So, as you may or may not know, I am participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge over at Dirty Diaper Laundry. Not just participating, but participating with STYLE. In addition to using only flats and handwashing the diapers, I am also using only products purchased at Walmart. Not everyone has access to schnazzy diaper stores or online shopping, but most families have a Walmart they can get to.
Yesterday, to get geared up for the event I went shopping. I had done some reconnaissance online before I went and was dismayed to see that my local Walmart no longer carried Gerber birdseye flats or plastic training pants covers. I had resigned myself to flour sack towels and receiving blankets and who knows what for a cover.
When I got there though and started browsing, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Walmart's Carters line, Child of Mine, had taken over where Gerber left off. I got plastic pants and flats in the Child of Mine brand. The locking head diaper pins weren't far away either. It was six bucks for a six pack of diapers, six bucks for a four pack of covers, and a buck for four pins. So really you could get yourself set up to use cloth diapers all day long for about $20.
Back in my disposable days I spent $20 on ONE pack of diapers that would be gone in a couple of weeks, never to be seen again.
But did I spend $20 at Walmart? No I did not.
I spent $105.65.
I usually try to shop at the thrift store whenever possible and let me tell you, I have NEVER walked out of the thrift store with a bill of over $100. The only times it gets over $20, I walk out with furniture.
Soooo... I bet you're wondering how 20 turn magically into 105.
Well it turns out Walmart quite the little cloth diaper boutique. Okay, we know that you can get the bare essentials there for $20, but what if you wanted to kick it up a notch?
Maybe you wanted a diaper with a little PIZAZZ?
Maybe a trio of wetbags (one for a quick trip, one for a long trip, and one for all day or an overnight)?
A diaper sprayer????
I know the rules say no diaper sprayers allowed because of their prohibitive price tag - usually around $40. But this little handy dandy was only $8.97! Can I get a pass? Pretty please? I've never had a diaper sprayer before (because of the prohibitive price tag) and I'd LOVE to take this little sucker for a test drive. Ah well, I'll use it before and after, but not during the challenge.
So my total diapering bill, for a totally decked out diaper stash with all the trimmings, was just under $90. If you've ever purchased any cloth diapers yourself, you'll know that that is a STEAL. And for my $90 I got:
5 flour sack towels (because I want to compare them to "real" flats)
4 receiving blankets (see above)
4 waterproof pants
4 locking head diaper pins
16 baby washcloths (for reusable wipes)
1 yard of kickin' flannel (for an extra big and extra cute flat)
1 fleece remnant (for making a cover)
1 wooden accordian style drying rack
1 sprayer that hooks onto the tub spout
1 plunger (for my upcoming camp washer project)
1 bucket with lid (also for the camp washer)
1 jug of cloth-friendly and earth-friendly detergent (which grew legs and walked away for this photo shoot)
And the baby I got to bring home for free so I didn't include her in the total. Apparently Walmart goes by the same rules as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area - if you pack it in, you pack it out.
And yet, with about $90 of diapering supplies, that still leaves $15 unaccounted for. That's the "collateral damage" of a Walmart trip...
I think one of the most money-saving things about switching to cloth diapers has been that it has eliminated my running to the store to get more diapers and the collateral damage that those trips inevitably bring.
Flats and Handwashing Challenge 2011:
A Walmart Shopping Spree
It's So Campy
Bye Bye Love
Day 1: So It Begins...
Day 2: Homemade Love
Day 3: Wordless Wednesday
Day 4: Noso Glory
Day 4.5: The Apoocalypse
Day 5: TGIF!
Day 6: Sharing the Love
Day 7: Your Grandma's Diapers
Reflections in a Yellow Puddle
The Happy Anteater