One of the hottest debates in the frugal mommie world is the cloth versus diaper debate. I dedicated an entire chapter in Miserly Moms to this topic, and explained in excessive detail how I calculated my comparisons. Nevertheless, I still get ugly mail about my conclusion: We found disposables (generic brand) to be cheaper. Many critics have decided I must be an unreliable source of any information since I came to "that" conclusion.
As I explained in the chapter, the cost of electricity and water play a great role in the final results, and the cost of the disposable diaper also can sway things. The SF Bay Area was expensive so electricity and water were costly. We had found a generic brand of diapers that was 30% less expensive than the leading namebrand diapers, and they didn't leak!
Another frugal friend developed a calculator to find out for yourself what will be cheaper. All you need to know is the cost per kwh and water rate in your area (it's on your utility bill), the cost per diaper of what you use, the cost per load of your detergent, if you have an old washing machine or new energy efficient model, and when you plan to potty train.
I entered all of my information that I had used in Miserly Moms chapter on diapers and guess what.........he agreed that disposables (for my area) were cheaper!
Give it a try yourself: