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Do you want to use cloth diapers but feel like things are too tight financially?
Do you not own a washer, and think washing diapers at the laundromat will be too difficult or expensive?
Do you need to switch to cloth immediately (for example, baby is allergic to disposables) but feel there’s no time to start a cloth diaper savings plans?
I have good news for you – there is a solution to virtually all of these problems! You can cloth diaper very cheaply or nearly free – it just takes some education and know-how. Affordable diapering options are definitely within your reach.
I NEED FREE DIAPERS
1. Check out my free diaper resource page for how to find them at little or not cost to you.
2. Check out this list of diaper charities that give or loan packages at little or no cost to you.
3. Consider adding cloth diapers to your registry during pregnancy. You can find prefolds (and sometimes covers, pockets and hybrids) at Wal-Mart and BabiesRUs and Target. You can also buy diapers on Amazon.
4. Please enter my giveaways, and come back for the daily entries. If you are expecting, please sign up for my monthly drawing.
I NEED CHEAP DIAPERS
1. Cheap covers are not hard to come by. I often see used covers for $5 postage included at Diaper Swappers; at Diaper Safari (aff), you can buy a brand new one-size cover (Diaper Safari brand) for $8.95 and shipping is free. Nicki’s sells Kawaii one-size covers for just $7.95 and shipping is also free. I have personally tried both brands and they work and fit great.
2. Almost anything in your house that absorbs liquid will make a decent diaper. Some ideas: old cotton towels, receiving blankets, cotton or flannel sheets or tablecloths, etc. Cut them into 27×27 inch squares. You can also fold an old t-shirt into a soft and absorbent diaper.
3. Cut a fleece blanket or fleece fabric scraps into a simple cover. Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry has an awesome no-sew $1.00 fleece cover video tutorial. Try this tutorial or this one. Fleece covers will do in a pinch, but without elastics and a fully waterproof material like wool or PUL you’ll want to be extra careful about the diaper you’re using underneath. Scroll down through Kim’s post and check out her budget stash for fifteen bucks.
4. Some of the best diapers are also the cheapest. High-quality cotton prefolds start at are $1.83 each in packs of 6 at Nicki’s, and you get free shipping. Imagine birdseye flat diapers are $2.25 each at Nicki’s. Two packs (12 total) of “old school” cotton flour sack towels can be found at Wal-Mart.
I HAVE NO WASHER AND/OR DRYER
1. You can hand wash your diapers at home using this method. If the idea of washing by hand seems gross, wear a sturdy pair of gloves
2. Cloth diapers can be washed at the laundromat. Check out the RDA’s cloth diaper “Laundromat Challenge” for help and support. You can save all your extra quarters in a jar labeled “diapers.” To save faster, sell some stuff or sacrifice little things like coffee at Starbucks or that can of Pepsi you drink every day. Every time you get change back from any purchase, hold back the dimes and quarters for your jar and it will add up quickly. Make sure your spouse is dropping spare quarters in the jar, too.
3. Save up and invest in a Wonder Wash, which you can use at home to launder 5 pounds of diapers at a time. It’s small enough to fit on a countertop or in your tub and is less than $45 dollars.
4. Use flat diapers, which are the cheapest to buy and the easiest/quickest to clean, whether by hand or at the laundromat. You can even pre-rinse them at home before taking your load to the coin laundry.
5. If you have no dryer, it’s very easy and cheap to set up a simple clothesline either outside or in your house or apartment. A drying rack also works well.
6. Do the numbers and compare the costs. Due to the varying cost of living in different places, it could very well be that doing 2 or 3 more loads of laundry will cost as much as, or more, than disposables. In that case, your best bet might be to slowly start building up a stash of cloth diapers for future use, or if you are anticipating owning a washer at some point in time.
IT WILL TAKE TOO LONG TO SAVE UP FOR A DIAPER STASH
1. Many families mistakenly think that you’ve got to make an investment of $100 or more to have a “real” diaper stash. Not so! Check out my ideas for 3 cheap starter diaper systems: start small and spend anywhere from $20 to $50.
2. You don’t have to jump in full time. Phase in the cloth diapers slowly as you add to your stash. Ditch the disposables for good when you’ve got 2 days worth of diapers. And pat yourself on the back for a job well done!