet paper, soft, smooth, absorbent and cost efficient. Ever day I grocery shop I secretly wonder if this will be the last time I ever buy diapers for someone in my family. As I place them in the cart next to the wipes I realize almost all at once that time is marching on and that my little ones are growing up right along with it. It almost is enough to make me want to reach deep and pay full price for the most expensive diapers just once. So far though I have always resisted.