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“Do cloth diapers really save money?” is a question I get asked a lot when people find out I use cloth diapers. The short answer to this question is “yes… but it takes time.” Below I have broken down the average cost of disposable diapers, my initial start up cost of cloth diapers, and my average yearly cost to use cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers will save you a lot of money if you give it time. The initial cost of starting with cloth diapers can be huge. A good size stash of cloth diapers is going to cost you a couple hundred dollars. So at first cloth diapers are going to cost you more than disposable diapers. However, after a couple months that is going to change.
Do Cloth Diapers Really Save Money
Average Cost Disposable Diapers
The average baby goes through about 200 diapers a month. That’s about $50 a month. Which is $600 a year!! Factor in that the average baby wears diapers until they are between 3-4 years old and you are looking at $1,800-2,400! I do not know about you but I could definitely use an extra $600 a year.
Initial Cost of Cloth Diapers
My first complete set of cloth diapers from Lotus Bumz cost us $107. I made three sets of diapers myself which cost me about $300. Then I was blessed to get some Charlie Banana cloth diapers for Doodles’s baby shower and enough in gift cards to pay for part of a Trend Lab starter set. For less than $500 I have two complete sets of diapers for my house (about 2 days worth for each of the girls) and a complete set of homemade diapers for my mom’s house (about a days worth for each of the girls).
Yearly Cost of Cloth Diapers
After the initial cost of the cloth diapers, you have the extra cost of washing the diapers. If you assume a cost of $1 per load ($1.25 for top-down, $0.75 for front end, so average it out), and 3 to 4 additional loads per week, you are looking at $3-4 each week. Which is only $12-16 a month, a lot less than $50 a month for disposables.
In our household it costs us $1.45 per load because we use the apartment complex laundromat. This makes our weekly diaper cost around $4.35 and our monthly cost around $17.40. We also make our own laundry detergent which helps keep our cost down. If you buy laundry detergent you will have to factor in the cost of the laundry detergent too because you will need to buy laundry detergent for sensitive/delicate skins (i.e. the kinds without dyes or perfumes).
My yearly cost for diapering two babies is less than $215.00 for cloth diapers. That’s a savings of $985 yearly.
Cloth Diapering Money-Saving Bonus
Another bonus to using cloth diapers is that you can reuse them for each additional baby. Especially if you space your babies out better than I did 🙂 . Let’s assume that you invest in a complete set of cloth diapers for your first child which will cost about $250. Then when your first is potty training you have your second child. Unlike disposables, which are one and done, you will not have to invest another $250 to buy another set of diapers! Your second (and third and so on) will be able to use the original set of cloth diapers.
So to answer the question “Do cloth diapers really save money?” in our family the answer is “YES!!” That extra $985 sure comes in handy with two little ones.
Do you use cloth diapers? Is your family saving money by using them?
Have a great day!
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