Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.
Having a baby is easily one of the most life-changing experiences you’ll ever have. But a new baby can also take a toll on your budget as you realize how expensive things like diapers, formula (if you choose to use it) and clothes can be.
We’ve heard the average baby goes through six to 10 diapers a day, and 2,500 to 3,000 diapers in their first year alone. By the time your kid is finally potty-trained, you’ll have spent thousands on thousands of diapers.
11 Ways to Save Money on Diapers
There are several ways to get free diapers depending on your need. Check out these 11 ideas and start saving money on baby diapers. You will be able to get diapers free (or close to free).
1. Free Diaper Samples From Manufacturers
Diaper companies count on loyal customers, and many may be willing to send you free diaper samples if you contact them and ask.
If you’re a new parent, explain that you’re trying to find the best diapers for your baby and ask if the manufacturer will send you some free diapers to try.
If you’re a more experienced parent, call and explain that you’re considering switching to a different diaper brand and ask whether they can send you any free samples to help guide your decision.
It’s also a good idea to follow the top diaper companies on social media to keep an eye out for coupons, promotions and giveaways that can get you free diapers.
2. Loyalty/Rewards Programs
Interested in using your diaper purchases to get free diapers? The following diaper companies offer rewards programs where your diaper purchases can earn money which you can use to buy … you guessed it … more diapers!
Sign up for Huggies Rewards+ and you’ll earn points by scanning your receipt every time you buy a pack of Huggies diapers. Those points translate into cold hard cash (well, gift cards) that you can use to spend on even more diapers, all free of charge.
Download the Pampers Club app and start saving! With each purchase of Pampers diapers, you’ll earn Pampers Cash that you can redeem for coupons or gift cards to use on free diapers (or marginally cheaper).
Sign up for the Bambo Nature rewards program and start earning points on your diaper purchases. You’ll earn two points for every dollar spent, which you can then exchange for money off diaper purchases at BamboNatureUSA.
3. Baby Registries
Some baby registries will send you a free box of baby items when you reach a certain threshold, and that box often includes free diaper samples. Here are a few of the best-known baby registries that offer free diapers, baby food, formula and other baby freebies.
Amazon's baby registry has a ton of perks, including a box of free baby stuff when you can check three boxes: Sign up for an Amazon Prime membership (pretty much a done deal for many of us), complete 60% of your checklist and order at least $10 of gifts from your registry.
Once you’ve completed all three, Amazon will send you a box of random baby items, which often includes free diapers in addition to things like free baby formula.
buy buy BABY
When you set up a baby registry with buy buy BABY, you’ll get a bag of goodies that includes free samples and coupons for baby items, including free diapers, baby food and other baby freebies.
Unlike store-specific registries, Babylist allows you to add items from a variety of stores to your registry. And when you create your baby registry, you’ll receive a free Hello Baby Box, which contains goodies like free diapers, toys and breastfeeding supplies.
Target has a wide selection of baby items and a whole bunch of locations, making it a great option for your registry. When you sign up for a baby registry, you’ll get a free welcome kit filled with free samples and coupons for you and your baby, which could include some free diapers.
4. The Pediatrician’s Office
If you’re not sure which diaper brand works best for your baby (because, surprisingly, not all diapers work the same for all kids), ask your doctor’s office if they have any samples they can give you to try.
Doctors and pediatricians often get free samples of things like baby diapers and formula from manufacturers and are encouraged to give them out to parents as needed.
You likely won’t get a ton of free diapers this way, but you should get enough to keep you going for a few days or, if nothing else, stock your emergency diaper stash (yes, you need one of these).
5. Switch to Cloth Diapers
Disposable diapers fill up your trash can quickly and end up in the landfill. Instead of looking for free diapers that’ll end up in your trash can, consider cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers are a fantastic way to save money on diapers while also reducing your waste and being kinder to the planet.
You might initially be a little grossed out by the thought of cloth diapers, but once you get the hang of them you’ll wonder how you ever used disposables (trust me … I cloth diapered my kids for almost six years straight).
Cloth diapers come with an initial cost, but once you have your stash you’ll literally never buy diapers again. You can find cheap but effective diapers on Amazon and eBay.
Look for brands like Mama Koala, Alva Baby and Kawaii Baby, all of which are affordable. My kids used these brands almost exclusively, and they held up over several years per kid before they were potty trained.
You can build a cloth diaper stash for a few hundred dollars. Compare that with the thousands you’ll spend over a few years for each kid in disposables, and it’s clear cloth is the more affordable (and more eco-friendly) option.
Not exactly “free,” but the savings you’ll enjoy from cloth diapering more than outweigh the savings a few free diapers will yield.
6. Market Research Companies
If you like to share your opinion (and these days, who doesn’t?), consider doing some online surveys that can help you earn free diapers.
Surveys aren’t going to make you rich, but they can provide some extra money to help you cover the cost of baby diapers, making them essentially free. We tried out InboxDollars, MyPoints and CashKarma (read the full reviews here).
Another good option is Swagbucks.com, where you can earn gift cards or PayPal credit for taking surveys. You even get a $5 bonus just for signing up! Whether you use disposables or cloth diapers, you can stock up using an Amazon, Walmart or Target gift card you earn from Swagbucks.
7. Diaper Banks
If you’re struggling to afford to keep your kids diapered, there’s an easier way to get free diapers than collecting points or writing reviews.
The National Diaper Bank Network is an organization dedicated to ending diaper needs. According to statistics on the National Diaper Bank Network’s website, around 5 million children under age 3 in the U.S. live in poor or low-income families, and many parents simply can’t afford to buy the number of diapers their baby or toddler needs. In that situation, free diapers can really make a difference.
If this describes your situation, you can call 2-1-1 for 24/7 help. The specialists at the National Diaper Bank Network will be able to connect you with a local agency that provides diaper assistance.
If you prefer cloth diapers, you can apply to get free ones at The Cloth Option. Approved families will receive 20 free diapers for newborns, 15 for infants or 10 for potty-training toddlers.
8. Local Organizations
Local groups and organizations are a great place to ask for free diapers when you need them. Some local food banks or faith-based organizations offer help for families struggling to afford diapers. You can also contact your county’s social services office for help if you need it.
Failing that, you can often find neighbors with extra diapers to gift on websites like Freecycle and Nextdoor. If you have a Buy Nothing Project group in your area, that’s a good resource to try as well. It’s surprising how many people have a stash of diapers left over from when their child potty trained.
9. Coupons and Sales
Diaper manufacturers really want your business, so you’ll often find coupons to entice you to buy one brand over another. If you’re not picky about brands it’s a great strategy to buy whatever has the best sale or coupon deal so you can stock up.
Most major diaper companies list coupons on their websites, so it’s a good idea to check frequently and see what deals and free samples you can find. You can also keep an eye on local grocery and big box stores and stock up when their diapers are on sale for super low prices.
10. Cash-Back Apps
If you want to earn money for free diapers just by doing your regular grocery shopping, you need to download a cash-back app. One of the best-known is Ibotta, but there are others to check out as well.
Ibotta works by searching for rebates on items you’ve purchased and then applying them to your account. You just need to upload a copy of your receipt to the app, and Ibotta does the rest of the work. Once you have $20 in your account, you can convert it to cash and spend it on all the free diapers your heart desires.
In addition to Ibotta, check out Shopkick, Fetch Rewards and Checkout 51.
11. Eliminate Them Altogether
A couple of years ago, one of our contributors shared her story of raising her son diaper-free. It’s a growing trend, and it’s no wonder since the average family can save more than $2,100 going this route. Would you consider this? The bonus is that by using old shirts and other materials, babies are often potty-trained earlier because of the discomfort.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.