Disposable diapers de-mystified
In March of 2010, I found out that I would be the father of triplets. A full-time-student, and dependent on my wife for our family’s income, I began to panic. I kept thinking, how will I afford three babies, when I was expecting one. Then I thought about, how will I afford formula, diapers, wipes and all of the other things that babies burn through. Babies are expensive – no doubt – something I learned quickly. I started looking at everything, trying to figure out how I would stay in school, by saving money on the consumables.
The first thing I looked at was hiring a diaper service and using cloth diapers. Something everyone told me to do to save money. Maybe on a singleton, but buying disposable diapers in bulk for three babies proved quickly to be a substantial savings over a diaper service or cloth diapers. Although slightly uncomfortable with the ecological impact of using disposable diapers, I soon learned that cloth diapering caused just as much ecological damage to the environment as disposables (through excess use of water, use of detergents and other pollutants), cloth diapering is regarded as almost as damaging as disposables.
After realizing no savings (and actually quite a bit more money would be spent on a diaper service), we decided to go the route of disposables. I had to make this work, so I started researching and trying to find out what the keys were to getting the best deal on diapers. The first thing was that I needed to figure out the basic cost per diaper. With three babies, I will use 30 – that is 3-0 diapers per day, and I soon figured out that the packs of 10 diapers at the gas station cost roughly $1.00 per diaper. Therefore, buying diapers at the gas station would cost me $30.00 per day, or more disturbingly $12,000 per year. Then I looked at the grocery store, and when shopping on sale, the price dropped to $0.15 to $0.45 per diaper. Still, this is as $1,642.50 to $4,927.50 per year price range. If I could only buy diapers at $0.15 per diaper, I would be golden.
The problem is, that I can and I can’t. I found out that as diapers increase in size, the quantity decreases, and therefore, the price will get higher as my children age, but… and an important but… my children will use less diapers. So, therefore, it seems that as my kids age, the price of their diapers should remain constant.
This was slightly comforting, but the fact remained the same, how would I figure out if I was getting a good deal or not. Then I figured out these three facts:
1) Buying diapers online saves money, hands down (for the most part)
2) Clipping coupons and buying a small pack (or several packs) can beat an online deal easily
3) If you can’t buy online and do not have any coupons ready, make sure you have a calculator with you and prepare to go to several stores to find that elusive pack of diapers (regardless of the size) at the sweet $0.20 per diaper pricing.
So, the key is figuring out the price per diaper. What you do, is you divide the price by the number of diapers in the package. This should give you the all-important PPD (or price per diaper). Then you know if you have a good deal. After logging thousands of diaper sizes, products, categories, sizes and prices, I learned a few things of interest. The first is, that you never know if the online vendor is cheaper than the gas station around the corner. If the gas station around the cornier is cheaper, buy up all of their stock. The second thing is that buying the biggest quantity available is usually the last thing you want to do (unless you are at a wholesale club like BJ’s). Most of the time, the most expensive, super, jumbo, mega cases are more expensive, at least per diaper, than the smaller, medium sized package. So, if you want the best deal, you need to do the math, but it is a small price to pay for savings – at least if you have triplets on the way.
About the Author
As the founder of IntelligentMommy.com, and the expectant father of triplets, figuring out how to pay for three babies on a budget was very difficult. I built a site so everyone can figure out how to save money on diapers, even if you are on a budget – via your cell phone or your computer. I have a J.D. and MBA, and it took a financial calculator to figure out if I was getting even a decent deal on disposable diapers. To stay afloat, the author needed to figure out how to buy diapers cheaply on a budget, especially since disposables range from $0.20 to $0.80 per diaper. Intelligent Mommy was spawned from the database it took to calculate whether I could buy diapers cheaply, or I would end up in the poor house.
white cloud diapers?
for my baby shower somebody bought me a jumbo pack of white cloud diapers and i thought-oh no cheap diapers? can they get the job done? i was really suprised that i love them! there a bit on the stiff side but i feel there comparable to huggies. i am usually a pamper user and i love them because they are soft but not that absorbent. just feel free to leave your opinion……
We use White Cloud and we have NEVER had a leak overnight, been using them since day one.
Claire speaks mumbo jumbo