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Diaper Prices: A Rant

Let’s talk about diapers. Specifically, disposable diapers. And the price of disposable diapers. And the fact that diaper pricing is totally insane.

Maybe you’ve noticed this too. You start out buying newborn diapers and there are, like, a zillion of them in the pack. You go through them like Grant through Richmond so it’s good that there are so many in the pack. Then your baby grows and goes up a size in diapers. Your baby is also pooping less (yes!) so you don’t need as many diapers. And yet, you still seem to run out just as fast. Why? Because there are fewer diapers in the pack!

And…wait for it…you paid the same price as you did for the pack of smaller size diapers even though you were buying fewer diapers.

This is something that has been making me spit pea soup over since my son was born. Why am I paying the same amount for fewer diapers? Why does my diaper expenditure not decrease as my diaper usage decreases? Why have moms not risen up in collective rage over this? Why hasn’t there been a Congressional investigation into extortionate diaper pricing? Why are diaper manufacturers such dicks about pricing even when one in three families have trouble affording diapers? Why, why, why?

I just did the math on the per diaper cost of my brand of diaper – Seventh Generation bought by the case on Amazon, for anyone who’s curious – and for the Stage 1 diapers, the cost is 21 cents per diaper. For the Stage 5 diapers? 37 cents. that’s almost 60% more per diaper! WHY??????? This is not true of clothing. Size 8 pants don’t cost less than size 10 pants. And food items? The can of tomatoes with fewer tomatoes in it costs less. The per-unit cost of other items remains the same, cost rises by quantity. Except diapers. Why do bigger diapers cost more?

I understand about economies of scale and if you buy more of an item it brings the per-item price down and blah blah blah but HELLO! We’re not being given a choice for how many diapers per pack we buy. They come in set quantities and the diaper companies set the price so that we pay the same overall price for a smaller quantity of their goods.. Because they can. They have us over a barrel. We have to have the diapers and we have to pay the prices and all we can do is pick between brands to get the lowest price. It sucks.

I don’t have a solution to this. I suppose I could cloth diaper but that doesn’t appeal to me at all. I could write letters to diaper companies telling them that I think they suck for raising the per diaper cost as diapers get bigger but the best outcome I could hope for from that would be some coupons or something. My only option is to write angry blog posts and fume when I buy my diapers. Grrr.

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million, The DC MomsThe Broad Side
Follow Rebekah on Facebook and Twitter too!

Photo credit: photo stock

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