So, if you’ve decided to take the plunge and use cloth diapers, have convinced daddy to come on board and have determined which of the 9 diaper types perfectly suits your family. Maybe you’ve already picked up a copy of Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert! The next step in converting to cloth diapers is to build your stash!
Now comes the fun part! I will warn you, though: Building a cloth diaper stash can become quite the addiction! No, truly–there are women who literally spend hours and hours checking out cloth diaper stores online and visiting forums where they trade around their stashes. (Not that I’ve ever participated in anything of the sort. 😉 )
But here’s the thing: Although building your cloth diaper stash can be fun, you don’t want to overdo it to the point where you actually spend more money on your cloth diapers than you would have on disposables! That’s kind of defeating one of the reasons to use cloth diapers in the first place!
And modern cloth diapers, like pockets, all-in-ones and sleeve diapers–are not cheap. So how can you build a stash without breaking the bank?
Well, there are several ways. And through it all, keep in mind that once your stash is built and you are using cloth diapers full or even part-time, they WILL save you money.
Here are 10 ways you can build a modern cloth diaper stash–on the cheap:
1. If you are low income, apply for a cloth diaper loan through Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.
In this post, I wrote extensively about how my family was blessed with a loan from The Cloth Diaper Foundation. Basically, this organization sent us 24 gently-used diapers to use on our two girls for as long as we needed or until our family had the chance to build a stash of our own.
I found The Cloth Diaper Foundation through a google search because I was determined to use cloth diapers but knew my husband would only use modern cloth–and we couldn’t afford modern cloth at retail price (much less an entire stash all at once!).
Sadly, the Cloth Diaper Foundation has now closed. However, Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is a similar organization that is taking applications. Applicants must meet certain income requirements.
2. Buy gently-used (or sometimes new!) cloth diapers.
Craigslist, DiaperSwappers.com, your local Mommies Network and even Facebook buy/sell/trade groups are great places to purchase cloth diapers on the cheap! As a caution, be sure the person you are buying from has good references, and if meeting in person, be sure to meet them in a public place! I prefer to seek out local sellers, so I don’t have to add in shipping costs.
Also check consignment stores and sales. I’ve found several diapers this way as well!
3. Enter cloth diaper giveaways.
If you search the web, you can always find cloth diaper giveaways going on somewhere! Cloth diaper giveaways are extremely popular and it never hurts to try winning one! I added an Oh, Katy diaper to my stash this way!
4. Volunteer to be a “tester” for new diaper brands, styles, etc.
Cloth diaper stores and companies need individuals to test out their new inventory from time to time to make sure their customers will be satisfied. If you follow your favorite stores or companies on Facebook or Twitter, you may see them giving a shout-out for testers. I acquired several diapers this way–a few free and a few for a fraction of the price I’d pay at full price.
If you don’t use social media, you could always email the store/company and ask if they are looking for testers. It never hurts to ask!
Image by simplyla
5. Sign up for cloth diaper company seconds lists.
Not all companies may offer this, but I know for a fact that Cotton Babies does. I signed up for their list and received emails when their second-quality diapers were going on sale. At the time, they sold these diapers for less than half price–and there was virtually nothing wrong with them that I could see! I think I had one out of 5 diapers that had a broken snap and the rest may have had a smudge or something on them that easily came off in the wash.
6. Ask your favorite cloth diaper store if they need any help–and if you can barter for diapers!
One of my go-to stores for cloth diapering needs used to be a local store that moved. For a time, I worked for the business doing some of their social media. I did get paid–but I also got free diapers. 🙂
The longer I blog, the more I realize how online businesses desperately need HELP–especially in the social media realm! Do you have some online skills that you can trade for diapers? It doesn’t hurt to ask!
7. Purchase an off brand.
My first friend to introduce me to cloth diapers exclusively uses Bum Genius. For a stay-at-home mom on a moderately low income, the sticker shock was, um, alarming. I simply couldn’t fork out $20/diaper–even when I knew the money I spent up front would save me money later.
So I started searching for an alternate brand. The only problem is that I wanted a brand with rave reviews. The last thing I wanted to do was spend my money on a cheap diaper that was cheaply-made and didn’t work.
I was so happy to find the Kawaii brand of diapers–which cost about half the price of name-brand diapers! Kawaiis are a pocket diaper and are very, very similar to the Bum Genius brand.
Several stores sell Kawaiis, and after two years of using an assortment of brands, I can say that my Kawaiis have held up just as well as the pricier versions.
8. Watch out for sales!
Holidays are a key time that cloth diaper stores will often run specials. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up in a few weeks, and I can guarantee you that there will be a cloth diaper store somewhere running a sale!
9. “Share” diapers with a friend.
Do you have diapers that your baby has outgrown that a friend could use and vice versa? If you hand down clothes, why not hand down diapers? You can switch back and forth with each new baby.
10. Make your own.
I’ve tried to sew. Really, I have. (And my poor hubby bought me a nice machine for my 28th birthday 4 years ago…and it’s been gathering dust for about, oh, 3 1/2 years now!) But sewing simply does not come naturally to me.
But for others, sewing is a piece of cake! Maybe that’s you. You can make a hobby out of sewing cloth diapers for yourself–and maybe even for your friends! Here’s a cloth diaper tutorial from my friend Kate over at Modern Alternative Mama.
Lastly, if you want to build a cloth diaper stash on the cheap, once your stash is built, stop looking. Seriously–if you continue to peruse the sales and don’t unsubscribe from the various store newsletters, you will be tempted to buy more. And if you buy more you’re defeating the purpose of saving money by using cloth–unless, of course, this is just your hobby and you’ve built “fun” money into your budget. In that case, browse away!
What are some of your suggestions for building a modern cloth diaper stash on the cheap?
My eBook, Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert, is a 200+-page handbook that will tell you all you need to know to have a successful cloth diapering journey! To read more about this book, click here.