Saturday, January 19, 2013

7 Tips to Save Money on Cloth Diapers

If you're cloth diapering you're already saving a ton of money compared to using disposable diapers.  However, you can stretch your savings even further by using these money-saving tips.

1. Used Cloth diapers
Buying used is the best way to go "green".  Used cloth diapers can be found at consignment sales, Craig's List, online, and various local retailers.  Used cloth diapers are very in demand, but be sure to price compare before purchasing to get a fair price. Beware that used cloth diapers may have build-up that needs to be removed before use (you might be purchasing someone else's repelling or stink problem), so ask questions about how the diapers were laundered.

2. Seconds
"Seconds" are cloth diapers that didn't quite pass quality control at the manufacturing plant in order to be sold at full price.  Diapers sold as seconds may have very minor defects that don't affect function.  These types of diapers usually don't have any type of manufactures warranty.

3. Coupons
Cloth diapers are on sale all the time.  Unless it's an emergency, avoid buying cloth diapers unless you can get a deal and use a coupon.  Sometimes coupons that are run through manufacturers (buy 4 get 1 free), can be combined with individual retailer coupons (10% off total purchase) for awesome savings.  If you aren't picky about brand type or color, Kelly's closet (aff link) constantly run coupons where you can get a free diaper by spending X number of dollars.

4. Reward points
Many cloth diaper retailers offer rewards to repeat customers.  Rewards points are based off the amount of money you spend at a particular store. Rewards points can be used for free merchandise or gift cards to the store, so it might pay to shop one retailer instead of many.

5. Giveaways
Giveaways are one area where you might make yourself a little crazy, but it could pay off with free merchandise.  Weigh the value of your time before spending 8 hrs entering 100 contests for free diapers.  I encourage giveaway seekers to look for individual bloggers who run contests specifically for their readers.  These types of contests may require a little more effort to find and enter, but you may have a 1/20 chance of winning compared to 1/2000 chance with a larger blog or website.

6. Volume discounts
Some diaper manufacturers and retailers offer discounts for purchasing larger quantities of diapers at a time (usually 6+ of a particular style).  Make sure that you are really sold on that brand and style before you buy (it's always a good idea to buy 1, try it, and go back for more later).  However if you have a particular brand that has really worked well for you, then purchasing a large batch makes sense.

7. Watch out for impulse buys
Impulse buys are never a good idea when you're trying to keep to a budget.  If you are prone to impulse shopping, limit your exposure to websites such as BabySteals.  Impulse shopping doesn't give you time to research and price compare (could you have gotten those diapers in better colors for less somewhere else?).  The best deal often takes some hunting, but occasionally you can find a really great deal by luck. Do some research ahead of time to get an idea of what a "good deal" really is.

Building a diaper stash takes time and patience.  Don't feel like you must have everything figured out and purchased before baby arrives!

What are some tips you have to save money on cloth diapers?


  1. My stash was paid for largely by my baby shower. Though I did not receive any cloth as gifts, I did plan ahead, and registered for plenty of things that conventional parents use (but a crunchy attachment parent like myself would not). Then I returned them for store credit, sold the store credit to the store (you know the one, the ubiquitous one) and sold that store credit to a gift card exchange for amazon store credit. Yes, I did lose about 10% in value, but the prices on amazon are usually at least that much cheaper, I definitely broke even at least.

    I have about thirty newborn diapers and forty one sized/sized diapers, thanks to the generosity of my friends and family, and some careful budget buying, I have only spent 200$.

    1. Katie- I love your idea to plan ahead about what items to return from a baby shower. Baby showers can be so tough because people tend to buy a lot of "cute" but unhelpful items, and then the recipient is still left having to purchase a ton of necessities. I love that you've been able to save so much money and spent only $200- way to go!

  2. I built my stash slowly over time. I personally recommend waiting for sales such as around holidays. I got quite a few of my diapers on sale. I also love sites that offer rewards points. I then was to buy more diapers with the points.