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Mama Cloth {a Series}: Part 5 – Cost Effectiveness of Using Re-Usable Menstrual Products

This is the fifth post in my Mama Cloth series.  You can find out why I’m blogging about them here or read the 1st part , 2nd part, and 3rd part {review of It’s a Girth Thing Period Pads!}, and 4th part.

**Remember, these posts are all about menstruation and being comfortable with the topic and your body – if you’re not interested, please skip this post!

Mama Cloth

Before we get to it – we have 1 comment to address from the last post:

Emily says:  Umm, wow. Seriously!? I nearly got SICK looking at that moldy thing! GROSS! I’ve heard of people using Mama cloths, and even have some friends who do. I cloth diapered, but for some reason haven’t been able to bring myself to use cloth pads. I’m not sure how I missed parts 1, 2, and 3, but am going back to read them now. If they are anything like this one, you can rest assured I will be switching! My husband has heard me talk about them, and is completely grossed out by washable pads. Any tips for that!? He thinks me being so crunchy is weird all together, and this might send him over the edge!

Emily was right.  The post I linked to about the moldy tampon is definitely gross, but the information does need to be out there.  My hubby is also kind of weirded out by my choice of Mama Cloth and he was at first of cloth diapers too.  After 2 years of using cloth diapers, he's totally fine with them now and he doesn't really care about the re-usable cloth pads either.  Out of sight – out of mind.  Besides, when you show your husbands the money savings over time, I think they'll relax a little more!

Start-Up Cost of Mama Cloth

Just like cloth diapers or really any re-usable product, you have to invest a bit more in the initial stages than you would by buying the disposable counterparts.  But, usually the savings of the products will outweigh the cost in the long run.  This is true for Mama Cloth too!

Here's a quick math problem of my own and then I'll share a few links of others that have done more in-depth knowledge.

According to Walmart.com, a box of about 50 tampons costs about $9.50.  On average, I'm going to say that a period lasts 6 days and that on average, 5 tampons per day {this is an average}.  That means that the one box would last almost 2 cycles.  Going with these numbers, it would cost you about $75 to use tampons per year.

My calculations are off the top of my head and are quite a bit lower than others that have done the same math.  Here's a cost analysis done by Lunapads.

Unlike cloth diapers, I don't think that you can totally justify switching to Mama Cloth by $$ savings alone.  It just doesn't add up to a huge savings, but there is some.  It's enough to make a difference, but I'm simply saying it's not enough to totally make everyone want to commit.  Most will commit because of Environmental Reasons or Health Reasons.

With that being said, there are savings!  If you're a seamstress, you could make your own for pretty cheap, I'm sure.  If you're not {yet anyways}, you can get great deals on cloth pads at It's A Girl Thing Period.  You really don't need a large Mama Cloth stash because you're going to want to wash at least every other day for hygenic reasons.  Here's what I would recommend, as a Mama Cloth user:

  • 1, no more than 2 Overnight Pads
  • 5-6 Medium Flow Pads
  • 3 Light Flow Pads
  • 3 Panty Liners

This list is definitely enough to get you through 2 days of your period and will ultimately cost you less in the long run than building a larger stash than you really need.  Obviously if your cycle is heavier, or lighter, than average – you should adjust the absorbency and the number of pads you'll need.

Just remember:  The larger/more absorbent the pad – the higher the price, obviously.
You can easily build a nice stash for around $70 and the great thing about it, the re-usable cloth pads can be used for more than a year – unlike their disposable counterparts.  They can easily last up to 5 years if you take care of them and wash properly!

Be sure to check around It's a Girl Thing, Period!, a division of Posh Pads – as they have great kits and run fabulous sales on their Mama Cloth from time to time!

Please leave any questions or comments in the Comment section and I'll address them on my next post!

The next post in the series will be about Raising Conscious Awareness Young Ladies.  If there's anything else that you would like to see me address, please let me know!

Comments

  1. All my menstrual pads got destroyed in a span of time between 6 months and 18 months. I contacted the companies (I have pads from 6-7 companies) but they have no idea what is the problem and can only send me new free pads. What I mean by destroyed is that all the cotton layers get big holes in them.

    I would love to care for them corectly but I’m really at lost as to what I’m doing wrongly. I’m sure that you can’t help me seeing that the companies themselved can’t but I just wanted to share that for me, unless I buy from a company that has a guarantee, it’s way cheaper to use disposable ones. That’s why I started sewing my own but I dread that they will have the same fate.

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I hadn’t heard of anything like this happening to anyone, so I don’t really have any suggestions.

      I’m sure you’ve been asked before, but are you using bleach on them? I’d love to hear if the ones you sew do the same thing – but it seems they might since the pads you have come from different companies. Hmmm…
      Lindsey recently posted…Choose to Reuse Giveaway Event: Piggy Paint Nail PolishMy Profile

  2. Justice Montgomery says:

    Three years ago, when I was pregnant with our first child together, My husband was against cloth diapering. I managed to get him on board with it this past January (along with cloth wipes). I asked him about a month later how he was feeling about it and he said that it was a lot easier and cleaner than he thought it would be. Bear in mind, he’s changed maybe 4 velcro diapers since then and I do all the wash LOL

    Two months ago, we started using family cloth. He said that he was fine with it, but then continued to use all of the TP in the house. When it was gone, so was our money and he had no choice but to use family cloth. So for around 6 weeks, he’s used family cloth. Then our washer broke down. For 10 days, I washed flats and covers, and kids’ shorts and undies by hand. For those 10 days, we had to go back to TP. Probably about the 8th day in, he came to me and revealed how much he hated TP now that we’ve been using family cloth.

    Men are like old dogs. It takes a while to teach them new tricks, but eventually they do GET IT. LOL

    I’ve been using a menstrual cup for the last two months also. He pretty much felt the same way that I did. It’s fascinatingly disgusting. I have snaps on about half of the mama cloth that I’ve made now. I haven’t had the opportunity to use any of it, but I’m just making panty liners because I really do love my cup now. I was really motivated to switch when the moldy tampon picture came out, because I have been a Kotex user for about 12 years now. I spent less than $20 on flannel and have upcycled some stuff we had around the house too. My GF gave me some snaps and snap pliers as a gift and now I have a handful of cloth pads, and so does my daughter. Yeah, because I am getting her in on the cloth game too. She’s 10, and the ped said yesterday that she’s easily got another year or 2 before her period, but we are PREPARED.

    Still loving this series! Thanks so much Lindsey!

    • Thank you for the sweet comments – it means the world to me! This has really been a fun series to do and I’ve learned a lot during it too!

      Your idea about men – yep, you are SO right. And my husband is the same way. He doesn’t mind to change diapers, but the amount he’s changed on the girls, well, I could probably count on my hands. It’s easier for me to just do it than wait for him to offer! ;)

      I haven’t even thought about family cloth because I don’t know if I can actually handle that one. I’m sure it’s like the rest – it’s not as bad as the idea sounds, but I really know it would take a LOT of convincing to him! And I have a cup but I’m totally scared of it. I need to just do it, but I’ve been holding back.

      Lastly, one of the whole reasons behind the series and the challenge is to get mothers thinking about cloth options when their daughters are ready – you’re right on track!
      Lindsey recently posted…Choose to Reuse Giveaway Event: Piggy Paint Nail PolishMy Profile

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