But I’m going to explain here why you probably should pay a little more attention in this area because it can save you money. Depending on the size of your household, even a lot of money.
After all, if you’re a family, you go through quite a bit of the stuff every week.
Now, toilet paper is definitely something you never want to be without. But by the same token, it’s hardly anything that adds to the quality of our lives. It’s strictly a utilitarian necessity. So there’s really absolutely no reason to spend more money on it than needed.
And as I’m always stressing, the little things add up, so saving wherever we can is just plain good practice that can add up to big savings over time.
And here’s the thing that most people do not realize – there’s a huge difference in pricing for this mundane product across brands and types.
While most people compare the price per individual roll, that does not anywhere near give the true cost story. Rolls vary greatly in their size and square footage, so you need to compare prices accordingly.
If you take a look at the pictures above, you’ll see what I mean about the price disparities. As with just every other product, the only way to arrive at a proper price comparison is by ignoring the total price, which can be very deceiving, and looking instead at the unit price, which is the number in the lower left hand corner of the price tag.
For toilet paper, the unit price is usually per 100 units, or 100 square feet. Once you know that, a quick glance tells you that the toilet paper in the top picture – the most expensive name brand available in my local grocery store – costs 60.5¢ per 100 square feet.
Meanwhile, the store brand, which is the one in the lower picture, costs 6.6¢ per 100 units. That means the Charmin brand is 9X more expensive – a very big difference.
In this case, that means you're paying $1 per roll for the Charmin brand vs. 66¢ per roll for the store brand, which is 50% larger to begin with. So for a single roll, the difference can easily amount to nearly a dollar. And sometimes it's even more.
You Can Realize Major Savings
If you’re a household of 1 or 2, the potential weekly savings of just $2 per week amounts to more than $100 per year. And if you’re a household of 4, the savings can be in the hundreds of dollars per year.
I don’t know about you, but I can think of a ton of other things I’d much rather spend that money on than toilet paper.
Of course, there are major marketing campaigns by toilet paper makers to convince you to spend more than you should on this product. I advise turning a deaf ear to marketing ploys that, for example, talk about quilted comfort or squeezability.
All that extra thickness simply means that the roll is substantially smaller than the cheaper brands, and it also stands a greater chance of clogging my toilet and my septic system.
I'd rather skip that and save the money to use for something else.
Particularly when it takes no extra effort or sacrifice at all to do so.
The Same Goes for Other Paper Products
By the way, the same goes for any paper products you might use, such as paper towels, or napkins. While I don’t encourage the use of these wasteful products at all, and would never use paper towels for household cleaning, they do serve their occasional uses.
I probably only use a roll of paper towels every two months primarily for grease spills and wiping out my wooden salad bowl, but I still seek out the cheapest ones I can, and I do that by relying on the unit price. The price range is not as great as with toilet paper, but it can still run you twice as much from brand to brand.
For some families I know who go through several rolls of paper towels a day – a fact that makes my frugal and environmental soul cringe - just switching brands can save them $4-5 per day. That’s more than $1400 per year in easy savings.
That kind of money makes it really a no brainer.
So the next time you’re shopping for toilet paper or paper towels, take 10 seconds extra time to look at the unit price.
Then buy yourself the cheapest option available based on that price and pay yourself with the savings.
Honestly, why waste that money?