July 17, 2005

We've Replaced The Diapers He Usually Buys With Kirkland Crystals

pampers_cruisers_case.jpgWe went to Costco for the hot dogs, but we stayed for the Kirkland baby wipes, the giant tubs of Enfamil, and the cases of Pampers. Oh, and the steaks. Can't forget the steaks.

Well, we still use the wipes [which are seriously the best we found anywhere], but the kid's off of formula now, and the Costco near us just replaced Pampers with their own Kirkland brand diapers. The Costco diapers don't seem all that great to me, and the pamphlet that came with the sample pack talked at length about how you shouldn't worry, it's normal for some of the moisture-absorbing crystals get all over the kid's butt. [Normal, my butt. I've never seen that.]

So I just ordered my first case of Pampers from Amazon.

Not even factoring in the Costco membership or Amazon's free shipping the diapers cost about the same as Costco for the 148-count case, and they were delivered right to our door. It's mighty convenient, I tell you, but if you're going to try this at home, here's a tip to figure out when to place your order:
- calculate when it should arrive, back it up that amount of time, and then tack on one more day, at least, and you're golden.

[Translation: I missed by a day and ended up getting a pack from the drugstore anyway.]

You Huggies people have the best of both worlds. Costco still has them, and so does Amazon. So it really just depends on whether you're in the mood for a hot dog.

Buy Pampers or Huggies from Amazon, and who knows, maybe Moby will deliver them himself?


Interestingly enough, we just were at Babies R US and picked us up a 204 pack of the Swaddlers. With a $5 off coupon it was a bargain, but even without it's a $1 cheaper than Amazon...of course they aren't delivered.

You may want to stock up on those Kirkland wipes. They are changing to a different supplier and they will have "quilting". It seems they will be made by Huggies too...

That's the problem with Costco. Getting used to a certain product there, even something basic like diapers, is setting yourself up for heartbreak. I bought the Kirkalnd brand this time around, and I haven't noticed any crystals myself.

I'd be afraid to have them delivered -- both UPS and USPS put deliveries on my uncovered front porch without ringing or knocking. Even with the layers of packing, getting a wet box of diapers doesn't appeal.

You are not alone. My wife and I are considering dropping our Costco membership since they stopped stocking Pampers AND All Free detergent. Fortunately, we have a fall-back with a BJ's membership.

There was an interesting article on COSTCO in yesterday's NYTimes business section which made me want to shop there even more, they pay their employees livable wages and have really good affordable benefits, unlike their warehouse club competion. Send an email or letter to COSTCO with your complaints and requests to keep products the same. They just may listen.

Just went to Costco this weekend and they had a coupon for $3 off the packages of Huggies. A box of 228 Huggies (size 1-2) ran $26.99.

Nearest Costco is 3 hours away, so we're stuck with BRU (1.5 hours drive), TRU or the new suck-a** Target-lite (both 1 hour drive).

Needless to say, we just bite the bullet and go to the nearby K-Mart for the 58 or 76 ct packs o' Pampers when needed. They never have the boxes, and I always end up buying toys for her too...

However, I do shop online for baby quite a bit. From Purell and Diaper Dekor refills, to nursery furniture & stroller, it's all coming via UPS. So, this Amazon-as-diaper-source thing intrigues me greatly...

But, I wonder, is my ever-growing demand for UPS' services contributing to greenhouse gasses or maybe impoverishing my local econmomy?

Where's a good balance: shopping close to home and helping to keep locals employed (and keeping sales tax $ local, too. Our schools need all the $ they can get) or buying online and contributing only to the bottom line of a far-off, distant corporate entity?

Those Diapers have to get delivered by some kind of fuel spewing machines so what if it's a UPS truck versus an 18 wheeler delivering it to cost-co where you have to drive back and forth to anyway? UPS is already driving around regardless.

Sam's Club still has pampers. :)

Huggies Supreme do that crystal-shedding thing, too, and I don't even think they warn you first (although a friend with an older baby did warn me). So it's, if not normal, at least not freakish in any new, innovative way.

Abbycat, a big rig deliverying a bulk shipment to one store will always be better than a UPS truck deliverying that same number of units, one unit to each household. No question. That is the real stinker about web sales. Plus, packaging is a huge part of a landfill. Bulk always trumps individuality for green value.

AJ--yes, bulk is best. But here's the rub: to get to the store (especially the far off ones) we have to load up the car and make a day of it. Once we're in the big-city commercial zone, we visit lots of stores, buy lots of stuff, eat out and then drag ourselves home. So much expense and time and energy--and all I really wanted was a box of diapers.

Some of the internet purchases are a necessity. Our vehicle is not big enough to haul boxed nursery furniture, etc., so we just have to get that stuff shipped.

But, my drugstore.com purchases could be done locally--it's just a matter of finding the time. To get the various bits & pieces of, e.g., my most recent order, I would've had to go to the health food store, KMart and maybe even the drugstore--and I still wouldn't have found some stuff, e.g., California Baby products.

Now, maybe I could just give in and one-stop-shop at walmart, but I can't bring myself to support their Borg-like approach to merchandising.

But hey, we compost!

Abbycat, if expense, time and energy are the issue, you're better off with cloth diapers (assuming you have laundry facilities on-site). Washing a load of diapers a couple times a week turns out to be pretty easy.

Buying lots of things mail order becomes a waste management issue -- boxes inside boxes. I'd rather fire up the washer than haul a load of cardboard to the recycling center.

Kmart, Target and Walmart are the same animal. We pick on Walmart because it's the largest. They all take their toll on our economy.

As for finding the time for local purchases, that's a small town lifestyle issue for me. I know store owners and they know me. I'll take my daughter shopping because I want her to know the human side of commerce. The more impersonal and isolated people become, the worse off our society is. So shopping at local stores is actually a lesson, imparting values to my child.

I still buy from web sites, but only to find variety, especially for baby products. My local independent stores are homogeneous. I do try coaxing them, e-mailing one particular store owner URLs, saying, "Hey, why don't you sell this?" Sometimes that works, and then I buy the product from the local store for a buck or two more (more than worth it, in my opinion).

Hey, My partner and I have started doing all the preliminary footwork for supplies, as we have started the adoption process. We came across a great site for diapers...www.1800diapers.com. They offer a warehouse size box of diapers for cheap!


I've looked into cloth. I even had some (2nd hand) back in the early 15-diaper-changes-a-day; poop-every-time-she-ate period. But, I could barely keep up with nursing her every 2 hours and I had a hard time keeping up with even regular laundry--I just couldn't conceive of taking on more.

Hubby and I juggled her care for almost a year, which meant that we had no time for any "extras": someone was always heading off to work (night, weekend, whenever) to catch up and the other was solo at home. Yes, we should have, but life just got in the way (and we were both a little squeamish and skeptical re odor and effort).

Nowadays, with both of us working "full" time (flexible bosses, phew!), the problem is we don't change all of her diapers. The daycare won't allow cloth (please don't suggest we find a different daycare--this is the 3rd we've tried in our never-ending quest for quality care, flexible rules and educational content), so we'd only use them for weekends and her evening/night diapers.

I wonder if there'd be any real cost-efficiency to it at this point?

Re walmart et al--yes, I know they're all evil but wallie world stands proud and alone in crushing competition, strong-arming suppliers and maintaining a cult-like worshipfulness among many of its shoppers. Shudder.

So, we'll continue to buy local organics, compost and recycle and I figure the years I spent bike-commuting to school/work prior to buying a car will balance my current diaper usage.

post script

Mail just came--my kid's music cds from www.prms.org/

I ordered several that I read about in DT's July 8, "Underground Kids' Music Circles".

So, I'm responsible for more cardboard waste, but I supported public radio! If I can't get green credits for that, then it's all DT's fault :)

We tried the Costco diapers after mourning the loss of the easy Pampers pack. I think they leak. Our son, 13 months and at the bottom of the weight chart, seemed to leak twice in his high chair and at least once in his crib. Granted it's really hard to say for sure if it was a leak in the high chair but we switched back to Pampers instead of turning it into a multi-week experiment.

I'm very sad to hear about the wipes. Costco wipes are the best and they queue nicely so you don't have to waste time digging them out of the container.

Abbycat, the trick is to order 576 CDs at the same time so that they ship in a box big enough to be turned into a fort.

A fort eh? There's a thought. Or I could save all those little boxes from Amazon (grandma sends books) and tape them together for a modernist Fort-inspired construction...

Enough with the angst though. If I want cool kids music & stuff and I can't get it locally, I'm goin' online.

AJ: I looked at your site and am inspired to give cloth a try. I'm thinking Wonderoos for my petite 15 month old.

That's good to hear. Start your research at diaperpin.com though and buy a couple samples (from wherever) before investing in the numbers you really need. Everyone does cloth a little differently and there are always a few people who say a particular product doesn't work for them.

What about pottytraining when the fleece diaper keeps baby so dry?

Are the Costco prices that better on the large cans of formula? Because I compared the prices of the standard can at Walmart and the "bigger" can at Sams Club, and it was not that much of a savings, especailly considering you can't use coupons at Sams (or Costco I don't believe), and you can get some $3-$5 coupons in the mail for Enfimil.

I just came from Costco(B'klyn) Aug 9, and they still had Pampers 3,4,5 in stock. When and where did you hear this evil news [DC. They still have 2'ft replicas of the Pentagon in Belgian chocolate, though. And the Capitol. -ed.]

Yikes! My husband just came home from a Costco run -- asked him to pick up a box of Kirkland wipes, and yep, they've changed! And you get less (88 vs the old 96). What is the world coming to?

Just got my first order of Pampers size 4 from Amazon.com today, thanks to you Mr. Daddytypes. When I went to Costco and couldn't find my Pampers... I was in a state of confusion "what do I do now"? Tried the Kirtland ones and hated them. So today, it felt like it was Christmas... ahh the simple pleasures.

You can buy big boxes of pampers at our Super-Target for the same price I used to be able to get them for at Costco, but they're not with the other diapers, they're in the back with all their "bulk" stuff.

Is it just me or can you buy just about anything at Amazon? I stumbled across bananas on their site a few days ago...

I love Wal-Mart! Shopping there saves me thousands upon thousands of dollars per year.

Sorry Abbycat. However they're negotiating with their suppliers to get me lower prices (strongarm or otherwise) I hope they keep doing it!!

I like keeping as much of my money as possible.

Thanks Wal-Mart!

[and thanks, federal government, for at least providing some medicaid and food stamps so that wal-mart employees can get by. -ed.]

All I have done the research. I have found out that the Costco Kirkland Brand diapers are the same thing as Huggies Supreme diapers!!

I used to buy Pampers at Costco, and now I go to Target. I tried the Kirkland Brand once and ended up throwing out the rest of the box.

Target has a close price to Costco and if you sign up on Pampers.com they will send you coupons. I used a $5.00 coupon I got and it ended up being a better deal.

I have never really tried the Huggies Supreme. Pampers are expensive sometimes but I don't want to risk trying another brand again and wasting more money. Any advice

Wow Bob, that is really funny! My wife hated Huggies, they always leaked, but she hasn't had any problems with the Costco brand. Still not as nice as the Pamper Cruisers, but since we are buying formula again, Costco diapers win in the end. Luvs (or whatever has Blue's Clues on them) seemed to work okay with the older kid, but my wife prefers the stretch tabs.

Do you have any proof about the Huggies/Costco thing? I think I can get her to stop buying them if I can prove it! Now, if only I could convince her to buy Walmart/Kmart brand formula, we would says $$$ a week!


I can tell you with 99.9 percent certainty that the Costco Kirkland diaper is a Huggies Supreme diaper in a different label. Last year when the deal went down to remove Pampers from the shelf in Costco, part of the deal was that Kimberly Clark would produce a "Kirkland" brand diaper. You will notice if you go into Costco that Kirkland diapers are just slightly cheaper on a per diaper basis than the Huggies. That is because it is the Huggies Supreme product with different designs and different packaging. I have not looked at them lately but take a look at the packaging. On the back it should say somewhere that Kimberly Clark is manufacturing the diapers for Costco. If not, just ask Costco and they should tell you who the manufacturer is.

[interesting and plausible. But when Pampers disappeared, I checked the Kirkland packages, and when I called to ask who's making them, they said they never discuss that. Same when they changed the diaper wipes. -ed.]

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