Sunday, March 21, 2010

Diaper Deals

As I've been watching sales and clipping coupons the past six months, I've learned a thing or two about getting good diaper deals. There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to ever pay full price.

First of all, there's no denying the cheapest diaper route is using cloth. We've used a service when out in California and now wash our own in Knoxville. They are an initial investment, but it pays for itself several times over.

That said, I'm not a purist. I prefer the disposables for night time and upon occasion when I can't change diapers often. My older boys are also still in pull-ups at night. Though I've tried cloth versions, they haven't been effective. That means I'm still buying three different sizes and using one pack per child every 3-4 weeks. So a deal finding I will go.

If you shop at Sam's Club, you might consider trying their generic brand, Huggies, or Pampers. If you don't want to fuss with coupons or sales, buying in bulk is the way to go. Devin wore Member Marks diapers for years, and they were just fine. I have not been impressed with the generic brands at Kroger, however--waste of money, in my opinion. Luvs are generally cheaper and are good, but finding high value coupons is harder for them and the sales are never impressive.

One store not to forget is Babies R Us. If you sign up for their free reward card, they will email coupons. A few months ago when they advertised Earth's Best diapers for just $3, I had to go. By the time I arrived, the shelves had been cleared by women waiting in line when they opened. However, there was a great deal on the next shelf that most missed. A box of Seventh Generation diapers (equivalent to 2-3 jumbo packs) was on sale for just $10, and I had a $2 coupon. That was a great deal and I felt good about buying less harmful diapers for the environment. Seventh Generation has diaper coupons on their site most of the time, but I rarely find them on sale.

So that leaves me with Huggies and Pampers. I generally never pay more than $5 for a jumbo pack of either. Kroger was a good place to get them for awhile because you could pair a coupon with an e-saver and save $3-$4 a pack, but I haven't seen too many diaper e-savers lately. Target is also a place to consider since you can stack a Target coupon with a manufacturer's coupon. I recently saved $3.50 a pack this way.

Walgreens is usually a good place to get Huggies, and this week they have a pretty good special: Buy 3, get $5RR. They're on sale for $9 each, and you should have been able to print 3 $3/1 coupons (maybe at different times). After coupons and the RR, that works out to $4.33 a pack. But it gets even better using previously earned register rewards.

Since I have 2 $4RR and 1 $1RR from last week's Couponing for Charity run, I can use these as well. I buy 3 cans of Hunts sauce and get them for $.99 total with a Walgreens flyer coupon and buy a Paas kit for $.99 (half what they cost at Kroger). Now that my coupon to product ratio is correct (7 items, 7 coupons), the costs break down like this:
3 Huggies ($27)
3 cans sauce ($3)
1 Paas kit ($1)
-3 $3 Huggies coupons = $9
-2 $4RR = $8
-1 $1RR
-$2 with Walgreens flyer coupon

Total spent: $11 and I get $5RR to use next time.

Another good diaper deal this week is at CVS. Pampers are on sale for $8.97 and you get $3ECB with each purchase (limit 2). With a $2 MC, that's like getting each pack for $4. I kept it simple since I was a first timer.
Transaction #1:
1 Colgate Total: $3.99
Used 1 $1 MC
Total spent: $3 and received $4ECB

Transaction #2:
1 Pampers: $8.97
Used $2 MC & $4ECB (there is no issue with item to coupon ration here)
Total spent: $2.97 and received $3ECB for next time.


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