CINCINNNATI — Think diapers and detergent are expensive now?
Just wait a month or two, with Procter & Gamble (PG) announcing another price hike – the second in a year.
The Wall Street Journal says you can expect prices to rise around 5% on some of P&G's most popular products, such as Tide and Gain detergent, Pampers diapers, Bounty paper towels and Gillette razors.
These price hikes are hitting the people who can't afford it hardest, according to Meghan Fischer, CEO of Cincinnati's Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank.
Her non-profit collects and distributes diapers to needy families in the community, and is always in need of donations.
"It's on average $80 to $100 per month, for diapers for one baby," Fischer said.
So how can you keep costs down on Pampers and other P&G products?
We spoke with Joanie Demer, the co-founder of popular money-saving website TheKrazyCouponLady.com.
Tip 1: Think big
Demer and KCL have posted an entire article about saving on diapers.
She says the obvious thing is to start with big stores, like Walmart, Sam's Club, and Costco, and big packages. Typically, the smaller the package or jug, the more you will pay.
But she cautions that just because a diaper or detergent package is large doesn't mean it is always the best value.
She says be sure you compare price per use, not just the package price.
"With laundry detergent, for example, you need to make sure you are comparing cost per load, and not just cost per ounce," she said, because some detergents, like Tide, are more concentrated than cheaper detergents.
Tip 2: Find P&G Coupons
Demer also says you should look for P&G's monthly coupons, which still come in most Sunday newspapers.
She cautions, however, that P&G coupons tend to expire quickly and, unlike other brands, are usually not good for months and months.
Tip 3: Use Walgreens and CVS rewards program
Demer suggests you also sign up for Walgreens and CVS' loyalty programs, even though that might sound counter-intuitive since those stores tend to have higher prices.
"Shopping at the drugstores, and playing the loyalty game at those drugstores, is one of the best ways to get these items at rock-bottom prices," Demer said.
Tip 4: Consider cheaper brands....but...
Of course the easiest way to avoid paying premium prices for Tide, Bounty and Pampers is to buy cheaper brands, especially store-branded products.
Consumer Reports Magazine's testing claims Persil detergent is almost as good as Tide, for less money.
But Demer cautions that cheaper is not always better: that discount detergent may not clean as well, and those house brand diapers may leak two minutes after baby, uh, uses them.
The simplest thing is to make space in your cupboards. With small sizes the most expensive, if you have the shelf space, consider larger sizes of all these products, so you don't waste your money.
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