One of the primary draws to cloth diapering (CD) is saving money! At least, that is the reason I became interested. I would love to say it was for environment reasons but when it really comes down to it, money was my main motivator. That is why I want to dedicate this post to ways I have saved money on my cloth diapers and accessories, as well as other great ways to save.
I am not talking about the actual savings in comparison to disposables! If you are reading this, you likely know all about that (if not, you can read about it here). I am not even talking about what diapers to buy that will be the cheapest for you (you can find that answer here). I am simply talking about ways to get the most bang for your buck!
Great ways to save:
Buy used: It seems that some people think they are going to use cloth diapers so they run out and buy a whole stash and then change their mind before they have ever put one on their child. Or, they try a bunch of brands and fall in love with one of them and don’t want the rest. There are lots of cloth diaper fanatics out there who have cloth diapered all of their children to the potty training stage and just simply do not need their diapers anymore. So for these reasons, it is easy to find cloth diapers for sale second hand (some of them have never even been worn). Try looking on your local Kijiji or Craigslist sites or check out http://www.clothdiapertrader.com. Don’t forget about accessories – these can also be readily found second-hand!
Close-out sales: Another thing to look out for is close-out sales! Sometimes retailers go out of business or change owners and this is prime time to shop! When I first started ordering my diapers and accessories, I came across a website that was in the process of changing owners. They were selling out all of their inventory before restocking under new management. Selection was spotty but I did score some amazing deals. I bought Grovia hybrid shells as well as disposable inserts (which I only wanted for emergency), cloth-safe diaper cream, pail liners and a number of other items. I saved about 25% on each item for a total savings of about $50 on my order.
Make your own diaper sprayer: A diaper sprayer is not a necessity but it sure is nice to have. I spent $50 on mine, which is about the going rate for most of them. Truth is, now that it is set up, I realize that it is nothing more than a sink hose (like the kind that pulls out from the kitchen sink). You can easily make one yourself by picking up a sink hose and attaching it to the water intake for your toilet. There are plenty of tutorials online, so let Mr. Google help you.
Make your own re-usable liners: If you go to the accessory page of most online cloth diaper retailers you will see ‘stay-dry liners’. These are liners that are used to turn any cloth diaper into a stay-dry diaper. Normal price is about $1 each. If you plan to use them regularly, you could need quite a few. Instead of spending that money on liners, it is is very easy to make your own. Here is how: go to Walmart or any place that sells fleece blankets. Find one that says it is ‘mirco-fleece’. Go home, cut it into rectangles and then wash (or the other way around if you wish). Done! I bought a $5 micro-fleece blanket from Walmart and I ended up with over 30 liners. They are re-usable but at that price, if a few get too disgusting to wash, I won’t be sad to have them go ‘missing’.
Re-use disposable liners: Most of the disposable liners you can buy can withstand a wash or two in the washing machine (or so I am told). Dispose of the poopy ones in the toilet/compost and reuse the ones that have just been peed on. You can try them in your washer (a lot of people have success with this), but if you are paranoid like me, you can also just throw them in a bucket and when you have a small collection, rinse them by hand with some warm soapy water (use gloves if pee scares you). Just make sure to get the suds out so it doesn’t irritate your little one’s skin. They will dry in no time and you can get another use out of them.
Sell your diapers: I am not saying right this minute but when all of your children have moved onto big-kid underwear and you no longer need your diapers, try selling them to recoup the cost. Anything that is still in good shape should sell no problem. Check out Kijiji, Craigslist or http://www.clothdiapertrader.com for the going rates on the brand/style of diapers you are trying to get rid of. Anything in good used condition often sells for about 50% of the original price and anything that was only lightly used can sell for even more!