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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

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Feeding the Addiction & Paying the Bills

I hear this from mom’s all the time, at Twitter parties, on Facebook, and even in the comments of The Cloth Diaper Whisperer: “I really wish I could buy more cloth diapers, but we just don’t have the money.” Maybe it’s because they want to get started in cloth. Maybe it’s because they want to wash less frequently. Maybe it’s they are just addicted to the cuteness and NEED more! Whatever the reasons for wanting to buy more cloth, finances can have a serious impact on the size of your stash. As a full-time college student, I know as well as anyone how tight a budget can get. But after a few months navigating the cloth diapering world, and drooling over everything I wanted to buy, I’ve found a few tips and tricks to grow my stash and still pay the bills.

My first trick is to expand your stash with prefolds. Even if you prefer pockets diapers or All-In-Ones, prefolds work great around the house, when you have more room for diaper changes and can slack on the convenience factor somewhat. Then your pockets or AIOs are available for going out and about. If you have an older baby you can just fold the prefold in thirds and lay it in the cover. (I prefer Thirsties Duo Wrap Diaper Covers.) If you have a smaller baby, you will want to use something to fasten the prefold around the baby to prevent leaks onto the cover. Diaper pins are very cost effective, but some parents prefer not to use them. Snappis are T-shaped fasteners with teeth that hold the prefold on the baby. They are not quite as cost-effective as pins, but still a very good option for families on a budget that prefer not to use pins.

Next stash-growing strategy: sacrifice. This one should be somewhat self-explanatory. You have to give up some things to get things that are more important. It’s all about priorities. For me, my sacrifice is my morning bagel before class. A bagel at the bakery I frequent is about $2.30 with cream cheese. When I get a bagel there, I must have a smoothie, which is about $4. Yes, it is outrageous, but it is SOO good! This breakfast ends up being about $7 with tax. I usually got a bagel & smoothie 1 morning a week. When I cut it down to only on test days (about once a month) it saved me about $21 a month! There is one OS pocket diaper (my diaper of choice) a month right there! This same principle could be applied to whatever you like: brew your own morning coffee, eat out less, or don’t buy that pair of shoes you “just have to have.” Your baby’s bottom will thank you!

My last tip is to use the Kelly’s Closet coupon codes! My favorites are the free one-size diaper coupons. Usually the minimum purchase for these is only $25! So buy the diaper you have sacrificed for, and grab a free one too! To get an email with all the new coupon codes, subscribe to the Kelly’s Closet Newsletter.

I hope this post helps you realize a small budget doesn’t have to mean a small stash! There are many ways to expand your fluff inventory without taking out a second  mortgage!

By Keshia W.


Iris Savea said...

you can also keep an eye out at daily steal websites... i've gotten quite a few diapers for my stash that way!!

Love You Always & Forever said...

Great post!! Another idea is to start entering giveaways! That's how I've built up my stash lol!

Liz said...

Don't forget that you can add to your stash by entering giveaways!! :) (For example this comment gives me one more entry for this weeks Fluff Giveaway!) :)

Ms. Marie said...

I am totally new to cloth diapering and I'm still working to build my stash. So far all I have is a dozen prefolds, 4 covers, and 5 AIO's that haven't arrived yet. I have an 18 month old son and another boy due any day now. One way I am trying to build my stash (I'm a SAHM so we're on a tight budget) is I've been going through my books/things and selling what I know I'll never miss either online or to friends/family. I then use the money to buy cloth diapers and cloth diaper accessories.

Thanks for the great tips! I'll be checking back and reading this blog when I have a free minute from now on!

SondraMama said...

see, i was very hesitant to try cloth diapering because i kept hearing from people [who dont even CD themselves!] that its really expensive and you save nothing. then i learned about prefolds and covers. and thats what i did. i got 2 dozen and 2 covers to start off with and kept washing. now i'm buying little extra bits and pieces here and there and my sons stash is slowly building.

Hannah said...

I appreciate your plug for prefolds! They really aren't that hard, although I wouldn't probably give one to a new babysitter or the church nursery, since you do have to be careful that the prefold doesn't stick out the back of cover, etc.

For those on SUPER tight budgets, who have already cut out all eating out etc. I recommend looking for gently used diapers on craigslist, swapmamas, diaperswappers, etc.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great tips!

Amy Walker said...

Some hybrids can be economical as well. For example, the stay dry flip insert can be used with Thirsties or Bummis covers, and though they are not quite as cheap as prefolds they are close!

Leslie said...

Great advice! Thanks for sharing!