Yes. Depending on your individual situation.
As I told you yesterday, our main reason for cloth diapering is because we can save a lot of money.
When A was born, a good friend at church noticed she had cloth diapers on. She said she had good friends that cloth diapered their little guy, but when they really looked into the cost, it wasn’t any cheaper to cloth diaper than to use disposables. But, they kept with it, because they were looking at it more from a saving the environment stand point.
I guess they literally broke down EVERYTHING. From the amount of water they needed, to the electricity needed to run the washer, to the water heater bill, to the cost of the detergent per wash cycle. And what they came up with was that it was CHEAPER to do the disposables.
But, keeping in mind, they had different housing accommodations than we do.
For one, we have a well. So it costs us 0$ to pay for water here. I guess if you wanted to get technical we could factor in the cost of a new well pump which you do have to replace every once in awhile. But for now, we’re not counting that. If you live in town, though, you likely have a water bill. Keep that in mind for your cost savings.
Secondly, you NEED hot water to wash cloth diapers. If not, you’re not going to be able to effectively get rid of the bacteria that can stay on cloth diapers. With that in mind, we have an energy efficient hot water heater. One that sucks heat from our basement to heat the water. So you say, well, wouldn’t you have to pay more for heat then? Nope. We have a wood stove. We use wood to heat our house through winter (and late fall, early spring). We don’t pay for the wood either. My husband often chops down trees for friends/family and that is what we use to heat our house. I guess too, you could say that we should factor in how much it would cost him labor wise to chop enough wood to keep the hot water heater running free, but we would use the wood stove to heat our house either way. Once again, we don’t count that. But I will say that in the summer our basement is very cold, and the water heater isn’t near as efficient then.
We do consider that we have to use electricity to both run the water heater and the washer. Since we have the wood stove, I line dry the diapers in our basement, rather than using the dryer. Our house is very dry as is, and the heat of the wood stove is enough to dry the diapers in only a few hours. Which makes it even MORE cost effective for us.
In terms of the detergent, I guess I should count SOME of that cost, but really it isn’t that much of a cost to us. If you know me well enough, you know I play the Rite Aid game and the CVS game. If you want more information on that, just google it. But essentially, you keep rolling over the ExtraCare Bucks (CVS) and +UP Rewards (Rite Aid), combining with coupons, so you are eternally getting free stuff. Even though it may not be my FAVORITE brand, I often am getting free laundry detergent. So in terms of counting that in my total cost, I just don’t.
The biggest investment we made was PURCHASING the sets. Often cloth diapers are a pretty hefty initial expense. With the particular brand we chose (more on that later in the week), we had to get several different sizes, per weight. Although I know some brands are the same set the whole way through. One place I do suggest you get into is zulily. They frequently carry cloth diapers, in different brands.
So I really encourage you to look into your individual surroundings. Maybe you line dry your cloth diapers during the warmer months to conserve some electricity. Or maybe you have a well, which would be a good chunk of savings, too. If you’re looking to get into cloth diapering with the MAIN reasoning to save money, do your research up front. In some instances, it may not be cheaper, and in fact cost MORE money. I would hate for you to get into it and realize that, especially after putting a good chunk of change into your set.
More to come!