I have talked many times before about cloth diapers and my experiences with them. You can search all over the internet for posts about how much money cloth diapers will save you, but these are all estimates and very few of them are from first hand experience. That’s why I thought I would share how cloth diapers saved us money, from a personal perspective.
I have to start by saying, I don’t use cloth diapers 100% of the time. My husband doesn’t like them, so if I am not home, he is using disposables, but this is usually only once a week or so. I also have only found one diaper that works overnight, and since my daughter is starting to show interest in using the potty, I would rather not spend more money on cloth diapers right now, so most nights we still use disposables. I also use disposables if we are going on long car rides and sometimes when we are not home (such as when we visit family for 4-5 days).
When I add everything up that I spent on cloth diapers and cloth diapering supplies, I spend about $412 total for about 35 diapers, inserts, and wet bags. I bought all the diapers new on Amazon or Ebay, other than the 5 I bought from a friend that were used, and I didn’t spend more than $10 for each diaper. If you know much about cloth diapers, that is a great price for new diapers.
Now, to put this in perspective, I was buying one box of diapers a week, and since my daughter has sensitive skin, I have to use brand name diapers. I would change her diaper an average of 7-8 times per day, meaning in a week I would go through anywhere from 49 to 56 diapers. The diapers I had to use cost $0.27 each, meaning I would spend $13.23 to $15.12 on diapers every week. If you multiply that by 52 weeks, that is anywhere from $687.96 to $786.24 a year. I would say that this is even the lower end of the scale of what I was spending on diapers.
Now, I am not spending near that on diapers. I spend less than $2 a week on diapers now since we only use them at night. This means that in a year I will only spend $98.28 on diapers. If you add that to the $412 I spent on cloth diapers, I will spend only about $510 on diapering this year, saving me $177 to $276 this year.
It doesn’t seem like much, but it can add up.
For example, if I use these diapers for another child, and use the same process (my husband uses disposables and we use disposables at night), I could save a total of $442.50 to $690 per each additional child (assuming they are potty trained at 2 1/2 years old).
Not to mention the fact that I can also sell these used diapers for an average of $5 each, assuming they are still in good condition. This means I can get about $175 back from selling the diapers.
Now, let’s assume my daughter is potty trained in a year, and I use these diapers for another child, then I resell them. Using the lower end of my calculations, I could save $794.5 total. That is how much it costs to use disposable diapers for a whole year! Imagine what I could do with that money!
I know what you are thinking now, what about the cost to wash and dry the diapers? Doesn’t that make up the difference? I have not noticed a difference in my water or gas bills since I have been washing diapers. It only adds up to 1 to 2 extra loads of laundry a week, not really enough to make much of a difference.
You don’t see savings immediately because there are upfront costs with cloth diapering, but over time you will notice that you are saving a little bit of money here and there, and that can make a big difference. The savings compounds with each additional child, meaning the more children you can use the diapers for, the more savings you will see.
Have you used cloth diapers? When did you notice that they started saving you money?