How to save money on Diaper Genie refills

Anyone who uses a Diaper Genie knows that refills are expensive! Even when bought on sale or at places like Walmart or Costco the cost really adds up. People who have multiple kids in diapers at the same time, like I do, know the refill needs to be replaced often!

I found the cheapest place to buy the refills were at Walmart. A 3-pack of refills costs $22.93, however other places sell them for anywhere between 8.99 and 12.99 per refill. Lets say, on the conservative side, you use one refill a month for 1 child. I have 2 in diapers and would use double. I would end up using eight 3-pack refills, that’s an expense of $183.44 a year! Almost $200 spent on disposing diapers!!

My box of generic recycling bags cost me $1.50 (on sale) for 40 bags. We use about a bag a week. At 4 bags a month, we can go 10 months on 1 box! I am saving $180.00 (give or take) in a year.

Some might say I don’t need a diaper genie, but honestly, I am so glad I use one as I never smell all those diapers!

Now, I have to give credit where credit is due, and thank my husband for coming up with this helpful money saving tip.


Empty diaper genie refill

Elastic band

Blue recycling bag – any generic kind will do

Diaper genie

Step 1.

Remove all wrapping from the empty diaper genie refill, so all you have left is the blue plastic ring part

Step 2.

Take one recycling bag and put it through the middle of the ring so the opening of the bag is near the ring.

image image

Step 3.

Fold the open ends over the ring and secure with the elastic band.

image image

Step 4.

Stuff the closed end of the bag into the genie the same way you would using a Diaper Genie branded refill, place ring the in top compartment. Tuck in the extra pieces of the bag that might stick out.


Step 5.

Fill with diapers!


76 thoughts on “How to save money on Diaper Genie refills

  1. Omg, thank you so much for this. I am almost out of the refills for my diaper genie. I was going to buy the 3 pack from toys r us because I can get 2 of the 3 packs for $35. But I’m like $35 is a lot for refills. So thanks you for sharing this!

  2. I think this is great….just a note….for those who have the cat/ dog version of this…try it using small bags…I.e. Dollar store bathroom refills…works also. Have a great day.

  3. Totally doing this! Thanks for posting this fantastic idea…I only wish your husband had come up with it sooner!

    1. Me too! After 2 years of buying the refills and I don’t even want to think of how much was spend to essentially store poop, I was so glad this alternative worked!

  4. can you please link to the recycle bags you used? this is such an amazing cost saving idea and want to jump all over it!

    1. Not sure where you live, but we have clear blue bags that we use when we put our recycling out (our cans and plastics).. they are basically large garbage bags but cheaper πŸ™‚

      1. When I lived in the city, we could put diapers (not wipes) into our green/compost boxes for pickup, so I would just toss the whole bag into that container. Now that I am in the suburbs, all diapers go into the garbage. I haven’t tried just putting the the diaper bag out alone I usually add it to a bigger black bag that is going to the curb. I know, diapers wrapped in plastic wrapped in plastic, but that garbage bag is going out anyway. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be picked up with the garbage though…

  5. I don’t know how more people haven’t figured this out on their own. I think it took me a while with my first (back in 2008) but I just kept my last ring one day and started putting my kitchen garbage bags in when I ran out one day and didn’t have a car to get to the store. the diaper genie company is going to hate you for this post. lol.

    1. I know right? But still I see so many people buying packs of refills! When my husband first did this idea, it was like “wow, how did it take us this long to figure out!” Glad to hear you are saving money too πŸ™‚

    2. I have been trying to do the same with the Costco 13 gallon trash bag, but found a problem, that once a few diapers go down to the chamber, they drag and expand the bag to the level that the locking shutter inside diaper genie could not close. So you can imaging the smell. I think the original narrower bag was designed to avoid this. Anyhow, have you guys encountered similar problems while using regular bags? I guess these blue or clear thinner bags would be better than the heavy duty ones.

      1. Hey thank for stopping by. I have never tried the method with a regular trash bag, so I am not sure if the thickness is causing the problem or not, but I have not had that problem with the thinner blue ones. I will admit though, when I try to over-stuff it out of pure laziness then I definitely notice a funky smell happening when the flaps won’t shut properly!

  6. Great tip! I also found Target makes their own brand refills that work for the diaper genie that are slightly cheaper and work better. They are about $18 for 3

  7. I did this for a year or so but found that the actual refills work much better at keeping the stink contained, which is the whole point of using one of these vs. a regular garbage can, that I went back to paying for the real thing. Nice idea though!

    1. That’s too bad that it didn’t work for you. I have been doing this for at least two years now and have never had a problem. But we all need to do what works for us – hope you are find them on good sales:) Thanks for reading.

      1. Febreeze makes a stick on air fresh er you could stick to the inside of the lid to help smell issue

  8. Reblogged this on A Game of Diapers and commented:
    Having had three kids in Diapers at once, we have gone through four diaper genies and lord knows how many refills. I am so surprised it never occurred to me to try to make my own. If you do purchase them get them t Walmart, they sell at 3 for $22 (CDN) which is the cheapest I have found. Enjoy!

  9. Thank you!! I have an idea for the stink-use some carpet powder or other odor eliminator powder. I haven’t tried this yet-but I will. πŸ™‚ With twins, we change the genie almost every two days so I’m not really worried about the stink.

  10. Good idea. I’ve tried it with my kitchen garbage bags. But find there is still a smell around my diaper giene. The diaper refills just have an odour block that regular garbage bags don’t.

  11. Omg thank you so much for sharing my refill is almost empty and I hate spending that ridiculous amount of money just for diaper disposal. Fabulous idea!!!

  12. This an awesome idea and I considered doing it but yes I do worry about a possible stink. I have read the other comments. I am from New Brunswick, Canada. I found a cheaper generic ring, costs $4.99 still a bit expense, if you have two in diapers. I only have one so I can afford this price. I have only owned my genie for 4 months, and was lucky to have someone pay it forward to me. Every once in a while toys r us will have a sale you can purchase 3 for $12. (limit 9) this brand name is Nursery Fresh, holds up to 272 diapers and fits Diaper Genie II, II Elite, Elite, Essentials.

  13. Another good product for disposing diapers is the scented baggies they sell at the dollar store for your pet’s waste, You can’t smell anything once the bag is tied.

  14. So happy I came across this post. Preparing for baby #3 in a couple weeks and am looking to save money wherever I can. Thank you for posting!

    1. Well, typical shopping bags are quite shallow, so not sure how many diapers you could get in with the bag hanging low enough for the inside panels to close fully – which is really what helps with the smell- You should be changing it very often, but I guess it would work., I honestly have never tried. I do try to to bring reusable bags or grocery boxes to keep the plastic shopping bags out of the house.

  15. thanks for sharing. i will definitely do this. I only have two refills available here right now, I’m planning to shop next week to wallmart, but with your great idea not not anymore. lol thanks.

  16. Thanks for posting this. I started doing this about 3wks ago…OMG why did I not think of this 2 kids ago!!! I worried about smell to so I bought the recycle bags that had the odor guard in them…I also bought a 5 pack of Arm & Hammer (Munchkin) diaper pail deodorizer pucks that were like $4 or something like that that lasts 3 months each.. i don’t have any smell whats so ever from my genie now.

  17. I just used this for my Litter Genie by using a 13 gallon garbage bag. Worked great! Thanks for the tip and for saving me some $$$!

  18. Wow so glad I googled cheap version of diaper genie refills! I have a 13yr old with C.P. who was born at 24 weeks and still needs to wear pullups….this is gonna save me TONS OF MONEY! My husband is gonna love a dad thought of it lol

    1. Now if only you found it sooner!! πŸ™‚ Yes, my husband loves that he thought of it before me… I guess the money it saves me makes up for all the diapers I change compared to him! Have a great day.

  19. I’ve been doing this for a little while with glad blue bags but have found we can smell the diapers much sooner than with the diaper genie. I’m trying to come up with something to reduce the odor. But even changing them sooner is still cheaper!

  20. Hi!!! What is the measure of the bags you use? I live in Mexico, I’m about to have my first child and just bought this product. Thank you!

  21. I just did a google search on “generic refills for diaper genie” and your blog came up! My babe’s only 4 months, and my dogs have just discovered the sweet sweet smell and taste (YUCK!) of my baby girl’s poop… (YUCK again!) So I decided to invest in a diaper genie to keep. Them. Out. But they are so expensive, and the refills are even more expensive in the long run. So I was sooooo excited to see this blog! So, now I decided to get the diaper genie for sure. I found someone selling one (hand me down) for $5… SCORE! so now that I will be buying that, I have two questions for you… 1. What size bags are these? 13 gallon? and 2. Do you twist the top of the bin after each diaper is in to conceal the smell…and that works with these bags?… Is that even how a diaper genie works?? haha I’m new to this whole parenting thing. πŸ˜‰ Thanks in advance!

    1. Glad you stumbled upon my post! Yes, dogs can be so gross sometimes, I have one too, luckily he’s never gotten into the diapers (as far as I know!!) score on finding a 2nd hand genie! The bags are the typical large garbage bag size… Not sure of gallons, sorry 😦 I don’t twist the bag, the “flaps” inside the bin close enough to keep the smell concealed. Some people have posted some good suggestions about air fresher things inside the genie if you get concerned about the smell, but I’ve never had a problem!
      Congrats on your little human!!! Enjoy the ride πŸ˜‰

  22. Hi I think I am going to try this with compostable bio bags. My one question is do you have to take it the ring and redo for every new bag? It would seem so. It’s there an easy way to remove the full bag to avoid smell leakage?

  23. Hi I am going to try this with compostable bio bags. I am wondering though so you have to remove the ring and resetup for each new bag? If so what’s the best way to remove the old bag to avoid smell leakage?

  24. Good idea, but don’t you now end up with a bunch of big garbage bags that are half full? You obviously can’t fill them all the way as the flapper wouldn’t close. That aspect of it seems wasteful… I like how you can tear off the genie bags at the exact spot it’s full and tie it off. Keeps plastic use to a minimum.

    1. Hey! Thanks for your comment. Good point, the bags are not ever actually full. Unfortunately nothing about diaper genies is environmentally friendly is it? If there was a way to save money and plastic that would be fantastic! — cloth diapers I guess? Again, thanks for posting, take care πŸ˜€

  25. HI mothers realm,

    My son was born on 11/15/2016, and for one of my wif and I git from the baby shower was a diaper pail. We received a few refills for the pail so we didn’t have to buy them. I just ran out of all the refills and was looking online to purchase new ones. They are quite expensive indeed. I came across your post and thought why not give that a try. It works amazingly!!!!, thank you for the tip!!!!!! Now we don’t have to go and buy those expensive refills!!! Thanks for the idea!!

  26. Drawstring 13-gallon kitchen bags with Febreze work well and combine with air freshener in bottom of pail plus stick inside top of lid.

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