We currently have a toddler in diapers and are expecting #2 anytime. Our weekly budget for groceries is $35 so fitting in disposable diapers has become quite a challenge for me!
Here are my top tips for stretching your dollars:
1. Sign up for diaper mailers. I recommend registering with Pampers
right away as they often send valuable coupons in the mail. The coupons are typically for the same amount that you will find in the inserts- $1 for Pampers, $1 Luvs, $1.50 for Huggies- but are still valuable as the expiration is often a lot later than insert coupons.
2. Call the companies and request coupons. You can call and request coupons every 6 months. I have had the most success calling Huggies and have received $6/1 coupons as well as $3/1 coupons. If it takes 5 minutes to make a phone call and I get $9 in coupons in the mail, I consider that a good investment of time.
3. Register for Caregiver’s Marketplace
. Caregiver’s is a rebate program for anyone that gives or gets care on products not typically covered by Medicare. Huggies is a part of this program and offers a $.75 rebate on every Jumbo pack of diapers purchased. They do not cover every type of Huggies diaper- but the Snug n Dry, Supremes, Little Swimmers, Pulls Ups etc.. are all covered. You can not submit for your rebate until you have purchased 5 rebate items or more and they require original copies of receipts. If you aren’t part of this program yet- it takes just a few minutes to register and the extra .75/pack can really add up! Don’t forget it is for Jumbo packs only.
4. Watch drugstore deals. There are frequent rebates and register rewards for diapers at the large drugstores. In April, Rite Aid offered Huggies Jumbo packs for $3 after rebate and coupon. The drugstores also frequently offer $5/25, $10/30 etc.. coupons. With a little planning you can easily maximize these coupons to take even more off your cost. I would recommend registering for online rebate submission with the major drug stores so you can save your receipts to send to Caregivers (and save the price of a stamp too!)
Many savvy drugstore shoppers also use overage to pay for diapers. In a recent Walgreens promotion a glucose meter offered $5 in register rewards. There was a coupon that made the glucose meter free – which created $5 in overage. If diapers were at an everyday price of $9.99- using that overage would bring the price down to $4.99/ pack, minus one manufacturer coupon of $1.50 and a Caregiver’s rebate .75- you just paid $2.74 for a pack of diapers.
5. Sign up for baby programs at your local stores. Stores in my area do not offer this service but I have heard of several chain stores that offer coupons and discounts to members of the baby clubs. You can also utilize the $x/xx coupons I mentioned above at grocery stores to reduce your out of pocket expense. Many stores such as Safeway, Kmart and Target will occasionally offer coupons for $5/50 or $10/50 purchases. Currently, Safeway is running a promotion where you buy $30 in select items, you receive $10 off your next purchase. Large boxes of Huggies are part of the promotion at $29.99- when I subtracted one manufacturer coupon plus the $10 catalina- the cost per diaper was an incredible .13! Which brings me to the most important point-
6. Know your cost! Babycheapskate
is a great resource. Angie posts diaper deals every Sunday for all the major chains across the country. She also maintains a spreadsheet located on her right sidebar under BC Essentials that shows the quantity of diapers per package and the price to beat. In the scenario I mentioned above, the price to beat was .25 per diaper so .13 was truly a bargain!
7. Stockpile! Don’t be afraid to stock up on diapers in various sizes. I once came across a clearance at Walgreens with diapers in sizes much larger than my toddler wore for $1-$2 a pack. With coupons and Caregiver’s rebates I was able to purchase 8 packs of diapers for next to nothing. My daughter grew into the sizes eventually and it was great to take a few weeks off of worrying about where to get the best deals. I also have a buy price for diapers. If I can find wipes for less than .02 each or Jumbo packs of diapers for less than $5, I always buy regardless of whether we need them. If your little one outgrows the size you can always exchange them but I’d rather pay $3 at Rite Aid today than have to pay $10 in a month when the deals are slim.
8. Diaper loyalty programs. Currently Pampers has the biggest loyalty program called Gifts to Grow and Huggies has also launched a similar program. For Pampers, you can click here
to join the Gifts to Grow program , which offers prizes as you accumulate points. When you purchase a Pampers product, you will find a code inside the package. That code is entered online and eventually you can redeem your points for prizes such as Cheerios coupons and even coupons for free packages of diapers. This is an incredibly slow program and you need to purchase something like 52 Jumbo packs of Pampers to get the free pack coupon but every little bit helps!
Huggies has just launched a program called Enjoy the Ride.
When you register for the program you are entered in a chance to win free diapers for a year. You can accumulate points in the program by entering codes off your purchases and participating in activities on the web site- such as watching videos. The points can be redeemed to enter sweepstakes and to play instant win games. This doesn’t seem like much of an incentive to me- but why not participate if you plan to buy the product anyway.
Charlene writes at My Frugal Adventures, a personal finance blog dedicated to helping you stretch your dollars in every category of your budget.