Saving Money with Cloth Diapers

Diapers are the most frustrating new baby purchases because they’re just going to poop in them! I mean, why do they cost so much!?! Arrg!

Is it Cheaper to Use Cloth Diapers or Disposable Diapers?

Choosing cloth diapers is cheaper than disposable diapers (diaper services being the exception). On average, cloth diapers will save you about $1,575.50 USD on the first baby, and even more on the next when you reuse them (read the full Do You Really Save Money Using Cloth Diapers article to check my math).

Of course, that math was with fairly expensive cloth diapers. There are many ways to save money on your cloth diapers that will drop that cost even lower.

If that sounds good to you, you’re in the right place because I’ve put all my money-saving tips and strategies right here for you, so you can get the most out of your diaper dollars; so keep reading!

Wait for the Big Cloth Diaper Sales

Sales and deals on cloth diapers do happen from time to time. In fact you can expect awesome sales on cloth diapers twice annually:

We treat each of those days seriously around here and we will bring you the full list of cloth diaper sales for each, so make sure to click the links and bookmark those pages.

Take Advantage of Cloth Diaper Deals and Coupons

There are several coupons Cloth Diapers for Beginners has been able to score for our readers.

For an up-to-date list of those coupons, as well as notice of any upcoming deals, visit the Cloth Diaper Sales, Coupons, and Deals page here.

Go With Cheaper Diapers

While there’s a lot to be said for premium diaper brands like Thirsties, Green Mountain Diapers, GroVia, etc. cloth diapering on a budget may mean filling out your stash with cheaper options.

In this post, I go over (in detail) the 5 cheapest ways to cloth diaper your baby, which include:

  1. Inexpensive pockets (sometimes called “China Cheepies”),
  2. Flats,
  3. Prefolds,
  4. FST’s , and
  5. DIY diapers.

Check out the article for details.

Go with Used Diapers

If none of the cheaper diaper options mentioned above are right for you, you can get premium diapers for less by buying used.

Yes, second-hand diapers are a thing, and they can be sanitized and made ready for your little one safely and easily.

Not only can you find good quality, premium brand cloth diapers for far less, but you can feel good about your impact on the environment too.

Another often overlooked perk is that you’ll get to meet another cloth diaper user who may have some great one-on-one advice for you, gained while using your own diapers!

Where To Find Used Diapers

Used diapers are almost as plentiful as new diapers once you start looking. Every parent or caregiver who has used cloth diapers and has some that are still in good condition when they are done diapering babies will be looking to recover some of the cost of those diapers by reselling them.

Online is the best place to find used cloth diapers nowadays, though thrift shops can sometimes be a goldmine, and if you belong to any local playgroups, I wouldn’t count out asking around there either.

A quick search for “cloth diapers BST” on Facebook will bring up some specific used diaper groups for buying and selling.

How to Know if Your Used Diapers are Good

Of course if you have bought anything used in the past you’ll know there are some special considerations and precautions you’ll need to take as not everyone in this world is honest, nor are they necessarily well-versed in cloth diaper care. Since there are no returns when purchasing used, you’ll need to consider the following:

  • The person you’re buying the diapers from may or may not have taken great care of them.  Asking what products were used, the water they were washed in, and how many diapers were used with them (to gauge how often they were worn and washed), is a good idea as it will tell you if there are any potential problems.
  • Diapers do wear out eventually and need repair. Checking the elastics, PUL, and snaps/Velcro is essential as these often where diapers will wear out.

For help with what to ask a seller and a list of what to look for when you check out the diapers in person, read the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Guide to Used Cloth Diapers here.

How to I Sanitize them?

It’s understandable to be worried about dirt and bacteria on used diapers, but used diapers are commonplace in the diaper community and can easily be sanitized to be even better than new in some cases. Click here for more info about getting your used diapers ready for your baby.

Just How Cheap are Used Cloth Diapers?

It is near to impossible to put a dollar amount on how much used cloth diapers can/will cost you as the amount you pay will depend on the brand, type, number and condition of the diapers you’re looking to buy. The market for cloth diapers at any given time will also play a factor in how much a used diaper can sell for. Limited edition diapers can also grab a higher price as super-fans of some particular brands treat them like collectors items (honestly, it’s a thing!).

If you’re looking for a bargain, don’t be afraid to shop around and barter, you’ll never know how low someone is willing to go until you ask.

DIY Cloth Diapers

Another great way to save money on cloth diapers is to DIY them.

If you sew, you may be able to get some deals on fabric and make some great diapers for much cheaper than purchasing them. Here’s a rundown of materials to use in your homemade cloth diapers to help you out.

If you don’t sew, you can still DIY some great cloth diaper items out of fleece, including DIY Diaper Liners, and DIY diaper covers.

If needed, you can also no-sew a DIY a diaper out of an old t-shirt for some ultra-budget friendly diapers. Here’s a quick video tutorial I made to show you how:


Search for Free Diapers

If you’re just not into DIY, even when it’s no-sew, there are still opportunities to find free diapers.

Here’s a list of places to look for free diapers:

  • Your Local Buy Nothing Project: The Buy Nothing Project is a collection of Facebook groups, split up by local area (down to the community level), where participants give and receive items from their neighbors all for free (in fact you’re not even allowed to recommend purchasing something).

    As the Buy Nothing Project website explains, “People give clothes, dinners, crock pots, plants, garden tools. We’ve seen used and clean Ziploc bags offered, laundry detergent, antiques, bicycles, canoes, kombucha, branches, flowers, cement blocks, eggs, beds, broccoli, custard, and crickets. There’s no limit to what you can give or receive.”

    I’ve given and received cloth diapers from my local Buy Nothing group and love it because I’ve gotten to try a number of different cloth diaper brands thanks to the generosity of my community’s members.

    Click here to search for a Buy Nothing group near you.
  • Cloth Diaper Retailer Facebook Groups: While you’re on Facebook checking out your local Buy Nothing page, make sure to find and like the Facebook pages of the cloth diaper retailers and brands you like the most or are local to you. Cloth diaper retailers like Calgary Cloth Diaper DepotLil’ Monkey CheeksAppleCheeks Cloth Diapers, and so many many more, often hold Facebook and Instagram giveaways where they draw for diapers.
  • Cloth Diaper Banks: American diaper banks like Share the Love, the Cloth Option, and GroVia Gives, and Canadian banks like One Diaper CanadaBabies In ClothCloth for a Cause, exist to help low-income families diaper their babies.  If you have a financial need for diaper assistance, these programs can be a wonderful find.

    I encourage you to check out the many cloth diaper bank programs that may be available in your area.

Is Saving Money on Cloth Diapers Possible?

Umm, heck ya!

When you first look into cloth diapers, the sticker shock on some diapers can be overwhelming, but with all of the tips and tricks above, I promise that anybody can cloth diaper a baby on any budget!