Money & Career

Outsmart marketing ploys and save money on toilet paper

Don't flush good money down the drain — follow these tips to save significantly on your TP costs.

toilet paper roll blue design white

Photo, iStockphoto.

When it comes to saving money, I’ll admit I don’t often focus on what happens in the toilet. But there are plenty of frugalistas out there obsessed with saving money on toilet paper — it’s little wonder why when you consider cutting your bog-roll use can save you big.

For my family of four, I typically buy a 12-roll pack of Cashmere two-ply toilet paper (280 sheets per roll), which can cost up to $10.49. We use about two rolls per day, equating to $635 per year. If you’re able to cut your use in half (or switch to a cheaper brand), you could save $317 a year or more. Not too shabby. Here are seven ways to help you save on your TP costs.

1. Stock up when it’s on sale

Toilet paper is always on sale at the grocery store. I just saw the above-mentioned brand on sale for $6.99. Buy as much as you can store at that price and you’ll save big.

2. Cut through the marketing 

Who knew the toilet paper aisle could be so confusing? One single brand can offer five different kinds of toilet paper each packaged and named differently. Like, what the heck does “ultra” mean?

For starters, I look for two basic criteria: cost and sheets per roll. Sure, that pack of 12-rolls might seem like a great deal, but it’s not if those rolls only have 200 sheets each versus another pack with 280 per roll. Clearly, the latter will last longer. Marketers will even try to throw scented and three-ply products at you, but those are bells and whistles you might not need, which could end up costing you more.

3. Use less

How much toilet paper does your family use in an average, um, sitting? If the answer is eight sheets, then try to cut it down to four to six to cut your toilet paper use in half.

4. Use a cheaper brand

I prefer to buy Cashmere (if it’s on sale, of course). It’s puffy, soft, but tends to be more expensive than other brands. Ask yourself how important comfort is to you (it’s just toilet paper after all) and whether you’re ready to break up with your brand and go with something cheaper.

5. Make it harder to get

Limit use by squeezing it before you put it out on the roll. That way it won’t turn as easily (note: this is particularly good for little kids like mine who can go through half a roll in one go!).

6. Separate your plies

If you really want to save big, some frugalistas separate their two-ply and wrap the newly formed one-ply around a recycled roll. It takes a bit of work, but you’ll save a lot long-term!

7. Use coupons

This is a no-brainer for die-hard couponers, of course, but coupon websites like SmartCanucks and RedFlagDeals offer coupons and links to different deals every day of the week.

How much do you spend on toilet paper?

 

Get more:

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Easiest way to save $1370 a year!

 

Follow money expert Caroline Cakebread at Twitter.com/ccakebread

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