It’s been a while since we’ve tried to save any money around this blog. Too bad since we’ve got a lot to save if we’re going to save $50,000 just by going green.
Today, baby wipes. How much can you save if you make safe, non-toxic baby wipes vs. buying disposable baby wipes? Let’s find out.
HOW MANY DISPOSABLE DIAPER WIPES WILL YOU NEED?
First of all, we’re just going to look at 2.5 years not 5. On average, folks like to assume that babies are out of diapers by two and a half years (many aren’t) but for the sake of this post, we’ll say 2.5 sounds fine.
The average newborn can speed through 12 diapers a day. Older babies and toddlers typically use about 6-10 diapers a day. If your baby is out of diapers entirely by the time she’s two and a half years old that’s still about 7,500-8,000 diaper changes over those 2.5 years.
If we’re being VERY prudent, the typical diaper change requires two cloth baby wipes or two or three disposable wipes. I’ve used both reusable and disposable wipes and for large messes, you can end up using a ton of disposable wipes. BUT we’ll say oh, two wipes per change.
So, 7,500-8,000 times two wipes per change is about 15,500 disposable wipes in 2.5 years. Imagine that pile!
HOW MANY CLOTH BABY WIPES WILL YOU NEED?
If you’re making a reusable baby wipe kit, here’s what you’ll need at bare minimum.
- 20-30 baby sized washcloths and 20-40 regular sized washcloths – this is literally all the cloth wipes I needed the entire time Cedar was a baby.
- A cloth wipe bucket – small, with an easy to remove lid.
- A couple reusable wipe bags for when you’re out and about. Alternatively, you can use disposable wipes when out, but let’s pretend you want to go totally reusable.
Natural soap and organic essential oils are nice additions but not necessary, so I won’t be adding in these costs.
HOW MUCH WILL DISPOSABLE WIPES COST?
For disposable baby wipes I picked an eco-friendly brand, because I personally cannot, and will not recommend that you buy conventional baby wipes. You might save more buying conventional vs. less toxic baby wipes, but since they’re not safe for kids, and since this is a green space, there’s no way I’m using them for a comparison.
Personally I’ve tested, liked and can recommend the following eco-friendly baby wipes:
- $34.99 – TushiesWipes Refills, Unscented Natural Formula with Aloe – Wipe Refill Packs (960 Wipes).
- Elements Naturals – $5.95 – 80 count at Drugstore.com.
- $13.99 – Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Baby Wipes, 350-count Box.
- You can browse other safe baby wipes at Skin Deep.
For this calculation, we’ll use my favorite, and likely the cheapest eco-wipes first – TushiesWipes. You’ll need 15,500 wipes, or about 16 cases in bulk. That’s $560 over 2.5 years.
We’ll also use what I most commonly see – what I usually see among friends, and when I’m sneaking peeks at carts at the store are those Seventh Generation baby wipe tubs. Many people do not buy in bulk. Those tubs and single refill packs are about $4.50 – $5.50 for 70 wipes or around $1,107 over 2.5 years. If you shop this way, a reusable baby wipe kit will save you around $1,107 per child.
If you split the difference between buying in bulk and not, you’ll pay around $835 for 2.5 years of disposable wipes.
HOW MUCH WILL REUSABLE WIPES COST?
You’ll need 20-30 baby sized washcloths and 20-40 regular sized washcloths. We bought on the low end; maybe 25 baby sized and 25 big ones. It’ll depend on how often you do laundry. I suggest you buy organic cotton, bamboo, or some other sustainable fabric. Some ideas…
- $9.00 – Under The Nile Organic Cotton Baby Wipes – 6 Pack
- $24.00 – Kissaluvs Soft Organic Wipes, 12 Pack
- $14.50 – Babykicks Baby Wipes – 10 Pack
- $9.57 – 100% Organic Cotton Oversized Washcloth Set of 4
- $12.00 – Kate Quinn Organic Baby Washcloths (10-Pack)
You’ll also need a BPA-free container to hold your wipes. I like the $16.99 – Oxo Good Grips POP Big Square 4-Quart Storage Container, but any container will do, just make sure the lid is easy to get off with one hand.
That’s a total of about $100. If you went with thrift store goods you’d make a killing though and could likely build a kit for less than half of this. Used washcloths aren’t as good as organic IMO, but still a greener choice. Also, you’ll have to pay to wash your wipes. However, as noted in the cloth napkin costs post, it’s only about $8 per year to wash a ton of napkins. When compared to gas costs to get disposables, it pretty much evens out.
Money saved over 2.5 years if you use reusable vs. disposable baby wipes…
$835.00 on average – Now, if you use wipes longer you’ll save more. One reusable baby wipes kit will last forever. For sure it would see you through two or three babies. For example, I’m STILL using old washcloths from Cedar’s reusable baby wipe kit now, to clean with. It’s been almost ten years and the wipes are just now starting to die off. Cloth lasts forever.
IF you have two kids you’d save almost $1,700. A nice college fund starter or a ton of organic apples. Plus, let’s not forget all those resources you’ll save due to NOT buying over-packaged toss-away baby wipes.
END RESULT: We’re trying to save $50,000 and so far we’ve saved…
- $1,000+ by switching from paper towels to cloth.
- $1,354 by switching from paper napkins to cloth napkins.
- $6,180 by switching to tap water vs. bottled.
- $835 by switching to reusable baby wipes.
So far a total savings of $9,369. That leaves $40,631.00 left to save. Saving $9,000+ isn’t bad but we’re going to have to break out the big guns of green living to save $50,000.