Saturday, December 13, 2008

Savings calculations for cloth diapering

Using cloth diapers is one excellent way a family with babies can save money. They are very easy to use and not any more trouble than using disposable diapers.

Here are my family's calculations as far as spending/saving on diapers goes. This is not a very precise or scientific calculation, given that my math skills aren't the greatest, but it gives a good idea of what we've been doing and shows that we have saved money with it, even though we didn't start it until very late in the game.

Okay, here goes:


$36 for a few things from FSOT (For Sale or Trade at
$10 for materials to make diapers (two flannel sheets from Goodwill and a few really big men's t-shirts from yard sales)
$10 for sewing notions (scissors, thread, pins, measuring tape, etc.)
$35 for used sewing machine at Goodwill
$20 for a new bobbin case for the machine

TOTAL: $111


$2 for more materials (new t-shirts at yard sales and some flannel at Goodwill)

$22 for 3.5 dozen Gerber diapers

$6.50 for 1 dozen Gerber diapers

= 30.50

SOLD ...

$5 (1 prefold diaper)

$5 (1 pocket diaper)

$15 (3 prefold diapers)

= 25.00


2 AIOs (all-in-one diapers) for a pair of sneakers

4 covers for 11 prefold diapers (this was an excellent trade BTW!)

I am going to say the “sold” and the “traded” cancels out at least the original $36 on FSOT.

I am going to take out the $10 for sewing notions since they can be/are being used for other things than sewing diapers.

I am going to take out the $35 for the machine /$20 for the new bobbin since the machine can be/is being used for other things.

That leaves my original cost of $10 for materials plus the new $30.50 for materials and diapers.

I didn't calculate in shipping costs for mailing diapers sold/traded.

I'm not putting in the cost of extra water and detergent since it is minimal (2 loads a week).

Nor am I counting the cost of my time/gas to go to my mom's to get free materials or my time to make the diapers.

That leaves me with a GRAND TOTAL of $40.50 actual cost for the diapers I'm now using! That would buy less than a month's worth of disposable diapers using a big $10 Fred's brand (our favorite brand) each week. We've been doing this for three months.

If I LEAVE IN the $10 for sewing notions plus $35/$20 for the sewing machine that gives me an actual cost increase of $65 which brings the total to $105.50, which would buy about 10 weeks worth of disposable diapers. That would bring us to about breaking even on diapers right now. We are now using probably one small $5 pack of disposable diapers every four to six weeks.

So either way we have saved/will save money! WHOOHOO!!

I expect him to be in diapers for four to six more months, and I'd also like to have another child that we would cloth diaper starting at a few months of age. If we had another one I could diaper that child pretty much for free, since I already have a size large stash and enough materials to make size small and size medium stash and plenty of Gerber diapers to supplement it.


Bloggers said...

Awesome!! I just love to see how much we all save by using cloth diapers.

Stacey said...

I probably haven't saved much at all yet, but now that I'm expecting another little one, I think it will all pay off. I spent under $200 for a newborn stash, and will probably spend another $200 on a small stash, and then I have waaay more diapers than I need from birth to potty training. And I haven't made much of my stash at all. Most of it is prefolds that I bought new, with some fitteds thrown in too.