I have less than $300 in all my diapers (listed in the last post) - and that's including two wet bags (well, actually three) and a bag of Rockin Green.
People complain that the initial investment is one impediment to their deciding to go with cloth diapers, so here are my four secrets for cutting back on that as much as possible:
1) Have a diaper party. Everything Birth, an online diaper and birth supplies store, hosts diaperparties.com, a service with reps a la Tupperware or Mary Kay, that lets you see and touch, and earn commission, before you buy. For my initial investments in cloth, I hosted a party (I included the $25 it took to ship all the supplies in my total investment figure) and was able to snag a free wet bag for being a host as well as credit off my purchase. I posted my party on craigslist and invited my other mommy friends and was able to help several people convert to cloth with me AND get some good deals.
2) Earn diaper rewards. A lot of diaper-specific websites give you points for every dollar you spend and many have offers from time to time for free diapers or other items with purchases of a certain amount. I have gotten at least three diapers through such offers and accumulated enough points for about $20 off other purchases. My personal favorite for this has been kellyscloset.com, though everythingbirth.com has also added diaper rewards feature recently.
3) Guest blog. I have written three or four guests posts for The Cloth Diaper Whisperer, the blog for Kelly's Closet, and earned extra diaper rewards points that way.
4) Buy local. I have gotten a couple of diapers and some more Rockin' Green from a local retailer, Rosebud Diaper Boutique (www.rosebuddiaperboutique.com), meeting her in person or having her swing by my house to save on shipping!
A few other pointers: consolidate orders for free shipping because most stores offer it on purchases of at least a certain amount. Watch for sales - and giveaways. I haven't had any luck yet with the giveaways but between facebook, twitter and other websites people are CONSTANTLY giving away free stuff. Can't hurt to try! Finally, consider off-brands. Several places sell Kawaii diapers from $8 to $11 a piece - that's a lot less than the $22 or $23 that some diapers cost but I have liked these diapers just as much.