Stockpiling Diapers

David Trammel's picture

The idea of "pre-paying" for anticipated Future expenses is something I do on a regular basis. My budgeting notebook has additions for Future expenses like auto repair. My laundry room has a 5 pound coffee can for each use contributions for the eventual repairs.That's why I found this blog post about buying baby diapers in the month's before the birth such a neat idea.

"Building a diaper stockpile before the baby is born is one of the smartest ways to prepare for the new addition to the family. New parents often overlook this and are bombarded with the true expense of diapers, wipes, formula (if not able or willing to breastfeed) and other unexpected costs. And let’s not forget about the sucker punch of childcare expenses! Here’s how to build your diaper stockpile so that your hubby’s not having to run to Walgreens at 9 pm after you tried to make it through the day, but little one had a massive blow-out. (Trust me: it will happen.)"


Being a bachelor I've not had to do the whole "Look its a BABY!" thing. Still I can see the wisdom and the money saving of beginning to buy supplies you will need in the first year of its arrival, in the year before it arrives.

I wonder, what other such events/situations, could you apply a forward purchase schedule to save money?

ClareBroommaker's picture

Well, there are tons of things that you can watch for best prices on and stock up when less expensive.

In the US, baking supplies will be available at good prices, sometimes incredible prices, from about the 10th of November till about a week after New Year's day. So stock up time is soon to begin. I always make sure we are stocked up on flour for bread, general cooking, fresh noodles, gravies etc; sugar for the jam and jelly making the following summer; salt; nuts; baking soda; baking powder; corn meal; poppy seed; sometimes butter and other oils. Last year I bought just one bag (10 oz? 16 oz?) of fresh cranberries in November, and because I dried them, we still have enough for the two meals we traditionally have cranberry sauce with each year.

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

Cloth diapers would seem to be a better solution than stockpiling something that is thrown away. That's of course would be easier if one of the parents wasn't working (not a gender issue, and economic and home economic one) and could plug in with more chores. Or if other family are helping. The nuclear family unit is a product of the nuclear age.

But still to your larger point... (I'm going to follow up on Clare's suggestion to stock our pantry ahead of time with baking stuff, esp. corn meal, as I'm hungry for some cornbread right now, and polenta & grits are easy and tasty and fill staples ;)

I stockpile to a degree on batteries, candles. Some canned goods and dried beans. I like to buy bulk from Sam's club (using the card my dad and step-mom have through their church :) laundry detergent, toilet paper (okay that's another waste, but until I put in a bidet...) olive oil, and some other things that are cheaper when bought in a larger quantity.

Which brings to mind a kind of meta question. What makes a green wizard different from your run of the mill prepper? There is and should be some overlap between the two. Just like there is some overlap between the ham radio community and the prepper community. Don't get wrong its smart to be prepared. I'm all for it. And I guess to answer my own question, what makes us different is that we are preparing for the next disaster, crisis etc., the next step down the staircase, not building bunkers to survive nuclear armaggedon -where people stockpile ammo to protect the canned peaches and sardines they've stockpiled.

Ok, I do admit I stockpile ramen and sardines at work. It's because I like eating them -and may be good to have around too!

If there's a good sale on toilet paper and paper towels (nothing else works as well for pet accidents, pet hork, pet hairballs, pet etc) I stock up. It doesn't go bad.

I had the opportunity to buy loads of laundry detergent a few years ago. The supermarket was running fabulous sales AND I had good coupons. I paid about $1 a bottle for HE laundry detergent. It took us five years to use up the stash. No matter what the bottle says, it doesn't go bad. I did something similar with dishwashing liquid. Use those Dawn coupons at the CVS when they do a super sale on the small bottles for 99 cents. Subtract another 25 cents and you're paying 75 cents for a bottle. It's small, but the cost per ounce plummets compared to the bigger ones. It doesn't go bad so buy as much as you can.

In general, if its a good sale, store it on your shelves instead of at the supermarket. Cool, dry, well-ventilated, and in the dark work for anything non-perishable.

Stockpiling diapers is a great idea.

Teresa from Hershey

ClareBroommaker's picture

I thought the number one gift at baby showers is disposable diapers. I'm told my niece with a ten month old has never had to purchase a diaper. Also I know parents often collect diaper coupons and get all their friends and family to do so, and shop the sales for months before the birth. I disagree with the article author that not many think about the price of diapers when bought only as needed.

May I submit my own story of diaper stockpiling? My kid had the ritziest cloth diapers known to humankind because for three years before he was even born I collected second-hand, beautiful, white linen tablecloths, then cut and hemmed them down to diaper size. Thirty years plus ago I could find them for as little as $0.50, but it is harder to find them at all now. If someone wanted to make cloth diapers now and do it inexpensively, I think I'd recommend that they watch thrift stores for Portuguese cotton flannel sheets. That seems to be the heftiest flannel around anymore, and of course you get a lot of it in a sheet. I saw a package of ten gauze diapers (Gerber brand) at Walmart. They were pitifully thin and rough. I think you'd have to use about eight of them for one diapering.

Blueberry's picture

I have been on more than one very long international flight when a little one was short of diapers. The flight attendants know how to handle the problem some carries have a few stored on the plane others will ask the men to donate a clean white tee shirt or just a clean tee shirt. The flight attendants will somehow have several safety pins and will show the young mother the fine art of using such a ancient device.