Couponing for baby- Even your average Joe can save some cash

Dresser drawerThink you have to be some crazy coupon lady or stockpiler to budget for baby? Think you have to subscribe to a million newspapers and spend hours combing through deals to save a nice chunk of change? Think again. I’m proof that anybody, even those who have little or no experience couponing, can save money on items they’d otherwise have to buy full price. As I look through our nursery-in-progress and as I stuff diapers into drawers, I’m realizing I have literally only paid full price on three items in this room, all of which are furniture from Ikea. The rest I got on sale, made, was gifted, or purchased with a coupon. See those adorable baby bibs? My mom and sister made them. Burp cloths? I sewed them. Huggies Pure and Natural Wipes? Sale and coupon. Baby Bee All-Purpose Ointment? Coupon. Honest Company Healing Balm? Sample. Butt Paste? Sample. Honest diapers? Samples. The rest of the diapers were on sale and I used coupons. Spend three minutes googling a coupon before going out (you can even search for one on your phone in the store) and I assure you, you won’t regret it. Coupons and deals are ridiculously easy to find on baby items, and you’ll never want to pay full price again. Saving a few bucks on each item can add up quickly, and there’s no excuse not to do it.

DiapersLet’s take these diapers for example. Diaper prices widely vary by brand and size, but as a very rough estimate you can expect to pay about $0.20-$0.22 per diaper. I just bought some for $0.10 each. We all know that a baby can go through A LOT of diapers (a newborn needs 10-12 changes a day), so if you’re able to cut that cost at all, I highly recommend it. A lot of parents have brand loyalty, but as first time parents we don’t. To us, these are the most important factors when choosing a diaper: 1. Cost 2. Effectiveness (absorbency, leaks, etc) 3. Natural (doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals, fragrances, dyes, or other irritants).

Taking that into consideration, I was drawn to Target’s Up and Up Diapers. While they’re not marketed as a “green” diaper they are chlorine-free, latex-free, fragrance-free, and are hypoallergenic. A lot of experienced parents rave about them and say they perform as well or better than the name brand diapers. They’re also some of the cheapest diapers out there. Sold! Since they’re Target brand, I didn’t think I’d find many coupons, but I was wrong. Today I bought two packs of Size 1 diapers that were on sale (regularly $6.99 each, marked down to $6.29), used my Target Cartwheel App to get another 5% off, and printed a coupon off Target’s website to get $1.50 off two boxes. What would have cost me $13.98 only cost me $10.45 and I wound up paying about $0.10 per diaper which is a steal! It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I saved over 25% on an already-cheap item. If I were a crazy coupon lady or stockpiler I might have snatched up larger quantities, but some simple math revealed the smaller package of diapers was actually a better deal per diaper.

So my tips to you: never assume something won’t go on sale. Buy throughout your pregnancy and wait for deals. Larger quantities aren’t always better deals, so do some easy math before reaching for the jumbo pack. Always, ALWAYS do quick google search for a coupon before you leave the store, and learn store policies. A lot of stores accept competitor coupons and price match. There is really no reason to  buy something full price- you can almost always find a deal. This is especially important on those larger items. We bought a car seat at Buy Buy Baby last weekend and used a 20% off coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond (saving us $38) with no problems. We already installed (and uninstalled it) in our car like idiots, but it made me happy. 🙂 Anyway.. To all you non-couponers out there- happy couponing!

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