Sunday, December 4, 2011

Will I Really Save Money with Cloth?

Most of us have heard that you will save thousands of dollars if you switch to cloth diapers. But, I have a lot of moms ask me if they will really save that much. They don't buy the more expensive brand name diapers. They stick with store brands or buy them on Amazon. They say there is no way they will save that much money.
Trust me, you will!

You will use more disposable diapers than this in 3 days!
You could spend around $1000 a year per kid on disposable diapers & wipes. Even if you use the generic store brand, you're going to spend at least $700 per kid per year. Don't forget to add gas and/or shipping costs to that! C'mon, you know that moment when you pull the last disposable diaper out of the bag and realize you don't have any more? I don't know how many trips I had to make to the store for just diapers.
Around the same amount of cloth diapers will last for years!
We were able to buy a full stash of cloth diapers for around $500. But, you could spend less or more than that. If you stick with prefolds & covers, your costs will be a lot less. We use cloth wipes that I made myself with old t-shirts, receiving blankets and scraps of flannel. For a wipes solution, you can just use water. Yes, there is the cost of detergent & washing your diapers. The detergent we use costs around $15 and it lasts for at least 45 loads. That's around 33 cents every 2-3 days. Our water & energy bills combined maybe went up $5 but I'm also doing more regular laundry because I have a very messy little boy. :)
If you take good care of your cloth diapers, you can use the same ones for other children you'll have. And, you can also resell used cloth diapers that are in good condition for around 50% of the retail price!
So, here is a quick breakdown on costs:

(I am figuring very low costs on the disposable diapers and high costs on cloth diapers. More than likely, you will spend more on disposables and less on cloth. I'm also not including costs of diaper creams.)
*I'm averaging 10 diapers/day for the first 2 months and 6 diapers/day for the next 10 months. Although, it is generally recommended you change diapers more often than that. :)
Generic Disposable Diapers: Approx $550
Generic Disposable Wipes: Approx $120
Total for one year: $670
Enough Cloth Diapers to wash every 2-3 days: Approx $500
Cloth Wipes (use old t-shirts & receiving blankets with water) :$0
Laundry Costs: Approx $50
Total for one year: $550
Disposable Costs after 2 years: $1340
Disposable Costs after 3 years: $2010
Disposable Costs after diapering a 2nd child for another 3 years: $4020
Cloth Costs after 2 years: $600
Cloth Costs after 3 years: $650
Cloth Costs after diapering a 2nd child for another 3 years: $800

So, after 6 years of diapering, you will spend over $4000 using generic, store brand disposables and only $800 or less using cloth diapers! If you use brand name disposable diapers, you will spend much more than that.
How much money do you think you've saved since switching to cloth?


  1. I know I've probably saved enough in the last 6 months to cover what I spent on my stash of cloth. I've spent about $350 total, and I used to spend about $50 per month on disposable diapers (that's with using coupons & watching for sales & "bonus packs" but not including the copious amounts of rash cream for my super sensitive girl & the tons & tons of throw away wipes we went through!) I couldn't use the cheapie brands of disposable diapers, but the less expensive cloth diapers work just fine for us. =) And I don't miss the midnight diaper runs, stalking the sale ads, the obsessive coupon clipping OR the piles of stinky diapers. Now I love my beautiful, colorful, soft fluff on my little girl's bum!

  2. I used to dedicate $70 per month to buying diapers and wipes for two children! I invested in cloth diapers spending about $500 total. I still use disposable wipes which cost about $10 per month. in just 6 months, we have made back our investment and for the next two years (my littlest is 3 months), I will not HAVE to buy anything!