Guest post by Amber Roy.
Cloth diaper users say it all the time, “cloth saves money.” But in reality, the cost of cloth can add up quickly. If you have decided to use cloth to cut costs, here are the best ways to save money:
- Don’t go overboard buying diapers
We all enjoy getting a fluffy package in the mail. Cloth diapers are adorable, especially with endless print options available. Don’t buy more diapers and accessories than you need. If you purchase 24 diapers that cost $18 each, an estimated 2,250 diaper changes are necessary to get your money back. This can take 7-10 months (depending on changes per day). If you purchase 36 diapers, it may take 11-14 months.
- Don’t supplement your cloth diapers with disposable.
Adding one diaper a day for nighttime use or errands can really eat into the cost savings. Before using disposable, try a more absorbent insert. Also, don’t wait until your baby is several months old to start using cloth. If you’re going to do it, jump right in! Several brands of one size diapers can be sized to fit a newborn. The cost benefit of cloth increases with each diaper change; don’t deplete it with disposable!
- Buy less expensive diapers and wait for sales.
Some cloth diapers are more expensive than others. The costs can range from under $10 to over $25. More expensive does not always equal more effective, better for your child or even a higher quality. Sales are key, especially when you are buying your first stash. If you are using cloth to save money, it is not necessary to pay $20 per diaper for a high quality product. Also, keep costs in mind when making decisions about sized versus one-size diapers. Seconds and gently used diapers also can save big.
- Be careful with the cost of laundry.
Don’t use a dryer unless it’s absolutely necessary and be sure to fill your washing machine. Be aware that electricity and gas rates fluctuate. In some areas, the cost of electricity can fluctuate throughout the day. Find out if this is true in your area and do your wash during non-peak hours. Also, ensure that your hot water heater is properly insulated.
- Keep the diapering process simple.
Expensive detergents, wipe solutions and flushable liners are not necessary. Use a more economical detergent, make your own wipe solution and avoid liners. Flushable liners are hard on many septic systems (adding plumbing fees) and can add 3 cents to each diaper change.
If you are determined to save money with cloth, you can realize huge savings. Be aware though that cloth doesn’t always save money. By following these tips, you will save money with fluff!
Posts related to cloth diapering on a budget:
- Cloth Diaper Savings Calculator
- The Life Expectancy of a One-Sized Cloth Diaper
- The Thrift Store Cloth Diaper Project
- Cloth Diapering to Save Money