When you picture cloth diapers, you might imagine a leaky mess pulled together with a giant safety pin, but cloth diapers have come a long way since the old days.
While buying a set of cloth diapers can be pricey on the front end, they work out to be much less expensive than buying disposable diapers week after week. One case study showed that a family with a newborn spent around $600 total on cloth diapers, compared to $1,500 to $2,500 that families tend to spend on disposables over three years [source: Jackson]. If you have more than one child the cost is even lower, since you can use those same cloth diapers for baby number two (and three!) And you aren't contributing to the landfill.
The crafty set can save even more money! If you've got a sewing machine, try whipping up a set of cloth diapers right at home. You can sew up a simple diaper and pair it with a plastic diaper cover to prevent leaks or sew an all-in-one diaper that has a built in leak liner [source: Vanderlinden].
There is an ick factor with cloth diapers that some parents have to get past, but at $900 or more in savings it's worth working through. If you need help, you can purchase paper-thin liners that go inside the diaper, pick up the poo, and can be flushed away along with the waste.
You don't want your frugal lifestyle to be the death of your social life! On the next page,we have some ideas to help you save money and still have fun with friends and family.