People want to know how to save money... I'll show you some big savings with just one simple switch:
swap out disposable diapers for cloth diapers!
In the last 13 months I've spent maybe $210 on my cloth diaper collection which currently consists of the following:
- 22 PUL covers
- 30 cotton prefolds
- 10 flour sack towels, and
- 2 AIO's (All In Ones)
All of these diapers are still in great shape and would be in good enough shape to use for a future child or I could sell them on a cloth diaper b/s/t group on Facebook and make about half that amount back in cash!
*If* we had used only disposable diapers the last 13 months, we would have spent about $60 every month JUST FOR DIAPERS (not including wipes, or diaper creams, etc).
- 60 dollars x 13 months = $780!
That's a LOT of money just for something you throw in the trash!
So, do you want to see our savings in switching to only cloth diapers?
Start with the $780 we would have spent on disposable in the last 13 months. Now subtract the $210 we spent on cloth diapers:
- $780 - $210 = $570
$570 MINIMUM savings of switching completely to cloth diapers!
Lets take it one step further! Let me show you what our monthly cost for cloth diapers would be... Take the $210, of our total cloth diaper expenses, and divide it by the last 13 months:
- 210/13 = $16.15
So in reality we spent about $16.15 per month on our cloth diaper collection. The best thing about using cloth? The longer we are able to use them, the more our savings become! If Little Man is in cloth diapers until he is two we would have even lower monthly costs. Lets see them... Take 210 and divide it by 24:
- 210/24 = $8.75
Now I don't know ANYONE who uses disposables who can get away on $8.75 a month for their diapers, do you?
What about washing them, you ask. Doesn't it cost more to wash the diapers several times a week? Not really! Our water bill has gone up MAYBE $1 since we started using cloth, and in all honesty I can't be sure it was specifically from using the washer more since we were also going through the gardening season when we switched to full cloth diapers (we did use disposables for the first few weeks) so that water bill raise *could* have been caused from using the garden hose more frequently.
Okay, but what about the soap costs? Well... we have been using homemade laundry soap (many people have problems with their diapers when using homemade soap so it's not one of the best recommendations, just FYI, here is my recipe link if you want to check it out though) and use about 1 cup of liquid soap per diaper wash. I also occasionally include some white vinegar, but not always. I also occasionally include a little bleach, but rarely.
Lets work with the vinegar first, it costs less than $3 for a gallon at Walmart for the Great Value brand. In the past year of cloth diapering I'm pretty sure I've not used more than two gallons of white vinegar in my diaper laundry, just to be on the higher end. So 3 dollars a gallon times 2 gallons:
- 3 x 2 = 6
That's $6 I *might* have spent on white vinegar just for diaper loads.
Next lets do the occasional bleach. I'm not even sure what bleach costs because its been that long since I've bought any! Lets guess its about $4 a gallon. I *maybe* used 2 gallons of bleach so:
- 4 x 2 = 8
That is $8 I *might* have spent on bleach specifically for diaper loads in the last year.
Okay, now for the complicated part... the homemade laundry soap. I'm thinking it costs me about $5 to make a bucket of soap. I wash maybe 4 loads of diaper laundry a week, sometimes 3 loads a week, since I wash every 2-3 days. That would be 16 loads of diapers a month. That would be 208 loads of laundry in 13 months. I estimate I get around 84 loads off one bucket of homemade laundry soap. So that goes into 208 two times with 40 loads (of the 208) left over. So we'll say I went through 2 1/2 batches of homemade laundry soap in the last 13 months. So 2.5 buckets of soap x 5 dollars a bucket:
- 2.5 x 5 = 12.50
So laundry soap expenses the last 13 months have equaled $12.50.
What did I actually spend on washing diapers this last year? And lets not factor in the $1 raise in the water bill since its really too small to give it any thought. Take the $6 for white vinegar, and the $8 for bleach, and the $12.50 for laundry soap.
- 6 + 8 + 12.50 = 26.50
Take the total above and divide it by 13 months:
- 26.50/13 = 2.04
So every month I'm spending about $2 on washing diapers. Now lets add the washing amount with the amount estimated I spent every month on diapers for the last 13 months:
- $2 + $16.50 = $18.50
$18.50 folks! That is what my diapers have cost me each month for the past 13 months!
Final math problem for today, I promise! :) Lets figure out the monthly savings we get by using cloth the last 13 months:
- $60 - $18.50 = $41.50
$41.50 we are able to spend on something other than diapers every. single. month! Now I call that good savings!