Friday, June 23, 2017

The Price of Diapers, Cost Comparisons

By C.M. - June 2017.

So the wife and I decided to do some price analysis of diapers and the best places to buy them since we are expecting our first child within the coming weeks.

Thus we ended up comparing prices from various sources, including Costco, Rexall PharmaPlus (which presumably has similar prices to other pharmacies and grocery stores), and also a cloth diaper delivery company known as "Happy Nappy" (local to Toronto and the GTA).

Costco
$0.22 per diaper, 192 diapers = $37.99 + HST
                    $110 for 500 diapers

Rexall PharmaPlus
$0.61 per diaper, 24 diapers = $12.99 + HST
                    $305 for 500 diapers
or
$0.31 per diaper, 92 diapers = $24.99 + HST
                    $155 for 500 diapers

Shoppers Drug Mart
Unknown - For some silly reason Shoppers Drug Mart doesn't list diapers on their website, but they do list wipes. Really annoying. Maybe it varies by store???

Cloth Diaper Delivery from Happy Nappy
Impossible to do a proper price analysis as Happy Nappy charges a weekly rate of $23.87 + HST for whatever number of diapers you need - the amount is apparently unlimited.

In theory a newborn baby might use 8 diapers per day (they get changed quite often as they have not yet learned to control their bowels) a newborn would use 56 diapers per week. Possibly more/less.

It ends up being:

$0.48 per diaper, possibly 56 diapers = $23.87 + HST
                    $240 for 500 diapers or unlimited diapers over 8.9 weeks

Even if a baby ended up using 100 cloth diapers per week (which is a ridiculous amount, but lets use it for comparison purposes), the cost still ends up being more expensive than disposable diapers from Costco.

$0.27 per diaper, 100 diapers = $23.87 + HST
                    $240 for 890 or unlimited diapers over 8.9 weeks

What you are really paying for with Happy Nappy is the delivery and pickup convenience, which is why they can charge over double what Costco charges for disposable diapers.

In theory you can also feel like you are "saving the environment" since cloth diapers are reused again and again - ignoring that the cleaning agents used to clean the cloth diapers are harmful to the environment. So maybe don't brag about your environmental friendliness.

Still, if you are the type of person who wants to use cloth instead and wants the convenience of diapers delivered to your home, perhaps Happy Nappy is a good thing for you.

Even though cloth diapers are more work during changing time... so how are they more convenient?

What you really learn here is that when it comes to diapers, you save way more money when you buy in bulk from Costco.

The only problem then is what happens when your baby grows too fast and outgrows the diaper size before you can use all of them? So clearly you need to be careful you don't buy too many and end up not using them.

NOTE - TWINS, TRIPLETS, ETC

For someone who ends up having twins, triplets, or more babies - the cloth diaper delivery from Happy Nappy suddenly makes way more sense financially. Since the cost per week is the same regardless of whether you have 1 baby, 2 babies, 3 babies or more - the value of the Happy Nappy service dramatically improves. Just don't tell them how many babies you have though or they might try to charge you twice or thrice as much...

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