Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fluff Talk Thursday: Cloth Diapering on a Tight Budget

Thanks again to Beth over at Happily Domestic for hosting Fluff Talk. Such a great resource for us cloth diapering parents.

One sure conversation starter is to mention that you use cloth diapers. I've found that people react one of two ways. It's either something like, "Wow, you're brave." and "Really? Gross!" Or, the more rare (but my favorite), "Cool! Me too!! What's your favorite?" When I'm in a discussion with a parent who hasn't used cloth and the topic comes to cost, they often look shocked when I tell them the price of one diaper. I always have to explain that, yes, $15-25 for one diaper can be expensive, BUT you have to keep in mind that (if taken well care of) you can use that one diaper over and over. It's well worth the money!

I've often found that one reason people choose not to cloth diaper is because of the potentially high start up cost. It can be difficult to come up with two to four hundred dollars all at once to put up for diapers. Or, as in my case, convincing my husband that we should spend that much money on diapers all at once. By they way, it took a lot of convincing and deal making, but we did eventually come to an agreement and I now have a pretty decent stash.

My advice for starting up a stash as financially painless as possible:
  • Prefolds and covers! While this is not my favorite option, it's the one I started with and it works! Prefolds are cheap. In my case, I was lucky and found a big bag of about 40 of them at a thrift store in Missouri for $5! They were really thick and worked great under my Thirsties and Bummis covers. You will need quite a few prefolds, but just a few covers, as they can be wiped out and reused until baby poops.
  • Enter giveaways. There are a ton of mommy bloggers who review and giveaway diapers, myself included. I won my Katydid this way and I love that diaper! There are also many online cloth diaper stores which host giveaways weekly. Kellys Closet is one of them. These sites also run deals all the time. I got 6 brand new, pink, Bum Genius all in ones for $106 on a closeout deal. I was really proud of that one!
  • Along the same lines as entering giveaways, look for deals. This takes some time and effort, but it's definitely worth it! I'm constantly looking for sale and clearance diapers. Most every cloth diaper site has a sale or clearance section. I've also found pretty good deals on gently used diapers. If you buy one or two diapers at a time and build your stash slowly, you can save a ton of money.
  • Take good care of your diapers! The longer your diapers last, the less of them you'll need to buy. You'll especially want to take good care of your diapers if you want to use them for more than one child. And, yes, that is very possible. I use Rockin Green detergent for all my diapers, hang my covers and throw the inserts in the dryer. When the sun's out, I put everything outside and it comes in so fresh and white! Just imagine the savings over disposables if you were able to use a stash for two babies!
  • If all else fails, make friends with a cloth diapering mama and let her know you'd be happy to take her stash off her hands when she's done with it :)
I know there are other and better ways to build a good stash for little money, but these methods worked for me. I truly plan to use my diapers on another child, if one should come along. I haven't done the actual math for this scenario, but I'm sure the savings will be tremendous!


HappilyDomestic said...

Thanks for joining today. :-) Wow...that was an awesome thrift store deal you found!! I didn't start with prefolds and covers because after calculating the cost of buying all the different sizes, it made more sense to go with pocket OS diapers. But...they didn't have OS covers when I started and that could have made a big difference on my decision. Oh and learn. :-) Wish I had found KaWaii Baby 2 years ago as well!!

The Baby Store Plus said...

One of our customers thought of a creative way to build her stash. She had a Cloth Diaper themed Baby Shower. She asked every guest of the baby shower to bring at least one cloth diaper either as their gift or in addition to the gift. Then each person who brought a CD was entered into a drawing for some cute prizes. The prizes cost her less then the CD's but the winners were still pleased that they were made to feel special and got a prize that she picked out especially for her guests.

She ended up with all of the CD she would need for the first baby and spent only about 1/4 of the cloth diaper cost for prizes. That is a 75% savings on new Cloth Diapers right there!

Another mama bought one cloth diaper every payday during her pregnancy. By the time the baby was born she had over 30 CD and it didn't 'feel' like she spent a lot since she spent approx $20-$25 per payday instead of a few hundred all at once.

Hope these ideas help someone else.


mymoho said...

I'm a new follower! Love your blog. Your picture of the baby with the diapers around him is so cute! I'm a cloth diaper mama myself.
Looking forward to reading your blog some more!
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