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How to Calculate The Best Price Per Diaper.

Updated on September 18, 2012

Wow - have you seen the price of diapers lately? The way I see it, once we get the youngest potty trained, we can put that money towards college savings and be ready to pay for Harvard in no time, maybe even graduate school, too. All kidding aside, the price of diapers can really add up and take a big chunk of your monthly baby budget. Having gone through years of diapering, I always wanted to make sure I was getting the best price I could on diapers.

Bigger is Not Always Better! As a bargain shopper, you've probably been told, ad infinitum, that you save money by buying in bulk. But, that's not always the case, especially if coupons are involved. To really know if you are getting a good deal, it's best to think in terms of "price per diaper" than the total cost of the pack. To calculate the cost per diaper, take the total price and divide by the number of diapers in the pack.

For example, if a pack of 27 diapers costs $8.99, that's 33 cents per diaper ($8.99 / 27 = 33 cents).

It's important to price the diapers this way when you are comparing prices on different size packs. If you have a coupon, you will want to factor the discount out of the price before doing the calculations. Let's assume you have a $2.00 coupon for the $8.99 pack of diapers we just bought. You would now calculate the price per diaper as follows:

$8.99 (pack price) - $2.00 (coupon) = $6.99

$6.99 / 27 = 26 cents per diaper

In general, if you have a coupon it goes a little further on the smaller packs, but if you don't have a coupon, you can probably get a better price per diaper on a bigger box. Follow this example:

$24.99 for an 80 pack of diapers = 31 cents a diaper

or

$8.99 for a 27 pack of diapers = 33 cents a diaper

In this example, you are better off buying the large pack of diapers since you are paying only 31 cents per diaper rather than 33 cents per diaper.

What's the best price per diaper you've scored?

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Now, consider the $2.00 coupon:

$24.99 for an 80 pack of diapers, less the $2.00 coupon = 29 cents a diaper ($24.99 - $2.00 - $22.99 / 80 = 29 cents per diaper)

or

$8.99 for a 27 pack of diapers, less the $2.00 coupon = 26 cents a diaper ($8.99 - $2.00 - $6.99 / 27 = 26 cents per diaper)

When you factor in the coupon, you are better off buying the smaller pack of diapers, since you are paying only 26 cents a diaper instead of 29 cents per diaper. I hope this gives you a new way to compare diaper prices. Now, try explaining this to your husband over the phone while he is standing in the diaper aisle at Walgreens!

Looking at the cost per diaper is also a great way to tell if you are better off buying the name-brand diapers with a coupon or the store brand without a coupon.

Stack Your Coupons!

If you want to take your couponing to the next level, start matching your coupons to the weekly sales circular. If the $8.99 pack of 27 diapers is on sale for $7.99 AND you have that $2.00 coupon, you have now brought your price per diaper down to 22 cents per diaper ($7.99 - $2.00 = $5.99, $5.99 / 27 = 22 cents).

Be ready! You need to be ready to move on a good diaper deal when you see it. That means having those coupons you cut from last Sunday's paper in your wallet, not on the kitchen table. You can't save the extra $2 if you don't have the coupon on you. Being ready also means knowing the average "price per diaper" you typically pay. This way, if you see a sale on diapers, you can quickly decide if it's really a better price compared to what you normally spend. If it is, then this is the time to stock up. If it's not, then you can just wait until the next sale.

Size Does Matter!

When you are calculating the price per diaper, it's important to compare prices for the same size diapers. You'll find that as your baby moves from newborn to larger-sized diapers, the price per diaper increases. That also means that you will need to recalculate your personal average price per diaper each time your baby goes up a diaper size. While you might find consider 15 cents per diaper a good price in the newborn sizes, you might find that 20 cents is the best you can do in the larger sizes. The price per diaper is always relative to the size of the diaper.

I hope this gives you a new way to look at the price you pay for diapers and helps you save a little more money. As a parent and someone who likes saving money, I know that every little bit helps. Trying to find the best "price per diaper" even became somewhat of a game for me.

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      You can really do a lot better on diapers if you take the time to do the math.

      Very informative.

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