The cloth diaper price tag can be a lot to swallow when you’re first looking into reusable diapers for your baby.
However, the price of even the more expensive cloth diapers is comparable to two or three years paying for paper diapers.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to accept those price tags.
There are a lot of ways you can get around retail prices and pay discounted prices or even nothing for your diaper stash if you play your cards right and do a little work and research.
Seasoned cloth diaper users have figured out over time how to find the most bang for their buck.
After all my years of cloth diapering, the following are some of the tricks I’ve learned to having a large, but inexpensive cloth diaper stash.
1. Stalk Websites And Wait For Sales
Sometimes, simply signing up will get you a one time coupon for your first purchase. Then, scan the emails from these companies for good deals.
For instance, Cotton Babies, the company who makes bumGenius, always lets subscribers know about their seconds sales as well as clearances on their brands, which are often better than when cloth diaper retailers clearance those same products.
Just the other week I was able to buy two clearanced bumGenius 4.0 diapers at $11 apiece through cottonbabies.com. Those same diapers were only on sale for as low as $14 on other websites, and retail for $20 at full price.
2. Check Out Parenting Forums And Facebook Pages
Use those social sites and rely on friends of yours to tell you about sales and good deals.
Chances are, no matter how many forums and pages you follow, you aren’t going to catch them all yourself.
I’ve spent lots of time stalking cloth diaper websites only to find out about the best sales from friends of mine.
For instance, I discovered Diaper Safari and their often ongoing buy two get one free deal from some friends. These friends both had some of that particular brand and liked it so I felt safe purchasing some for myself at a price that seemed too good to be true.
They are good diapers, by the way. I’ve been using them for about six months and I love them.
3. Sign Up For Giveaways And Photo Contests
Giveaways may seem like an easy way to earn free diapers, but I’ve spent hours entering them only to come up with one or two wins in two years or so.
I’ve since all but stopped trying to enter them as it feels too much like trying to win the lottery.
Photo contests, however, are a better bet at earning cloth diapers as they require actual skill, or in some cases, a good following on Facebook and Instagram – both things you can control.
Happy Heinys and Smartipants used to hold photo contests of babies in their products and I won the Happy Heinys contest one year, earning $50 to spend in their store.
I don’t believe that either of these brands still have photo contests, but if you keep your ear to the ground and follow your favorite brands on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you will find out when the next good contest comes around.
4. Write A Blog
If you have a blog and can get a somewhat sizable following, you may be able to host giveaways which will usually allow you to test the product for free yourself.
I did that a couple of times on my old blog, earning some free diapers and accessories through the process.
Then I started writing for someone else’s cloth diaper blog and was sent a new diaper to test and review every month for awhile.
This isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a good writer and are dedicated to the process, you might come up with a couple of new diapers.
5. Reward Points
Almost all the cloth diaper retailers I shop from keep a tally of points that they reward you for purchases.
These points can then be turned into credit at their store.
Kelly’s Closet, Diaper Junction, and Nicki’s Diapers are three of my favorite shops and I’ve been able to get store credit from all three places with reward points.
6. Buy Used Diapers
Buy them from a friend, a yardsale, a local swap on facebook, eBay, or a cloth diaper forum such as diaperswappers.com.
If you want to buy used diapers that you can be sure are still in great condition, purchase them from your cloth diaper retailer.
The diapers they list are usually diapers that have been returned by customers and are almost brand new.
7. Buy From Seconds Sales
Seconds are diapers with a manufacturing defect that doesn’t affect the function of the diaper.
Purchasing them is usually a great deal, though they can’t be returned and aren’t under warrantee so you purchase them at your own risk.
8. Make Your Own Diapers
You can do this cheaply if you work it right.
I save old t shirts and make them into fitted diapers. All it costs me is the money for snaps (I made a one time purchase of a set of snap pliers at kamsnaps.com) and the elastics.
Also, if you want to make homemade diaper covers, use some old 100% wool sweaters as fabric and lanolize the finished covers before use. The fabric for both is free or nearly free.
My t-shirt fitteds are some of our most absorbent diapers.
We absolutely love them and we have a never ending supply if I take a couple of hours every six months or so to replenish worn out diapers.
9. Let Others Buy Diapers For You In Your Baby Registry
I found that just putting them on the registry isn’t enough though, since mainline places like Target and Babies R Us don’t usually carry the good cloth diapers and people usually put off shower shopping until the last minute.
They like to shop in a brick and mortar store, and then they often make impulse buys on things not on your registry.
If you really want cloth diapers, ask the organizer of your showers to request in the invitations that each person to bring one cloth diaper.
I’ve been to many baby showers where the mom wanted cloth, but the only two showers I’ve been to where she was given a good stash of cloth diapers were the showers where reusable diapers were mentioned in the invite as part of the theme.
An additional tip: if you want people to purchase strictly from the registry, don’t reveal the gender and they can’t get caught up by that cute, gender specific outfit that they see when they’re in the store.
10. Share A Cloth Diaper Stash With A Friend
I know this sounds weird, but I’ve had a full stash of newborn cloth diapers that my friends and I have passed around for four years now as we take turns having babies.
As long as both you and your friend don’t have your babies at the same time, this is a viable option.
11. Sell Your Old Diapers
Sell diapers you don’t like, used, or those that are getting old, and buy new diapers with that money.
I sold 12 bumGenius 3.0s for $40.
I’m not going to be able to replace 12 diapers with 12 more diapers that way, but since I had already gotten four years of solid use from them, trading them in for only a couple of new ones was a good deal.
12. Buy The Cheaper Brand Of Diapers
Read the reviews, try out one or two of these diapers yourself, and if they work for you, purchase more.
I have all three of those brands and I love them all. They are some of my best performing diapers and have done well through the past couple of years using them.
13. Never Pay Shipping
Many cloth diaper retailers offer free shipping (cottonbabies.com, diapersafari.com, nickisdiapers.com, and diaperjunction.com to name a few) which will help keep the price of your diapers down.
Places like kellyscloset.com offer free shipping with a minimum purchase, usually of about $50.
14. Check Retailmenot.com
Always, always search retailmenot.com or other coupon places to see if your store is offering a discount you missed that can be applied to your purchase.
15. Use Rebates
I haven’t used either too often, but I’ve tried them both and have gotten some money back from my purchases this way.
One of my biggest hang-ups when I started considering using cloth diapers was the price tag for just one diaper. I’m a clearance shopper. I never pay full price, so that was almost enough to turn me off to cloth all together.
Thankfully, though, I got over the initial sticker shock as I realized how much I would be saving in the long run.
Then, I ended up getting more than half my initial stash for free or deeply discounted as I learned the tricks I mentioned above.
I hope that my years of experience work to help you find your cloth diapers at the lowest price possible.
Good luck and happy diapering!