Sunday, February 24, 2013

Do Cloth Diapers Really Save Money?

I know using cloth diapers has saved our family lots of money, but I was thinking about it the other day and wondering just how much we have saved by using cloth.  So I thought I would run some numbers for fun!  These are estimates, but I think they're probably pretty good estimates.

- I figured based on what we have done so far - about 6.25 years total (between all three kids).
- Most disposable diapers are packaged to last about a week, so that's what I went with.
- I used the cheap-o disposable diapers price of about $7 a package.
- I estimated about $3 a month for wipes, based off prices I saw and how many wipes I typically use.
- I figured about $1 a week as the cost of laundering cloth diapers.  (This one's a really rough estimate - I really have no idea, but I don't think it's that much, especially in the summer when I line-dry diapers.)
- I figured in our total out-of-pocket cost of buying cloth diapers and supplies (about $100).

Based on these numbers, so far, we have saved about $2075.  I was actually kind of disappointed with that number - I had thought it would be more.  But that's still A LOT of money that we haven't had to spend!   And I'm keeping in mind that:

- Although the final number isn't as big as I thought, that $28 or so that we save each month does make a difference in our budget (and especially the $56 a month we saved when we had two in diapers!).
- That number doesn't include how much we've saved using cloth training underwear instead of Pull-ups (that is probably a large number, too, especially considering that Joanna has been out of diapers for nearly a year and still does not stay dry at night).
- That's just how much we've saved so far.  We'll have saved even more by the time Ezra and this next baby are out of diapers.
- That number would nearly double if I figured it based on buying more natural disposable diapers (which would be my preference if I were using disposables).

However, the number that did really amaze me was the number of diapers we've used over the years.  By averaging that each child has used about 7 diapers a day (infants use more but toddlers use slightly less), I learned that we have gone through well over 15,000 diapers!  I can't even imagine the garbage pile that would be made by 15,000 diapers (and growing).  Even if the money and health savings (because of less chemicals) weren't a factor, for me that's enough of a reason to stick with cloth!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentine's Day...and a Three Year Old!

Early last week we were able to do a couple of Valentine's projects:

The kids made these fun heart prints (found here):

I made these fun M&M pouches from by sewing squares of vellum together (I can't remember where I got the idea):

Seth had the day off on Thursday, so we were able to have a nice day at home celebrating Valentine's Day and Joanna's third birthday!

I don't usually decorate for holidays (except Christmas), but I thought the kids would enjoy something a little special, so I hung a bunch of paper hearts in the dining room, which was fun!

We were able to enjoy a nice Valentine's Day breakfast, complete with little gifts and treats!  

For another fun treat we used Red Vine "straws" to drink our milk at lunch!

The rest of the day was spent celebrating our big girl!

One of the little gifts in Joanna's birthday bag was these "Lolly Dollys" made from this tutorial.  They turned out cute, although they would have been even cuter if I'd had a few more washi tape designs!