Thursday, December 29, 2011

How we save money, part II

Yesterday I thrilled you all with details about how we save money by making our own baby food. I know that you have all been thinking, "When will she post more about saving money?" Especially my child-free friends ;). So, rather than have you all checking your computers incessantly, I am going to take advantage of one sleeping boy and two other boys who are currently entertained by our furry house guest.

When we moved into the rental house last year Benjamin was hanging out in utero. We also had one child in diapers. Having done the whole "two children in two different sizes of diapers" bit before, I was not looking forward to dropping 50.00 at a time every time we needed to buy diapers. Knowing that we would finally have access to washer/dryer hookups, we decided that we would purchase a washer and a dryer and look into cloth diapering our third child.

I began to do lots of research and asked my cloth diapering friends loads of questions. One internet friend pointed me towards the cottonbabies website. After looking around the website, it quickly became my favorite 'go-to' for all things cloth diapers. They were super informative and helpful, AND (as an added bonus), provided free shipping! What's not to love?

I decided that we would try the BumGenius 4.0.

First of all, these diapers are adorable. Check it out.

Our first batch of BumGenius 4.0, adjusted to fit Aaron.

Second of all, the diapers are super easy to use and very similar to disposable diapers. All I had to do was put the liners inside of the pockets, then put it on my child. The snaps are super convenient because they don't pill and lose their snappy-ness, much like Velcro does.

Finally, the kids look super cute in the diapers, if I do say so myself. :)

Aaron showing off the cloth diapers.
They even work for nap time!

They worked great on the newborn as well (and look at that fluffy butt!!).

At first I was nervous about washing the diapers, I mean, the one thing I actually liked about disposables was that I could just throw out the mess. Although, with leaks and such I still had to deal with poop, but just the thought of having to dump and rinse and other stuff, I was not looking forward to it. But, once I decided to suck it up and do it, the "dirty job" of washing diapers was really not so bad. For one, we have a wet bag that hangs on the door knob of Benjamin's closet. It has a water proof liner and a cute fabric cover. The pee diapers are simply dropped into the wet bag while the poop diapers have the solid waste dumped into the toilet, then the diaper is deposited into the wet bag. The bag contains all of the smell, I promise! No one has ever entered our house and said, "Woah, what is that smell?" In fact, having used a Diaper Genie for my disposables in the past, I would have to say that that thing reeked, while my wet bag contains the odors super well.

Every other day I simply dump the bag into the washer, do a rinse cycle, a wash cycle on hot, another rinse cycle, then put the inserts in the dryer while the covers line dry. It's super easy and I have saved myself time and money. I don't have to drive to the store any more (it usually happened late at night) to get diapers, all I have to do is a load of laundry!

Now, let me break down the cost for you.
We have 26 BumGenius 4.0 diapers. We bought all of them on sale (buy 5 get 1 free). On average, one BumGenius 4.0 costs $16.99 (Now they are $17.95, but I'm going to estimate how much we saved/are saving so I will use the 16.99 price). So, 22 diapers (because we got four free with their sales) cost us $373.78. I also bought wipes and a wipe warmer and some wet bags, but I'm solely going to go off of the cost of diapers to keep this blog entry shorter).

On average, our kids have been potty trained around the age of 2.5. So, for Benjamin we will have spent $373.78 on diapers for his whole life. If we had bought disposable diapers, that would have cost us approximately (based off of the price of Luvs on, and off of the average of 8 diapers per day-I'm guessing lower because while newborns use more diapers, toddlers don't use as many) $1,918.00. That is a savings of approximately $1,445.00.

That more than made up for the cost of our washer and dryer.

Not to mention we used the cloth diapers on Aaron for the past 8 months, which saved us more money (I can't figure out the math...).

Since doing my research, 3 of my friends have begun to use cloth diapers (although, I think they were more inclined to do so before I said anything). I've also become somewhat of a zealot with cloth diapers. I can't help it though! Who doesn't love to save money? And, it is so easy!

I write all of this to help my friends who are wondering if cloth diapering is worth it. But, I'm also writing this in response to a contest that Jennifer Labit (the founder of cottonbabies) is having. I am not receiving any compensation at all for this post, but if she likes my post I could win 12 free BumGenius diapers. Also, one person who comments on my post will win 12 BumGenius diapers of their own (if my blog post wins). Considering I have a full supply of diapers, I will happily gift most of my set given to someone else as well (I know lots of pregnant people right now).

So, help me win my Internet friends and family! Comment away and let me know what you think of cloth diapers. Does it work for you? Would you be willing to try it? Do you think I'm crazy? Aren't the BumGenius diapers cute? I will let you know on January 16th whether or not I've won (and which one of my commentators won as well if I've won).

And, if you haven't considered cloth diapering, DO IT! :) If not, at least click on over to the cottonbabies website and check it out. It's more than just diapers.


Scared but ready? said...

I have serveral friends that have gone the cloth diaper route, and it's something I am looking into for the babies yet! But, I think it is also way better for the environment, and I am totally going to check out the website. I know my friends that use cloth diapers have better results with no diaper rash or irritation too!!!!! Way to go Carrie.....the money saving figures are totally going to get people to follow in your foot steps!!!!!!!!

angel fry said...

I love your saving money posts, I'm always up for saving. I thought I was saving a lot by shopping online with no tax/shipping on amazon... We pay about $33/5 weeks right now on diapers...its about .17 /diaper at 5 a day, but I've probably already spent well over what u said on the disposable diapers...I would be willing to try it. I know we got tired of the smell of the diaper genie that we stuck it outside.
I would have loved using it with my daughter for bloomers under her dresses cuz they're so cute!
Some questions, how does it work when potty training? Can they take it off easy enough to go on their own? I don't want to use pull ups cuz I feel they make the jus think its ok to use it like a diaper and confuses them when it comes to underwear...are these better?

Shawna Fleischer said...

Being pregnant with twins and having a dramatically decreased income I have been looking into some ways to save money. I have been watching you and your cloth diaper use for a while now. At first my thought was, "no way am I doing that," but the more I hear about it and see that it is not such a pain to you, the more I realize this just may be the way to go for my two little ones on the way. I remember being horrified with the price of diapers with my first one, but being just as horrified at the thought of spending so much on just 1 reusable diaper. When you break it down though I see how much cheaper it comes out in the long run (if I can get the money together for the initial purchase). Thank you for blogging about this. It really has helped and encouraged me to see your passion for cloth diapering.


Olivia Slama said...

Yay for cloth diapered babies! I have to admit, when we asked your advice on cloth diapering brands, we should have listened. We loved the gDiapers, and they got the job done, but with Kyrie growing as fast as she has been, we have to resort back to the disposables when we need to bump her up a size. We will definitely be looking into some cloth diapers that will grow with her. Thanks for introducing us to cloth diapering!

Vanessa said...

I had to use the first invented rounds of the diapers Carrie is using on my 10 yr old and 6 yr old and I have to say I think they've improved :) And there's nothing cuter than those cloth diaper bottoms-- except maybe cloth diaper bottoms in such darling patterns! So much better than the prefolds and vinyl pants I used on my now 15 and 13 yr olds! But I like the Cottonbabies AIOs better than the old Kissaluvs and MotherEase from back then, too.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had tried these when I tried cloth diapering. Did not do enough research. Was 60% cloth diapers with #1, 40% with #2, and sold them when pregnant with #3. Carrie is definitely making it look easier than what I did. Then again, I didn't put $300 worth of effort into it! Great post, Carrie.

Krystyn said...

I've done the two in disposables, too! Ack...budget killer. We are now doing cloth on #3 and looking forward to the savings. Yes, it's an investment up front, but I won't be spending $40-$50 a month on diapers.

smaller80 said...

Coming from the scientific side of the house.... the chemical compounds used to make the gell type material inside diapers is SCARY! And then they say that the diapers are not harmful because they have that netting stuff or whatever... I am sorry, but I don't want those chemicals near my childs intimate parts. Not to mention the one time my son wore Pampers (he was being babysat by a friend who didn't want to try to change him into prefolds) he broke out in a HORRIBLE rash...

The cost thing is nice, the environment thing is also a big bonus, but the thought that I am doing the safest thing for my child is priceless. It's not a topic that anyone wants to broach because who wants to think that they might not have done the right thing with previous generations or more importantly their own children? The scientific studies are often hushed or not taken with much clout, but they are out there.

smaller80 said...

BTW... I used prefolds a few years back with my son. I was convinced after buying a few different covers that didn't cover my little Plumber's crack that I wasn't goign to find one so it was indian prefolds and vinyl. I wish I had BumGenius4.0. I know with my next it will be my investment.

Anonymous said...

I always used disposable diapers with my kids because I thought that cloth was "gross"...but having changed your kiddos diapers, I see that it is much more efficient and not anywhere near as "bad" as I had in mind. I think your post is eye opening, tho, for those who haven't started yet...and I have to say if I had it to do over again, I would go cloth!! :)

Rachel said...

I use bum g and love it - they are older ones but they work well. :)

Karyn said...

I love to read posts about how much money can be saved on cloth diapers. People's initial reaction to our decision to cloth diaper our first babe (due May) from birth, is that it is going to cost us soooo much money. When we do the math, however, and see that we can save thousands if used with more than one child!
I would love to win these diapers and see the savings increase even more! Thanks for your post!

caedmen said...

I use cloth diapers on both my babies (23 months old and 7 months old). They are so stinkin cute! My son pretty much lived in a diaper and a t-shirt all summer long. I love the money savings with cloth diapers and I love not having to pack up 2 babies and run to the store to buy more diapers. I just love cloth diapers!

jdeemarie said...

I agree with your assessment of the wet bag - it does an awesome job of containing odors!!! When I change my son's diaper at the nursery at church, I stand right next to their full Diaper Genie (even though none of the dirty diapers have been there more than an hour or two) and that thing stinks!!! I find it hard to believe that people think cloth diapers stink more than disposables - we love our cloth diapers!!!

me4sunshine said...

I'm only 20 years old, and can't say I have any diapering stories or experiences. Heck I'm not even married yet (crossing fingers it won't be much longer now). But I've been wishing more and more that I would have started a "hope chest" a few years ago. I've been slowly transitioning into more natural products, and I really want to start my own family with those habits. I came across cloth diapering sometime last year, and I've been intrigued ever since. I connect diapers with Walmart, crowded and noisy stores, huge shopping carts, and a thinner wallet. And maybe it sounds silly, but I have different associations with cloth diapers. They seem more personal, gentler, and I dream of my own little family just starting out. It's like the difference between a home-cooked meal and settling in with a Disney movie vs greasy fast-food on a sticky table and corralling screaming kids into the car. Cloth just sounds more like home and the better choice, rather than taking mothering advice from big name brands trying to sell me something to put in my garbage can. I plan to have homegrown children that are not raised by manufacturing companies. (Note - I'm not strictly against mass-produced items or supercenters, I just think moderation is best). Besides that, I believe in work over waste. And if I gain a new hobby/addiction (which I probably will), all the better!
So I figure I may as well start that "hope chest" now, and you can bet it will have cloth diapers in it! I can't wait!! Thanks for the article, the inspiration, and for helping add to the goals of a future mother!

Anonymous said...

i cloth diaper because i think it is more comfortable and it would be what i would want to wear if i were a baby (and it was what i wore as a baby). I have only found positives to cloth diapering and am so glad that i was able to give my son (and future children) and clean healthy start at life. i love it so much and have never looked back (or gone to the store to buy disposables!)