Monday, January 9, 2012

Cloth Diapering On 19 Cents A Day!

During my two year anniversary giveaway, someone mentioned that they would like to hear more about cloth diapers. I decided not to make this into one of my "Let's Talk" blog posts, being that I have already blogged about why we chose cloth diapering and 5 cloth diapering tips.

However, one area I haven't blogged about and one that I am asked a lot about, is the financial cost of cloth diapering. As I mentioned in my first post on cloth diapering, when I started cloth diapering I researched and tried out many different kinds. Most of that was via Diaper Swappers as I had every question under the sun and not a lot of money to make a mistake and buy the "wrong" diaper.

Part of my stash of Bum Genius diapers that I use today. Most of my organic ones are currently dirty as I use them daily!

From the very start of cloth diapering in early 2008, I wished that someone would make an all-in-one diaper that was one-size and organic. Turns out someone did and still does. That someone is Bum Genius. I was one of the very first people to buy their All-in-One, Organic, One-Size diaper (which has now become known as the Elemental cloth diaper). From the second I tried it on Zoelle, I knew this was the diaper. It was trim, held a ton, was one-size (so it would last us for years), and most importantly, it was affordable. Basically, I wanted a diaper that was just like a disposable, but healthy for my baby's body and the environment, all while being inexpensive enough to afford a dozen. After trying one and realizing that this was it, I bought a dozen from Cotton Babies, my go-to cloth diaper store!

The original Bum Genius Cloth Diaper on Zoelle in May 2008

I'm not positive on what I paid for a dozen of those diapers 4 years ago (I tried looking it up, but couldn't find it), but if I bought a dozen Bum Genius Elemental diapers today it would cost me $264.95. It seems like a lot of money upfront. However, if I told you that four years later I still have those same dozen diapers and they are still working excellently, would you believe me??

Well you need to, because right now Xiomara is wearing one of those diapers! Of course I've added to my stash over the years and as I mentioned, I also have Bum Genius all-in-one sized diapers along with a few other brands. However, my main staple in diapers have always been those original 12 diapers that have now gone through three girls.

Just recently I thought about selling those diapers and buying some new ones. However, as I thought more on it, I just couldn't do it. Xiomara is about a year away from being fully potty trained and I want to say and know that my original investment was worth it. Outside of my original investment, I have only had to invest in a bag of soap every six months, and then the cost of actually laundering them (which we have maybe only noticed a few dollars per month difference).



So based on today's price for those same dozen diapers, cloth diapering from May 8, 2008 (the day I first put Zoelle in one of those diapers) to today has roughly cost us:

19 cents a day

Versus, the size 3 cheap Target brand of disposables costing 14 cents per diaper.

I would say that was definitely a wise investment 4 years ago. Thank you Bum Genius and Cotton Babies!!

Did you know cloth diapering can be that cheap? Have you ever considered it yourself? What factors are holding you back from taking the leap?


Disclosure: No compensation is being given for writing this post and my thoughts are 100% honest and true. However, by writing it I am entering both myself and one person who comments on this post to win a dozen one-size cloth diapers via the All I Want For Christmas contest.

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36 comments:

  1. We recently started cd with some "loaners" from a friend. I have been covering the Bum Genius though. I think.you just have me the little shove I needed to just go buy some. Thank you for the frank review. :) We are loving cd and the best is never calling my husband "we're out if diapers!". Nope, just run a load. It's awesome.

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    1. Glad I could give you that shove! You won't regret it! :)

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  2. We recently started cd with some "loaners" from a friend. I have been covering the Bum Genius though. I think.you just have me the little shove I needed to just go buy some. Thank you for the frank review. :) We are loving cd and the best is never calling my husband "we're out if diapers!". Nope, just run a load. It's awesome.

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  3. I am due in March and would love to try the Bum Genius. The cloth diapers now days are SO much better than when I was changing my siblings diapers years ago (and would occasionally poke them with the pin by accident....)

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    1. That is the first thing my mom said when she first saw our Bum Genius diapers! Quite a difference!

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  4. I never cloth diapered, but if I had little ones now, I definitely would. My brother and his wife are expecting their third (second is 18 months) in a few weeks and I know they would make use of them.

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    1. How awesome that even though you never cloth diapered, you are willing to spread the love!

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  5. I have been converted, sadly to say on our 4th child. But with many years before potty training ahead, I think the investment is so worth it. I have been making diapers, so being able to expand the stash would be awesome. I love CD stories. I am on my own as rest of family including hubby feels it is gross. But I am sticking to my cloth guns!

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    1. My hubby had a hard time at first. But it didn't take him long to realize they are not gross and they are just as easy as a disposable.

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  7. I love the financial breakdown of things! You can definitely see how financially, cloth diapers make cents, no pun intended! :-)

    As I'm expecting and will now have two in diapers, I really need to get a move on and get more diapers. Also, I've been using Flip covers (thank you, BumGenius) with prefolds, but I can see how for ease it would be awesome to have some one size diapers! By the way, I shared this on my Facebook fan page...because I love cloth diapers and I'm a numbers geek. :-)

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    1. Thanks for sharing! :) And yes it really does make sense (cents) when brokendown!

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  8. It's so nice to see the savings like that. $0.19 vs $0.14/diaper! And, I'm sure with my first two, I never got them that cheap!

    I'm working on convincing my sister for when she has babies. Hopefully, when she sees her niece (who arrives next month), she'll get on board, too.

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    1. Hey my sister convinced me, so I bet she just may.

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  9. I love that your original dozen diapers are still in use! I sold Jenna's (14 bum genius one-size) when she potty trained and got all my money back. Lauren has had a much larger and varied stash, but I recently sold a bunch and will sell the remainder later this year. Cloth diapering definitely saves money.

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    1. I thought it was pretty amazing that they have held up this long. Attests to the Bum Genius quality.

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  10. I love the numbers breakdown - this is the sole reason why we started with cloth (initially), and even on the worst days (you know the diapers I'm talking about!), its why I won't switch over. I hate buying diapers that I throw away. But cloth diapers that are adorable AND hold their value (I can re-sell some of the limited edition ones for double what I paid for them?!) - I'll deal with that :) Thanks for the breakdown!

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    1. Oh yes, Chris reminded me that re-selling them when I am done saves even more. Plus they are adorable! Definitely a win win.

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  11. I love this! It makes so much sense. Cloth diapers save you a lot with one child, but when you can use the same ones with all of your children you save even more! I started out with prefolds and covers. Didn't mind them on a small baby. So i saved them so I can use them when I have the next one because I am sure Scarlett will still be in diapers at that point too. So I wont have to buy more diapers! Right now I use all-in-twos (Best Bottoms) on Scarlett and Bum genius pockets (which I LOVE) I might eventually sell the all-in-twos and just use one size bum genius. I have tried a few other pockets but they always leaked out the sides because Scarletts legs are so tiny. But I have never had one leak with my bumgenius diapers. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Bum Genius are just plain old awesome!

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  12. Wow! 19 cents a day! I was doing the math and disposables would cost me about 25 cents PER diaper, so that is some serious savings! I estimate my savings at between $15-$20 per week! So glad that money can be put to better use somewhere else in our budget!

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  13. Wow that is cheap! We love our cloth diapers and now that baby #2 is on the way we will save even more money. It was definitely a good investment.
    etwilkins at gmail dot com

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    1. Yep using those diapers over again is a huge money saver.

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  14. We're cloth diapering our first child right now, and money was a huge reason we chose cloth! We have a full newborn stash, which I look forward to using on future children, but our one-size stash isn't complete. I'm not really sure when it will be, as we're currently both unemployed, but even if we have to do laundry every day, that's better than rushing out to buy disposables! Heck, if we can't afford a few more cloth diapers, how could we afford any disposables if we had to?

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    1. No kidding. Cloth just makes more sense.

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  15. I intend to cloth diaper when my precious little one arrives. The upfront cost is daunting, but it's good to know that it's such a good investment. I may just have to share this blog post for those who question my decision!

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  16. I love Bum Genius also! I haven't tried the organic ones but would love to add them to our collection. I have 12 diapers and two boys that use them so I would be thrilled to win the pack. :) Yay for cloth diapers.

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    1. Fun that you can re-use them with both boys. Economical too.

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  17. I'm only 20 years old, and can't say I have any diapering stories or experiences. Heck I'm not even married yet (crossing fingers it won't be much longer now). But I've been wishing more and more that I would have started a "hope chest" a few years ago. I've been slowly transitioning into more natural products, and I really want to start my own family with those habits. I came across cloth diapering sometime last year, and I've been intrigued ever since. I connect diapers with Walmart, crowded and noisy stores, huge shopping carts, and a thinner wallet. And maybe it sounds silly, but I have different associations with cloth diapers. They seem more personal, gentler, and I dream of my own little family just starting out. It's like the difference between a home-cooked meal and settling in with a Disney movie vs greasy fast-food on a sticky table and corralling screaming kids into the car. Cloth just sounds more like home and the better choice, rather than taking mothering advice from big name brands trying to sell me something to put in my garbage can. I plan to have homegrown children that are not raised by manufacturing companies. (Note - I'm not strictly against mass-produced items or supercenters, I just think moderation is best). Besides that, I believe in work over waste. And if I gain a new hobby/addiction (which I probably will), all the better!
    So I figure I may as well start that "hope chest" now, and you can bet it will have cloth diapers in it! I can't wait!! Thanks for the article, the inspiration, and for helping add to the goals of a future mother!

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    1. This comment made me smile. I think you are very wise to look into all of this now. Way to go!

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  18. I like your post title. I didn't realize that it is only 19 cents a day! That is awesome, I will have to tell my husband just how much money we are saving by using cloth. I have 2 in cloth (ages 7 months and 24 months). I love not having to run to the store with two little ones in tow to buy diapers. A couple more cloth would be nice though, we end up having to get a bit creative sometimes when mommy falls behind on the laundry:)

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    1. Not having to run to the store is the best!

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  19. I have nine children, and am disappointed with myself that I didn't "discover" cloth diapering until our 7th was on the way and I realized that I would have THREE in diapers (our #s 5 & 6 were still quite young.) I began with covers and prefolds and am still using the same covers. The larger prefolds did eventually give out after four children, but a friend generously gave me several new replacements.
    With our 9th, we were given a BumGenius one size as a gift and I LOVE it!! Just looking at it, I thought it would be too bulky on her little newborn legs, but I decided to try it on her to see if it would fit and it was surprisingly trim! If I could, I'd get a bunch of these!!
    I, too, am so glad to not have to make a trip to town because we're out of diapers!!

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    1. Way to go being resourceful. And who knows you may still be able to use them for more cute little ones. ;)

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Feel free to share any jewels or treasures in your comments to me. :)