I know you are skeptical.
I have talked in the past of how to diaper on a budget.
This isn't hard to do with amateur sewing skills. You can use kitchen towels as flats, receiving blankets (most people get plenty as shower gifts) as flats (and/or cloth wipes!), and you can use recycled wool or cheap fleece to sew your own covers.
You could easily make an entire stash from birth to potty training with these materials for about $50.
My goal is to diaper using the more mainstream diapers (think BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, and even knitted wool!) for free. If I can reach that goal, I will even try to profit off of cloth diapering my daughter.
I have thought about a lot of scenarios here.
Most of the time when people compare the cost savings of using cloth to the cost of using disposables they include the retail price of name brand disposables and wipes, or even factor in the cost of Diaper Genies.
Honestly, I don't even know anyone that uses a Diaper Genie.
Most of my friends who use disposables (including myself, for my still not night time trained three year old) use the cheapest brands possible and the cheapest disposables wipes possible.
So using these cheaper brands would cost far, far less than diapering a kid from birth to potty training using Huggies or Pampers.
Well what about buying used cloth diapers, or even seconds? I have done so and will do so in the future. Buying gently used or repairable diapers for almost free has helped me tremendously when it comes to building a diaper stash for our little one. I LOVE fluff as much as the next cloth diaperer but I'm uninterested in trendy diapers. Just give me something that contains the runny poo and looks a little cute and we're good. :)
Here is a summary of what is in our stash. Please keep in mind when I total the costs up I am including the price of selling what has been outgrown and also factoring in the price of shipping to the buyer. I have not yet calculated the cost of laundering the diapers but I plan on doing so soon.
As of yesterday, I have spent about $40 on Rowan's cloth diaper stash.
These diapers could carry her through potty training!
That would be impressive by any means but it is particularly impressive when you take into account how many diapers we have. I am not including the diapers leftover from my son because those haven't been included in the cost of her stash.
30+ pockets/all in ones. (includes BG, Tots Bots, FuzziBunz, Blueberry, Grovia and more!)
44 prefolds/flats. (includes Imagine pfs, Bummis pfs, econobum prefolds and various no name pfs.)
16+ fitteds (includes Bumstoppers, Pianissimo Cloth, and way more.)
9+ PUL covers (includes Blueberry coveralls, Grovia shells, Weehuggers and misc. covers)
4+ Wool soakers/shorties/longies
4 or so fleece soakers
And then we also have a bunch of accessories like cloth wipes, diaper pail liners, wetbags, snappis, pins, and rash cream.
So how did I score so much of this for free?
I just make sure I do my research when buying something.
I have found fantastic local deals. I have gotten free prefolds off of freecycle and a generous person also gave me a lot of her used diapers for free (which I in turn gave a bunch away to my friends in need).
Keep an eye on your local freecycle and craigslist. Often times you can find great condition cloth diapers for free or very cheap.
A lot of the free items I've scored really just have to do with being in the right place at the right time. Don't just settle for retail prices. If you are doing your diaper shopping primarily online, look around at different stores and even Amazon. I bought a great $25 diaper there for about $13 shipped. First quality, looks and works great.
If you use swagbucks or other survey/search sites for amazon giftcards this is a really easy way to build up your stash for free or cheap. At least 8 of our diapers have come from Amazon for free or as much as $5 out of pocket after using giftcards.
One of my luckiest deals was finding 1 Grovia Shell, 1 Grovia AIO, 1 FuzziBunz One Size, and 3 Grovia soaker pads - ALL NEW - for less than $10 total at a local consignment shop.
I don't live in a super crunchy town so this was a huge deal! If you keep your eye out you can find great deals like this too!