If you have a baby there are a few things you feel like you are shopping for every single day of your life: diapers, wipes, and (for some people) formula.
No doubt you were bombarded with tips from well-meaning friends when you were pregnant about where to find the best deals on these items. The problem is, like most advice I was given when I was pregnant, nobody agrees with one another. Is it worth it to get a Costco membership just for the diapers? Should you join Amazon Mom? Or is buying coupons on eBay the way to go?
Before you get all stressed out and resign yourself to living with constant guilt about surely spending too much money on baby supplies, take a moment to be proactive. First, think about how you personally like to shop and then check out my advice below for how to find the cheapest prices for baby items depending on your shopping habits. The cheapest price was calculated based on the final price per individual diaper, wipe, or ounce of formula, after factoring in all membership fees, shipping costs and discounts.
Image via Twenty20/m_ohara
Best Prices for Diapers and Baby Wipes Online: The best prices on diapers and wipes online are usually found on Amazon by signing up for Amazon Mom and using their monthly subscription feature. The savings come in the form of free 2-Day shipping and 20% discount for buying products on a monthly subscription. Diapers.com is a close second for buying wipes and diapers online.
Best Prices for Formula Online: The best prices on formula online will depend on the brand you're using. For brand names, Amazon Mom offers solid pricing again, although you usually have to buy large quantities and formula doesn't have a shelf life long enough to allow you to stock up a year in advance the way you can with diapers. Surprisingly, buying directly from the manufacturer's website (for example, enfamil.com) is often a smart move. Manufacturers often offer their own promo codes and free shipping and you'll likely start receiving substantial coupons in the mail to encourage you to stay brand-loyal.
Best Prices for Diapers in Stores: Surprisingly, the best prices for buying diapers in person are usually at drugstores like CVS and Rite Aid if you can wait for their sales to stock up. Big box stores like Costco and Sam's Club have low everyday prices but they usually can't compete with drugstore sales.
Best Prices for Baby Wipes in Stores: The lowest prices for buying wipes in person can usually be found at big box stores like Sam's Club and Costco, if you're willing to buy in bulk. And by bulk, I mean mega cases.
Best Prices for Formula In Stores: If you're using open to using generic formula, I found that Sam's Club usually has the lowest price per ounce, but only if you already have a membership there. If you're buying a membership just for the formula, you might come out roughly even to other discount stores.
For those moms willing to spend a little time researching where to buy Diapers, Wipes, and Formula: If you are willing to put a little work into it, you'll usually be able to find an even better deal if you are willing to chase it! There are some great resources online that compare prices in major retail outlets both online and in person each week.
TheKrazyCouponLady.com has a daily roundup of baby deals including coupons and sales for diapers wipes and other baby stuff.
ThiftyNorthwesternMom publishes a weekly price comparison list for diapers across many retailers both online and in store.
LivingRichWithCoupons is well-organized a site that has free printable coupons in many categories (not just baby stuff.)
There is also large community of people buying and selling coupons for diapers, wipes, and formula on eBay. Extreme coupon-ing is a skill that some people are better at than others. If you are one of those people that can get diapers for free after a rebate and a combination of coupons, I salute you. And if you enjoy the thrill of the hunt on online bidding sites, this is worth a shot. But if you factor in the shipping costs, your time spent, and the occasional ripoff when someone sends you an expired coupon or it gets lost in the mail... you may not be coming out that far ahead after all.