~by Andra Baehr, Shopping on a Shoestring with Kids in Velcro Shoes
There are some purchases that are simply inevitable. When you have a baby, there are a lot of expensive things that you have to buy. Kids have a lot of needs, and some of their simplest needs are terribly expensive. At the very top of the list is food, then comes diapers and wipes. Yes, we have to feed our children, and we have to keep those cute little tushies clean and comfy.
So let’s talk diapers. They are an inevitable, very costly necessity. Unless you use cloth diapers, you can expect to spend TONS of your hard-earned cash on diapering supplies. If you have two kids in diapers, consider it doubled. We do what we can to save our pennies, looking for coupons and sales prices or buying generic when we can. But if you buy a brand name diaper for whatever reason, whether it be preference of fit or the best leak protection, you have an opportunity to cash in.
Huggies and Pampers, THE diaper giants, both offer their own points systems. They have codes inside of each product that can be redeemed for things in their rewards catalogs. So you basically get a little something back for the astronomical amount of money you spend on their products.
During my first couple of months of motherhood, I didn’t bother saving all of those codes. I was busy with my newborn and it seemed like a pain. I figured it wasn’t worth my time. I’ll be honest, it is a little bit of a pain. I’m really selling you on this, RIGHT? However, everything we do in searching for a bargain takes a little bit of work, and uses up a bit of our time. You’re reading this because you’re interested in making the most of your diaper budget, correct? Okay, you’re still with me here. Phew.
Start by creating an account online. After that, just do what you normally do- buy your diapers and use them. Add one step in between that- peel off the sticker with the code and put it in a designated place. Once you’ve got a decent pile, go online and enter your codes! See, that’s not so bad! I do this every couple of months. Then once or twice a year, I cash in on them.
This year I, uh, I mean Santa, was able to get a bunch of toys for my kids for Christmas. The rewards catalogs offer things like toys, potty training necessities, coupons for MORE diapers, credits towards photo services, and special things just for mom like magazine subscriptions and Starbucks gift cards! While there is no charge for shipping, keep in mind that they aren’t exactly rushed to your door, so plan ahead if you’re redeeming your points for something like a birthday present.
My favorite thing about this is that it offers an opportunity to donate your points to those in need. Pampers has several organizations to choose from that they donate ten cents to for every ten points you donate. And Huggies’ “Every little bottom” program donates one diaper to a child in need for every two points you donate. You can diaper a child for a day for just sixteen points! That’s pretty awesome.
I’m not saying you should let diaper codes dictate your choice in purchases anymore than I would tell someone to rack up a huge credit card balance just for the points. What I am saying is this- you are spending your money on this product regardless, and you have an opportunity to get something back. Whatever you choose to redeem your points for is one less thing you’ve got to pay for out of pocket. So if you don’t already, save those codes, you’ll be surprised how quickly they add up!
Andra Baehr lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. She is a stay-at-home mom who recognizes the truth in the old saying “a penny saved is a penny earned.” You can also find her working at Baehr Family Financial from time to time.