At the beginning of every week in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.
We talked about eliminating disposable products earlier in this series, but I wanted talk more extensively about cloth diapering in a stand-alone post. Why? Because you can fairly easily save $100+ per year just by eliminating disposable diapers completely — or even just partially.
However, making the switch to cloth diapering is a big decision and not one to rush into without some thought and research. It’s a commitment of time and energy and it’s also usually a financial commitment. But it can pay off in fairly big dividends.
Our Cloth-Diapering Story
When Kathrynne was born, Jesse was in law school and our budget was extremely tight. I had wondered how we were going to afford diapers.
Well, we didn’t end up having to worry about it at all because shortly after Kathrynne was born, some good friends of ours called us up out of the blue and generously said they wanted to give us an entire set of Fuzzi Bunz diapers. We were overwhelmed at their kindness and enthusiastically accepted their offer.
We exclusively cloth-diapered Kathrynne and loved it… plus, we saved so much money. In fact, I don’t know how we would have ever afforded to buy disposable diapers since there were many weeks in those days when we struggled to just pay for our food and rent.
When Kaitlynn was born 2 and 1/2 years later, we planned to cloth diaper her as well. However, she was extremely allergic to every cloth diaper and diaper we tried. I was determined to make it work, but after a few months and many, many severe diaper rashes, I finally concluded that she could only use Pampers.
Gratefully, by this time, I had discovered the Drugstore Game and was able to work in Pampers purchases to my overage (that was back in the good old days when overage was a whole lot easier to come by at CVS!).
What Are the Cloth Diapering Options?
There are many, many different cloth diaper options out there. I recommend researching them all so you understand the lingo. For a basic primer, check out these two articles: Having a Baby Without Breaking the Bank: Cloth Diapering and Cloth Diapering 101.
There are many different ways to build your cloth diaper stash other than buying them brand-new yourself:
Ask for Cloth Diapers for Gifts — If you’re a first-time mom and you’re planning to cloth diaper, asking for cloth diapers as gifts for your baby showers might be an option for you.
Buy Used — Check Craigslist, garage sales, eBay, and online diaper forums for used cloth diapers. This might not be appealing to some people, but it is an option.
Make Your Own — If you’re handy with a sewing machine (unlike me!), I’ve heard it’s fairly simple to make your own cloth diapers.
Get Creative — Willing to think outside the box a little? Check out these two articles: How to Cloth Diaper for Practically Free and Start Cloth Diapering at Home for $20 (no sewing required).
How Much Can You Save?
How much you save by cloth-diapering will vary a great deal depending upon how many children you have, what kind of diapers you buy, how much you’d usually pay for disposable diapers (if you read this blog and print coupons, you likely pay a lot less per disposable diaper than many people do!), how much your water and electricity costs, whether you line-dry your diapers or not, and so forth.
However, regardless of your situation, I can fairly safely say that you will save at least $100 per year by using cloth diapers at least half the time. And there’s a good possibility that you’ll save significantly more than that if you cloth diaper exclusively, don’t have high electricity and water costs, and use your diapers for more than one child.
BabyWorks has some interesting statistics and stories on how much you can save by cloth diapering. You can also read some of my readers’ answers to this question. And here’s a breakdown of a number of different diaper costs from Diaper Decisions.
Save Even More By Making Your Own Cloth Wipes
If you’re already cloth-diapering, it’s really simple to use cloth wipes, too. With Kathrynne, I just used baby washcloths and water. However, if you want something a little more handy, you can Make Homemade Reusable Baby Wipes.
Related: My Journey to Cloth Diapers
Have you tried cloth-diapering? If so, what tips and suggestions do you have to add to my post?