Three compelling questions to consider before you stockpile diapers and how I save money on diapers without a diaper stockpile!
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To make space for my new baby, I’d already Konmaried my belongings, given away furniture, and rearranged every room, but even before my daughter made her arrival I had a tower of yellow cardboard diaper boxes taking up way too much space. Kind friends and relatives had given us diapers at baby showers, but in my 500 square foot one-bedroom apartment, I had nowhere to put them. I could make room for a few hundred diapers, but not for a thousand. So after trying to rearrange the closet yet again, I gave up. I put most of the diaper boxes in my car and returned them to Target for store credit.
Why am I telling you about my battle with the tower of yellow diaper boxes? Because I often run into articles online that suggest new moms should stockpile diapers. The theory behind stockpiling diapers is that you should buy diapers at their lowest price when the best coupons are available and enjoy significant savings on the sometimes overwhelming cost of diapering a new baby. It’s a nice idea, but it has some potential drawbacks. What if you don’t have much space? What if you don’t have time to track diaper prices? What if you don’t enjoy couponing? What if you have too many in one size and too few in another?
Stockpiling diapers isn’t for everyone. It wasn’t for me, and it may not be for you. This is my third post in the series How To Make Changing Diapers As Pleasant As Possible. (See my first post HERE, and the second post HERE). Choosing not to stockpile diapers is a key part of why I’ve had a pleasant experience diapering my child. Read on and I’ll walk through the reasons stockpiling wasn’t for me and how I still saved money on diapers without a diaper stash.
Question 1: Do You Have The Space To Stockpile Diapers?
By some estimates, your baby will go through almost 3,000 diapers in the first year alone. Some moms are given diaper showers and receive all the diapers they need for that first year all at once. It’s wonderful that they don’t have to worry about the expense of diapering, but where are they putting all of those jumbo boxes? They must have tons of room! Having 97 jumbo packs on hand in my small apartment would have completely overwhelmed me. I did not have a storage room. I did not have a garage. I would have been looking at diaper boxes everywhere I turned. That would have been more than just a tower of diapers: it would be a fortress.
On the other hand, if you do have the space, that’s great! Maybe you have guest room, or capacious closets. Maybe you have a storage room, an empty basement, or an organized garage. If you have the space to store all of those diapers, then that’s one less obstacle to diaper stockpiling, and building a stash might still be right for you.
Bottom Line: Diaper stockpiling might not make sense for parents who live in smaller spaces with limited storage.
Question 2: Do You Have The Time to Stockpile Diapers?
A best practice for moms who are building a diaper stockpile is to stay on top of diaper prices and diaper coupons on a weekly basis. There are many resources that help track this online. Baby Cheapskate does a weekly post about where to get the best deals on diapers, highlighting when there’s a stockupportunity. There are many pins on Pinterest that will tell you what they think a good price per diaper is for each size. (For example, .13-.16 for newborn diapers and .26-.30 for Size 6.) I think you can definitely save some money tracking prices, but you it might cost you some time. Do you enjoy couponing? Do you like going out of you way to get to a store that has a good promotion? If so, good for you! I don’t like the extra complication.
I already knew I didn’t have the space, but I also didn’t want to use my spare time tracking down diapers. When I switched to Up & Up diapers, I already knew I was only paying twelve cents per diaper and could sometimes find Target promotions to make that an even better price. I needed no further persuasion. I had already figured out a system that saved me time when it came to buying diapers, and I stuck with it.
Bottom Line: If you love couponing, you might like building a diaper stash! If you want a more efficient and time-saving system, set up a diaper subscription for a more affordable diaper brand.
Question 3: What If The Size Calculations Are Off?
A huge component of building a diaper stockpile is buying tons of one size of diaper at once when a good price comes up. For instance, this cute infographic recommends that you buy 2-3 packs in newborn, and 16-20 jumbo packs in size one. From the first month of my daughter’s life, this chart would not have worked for me.
By those recommendations, your baby will use 70-105 newborn diapers. We went through around 200 newborn diapers in the first month. It’s hard to know how many they’ll really need. Just today on Craigslist I read a post from a mom who wants to sell 432 brand name newborn diapers she will never use because her baby weighed nine pounds at birth.
Similarly, my child was in Size 3 diapers for almost an entire year. If I had been stockpiling diapers, we might have had Size 4 diapers on hand for a long time before we ever needed them at all, and we still would have had to go out and buy additional Size 3 diapers.
I don’t think there’s any way to truly know how many diapers your child will need for each size. It’s all based on guessing. So are you really saving money on diapers if you buy too many in the wrong size? I don’t like the uncertainty there.
Bottom Line: If you stockpile diapers, you could waste money on diapers you will never use.
How I Saved Money on Diapers Without Stockpiling
I want to reassure you that even if you don’t get stockpile diapers, there are still ways to cut costs on diapering expenses. I didn’t stockpile diapers, but I still found ways to save. My number one recommendation is to create a diaper subscription to save money on diapers while also saving precious time. I never spend time tracking diaper prices. I never run out my diapers when I need them. And though we’ve upgraded from that 500 square foot one-bedroom apartment, I never have to confront a tower of yellow diaper boxes when I open my closet door.
I’ve created a fun infographic to walk new parents through these quick questions they can ask themselves before they invest their time, money, and energy in a diaper stash. Please share it with anyone you think it might help!
My name is Kate and I live in a California beach town with my husband & baby girl. At High Low Baby, I review baby products at high and low price points.