Updated March 2019
Once upon a time, someone asked me: “Why doesn’t everyone use cloth diapers?”
One of the answers I gave was that parents are turned off by the initial investment of $20-$30 per diaper. Admittedly, I was also quite intimidated by the price tag of many of the popular brands.
What I want to talk about in this post is simply that buying ethically-made diapers from reputable companies doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think it might be. There are ways to save, and in the end your cloth diaper stash will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on what you would’ve spent on disposables. Since originally writing this post in 2014, I have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. And those children are still using diapers I had for my first.
So whether you’re starting your stash or filling some gaps, here are ways to save now so you can save even more in the long-term:
1 – Be Social
The more cloth diaper retailers whose Facebook pages you “like,” Twitter feeds you follow and mailing listings you subscribe to, the more chances you have of being notified of their sales. The maximum sale price you will see on most brands will be 10%-20% off the regular price, and usually the manufacturer itself has to authorize these sales.
It’s also a good idea to join a few cloth diapering Facebook groups, because Mamas are eager to share sales with each other (or, as I call it, “enabling”). Your favourite cloth diaper bloggers (ahem… ME) also try to keep on top of the sweet deals and share them with their fans.
Many retailers run their own Facebook groups, and they’s a great spot to get the inside scoop on upcoming sales. I am a big fan of Baby Footprint’s Footprint Followers. Natasha has a deal of the day and you never know what it might be!
Note that there is a bit of predictability to cloth diaper sales. You will always find deals on Black Friday, Boxing Day, Earth Day and typically Canadian brands are on sale around Canada Day.
2 – Oh, Well, Save $10 at Well.ca
If you’re a new Well.ca shopper, you can get a friend to send you a referral code for $10 off your first purchase. If you already shop at Well.ca, post your own referral code for friends and family to use and you will receive $10 off coupons for every successful referral. If you want to use my referral code, it’s ClothRules. Well.ca carries quite a few cloth diaper brands, including
3 – Buy More, Save More
If you are starting your stash, then you probably want to buy more than a couple diapers at once. Many online retailers offer a quantity discount.
The Baby Footprint offers a discount for most brands when you purchase 6+ or 12+ at a time.
Lagoon Baby offers discounted cloth diaper packages
Carry Me Mommy has starter packages at a discount
4 – Shop used
Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot sells diapers from its trial packages at a deep discount. Find them on their site under the Cloth Diapers tab; choose Test Drive Used Diapers to see what’s in stock.
I don’t recommend just buying any old batch of 24 brand-name diapers off of your local classifieds site. You never know how they were maintained or what kind of wear and tear might not be obvious in the pictures. What I recommend you do is keep your eyes peeled for a stash of brand-new or almost-brand-new diapers on your local Facebook swap and shop group, Kijiji or Craigslist.
Say what?! Cloth diapers don’t end up working for everyone. Parents either were gifted or purchased a fancy set of diapers, but for any number of reasons, they decided not to use them. I’ve seen listings for diapers with tags still attached or diapers that have only been prepped and not used. They are always listed for significantly less than retail. If you think the price is too high, you have nothing to lose by sending the seller a polite offer!
5 – Earn when you shop
Many retailers offer attractive loyalty programs that have you earning every time you shop.
6 – Take a Second… to buy Seconds
A “Seconds Sale” is when manufacturers sell off their less-than-perfect diapers. There may be cosmetic flaws or imperfect stitching, but the diapers are still good quality and very functional.
7 – Buy Colours That Have Gone Bye Bye
It might not be the equivalent of hanging a jersey from the rafters, but when a diaper company discontinues a colour, retailers slash the prices to clear out the “retired” hues. Also watch for clearance prices when retailers are overstocked.
8- Get lucky
You might think you don’t have a chance, but I know lots of Mamas who have scored big in online giveaways (myself included). I have a Giveaway Round Up right here that you can bookmark, and don’t forget to check out Cloth Diaper and Babywearing Giveaways on Facebook.