Sunday, April 24, 2011
The Cost of Cloth . How to Save on Cloth Diapers
When people find out we cloth diaper after they get past the shock they generally have at least one of these four questions. Where do you get those now days? Aren't those a fortune? That must take a ton of time and my favorite, isn't it gross? I'm going to attempt to answer all those questions along with some diaper reviews in the next several cloth diaper video posts. For this post and video we will be looking at the cost of cloth and how you can save even more.
The upfront cost of cloth diapering is certainly greater than that of disposable diapering. Depending on the type of cloth diaper you use there is a wide range of pricing just like their is a wide range of disposable diaper pricing. Cloth diapers range from a few dollars for the basic prefold with a plastic cover and snappis or pins all the way to over $20 for the all in one one size super convenient cloth diapers. My point is their is no way to do a direct comparison of cloth diapaering costs to disposable diapering cost their are just two many variables. It's the overall cost that is what we will focus on.
The average person who cloth diapers generally recommends you have at least 12- 18 diapers. You can have more or less depending on weather you exclusively cloth diaper (we don't), how many changes you need to do a day and how often you wash the diapers. Most people wash the diapers every two days. This allows you to get a fuller load in so giving you the most for your dollar and saving some time.
Lets say for arguments sake that you purchase the most popular cloth diaper I know of the BumGenius All in One 4.0 bumGenius One-Size Cloth Diaper 4.0 - Noodle - Snap. This diaper retails for $17.95 on Amazon. If you were to purchase 18 of these diapers you would be looking at a cost of $323.10. That seems like a lot right? There are other costs to include as well like a wet bag for your diaper bag will run around $10, a diaper pail liner $14.95 and then some folks choose to get flushable liners ($8.95 for 100) or a sprayer for removing "solids" ($40-60). For this post I'm going to avoid the nitty gritty of the cost of detergent, water and electricity. So lets say for this comparison that you just get the pail liner and skip all the rest for your beginning foray into the world of cloth diapering. You are looking at investing $333.10 for diapers that should get you through at least two years if you purchase the ones that are one size / adjustable.
That probably seems like a ton of money right? Well lets look at the average cost to use disposable diapers for two years. Here again their will be variables depending on brand, amount of changes and size of the baby. You get less diapers in each pack as you go up in size. The average cost of a disposable diaper is .25 ( for those thrifty mommas like myself that's more than we would consider paying but still it's the average). The average child goes through 60 changes a week in disposables. More in the newborn stage. Less as they get older. So that comes to $15 per week or $1600 for two years. That is not including the diaper pail refills. The $333.10 is looking better right?
Well here is even better news you can do it for even less than $333 and still get the more modern pinless diapers with no plastic pants needed. It does take a little looking though. The way I have saved even more on cloth diapering is by limiting the number of diapers I purchase new. There are a few that were given to me as wonderful gifts but mostly my diapers are purchased pre-owned.
I know people are a little hesitant to purchase pre-owned diapers because they are concerned about the condition of the diaper. I decided to show you some of my cloth diapers that I purchased pre-owned in this video. You can get some great buys this way. I feel that the diapers I show here are a good representation of what you will typically find for re-sale. One thing that the video does not mention is that the larger sized diapers or the one size fits all diapers typically show more wear than the smaller sizes. To me the best value is the one size diaper.
As I mentioned in the video my BUY price for pre-owned diapers is $8 (including shipping if applicable). Here are a few places to look if you want to get deals like I do on cloth diapers.
Ebay - Remember to buy from a seller with great feedback and preferably someone who has feedback from other diaper sales.
Craigslist - I would only purchase from this venue if I was able to see a photo of the diaper.
Local childrens consignment stores and sales- I have a great store near me and I was also able to get 3 fuzzibunz diapers for $15 at a local consignment semi annual sale a few weeks ago.
Amazon - The prices on Amazon are usually good for diapers and a good deal will ship for free when you use you Prime account from Amazon Mom. They do not however sell pre-owned.
Moms Clubs- If you belong to a moms club that has a clothing swap you may want to be on the look out for cloth diapers.
Any way you do the math cloth diapering costs more upfront but saves a ton in the end. If you are interested in specifically how much you would save by going to cloth Diaperpin.com has a great calculator.