Calculate the "Stock Up Price" to Save on These Baby Essentials

There is no question about it, babies are expensive. Cute, but expensive. One way to minimize the cost of caring for your baby is to stock up on essentials when they are at a "Stock Up Price."

"Stock Up Price" is the term given when a price point on an item is so low that you should buy several months' worth at one time. Of course, I am not suggesting you turn your garage or closets into a scene from Extreme Couponing. However, by buying extra baby essentials during great deals, you will save yourself money throughout the whole year. Also, it is always nice to avoid last minute runs to the store at closing time to buy baby items. (See also: 24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke)


The funny thing about diapers is that when your little one goes up a size, the diaper box comes with less — and yet, you still pay more. The smaller the diaper, the cheaper it is, but usually the more you will use.

For example, newborn diapers cost around .27 cents per diaper without sales or coupons, and size 5 diapers cost .38 cents per diaper (based off Target's current prices). However, newborns can easily go through 10 to 12 diapers a day (costing $2.70 to $3.24 a day). My 19-month old wears a size 5, but she only requires about five or six diapers a day (costing $1.90 to $2.28 per day).

Here is a good stock up price list:

  • Newborn: Under .15 cents per diaper
  • Size 1: Under .15 cents per diaper
  • Size 2: Under .16 cents per diaper
  • Size 3: Under .19 cents per diaper
  • Size 4: Under .20 cents per diaper
  • Size 5: Under .20 cents per diaper
  • Size 6: Under .21 cents per diaper

To save the most money on diapers, stock up when they are at or below the above price. The easiest way to do this is to stock up during a good sale. My favorite places for finding diaper deals are Amazon and Target.

Many times Amazon will have coupons on their diapers, which can be combined with Subscribe & Save. The only problem with Subscribe & Save is that you have to wait for your shipment within three to four weeks. I just purchased a box of 160 size 5 Pampers for $30.81 (this price included tax), or about .19 cents a diaper.

When you see a phenomenal deal, stock up on other sizes, too. For those who are pregnant or with newborns, I don't suggest stocking up on diapers past size 4. My first child was tiny and ended up being potty trained early, so she only wore a box of size 4 before she was out of diapers all together.


I don't suggest stocking up on formula until you know if your baby takes a certain brand. With my first baby, we went through about 10 different formulas before we found one that didn't upset her stomach.

Once you find the formula your baby likes, then I would stock up on it anytime you could get it 50% off. Since baby formulas vary greatly by brand and unique baby need, I won't give a set stock up price.

With my first, we used Similac Sensitive, and I would try to combine coupons with Similac's formula checks and store deals to get the $25 tubs below $12 to $13 and buy five or six at a time. With my second, we used Baby's Only Organic Lactorelief formula for almost her whole infancy. It was tricky to save money on this formula because it was an online-only item and it did not come with coupons or formula checks. Instead, I got the $13.29 can of formula down to $8 or $9 by buying in bulk from third-party companies or using promotional codes and coupons.

When you stock up, be sure to look at expiration dates.

Baby Food

For jarred baby food, stock up when you can get the price from .25 cents to .35 cents a jar. Squeezable food pouches are a great deal at .25 cents to .40 cents (expect to pay more for the organic varieties). You can find great deals on baby food by matching store coupons with manufacturer coupons. I advise only stocking up on flavors you know your baby loves. If you happen to score a bunch of cheap jars of pureed carrots or prunes, and your baby hates them, don't worry. You can hide the purees in smoothies, baked goods, or soups instead.


Wipes are one baby essential that every parent needs. You might be able to breast-feed, cloth diaper, and even make your own baby food, but admit it — there will always be a time you need a disposable wipe. Stock up on wipes when they are about .01 cents to .015 cents per wipe, or less than a $1 per package of 72 or more.

Sometimes you can get the price on the wipes down to the stock up price on Amazon, but it is easier to do in-store at CVS or Target when there are store coupons and manufacturer coupons that you can combine.

The idea is to stock up on baby essentials at the lowest price possible so that you don't have to pay full price. If you regularly stock up on baby essentials at 50% off retail price, then you can easily save hundreds of dollars on your first year as a parent. If you have leftovers, just donate them to a local orphanage or pregnancy center and write it off on your taxes.

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