How to Save Thousands on Diapers

How to save thousands on diapers

How would you like to save thousands of your hard earned dollars on diapering your little one? If you are like me and are looking for ways to save money in any way you can, I have the solution for you.

Two words: Cloth diapers. Now don’t run away because I’m not talking about the same cloth diapers that were around decades ago because I’m not sure I would have jumped on the cloth diaper boat myself if that were the case. The diapers that I’m talking about are very similar to disposables and are just as easy to use.

Why I Chose Cloth Diapers

While working in a daycare with infants for over four years I came across my fair share of cloth diapers. I always told myself that I would never use them and I would even complain about a lot of them. That all changed when one of the babies in my room came in with BumGenius diapers on. Her mother raved about how amazing they were and I couldn’t help but listen. I was shocked by how  quickly I began seeing myself some day using cloth diapers!

I started doing my research and when I saw the potential savings with cloth versus disposables I knew that there was no other option for my future family. I told Hubs (my fiancé at the time) that we were going to be using cloth diapers for our babies and all he needed to hear was that we would be saving a boat load of money.

The Cost (in my case)

Depending on the type of cloth diaper that you decide to use (you should try a variety of diapers to make sure you find what works best for your family), the cost will vary a little but it’s still the same concept. As long as you don’t spend thousands of dollars on cloth diapers and be smart about it, you will save money.

For our family, we have a stash of about 40 diapers of various brands (all pocket style- 14 are newborn size and 26 are one size which means they go from about ten pounds to about 35 pounds) that I got for less than $300. I know $300 seems like a lot but it really isn’t when you compare that to disposables. These diapers are going to last me until my baby is potty trained and then I can reuse them for my next child until he or she is potty trained as well. I have even heard of moms who were able to use them for a third or fourth child (if you take care of the diapers).

What does this mean? This means that the $300 I spent could possibly last us five or six years if not longer. Let’s just say we can use these diapers only for our baby now until he’s potty trained (hopefully by 3). If I divide $300 by 36 months it comes out to $8.33 a month to diaper our little one. If we use the same diapers on our next child from birth to potty trained (assuming 3 years old again), that cost gets cut in half and we can say we diapered two children for $4.17 a month!

Unless you are an extreme couponer, chances are you will spend more than $300 over the course of your child’s diapering years and you will definitely spend more than $300 for two children to be diapered.

I know there is a lot of controversy over whether or not cloth actually saves money because you have to buy special detergent and the added water you use to actually wash the diapers costs money too but both of these points are moot.

Yes, some people may get a special laundry detergent from a name brand company for their diapers but you don’t have to. I use Purex Free and Clear with every single load of laundry I do– cloth diapers, Isaac’s clothes, and our clothes– so I’m not spending extra money on high priced detergent solely for the use of the diapers. Be sure to make sure the detergent you use doesn’t have dyes or fragrances and you’re golden. This handy dandy chart shows you how different detergents have been rated and how safe they are for cloth diapers {this got me excited about not having to buy special detergents}.

As for using the water, we have a well so we don’t have a water bill, and the hot water that I use to wash the diapers hasn’t affected our bill at all. Since I’m speaking from my own personal experience I can’t say how or if it would affect the water bill of someone living in the city but I honestly can’t imagine it would cost so much that it would negate the huge savings of using cloth. If you use cloth diapers and live in the city I’m curious to know how your water bill has been affected. You can comment below! 

If you are great at scoring deals and couponing and would be able to spend less than the cost of a stash of cloth diapers on disposables, then I tip my proverbial hat to you. I knew that was something that I would never be able to do so this, for me, was my way to save my family a lot of money. Don’t think that I am against using disposables or any family that uses them because I’m not; I’m just against having to pay for disposables! 🙂

What are some of the reasons that might be holding you back from cloth diapering if you aren’t using them already?


More about The Lazy Budgeter

Hi! My name is Deidra and I'm here to help make your life easier. :) I live in a tiny town with my husband, baby, and Golden Retriever. It doesn't get much better than this!


  1. Reply

    […] recently talked about how I save so much money diapering my little guy. In short, we basically will be able to diaper our son for roughly $8 a month until he’s […]

  2. Reply

    I feel famous!

    We didn’t have any significant water spike. Maybe $10 a year from cloth diapers and other things like baths and more laundry and dishes in general.

    1. Reply

      You should! I definitely would not have become obsessed with cloth diapers if it weren’t for you guys. Thank you for your input on the water situation. Hopefully more people will think that cloth is doable. Thanks! 🙂

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