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How to Save Money on Disposable Diapers, and Sometimes Get Diapers for Free!

Updated on March 8, 2016

So You're Having a Baby

You find out you're pregnant and if you're like me, one of your first thoughts is, how can we afford this baby?

Aside from the cost of clothing and feeding your new little one, one of the biggest expenses to your budget is disposable diapers. Many parents choose to cloth diaper to decrease this budget, which is an article for another day, but due to convenience, many parents choose disposable diapers.

Annual Cost of Disposable Diapers

Real Diaper Association estimates that each baby's disposable diaper needs averages $62.50 per month, or $750 per year! Potty training at an early age can help save, but some kids just aren't quite ready.

In addition to the cost of diapers, parents also have to factor in the cost of disposable wipes. The annual cost of diapers can vary dramatically depending on the type of diaper you choose to use. For example, your options include:

  • Generic/store brand
  • Economy brand
  • Name brand
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Mail order service

Regardless of the type of diaper you choose, there are ways to save on each kind.

What Type of Diapers Do You Prefer?

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Saving on big boxes of Huggies diapers
Saving on big boxes of Huggies diapers | Source

Diaper Coupons and Where to Find Them

First and foremost, the most important way to save money on diapers is by clipping and printing coupons.

  • Your local newspaper

I always start looking for coupons in my local newspaper, which is delivered each Saturday and Sunday. We do not typically read the newspaper during the week, so it is most cost effective to only pay for a weekend subscription, especially to get each week's available coupons.

I collect the week's coupon inserts and look through them, specifically looking for baby related products. Some people find that saving the entire insert works for them. Personally, I found the inserts to be too cumbersome, and cutting out exactly what I need saves time (and more money).

  • Online coupon databases

I am a BIG fan of online coupon databases. These databases typically reset each week with current available coupons. Databases are a huge time saver because they also include links to download and/or print each coupon. Many times I will also look for baby item sales in store ads and then turn to a database to see if coupons are available.

Some of my favorite coupon databases are:

When using a coupon database, all you have to do is type the brand or type of product you are looking for, and the database filters available coupons. Most databases also include specific store coupons (ex. Target, Publix, Walgreens, etc).

Clipping coupons, time consuming but necessary to save money
Clipping coupons, time consuming but necessary to save money | Source

Store Specific Coupons

Some stores offer their own store specific coupons. The coupon databases referenced above will usually list these coupons, but I find it helpful to also go to these websites and see what else they have available. There may be a more generalized category coupon that the coupon database missed.

As an example, Target will sometimes offer a coupon for specified dollar off amount spent on diapers, wipes, and formula (ex. spend $100, save $25). These category coupons can also be stacked with manufacturer coupons.

**A note on store specific coupons: be sure to know, and in some cases carry a copy of, the store's policy on coupons. Some cashiers may state they do not accept store specific and manufacturer coupons, and having proof that they do is critical.

Previewing Store Sale Ads

The next step is to look through your favorite store sale ads. You are specifically looking for baby products, however most stores run the best sales on diapers, wipes, and formula.

In my example, and throughout the rest of the article, I'll reference my two favorite stores to save on baby products: Target and CVS Pharmacy.

Each week after receiving the newspaper, I pay special attention to the current week's sales on baby products. From here, I match up the current sale to the coupons I have collected. If I do not have a coupon, I go to my favorite coupon databases to see if any coupons are available to print.

This is the basic way to match coupons to store sales. I'll get into specific examples below.

Using Online Store Ad and Coupon Match-Up Websites

Sometimes you miss out on a good sale by using the manual store match-up method described above. This is where online coupon match-up websites come into play.

Online coupon match-up websites take the guess work out of trying to get the best deal on baby products. These websites post copies of actual store ads, the best deals of the week, and in many cases, examples of how to save the most money on that week's sale. These websites work really well for beauty and household cleaning products as well.

Two of my favorite online coupon match-up websites are:

You may prefer shopping at other stores and a quick internet search can provide these resources.

My favorite store!
My favorite store! | Source

Tips on Saving Money on Diapers (and Other Baby Products) at Target

I absolutely love Target, as so many American consumers do. I especially love when Target has sales on baby products.

Quick tip to remember about Target: almost every week, or at least every other week, Target offers a buy two, get a Target gift card for various brands of diapers. As an example, frequently Target has a deal where you buy two boxes of Huggies diapers for $24.99 each, and receive a $10.00 Target gift card.

These kind of sales are when you can really start to save on diapers at Target. You have the ability to use one Target coupon plus one manufacturer coupon per item at Target, according to their coupon policy.

Other ways to at Target:

  • Mobile coupons
  • Cartwheel

Target makes it so easy to save money in their stores because in addition to Target coupons, they created mobile coupons and a savings app called Cartwheel.

You can use either one Target paper coupon OR one Target mobile coupon per item. In addition to this, sign up for Target's Cartwheel app which also features percentage off coupons for various items. Not sure if your item has a Cartwheel discount? The app also has a built in bar code scanner to pull up existing discount deals, or discounts deals for a similar item or brand.

Finally, Target's sale ad also occasionally features category coupons for deals like spend $100 on baby diapers, wipes, and formula, get a $25 gift card.

Imagine the following scenario:

Target's sale ad is featuring a coupon for a free $10 gift card when you buy two boxes of Huggies diapers for $24.99 each (Target typically offers a similar deal each week). Using the newspaper and coupon databases, you've printed and cut coupons for each pack you are buying. As an example, let's say Huggies has a $2.50 off a diaper purchase, and you have two of these. Your deal would look like this:

  • $49.98 for 2 Huggies Diapers
  • -$5.00 Huggies coupons
  • -$10.00 Target gift card for future purchase
  • $34.98 Total (keeping in mind you will actually be paying $44.98 because of the gift card)

At this point, I like to put aside my earned Target gift cards to put toward my next diaper purchase. If Target offered the same deal, my total purchase price would only be like paying $24.98.

Occasionally, Target also offers mobile Target coupons for diapers and/or Cartwheel discounts, which is great because you can stack these with your manufacturer coupons. Let's imagine this scenario is the current offer:

  • Get $10 Target gift card when you buy 2 Huggies diaper boxes for $24.99 each
  • $2.50 off Huggies diaper purchase (manufacturer coupon, you have two)
  • $2.00 off Huggies diapers Target mobile coupon
  • 5% off Huggies diapers Cartwheel discount (this discount comes off after Target coupons but before manufacturer coupons)

This would change your purchase deal to:

  • $49.98 for 2 Huggies Diapers
  • -$2.00 Target mobile coupon
  • -$2.39 Cartwheel discount
  • -$5.00 Huggies coupons
  • -$10.00 Target gift card for future purchase
  • $30.98 Total (keeping in mind you will actually be paying $40.98 because of the gift card)

Imagine your savings if you had a Target gift card from a prior purchase to roll into the deal!

What Do You Have to Lose?

Sure, it might be time consuming to cut coupons, look through ads, and match up deals and savings, but it's totally worth it to save money on diapers.

For More Info, Check Out This Video From the Krazy Coupon Lady

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