Cloth diapers can seem intimidating at the very beginning. You may be wondering what to buy, what is enough, and how cheap you can get it. I’ve known moms who liked the idea of cloth, but assumed the start up cost would be too expensive.
Yes, it’s true, when you cloth diaper, you have to buy a few to get started. However, you can continue to grow your stash as you go along, and you don’t have to have that many to start. All of this can be done at low cost, if you know where to look!
You are also saving money in the long run! I have been baffled by mamas who say they want to save money, and they want to cloth diaper, but they just don’t have the funds. And then they go buy a big box of Huggies. Listen, if you are buying disposable diapers, you are not saving money, no matter how you spin it.
Unless someone else is picking up the tab for you, disposables are not money savers. They are money eaters.
Buying cloth not only is cheaper, better for your baby, and cuter (just being honest here), but, get this: when you’re done with them, you can sell the good ones and make some of your money back.
Can’t do that with a disposable! You are literally throwing your money in the trash!
While my cloth diapering journey may be over, I became an expert at buying cheap diapers. I hope this post inspires you to look for more ways to diaper your child, without breaking the bank.
Proven Ways to Save Money on Cloth Diapers
1) Consignment sales. YES, a million times YES. This is where I found the majority of my cloth diapers. Most of them were gently used, but some of them still had the tags on at a discounted price (this was like finding gold!). I paid on average, $3-$4 per diaper cover, and sometimes they would include the inserts.
I know buying used cloth diapers can freak some people out, but the bonus about shopping used at a consignment sale is that you can look everything over, feel the quality of the fabric, check for stains, and make a pretty good judgment. It’s actually easier to pick out cloth that way, versus staring at a computer screen and trying to make a decision.The only thing I would suggest is to make sure you aren’t overpaying for your cloth. If someone already took a shit in it, I’m not paying $20. Seriously. The most I would pay for a used nappie is $6-$7, depending on the style and brand.
Also, if you become a seller at your local consignments, you can let your clothing pay for itself! Check out my post here for using this technique to get your kids’ clothes FREE.
2) Ebay. Speaking of used diapers, Ebay is a great place to get them. I’ve had friends who did the majority of their cloth diaper shopping from this site. Many people sell their diapers in bulk, because either they don’t want to create individual listings or they think their items will be sold faster.
My only suggestion for buying through Ebay is to make sure you look at the pictures closely, so you don’t end up buying something with stains (eww!), and again, don’t overpay. I know, that one pattern is super cute, but, ask yourself if it is really worth it and go from there. If you have a question, ask the seller so you know what you are getting before you buy.
3) Ask your Eco friends. Cloth diapering is becoming more popular by the minute. Chances are, you know at least one mama who opted for cloth. Ask her if she would be willing to sell you her diapers! The key words here are “ask her to SELL” you her diapers- be courteous! I’ve had people try to worm their way into my stash, and honestly, that’s really rude.
I am all for helping out a friend, and it’s good to pay it forward. However, it’s also nice when someone makes an offer! That shows that you value your friend’s time and hard work. Who knows, they may just give them to you, especially if you are just starting out!
4) Sew your own. Ok, so I put this on the list because it’s note worthy, but I have to be honest- I’ve never sewn my own diapers. I’m a consignment hunter. However, I’ve been to the craft stores and I’ve seen special fabrics you can use (although you could also use old t-shirts too!) to whip up your own nappies. If you are strapped for cash, and you don’t have any luck with local consignments, this is a good way to go.
The possibilities are endless when if comes to sewing and DIY, so why not try making some diapers?
5) When buying new covers, go for Bummis Pull On. These were probably my favorite cloth diaper covers, because, with a wiggly toddler, they were easy to pull on without hassle! No buttons, no velcro, just upgraded “plastic pants”. You can get them in plain colors and they are relatively cheap when buying new (average is around $7 or so).
As you can see below, the Bummis Pull On Diaper Cover are pretty basic, and I never had major problems with them. Over the coarse of 2 years, I bought around 6 of these and they worked really well!
6) Swapping and donations. Even though I’m not on Facebook anymore, I know there are plenty of cloth diaper donation and swapping groups! One of my close friends helped run a group who worked entirely from donations- they were able to give a lot of families cloth diapers.
Some groups require an application to get your nappies, but the point is, these groups exist! You can also search for moms that want to swap out their diapers too.
7) Giveaways. A couple years ago, I ran a giveaway on my blog and gave out a cloth diaper cover from my own stash (brand new btw!). There’s lots of giveaways going on ALL THE TIME, so get hoppin’ and enter some! Like the old saying goes, “you can’t win if you don’t play.”
8) Reuse. Lastly, if you think you will be having more children, hold on to your cloth. You can continue to reuse cloth diapers until they kick the bucket. What you would spend on one child could potentially support you through an entire diaper season for the next child!
Cloth diapering really has been a blessing for my family. To get an idea of the financial breakdown of cloth vs. disposable, click here to read my stats. Remember, even if you spend $100 to get a good collection going, it will be saving you LOTS of money in the long run! You also never have to worry about running out late at night because you just realized you are on your last diaper. That feeling is honestly priceless.
I hope that this has given you some ideas to go out and get your diapers cheap!
Stay tuned for a follow up- I will be discussing they best way purchase used diapers, and what to look for!
Is there anything I missed? If you cloth diaper, what ways did you get your costs down?