How much should I pay for…?

Examining Costs: Diapers for Infant to Toddler

by Beth Montgomery on January 20, 2011 · 5 comments

in Tips & Basics

Diapers are a big expense for families.   The average child wears 6 diapers per day for 3 years!   That’s 6,570 diapers per child that you’ll buy, not including the diapers that you don’t use, because your baby outgrows them too quickly.   You could end up paying as much a $3,000 for diapers for one child.

Today we’re going to look at the cost of diapers and because my youngest is in a size 4 and pees through everything, except Huggies Little Movers, that’s what I’m going to use to show you why I buy a lot of jumbo pack diapers.   This is one example of a product I’m brand-loyal to, like many parents.

Below is a slide showing different package sizes of Huggies Size 4 Little Movers available and the average price in my area.   The final line tells you how much you’d pay per year, if you always bought that box of diapers.

First, I’d like to point out that this is a perfect example of “bigger isn’t always better”.   See how the prices go down, until you get to the Large-Size box.   Then, prices start to go up again.   Looking at this, buying Large-Size packages of diapers would be your best value.   In fact, you’d spend a little under $2,000 purchasing that box of diaper for 3 years for your child.

Now, Huggies is great about coupons.   They often offer $3/1 coupons online and if you sign up with them, you get $1.50-$3 coupon by mail monthly.   Every time a $3/1 coupon is available, I print as many as possible, because I’ll use them.   The slide below shows you if you apply that $3/1 coupon to a typical sale price that’s often found, how much you’d save.

Suddenly, those jumbo pack diapers are looking a lot more appealing, aren’t they?   Often, applying a large   coupon to a small product, saves you the most money.   Imagine if you factored in Extra Care Bucks, rock-bottom prices, and other great deals, how much you could save.   However, simply switching from the Large-Size to Jumbo-Size and using a high-value coupon with a typical sale price, will save you almost $600 for one child.

Yes, that’s only $200 a year or $16 a month, but imagine if you applied this principle to everything you purchased – toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, etc… You’d really start to see the savings add up.

Take Away

  1. Calculate unit prices after a coupon is factored in to find the best value.
  2. Often applying a high-value coupons to a smaller-size package will save you the most.
  3. Bigger is not always better.

Don’t forget to checkout Examining Costs: Buying Chicken for the Family to find out how to save more.

P.S. Yes, I realize I’d save even more if I used cloth diapers :)

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Examining Costs: Buying Chicken for the Family

by Beth Montgomery on January 7, 2011 · 2 comments

in Tips & Basics

Chicken is a popular food, since it’s a healthy meat, most people enjoy it, and it can be easily cooked in a variety of ways.   In fact, the average American family of four eats 241.6 pounds of chicken per year.   Lets think about that a bit.

I’ve mentioned before, that I buy whole chickens, normally priced around $0.88 per pound at Kroger or Sam’s Club.   I can use the chicken for multiple meals and to make chicken stock for other recipes.   Sure, it’s not as easy as buying chicken breasts.   It’s definitely more work.   Is it worth it?

Chicken Breasts Whole Chicken
Cost Per Pound $1.98 $0.88
Cost Per Week $9.18 $4.04
Cost Per Month $39.79 $17.68
Cost Per Year $478.36 $212.60

Taking a looking at this, the average family could save $265 per year by buying whole chickens, instead of chicken breasts.   Yes, it’s not going to help you retire early or send your kids to collage, but it’s just a start.   You can apply the same principle to other poultry, like turkey.

Meat freezes well for up to 6-12 months, if properly sealed.   When shopping for turkey, pork, chicken, ham, and beef, I try to aim for $0.99 per pound or lower.   That’s not always an easy price to find for all meats, especially if you want quality, but it does happen.   When it does, I buy a lot and it saves me a lot!

Note: The prices above are based on the average family of four consuming 241.6 pounds of chicken per year.   That would be 4.64 pounds per week.   I’ve used a “good” sale price in my area for both, so if you don’t shop sales, you’d be paying more. Averages prices do vary by location.   Prices used are typical sale prices in Indiana.

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