I got my first monthly bundle of Honest diapers yesterday! I’m happy with them so far, but thought I’d share a little bit of analysis that led to my decision to sign up with them. Although Honest provides a basic cost comparison graph on their website, I had found it confusing to quantify a monthly diaper bundle against other major brands—especially given other factors, like free shipping, cost of wipes, etc.
So, in the interest of complete nerdiness, I created a diaper cost comparison spreadsheet! A little disclaimer: I’m no math genius (communications major, y’all, and there’s a reason for that), so I may have missed something, but I think this works for what I wanted it to do.
[Edit] Updated the spreadsheet to include sizes Newborn through Size 5 on separate tabs. All major wipes brands were also added to the Wipes tab. I also included charts for diaper sizing and average daily diaper use on each tab for handy reference.
A few variables I included:
- For the cost of the standard bundle, I excluded shipping costs where appropriate for me. For example, I have Amazon Prime and so included just the base price when shipping from Amazon. For brands from Diapers.com, I added the $4.99 shipping cost if the price did not exceed their free shipping limit ($50).
- I tried to include all major disposable diaper brands, as well as a few smaller ones (Nurtured by Nature, Nature Babycare). I also included the costs of gDiaper Biodegradable Refills for those who are using that brand for cloth diapering. (I did not factor in the cost of buying the actual gDiaper gPants, but a bundle of those runs around $120-$140, or about $15-$20 per pant.)
- I used a 30-day month as an average month.
- I included the cost of monthly wipes as a variable in the calculator as well, but only included two brands—Honest and Seventh Generation.
I’ll add more wipe brands later when I have a bit more time. They’ve been added!
- I used size 3 (about 16-28 pounds for most brands).
Eventually I’ll try to expand this spreadsheet to include more sizes! Sizes newborn through 5 have now been added on separate tabs!
- The brand data is organized by cost per diaper, from least expensive to most expensive.
- The brand data also shows the cost of buying diapers in a single package instead of in a bundle and the cost per diaper if you purchase that way.
Interesting things I found:
- Honest is a surprisingly affordable option if you choose to buy diapers from a monthly perspective. I allowed for 8 diapers per day in my comparisons, and given that a free supply of monthly wipes are included with Honest subscriptions now, I am saving nearly $40 per month using an Honest monthly bundle over Seventh Generation and Earth’s Best packages. [Edit 11/2012: It was pointed out in a comment that my savings may not be quite as high as this and that’s correct.]
- Even if I bought the cheapest cost per diaper brand on the market today (Target up&up), it would still cost about $11 to supplement their package with additional diapers I’d need for a true “monthly supply.” Add another $12 for monthly wipes on top of that, and I’d still be paying about $23 more per month.
- Cost per diaper is a tricky way to compare diaper purchases. If you look at the spreadsheet cost per diaper column, Honest (and other “green” diaper brands) have some initial sticker shock. But, what you really need to evaluate is monthly usage. The cost per diaper analysis comes in handy once you’ve established what your monthly usage is and it actually works against companies with an initial low per diaper cost! For example, although Munchkin size 1 diapers have a low cost per diaper ($0.15) compared to Honest ($0.39), their package size only contains 200 diapers. That’s far too low for an entire month’s usage for me! When Isobel was wearing a size 1, we were easily going through 8-12 diapers a day. Honest, on the other hand, sends 300 size 1 diapers in their monthly bundle. The cost of purchasing an additional 100 Munchkin diapers would completely negate the initial savings. (Keep in mind that every baby is different and you may use more or less than what the average usage is or what Isobel has used!)
- I’ve ultimately learned that using cost per diaper isn’t a true comparison, especially where companies like Honest are concerned. Could I save more on disposable diaper packages using Diapers.com coupons or Amazon Mom’s Subscribe & Save options? Probably. But, for Honest’s quality, convenience and monthly affordability, it seems like a no-brainer to use their product.
So, go forth and diaper! Let me know if you make any improvements to the spreadsheet! :)