In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Preparing for Twins - The Diaper Stash




When we found out we were having twins, we were overjoyed!  There were happy tears as we saw two heartbeats on our seven week ultrasound!  As happy as we were, I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a bit of panic after the immediate celebration, when we realized how much two babies were going to cost!  

One of our biggest expenses was going to be diapers!  We planned on me working through my pregnancy, and then making the transition to staying at home full time once the babies were born.  Having a diaper stash waiting for us when we came home from the hospital was  a huge financial help to us as we made the transition from two incomes to one income.  Our goal was to have four to six months of diapers purchased before the twins arrived, and then switch to cloth diapers at six months.  I didn't want to be overwhelmed with cloth diapering in the beginning, as adjusting to being a new mom of twins was going to be overwhelming all on its own.  Plus, I didn't want to have to buy two sets of cloth diapers, a newborn set and a one size set.  By buying diapers on a weekly basis throughout my pregnancy, with coupons or in-store diaper deals, we had enough diapers to last several months after the babies arrived.  I wish I would have taken a picture of all of our diapers.  The nursery is an average walk-in closet, and our diapers filled the entire top shelf all the way to the ceiling in the entire closet.  

Trying to figure out how many diapers we were going to need took a little research.  This was one of the most helpful post I found about stockpiling diapers.  My husband is a numbers guy.  No, really....he is.  He works with finances for a living, and actually thinks it's fun to make spread sheets about every financial aspect of our lives.  When we decided we wanted to start buying diapers before the babies were born, he sat down and made one of his spread sheets.  Based on our research, we were planning on each baby going through 10 diapers a day, so that's 20 diapers everyday, or one small pack of diapers.  Never having kids before, we were just guessing on that number, but once the boys came, we soon learned that we were actually dead right about that estimate.  The spread sheet calculated how many diapers he thought we needed to buy and at what pace we needed to buy them before the babies came.  

We also decided to only buy Pamper's swaddlers, since we were primarily stocking up on size newborn, one and two diapers.  Many people told us Pamper's swaddlers were the only diapers their infants could use, and they are the diapers the hospitals use.  I'm glad we took their advice, because that is the only kind of diaper one of my boys was able to wear without leaking.  Once we hit the size three, the boys could both wear Luvs without any leaks.

The only thing we didn't calculate properly was the sizes that we needed.  We assumed that the babies would only be in newborn diapers for six weeks, and they were actually in newborn diapers for over three months.  They were healthy 5-6 pound babies at birth, but it just took awhile to grow into a size one diaper.  And once they got into a size one, they only wore a size one for about a month before transitioning to a size two.  The nice thing about diapers, is that most stores let you switch out sizes without a receipt.  We also had several gift coupons given to us as a baby shower gift that allowed us to get free diapers.  Those were a huge blessing to us as we needed several more newborn diapers once the babies were born.

There are always pros and cons to a diaper stash.  Figuring out the sizing, or having too much or too little of something can be a little annoying, but it is really easy to fix.  For us, a diaper stash was a blessing, as it helped us prepare for the arrival of our little ones.  With out using cloth diapers, our diaper expense was a couple hundred dollars a month.  Already having a few months of diapers stocked up once I brought the babies home and stopped bringing a pay check home....well, it was just one less thing I had to worry about.  And so if you have any interest in creating a diaper stash as you prepare for your little one's arrival, let me finish this post by giving a few tips about getting the best deals for a diaper stash:
  • If you are having a baby shower, put diapers on your registery and ask for diapers when people ask you what you want as a baby gift.  Even if people get you a size that you don't end up needing, most big stores will let you exchange diapers for a different size without a receipt.
  • COUPONS!  Check the paper for diaper coupons and ask friends to give you their diaper coupons.  Also follow blogs that send out coupon info.  The Krazy Coupon Lady is one that I follow. I get a ton of her coupon information in my feed every day. You can find a list of more coupon blogs here.
Image result for pampers $1.50 coupon
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  • Regarding coupons, keep in mind that most stores will only let you use one coupon per item, so you can't go to the store with one coupon and use it for five packs of diapers. We always had diaper coupons in our wallet and bought a pack of diapers to add to our stockpile whenever we were at the grocery store, that way the coupons got put to good use.  
  • Coupons.com had printable pamper coupons.  They only let you print off so many in a certain time period.  We kept printing the $1.50  coupons and used those coupons for a small pack of diapers whenever were out.
  • If you are using coupons, it is actually cheaper to get a small pack instead of a big pack.  My husband is really big on the unit cost of something.  He's actually pretty annoying about it.  He did the math with the diapers, and it turns out that when you break down the individual cost of diapers in a pack, the individual diaper cost is less when you use a coupon on a smaller pack.  Don't just assume this true in every situation.  Always do the math yourself to get the best deal on diapers.
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  • If you don't have any coupons, it is often cheaper to buy diapers in bulk, especially if you find them on sale.  I found that Amazon was one of the best places to find diapers in bulk at a discounted price.  We got a couple of really great deals through Amazon when we were stocking up.  Someone also told me that Amazon Mom has good deals.  I have never joined Amazon Mom, so I'm not one to give good information about it.  It may be something to look into, if you are stocking up on diapers.  Ebay can also be a good place to try to find deals, although I have never bought diapers from Ebay.
  • Facebook pages for local buying and selling can be a great place to buy diapers that other moms didn' t use and have decided to sell at a discounted price .  I didn't know about these pages until after I had the twins.  I have since joined 5-6 resale FB groups and often see unopened packs of diapers come through my feed at a discounted price.
  • One of the best gifts someone gave us were these pampers gift certificates.  We were graciously given 12-15 of these (I can't remember the exact amount), and they were AWESOME! Each one was good for a mega pack of pampers.  I didn't even realize what a mega pack was until we realized we could get the biggest box of pampers Walmart  had with each certificate.  So basically, 15 of these certificates were the equivalent of 1,500 + diapers!  Apparently, the person who gifted these to us bought them off of eBay.  I have no idea how much she paid for them.  We looked on eBay after the boys were born but never could find anymore.  These came in very handy those first few months, since the boys were in newborn diapers much longer than we expected. Best Gift Ever!

  • Keep an eye out for store deals and combine them with coupons when you can.  Target, Kroger, CVS, and Walgreens usually advertise their diaper deals.
  • Target has my favorite diaper deals, and they usually have these deals every few months. Typically when they have diapers on sale, the deal is buy two jumbo boxes at sale price and get a $10 gift card back at the time of purchase.  It's usually only certain brands at a time.  When we were pregnant and stockpiling, I would always take advantage of this deal when they had their Pamper Swaddlers on sale.  We were easily going through a jumbo box each week when we were only using disposable, so when Target had this deal, we would buy four boxes and get $20 back in a gift card to put towards our next grocery purchase.  Even now that that the boys are a year old and we are only using the Luvs disposable at night, due to using cloth diapers at home during the day, I always stock up when Target has this deal with the Luvs diapers.  And even in those first few months after the babies arrived when we had plenty of size ones and twos from our pregnancy diaper stash, I would still take advantage of the Target deals and buy threes or fours for future use.
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  • A couple times a year, Target will have their diaper deals, plus a deal on their baby merchandise. The deal is if you spend $100 in baby merchandise you get a $20 gift card.  When we combined the diaper deal with the baby merchandise deal, we were getting quite a bit back in gift cards to put towards our next grocery bill. Target will usually have diapers, wipes and even baby food on sale when they have the baby merchandise deal, so I always to advantage of the deal stocked up on things I needed.  When  you have twins it does not take long to spend $125 in baby merchandise.  If you are living pay check to pay check, this deal might not work for you, as that is is large amount of money to put out at one time.  It is a huge saving in the end though, so if you can afford the up front cost, it's definitely worth it.  Plus you can combine coupons, online coupons and Target Cartwheel deals with the diaper deal and the baby merchandise deal.
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