Frugal Enough To Use Cloth Diapers?

The dollars saved from using a cloth diaper instead of disposable diapers for babies is about $35-$80 a month, $420-$1020 a year! This comes out to savings that amount to over $2000 over the lifespan of the infant. (link)

$80 a month may seem like a lot of money to some people. To others, $80 is an insignificant amount of money. The real value of a dollar is determined by everyone’s individual wealth level.

For a frugal person, $80 could possibly feed him for a couple of weeks. On the other hand, some people may spend $80 or more in a night to have dinner, drinks, and entertainment.

Personally, I think that $80 is a huge sum of money that could possibly buy me a whole week’s worth of groceries. I care A LOT about a sum of money that would able to feed me for a week if spent wisely.

Over this past weekend, I was hanging out with some friends and brought up the concept of using cloth diapers instead of the widely used disposable diapers. Neither I nor my friends have children, but the hypothetical situation of dealing with sh*t all day to save a few bucks was met with much controversy.

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How Much Do You Care About $80?

It seems quite obvious to the frugal money saver that cloth diapers are a no-brainer. Why don’t more people in 1st world countries simply use a cloth diaper instead of disposable diapers? Before the invention of disposable diapers, humans seemed to be getting along just fine.

Besides the obvious reasons of not wanting to clean up your child’s mess, there are very few excuses that can justify why we should use disposable diapers over cloth diapers. Cloth diapers help the environment and been proven to reduce diaper rash.

Cloth diapers are cheap, reusable, and requires just a few minutes a day to clean. Seriously, here is the link on Amazon for cloth diapers where you can purchase a 10 pack for only $12!

Why don’t more families that are struggling to make ends meet use cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers?

The answer is obvious. No one is willing to put in the effort to clean up after their child’s mess just to save just a few dollars a day. People are unwilling to put in the effort to solve a problem if they can simply buy the solution. Instead of fixing a leaky pipe, we call the plumber. Instead of cooking food, we order food on Seamless. Instead of cleaning a piece of cloth for our baby to wear, we buy the convenient disposable counterpart.

Why can’t we learn to fix a leaky pipe by reading a book or watching a YouTube video? Why can’t we simply plan ahead and cook an affordable delicious meal at home instead of outsourcing our cooking to restaurants? Why can’t we clean and reuse cloth diapers instead of litter landfills with thousands of disposable diapers? The answer is that we can do all of these things if we put in the effort.

If you aren’t willing to deal with a little bit of metaphorical (or actual) sh*t, then you will never be able to retire early or become financially independent at a young age.

Of course, I am choosing the most dramatic lifestyle change I can think of in order to draw a point. Exiting the ‘Rat Race’ is considered a fantasy for so many workers today. My point is that this dream of ‘Financial Independence’ can be a reality if people decide to make the right changes in life. These changes in life may seem like a ‘sacrifice’, but I promise that over time any change will be as natural as breathing air.

What lifestyle changes can you make today that will start saving big money over time?

-Jack

P.S. Seriously, tell me. I would love to hear how other people save money.

13 comments

  1. It is definitely a clever way to save money, especially if you plan to have more than 1 child! I am currently using cloth diapers with my first child and it is really not much work.. I am VERY lazy normally and cloth diapering takes 15/20 min of my time every 2 days (washing them and drying them in the sun). Sometimes people give up even with just the idea that something takes effort! 🙂

  2. Where I come from diapers are only affordable to the middle class, upper middle class so cloth diapers are the way to go. They do save a whole lot of money if you add it up in the long run and should be a cost cutting measure for any family that needs such intervention. Lovely site. You have great financial insight.

    1. Thanks for your comment and kind words!

      Cloth diapers are just the most extreme example i can think of. I think its worth noting that there are less extreme lifestyle changes that can save even more than cloth diapers.

      Take gardening for example, this may be more applicable to people as a savings tactic than cloth diapers. 🙂

  3. Hi! I’m using cloth diapers (except at night, because sadly, disposables are much more absorbent and up to the task of continuing to work for 10-12 hours). But instead of washing them myself, I use a delivery service. This definitely reduces my cost-savings, but also, never underestimate how much extra housework having a kid generates! My husband and I constantly remark that we feel like we’re constantly cleaning AND our house constantly feels like a mess.

    Anyway, I expect to delve into this more in the future because I’m not sure I’m saving any money at all on the cloth diaper venture (you can get some great deals on disposables if you’re paying attention). The real reason I started doing it was environmental. And, whether cloth is actually more environmentally friendly is hotly debated!

    But you’re definitely right — almost nobody uses cloth anymore. Even some of my most environmentally-obsessed friends said no thank you once they had their kids and realized how much laundry they’re doing already. In fact, my son is the ONLY kid in his (rather large) daycare that uses cloth. We’ve had to show several of the teachers how to use them!

    1. that sounds delightful! having pre-school teachers deal with these cloth diapers sounds hilarious!

      I am glad you are using them even though the majority of people find it strange. great job!

  4. Cloth… I think it depends on what amount of your life energy you want to expend dealing with them. Generally you rinse them in the toilet, store them until you have a load to run, and then wash them hot and with bleach. If you are a working parent or have other obligations, those Huggies look mighty good.

      1. I hope you do too. Sometimes as a new parent you’re just so freakin tired! You have to not beat yourself up in these instances. Today’s Huggies will be tomorrow’s clarinet rental. P.s. I love giving practical baby shower gifts like diapers! That’s one of the gifts I appreciated most.

  5. Good question! I used cloth diapers (or nappies here in the UK) for my son part-time. I did not use them at night or on long journeys. Amazingly, they kept their value fairly well and I sold them used for about 50% of their original purchase price! I am a big fan of them, but cannot deny that they were hard work.

    1. Wow! Great to hear from someone who has tried it!

      I am definitely committed to using them if/when i have a baby.

      My friends are generally disgusted by the idea. But I am more disgusted about the idea of wasting money and polluting the earth with thousands of diapers.

      Thanks for your comment!

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