One of the main reasons I turned to cloth diapering was to save money. Of course, I care a lot about exposing my babies to toxic chemicals. I could have gone with choosing non-toxic disposables, but I went with cloth for financial reasons.

Many choose cloth diapering because they are on a tight budget and can’t afford to spend 50 dollars every month on disposables. The great news is that cloth diapering doesn’t have to be all fancy, Sure there are cloth diapers that cost 30$ per price, but there are a lot of affordable cloth diapers too.

Depending on the type of the cloth diaper you choose, we can always work on your budget to set up a cloth diaper stash for you. Heck ! you can even build a full stash for less than 100 dollars.

There are also ways to get cloth diapers for free. Check out this post. If you are looking for ways to cut down expenses and learn how to cloth diaper on a budget, this post is for you!

Cloth Diapering On a Budget – 8 Ways :

1.Go With Flat Inserts:

Flat diaper inserts are a single square piece of weaved cotton material that can be folded in multiple ways to fit into a cloth diaper cover. You can use cloth pins, a Snappi or pad-fold ( fold it into a rectangular insert) and use it with a cover.

Flats are also absorbent and can be folded differently for boys and girls ( depending on where you need more absorbency) Osocosy and Imagine baby makes very affordable flat diapers. You can get a dozen flat inserts for around 20 bucks. You need 2- 3 dozen flats and 3- 4 covers for full-time cloth diapering.

2.Choose Prefolds:

Next on the most affordable cloth diapering system list is prefolds and covers. If folding flat inserts scare you, then prefold diapers are your best bet. Unlike flats, they come pre-stiched with many layers of absorbency sewn together.

Just like flat inserts, prefolds can be folded in many different ways to get maximum absorbency. My favorite prefold inserts are from Bummis ( unfortunately, they are discontinued now). Diaper rite, Osocosy, and Buttons diapers also make affordable prefold inserts.

3.Buy Used Cloth Diapers:

If you can’t get on board with flats or prefolds, but can’t spend 20$ per diaper to buy pockets or all in ones, then buying used diapers is another excellent option.

Don’t let the thought of buying used diapers bother you much. You can bleach then before using to kill all the germs and sanitize the diapers.

Keep your eyes open on Craigslist, Kijiji any used marketplace like varage sale, Facebook market, etc to snatch some hot deals. If you are looking for a particular brand, then you might want to look up a Buy/Sell/Trade group on Facebook.Most brands have their official page and a BST group.

You can also a local cloth diapering group if you want to personally see the diaper before buying.

4. Sew Diapers:

If you can put your sewing skills to work, you can find some free cloth diaper patterns online and make your own diaper and inserts.

All you need is to buy some PUL for diaper covers, elastics, snaps and absorbent material like cotton fabric to make inserts. You can even sew wool? or fleece covers if you want.

5. Upcycle What You Have:

Piggybacking on the last point, you can use what you already have in your home to make cloth diaper covers, inserts, and accessories.

Towels, receiving blankets, Flour sack towels, t-shirts can be cut up and used as inserts.

You can upcycle woolen sweaters or fleece blankets or pajamas to make wool or fleece covers. You can even make your own fleece liners with old fleece clothes.

6. Buy Seconds:

Second quality diapers usually have minor cosmetic flaws like logo stitched upside down or a design not printed right. In most cases, seconds are only cosmetic flaws that do not affect functionality. Once in a while, a cloth diaper brand will have a warehouse sale and clear out second quality diapers for cheap. You need act fast on these deals as they usually sell out pretty quickly.

7. Use Cloth Wipes:

Using cloth wipes is super easy while cloth diapering. You can throw the soiled wipes along with the dirty diapers and wash them together. Cloth wipes are good for your baby, better for the planet and save you a lot of money. In my opinion, cloth wipes actually do a better job cleaning messy bums.

You don’t have to shell out money to buy branded cloth wipes. You can repurpose old (soft) towels, receiving blankets or even use baby washcloths.

8. Cut Down on Accessories:

Keep it simple and don’t get carried away. It is entirely possible to lust after new releases and go after collecting every new print. You also don’t need all the fancy accessories to make cloth diapering work for you. Remember why you wanted to cloth diaper in the first place and cut down on the unwanted buying.

You don’t need a dedicated diaper pail; you can use a regular trash can with a pillowcase to store dirty diapers. There are many cheap wet bags (for 10$) to carry diapers when traveling. You can also use your regular laundry detergent to wash cloth diapers. You can line-dry (air dry) cloth diapers, instead of using a dryer.


Cloth diapering doesn’t have to be expensive at all. It can be done with less than a 100$ and can literally save you thousands of dollars.

I hope you found my tips on how to cloth diaper on a budget useful. If you have any comments on how you managed to cloth diaper within a budget, I would love to hear from you!

You can save money using cloth diapers. It is possible to cloth diaper even on a very tight budget.

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