Diapers are a necessity for our little ones, but the costs associated can often be overwhelming. Sometimes, you may feel like you’re throwing away money – literally and figuratively.
To give you a better idea of what we’re talking about, parents spend an average of $550 per year to $960 per year on disposable diapers. And that’s just during the first year of life for a single child, too.
Now, before the good ole parent panic starts, I’ve got some good news for you. You never have to pay full price for diapers! Well, almost never – unless you’re really out of luck …
For those of you who didn’t already know, there are many ways you can snag them at a steep discount. This detailed guide is a 100% free resource that’s easy to follow and will show you all about how you can save as much money as possible when buying diapers for your little one.
You know what’s also awesome? You can mix and match money-saving methods, too. Read on to get must-have details for buying diapers on the cheap.
Compare Prices For Generic And Name Brand Diapers
When it comes to disposable diapers, most brands are designed to do the same thing. But there’s such a huge price difference between name brand diapers and generic store brands.
Now, it’s normal to have a brand preference, we’re not saying you’re alone in feeling that way. However, you should always be willing to explore your options.
I’ve tried at least one dozen brands of diapers and training pants. In my experience, all of them are pretty similar and get the job done. Data from 2017 states that the average price per diaper is $0.20. That’s pretty accurate based on my own research as well.
With that being said, you should really be trying to not pay more than $0.12 to $0.13 per diaper — it’s very possible!). I rarely pay more than $0.14 per diaper, and you can do the same.
My go-to diapers are up & up, which is the Target store brand. They’re half the price of most name brands, but they look and fit similar to Pampers Swaddlers. Up & up diapers are reliable, comfortable, and get the job done.
Here’s a break down of how much I spent on newborn baby diapers:
- up & up costs $14.99 for a 108-count box of newborn diapers. This breaks down to 9 cents per diaper.
- Pampers Swaddlers costs $24.99 for an 84-count box of newborn diapers. This breaks down to 8 cents per diaper.
- up & up instead of Pampers Swaddlers allowed me to pay 53% less per box of diapers.
Why is this such a big deal? This choice alone saves me hundreds of dollars per year. Once I add in coupons and other cheap diaper tips, I often pay 10.0 to 13.0 cents per diaper. It’s easy to calculate how much you can save using Unit Price Calculator.
So, give it a shot and explore some generic brands. Chances are you’ll find a frugal favorite for your little one!
Use Manufacturer and Retailer Diaper Coupons
Coupons are one of the easiest ways to get cheap diapers. If you strongly prefer name brands, make sure to use coupons every time you make a purchase. They’ll really cut down the cost in the long run.
Manufacturer coupons are easy to find online, and there are both printable and digital options. Here are a few examples I found:
- Pampers – Pampers offers $2 off coupons for two boxes of Pampers Swaddlers, $1 off coupons for one box, $0.50 off coupons for wipes, and more. A box of newborn Pampers Swaddlers cost $24.99 for 84 diapers. If you used the $1 coupon, you’d pay 5 cents versus 29.8 cents per diaper.
- Huggies – Huggies offers a $1.00 off coupon for two packs of wipes and a $1.00 off coupon for any box of Huggies. Huggies Little Snugglers cost about $34.99 for a 132-count box of newborn diaper size. Using the coupon lets you pay 7 cents versus 26.5 cents per diaper.
- Luvs – Luvs offers a $0.50 off coupon for one box of diapers. A box of size one Luvs diapers cost about $25 for 210 diapers. You could use the coupon and pay 6 cents versus 11.9 cents per diaper.
Saving a mere 1.3 cents per diaper doesn’t sound impressive at first, but know that the average baby uses at least 2,700 diapers during their first year alone. Some moms I know say they used over 3,500 during the first year alone!
Let’s take a minute and use those numbers with the Pampers Swaddlers prices above as an example. With coupons, you could save $35.10 to $45.50 over one year. Not too bad for something that takes 1-2 minutes to do.
Don’t forget to use store-specific coupons, too. The Target app occasionally offers 5% off coupons for up & up diapers and wipes. WalMart and my local grocery stores have apps with deals, too. Always be sure to check out the websites and apps for your favorite stores – there’s a good chance you’ll find discounts for diapers and wipes.
Get Discounts Through Diaper Delivery Subscriptions
Diaper delivery subscriptions are one of my favorite ways to get cheap diapers. I discovered them when I was pregnant and exhausted. The last thing I wanted to do was go to the store with a toddler in tow! I figured I’d order diapers online if I could find free shipping offers.
Two retail websites I visited offered free shipping along with diaper delivery subscriptions. Both websites offered discounts on diapers if I signed up for automatic subscriptions. I could choose how frequently I wanted deliveries, and I could cancel at any time.
I gave both retailers a test run, and here’s how it worked out for me. (Please keep in mind that these percentages may have changed now, so please do your own research first to be sure!):
- Target offered a 5% discount on diaper subscriptions. Customers with a Target REDCard received a 15% discount. This discount is still in place. For diaper deliveries, I ended up paying 6 cents versus 17.1 cents per diaper.
- Amazon offered a 5% discount on my first diaper subscription delivery, then a 15% discount on future deliveries. I’ve seen the discount amount vary, but it’s usually pretty valuable. For the second delivery, I paid 8 cents versus 19 cents per diaper. (This was my personal experience with Amazon, your experience may or may not vary).
I stuck with Target in the long run because of personal preference, but both offers impressed me. If you prefer the convenience of online shopping, a subscription service is perfect for getting cheap diapers.
Join Diaper Reward Programs And Mailing Lists
I’m a huge fan of reward programs for my favorite brands and retailers. Brand and retailer reward programs are free and simple.
For those of you who don’t know how these programs work, you earn points or codes every time you buy from the brand. The points add up over time, and you can redeem them for free products and/or discounts.
Brand mailing lists are a great money saver, too. When you’ve visited brand websites, you’ve likely seen pop-ups encouraging you to sign up for e-mails. Sometimes you instantly get a free shipping code or a discount on your first order. Other brands send you promotional e-mails with exclusive sales, promo codes you can use, and more.
I’ve used reward programs and e-mail offers for baby formula, toiletries, and goodies for myself. The result? They’ve saved me hundreds of dollars over the last few years. They’re especially helpful if you have a favorite diaper brand.
Here’s a list of some reward programs and mailing list promotions for diapers I discovered.
- Pampers – Pampers Rewards is a point-based program that’s pretty popular. First, earn points just for joining the program and downloading the Pampers Rewards App. You then use the app to scan codes located on every box of Pampers you buy. Each code earns you more points, and you can redeem them for coupons, free diapers, books, and more.
- The Honest Company – When you visit the Honest website, you’ll see a pop-up offer for free shipping. You sign up for their e-mail list, and you’re sent a promo code for free shipping on your first order. The company will send you promotional e-mails, and some of them have coupon codes and special offers.
- Luvs – Luvs offers coupons, free samples, and other offers when you subscribe to their e-mail list. You’ll also need to fill out a short profile page to help customize the e-mails you receive.
- Huggies – Huggies Rewards is another point-based program. It features many ways to earn points. Download the Huggies Rewards App, and take pictures of your receipts every time you buy Huggies products. Earn additional points when you take online surveys, read articles, and more. You’ll even earn 500 Huggies Reward points each time you get a friend to join the free program.
- Seventh Generation – Seventh Generation is a brand that’s well-known for their gentle baby products that use natural and baby-safe ingredients. Sign up for their e-mail newsletter to receive coupons and special offers.
E-mail subscriptions and reward programs are 100% free, and registration only takes a few minutes. I subscribe to Luvs e-mails even though I don’t use them often. But when I receive and use Luvs coupons, they tend to cost less than generic brands. If your favorite brand isn’t listed above, visit their website to see what they offer.
Purchase Diapers In Bulk
There are pros and cons to buying in bulk, but I’ve found that it’s pretty useful when it comes to buying diapers.
Sam’s Club and Costco have huge boxes of diapers, and the options are pretty diverse. If you glance at the price tags, the diapers seem expensive at first. But take a minute to check out the price per diaper.
You’ll easily see that the higher upfront cost almost always ends up saving you money in the long run. Sam’s Club and Costco both carry their own diaper brands, too. They are easily some of the cheapest diapers you’ll find in bulk.
Check out a few examples based on current prices.
Example A – Pampers Swaddlers In Bulk
- Pampers Swaddlers cost $24.99 for an 84-count box of newborn baby diapers at Target. This breaks down to 8 cents per diaper.
- Pampers Swaddlers cost $41.98 for a 162-count box of newborn diapers at Sam’s Club. This breaks down to 9 cents per diaper.
- In this scenario, you save 9 cents per diaper.
- If you buy at least 2,700 diapers during baby’s first year, you save $105.30 over one year.
Example B – Huggies Little Snugglers In Bulk
- Huggies Little Snugglers cost $24.99 for a 100-count box of Size 1 diapers at Target. This breaks down to 9 cents per diaper.
- Huggies Little Snugglers cost $37.49 for a 192-count box of Size 1 diapers at Costco. This breaks down to 5 cents per diaper.
- In this scenario, you save 4 cents per diaper.
- If you buy at least 2,700 diapers during baby’s first year, you save $145.80 over one year.
Example C – Costco Store Brand In Bulk
- Huggies Little Snugglers cost $37.49 for a 192-count box of Size 1 diapers at Costco. This breaks down to 5 cents per diaper.
- Kirkland Signature Supreme cost $29.99 for a 192-count of Size 1 diapers at Costco. This breaks down to 6 cents per diaper.
- In this scenario, you save 9 cents per diaper.
- If you buy at least 2,700 diapers during baby’s first year, you save $74.88 over one year.
Example D – Sam’s Club Store Brand In Bulk
- Pampers Swaddlers cost $41.98 for a 192-count box of Size 1 diapers at Sam’s Club. This breaks down to 8 cents per diaper.
- Member’s Mark Comfort Care cost $23.98 for a 176-count box of Size 1 diapers at Sam’s Club. This breaks down to 6 cents per diaper.
- In this scenario, you save 2 cents per diaper.
- If you buy at least 2,700 diapers during baby’s first year, you save $221.40 over one year.
In all four scenarios, you’re really getting dirt cheap diapers. You’ll save about $75 to $220 diapers per year, so your Sam’s Club or Costco membership basically pays for itself.
Keep in mind that bulk discounts like this apply to wipes and formula, too.
Sign Up For Free Diaper Trials
Free diaper trials are a great way to try out different brands.
Here’s how it works: The brands send you a few sample diapers and wipes via mail. You’ll have to pay for shipping, but the products themselves are still free of charge.
As of this writing, the three brands below currently offer free diapers:
- The Honest Company – Honest will send you a free trial that consists of five diapers and 10 wipes. At Target, one Honest newborn diaper cost 34.3 cents. This is definitely a brand you should sample before you shell out cash. You have to pay $5.95 for shipping.
- Naty – Naty is an eco-friendly diaper brand, and they’ll send you a free trial box that contains 10 diapers. A 10-count pack of Naty diapers is valued at $4.99, so this deal is pretty good. You have to pay $5.99 for shipping.
- Abby and Finn – Abby and Finn is another eco-friendly option. They’ll send you a free trial box that contains eight diapers and 20 wipes. Their normal price per diaper ranges from 23.0 cents to 38.0 cents. For these freebies, you pay a $4.95 shipping fee.
Always keep in mind that it’s important to read the fine print for any free diaper trial offers. For example, The Honest Company will automatically enroll you for a paid diaper description unless you opt-out. Their FAQ page explains how to ensure you aren’t enrolled and charged.
For further reading, I also recommend this helpful Federal Trade Commission (FTC) article about free trials.
Create Multiple Online Baby Registries
Baby registries are a gold mine for getting free and cheap diapers. I created online registries during both of my pregnancies. In the process, I got tons of diaper coupons, several free diapers, and free wipe samples out of it.
Below you’ll find a list of my go-to retailers for baby registries. I’ve also noted some of the products and coupons they offered:
Target is hands-down my favorite retailer for baby registries. It only takes a few minutes to create an online registry with them. Once you’ve done this, go to any local Target’s guest service counter and ask for the registry welcome gift.
It contains over $100 worth of coupons, samples, and a few full sized products. I received free diaper samples from Pampers Swaddlers and The Honest Company. There were at least five coupons for diapers, too.
You’ll also get a 15% off coupon eight weeks before your due date. It can be used to buy any items on your baby registry. The coupon can be used once in-store and once online. It’s a game changer for getting cheap diapers.
Amazon Baby Registry is a free online registry for Amazon customers. I personally used this registry to buy items, but I also love the diaper discounts and samples. The offers change sometimes, but many of them are consistent.
At the time of this writing, Amazon Prime members receive a free welcome box once they’ve purchased $10 worth of items from their registry. Again, at the time of this writing, the welcome box is valued at $35 and contains lots of samples and full-sized items. I received a few Pampers Swaddlers diapers and wipes, and a full package of Amazon brand wipes.
Please do your own research to make sure that these numbers are still accurate to this day!
WalMart Baby registry is similar to the two free registry programs above. It only takes a few minutes to create your account. You get perks like a price match guarantee, but the WalMart Baby Welcome Box is where the goodies are.
The contents of the Welcome Box change often, but it’s typically a mix of samples, coupons, and one or two small products. I received a few free Pampers Swaddlers diapers and WaterWipes baby wipes. There were also several coupons for diapers and wipes, a free bottle, and a free pacifier.
BuyBuyBaby is a go-to retailer for many moms. They offer a huge selection of baby products online and in-store. Even if you don’t normally shop there, I recommend creating a free baby registry. The freebies and little perks are pretty nice.
Once you register, you can get a Goody Bag at any BuyBuyBaby location. It contains a mix of product samples and plenty of coupons. The samples I received included a few Pampers Swaddler diapers and trial sized wipes from different brands. There was also a $5 off BuyBuy Baby coupon and many more.
These examples give you a good look at what to expect. One thing to note, though, is that the freebies do change regularly, and I noticed stores tend to rotate between Pampers and Huggies products. Still, however you look at it, you can’t beat totally free diaper samples!
Look For Local Diaper Assistance Programs
If you have a hard time affording diapers, you aren’t alone. Just look at this statistic: One out of three moms in the U.S. struggle from diaper need.
The methods in our guides are certainly helpful to make all of this more affordable, but you may still need help affording diapers even after you take all of the above into consideration.
Fortunately, there are some great resources you can use in addition to everything mentioned in this article so far.
The National Diaper Bank Network is a resource that connects parents with U.S. based diaper banks.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, diaper banks are similar to food banks. Your eligibility is usually based on income, and you get free diapers on a regular basis.
You can view a nationwide list of diaper banks to see what’s available near you.
United Way offers many low-income and emergency services through 2-1-1. You can call 2-1-1 toll free, browse the website, and even text representatives.
To find local diaper assistance, type in your location information. You’ll get a list of local United Way services and their contact info. I typed in my zip code and was redirected to my city’s United Way website. I typed ‘diapers’ into the search bar and it displayed nearly 200 results.
If you can’t find what you need online, simply call 2-1-1 and they’ll point you in the right direction.
It’s very normal to feel a little awkward when you use assistance programs, but there’s nothing wrong with it at all and you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve personally used them during a few rough patches. At the end of the day, swallowing my pride was the best decision for my kiddos.
So, don’t hesitate to seek out free diapers near you if you need them!
Cheap Diapers Are A Must-Have Money Saver
Couponing and strategizing for cheap diapers may sound tedious, but every single penny you save makes a difference in the end.
Again, you can expect to spend about $12,800 on baby expenses during baby’s first year, so it’s a smart idea to save on whatever you can, whenever you have an opportunity to do so.
Take a look at all of the money-saving examples above, and you can easily cut down baby expenses with our cheap diaper guide!