Diaper shortage on the horizon? Stock up now and save big bucks

A deadly explosion at a Japanese factory on Sept. 29 might end up directly impacting your baby's behind. The Nippon Shokubai Co.-controlled chemical plant, located near the coastal city of Himeji, is one of the world's leading producers of acrylic acid. The chemical is a component of superabsorbent polymers (SAP) commonly used in disposable diapers.

Factory spokesman Akira Kurusu wouldn't comment on whether or not the explosion will affect the world's diaper supply, but you probably don't want to wait to find out.

While it's not time to panic, you might want to stock up on a few diapers in case there is a shortage. Diapers can take a huge bite out of your budget, so it's time to use a few strategies to get the most diaper bang for your buck.

Get Extreme With Your Coupons

We all know about clipping coupons from the weekly newspaper circulars. However, you might not realize that diaper companies routinely offer high-dollar coupons via their official websites and Facebook pages. Be sure to "like" your favorite diaper brands on the social media website to stay up-to-date on any deals.

Don't have time to scour Facebook for coupons? Follow one of the many websites dedicated to compiling online deals and coupons. One we like is Hip2Save.

Also, why not call diaper companies directly and ask for coupons? You might be surprised what you can snag by just asking.

Search Out Online Discounts

Saving money with online shopping is now easier than ever. Web retailers are in fierce competition to earn your dollars -- and this means great deals for you. Scour deal aggregators like Retail Me Not for discount codes and coupons for your favorite retailers.

Want even more savings? Sign up with Ebates and you'll earn back a percentage of your purchase from thousands of online retailers. Ebates issues your cash-back rebates on a quarterly basis, so you'll likely get a nice chunk of change back into your bank account if you buy a bunch of diapers online.

Get Some Discounted Gift Cards

Snag someone else's unwanted gift card for a discounted price. Retailers like Gift Card Granny are now selling gift cards for discounts up to 15 percent off the face value. These aren't just for obscure retailers, either: Gift cards from stores like WalMart and Target are readily available for purchase at discounts ranging from 2 to 5 percent, or more.

Better yet? Use those cheap gift cards with your coupons or online discount codes for an even deeper discount.

Ask Other Moms

It's easier than ever for moms to connect online to share everything from parenting tips to clothes. Why not use these forums -- or even Facebook -- to ask other moms for their unused diapers? We suspect moms of potty-trained toddlers would be happy to unload their stockpiles for deeply discounted prices - or even for free.

Consider Cloth

The decision to use disposable or cloth diapers is a deeply personal decision. However, you might consider making the switch to reusable nappies if you're truly concerned about the disposable diaper supply. Today's cloth diapers are cleaner than easier to use than ever -- and you'll likely save a huge chunk of change by making the switch, too.

How do you save money on diapers?