I don’t mean “frugal”. I don’t mean “thrifty”. I mean c-h-e-a-p. I think some of it comes from growing up poor (necessity) and some of it comes from learning the value of things as an adult (I used to buy Fiji water by the case several times a week when I was single). Either way, if I can get what I want for less than retail I’m all in. We’ve been cloth diapering for about three months now and we’ve managed to get 15 pre-folds (we use them as inserts now) and 6 diaper covers for a grand total of $46!
I know that everyone has their own ideas about buying used items, but I’d like you to keep in mind that you can still be choosy with used items and really …. you’re buying something that your kid is possibly going to crap in anyway. *blank stare* Anyhoo … here are my tips for cloth diapering on the cheap:
Do it. Using cloth diapers is going to save you money. Buying two boxes of diapers per month at $35 per box will cost about $840 in the first year alone. The average American kid doesn’t get out of diapers until they are two …. or three …. or four, but I digress. If you purchase new diapers that cost $20 each and you get 24 of them (you can use them from newborn through about 35 pounds) you’ll spend about $480 (but don’t forget that you don’t have to buy new). You’ve already saved about $360 out of the gate. Pop that $360 in your retirement account (assuming 6% interest rate and 40 years of tax-free growth) and you’ll add $3,944.68 to your nest egg.
Buy from thrift stores and resale sites. Purchasing items from thrift stores and resale stores does not always mean that those items will be used. I have found plenty of items still in the boxes/plastic or with the tags still on. Pay attention and take your time to find items that you want. Look for value, not just cost. It also helps if you search the internet when you find items you’re thinking about buying. You have to know how much it costs retail to help determine the value at that location. $3 seemed a bit much for a diaper cover until I realized that new diaper covers cost about $20 each! Eek!
Purchase gently used items. Another good option is to find people that are selling what you’d like to buy. So many people have kids that whatever you’re looking for has already been purchase by a million other families. Some folks might think it’s strange to buy used diapers, but you can find plenty of gently used diapers that look brand new. As expensive as they cost new, people tend to take really good care of them.
Take your time. Plan what you’ll need before you actually need it. That gives you time to hunt around for the best value. You do NOT have to take just anything because you are cheap.
What tips do you have that help you cloth diaper cheaply?