Let’s talk toilet paper for a moment. It’s definitely a necessity, and I personally find it to be one of the most difficult items to stockpile. Deals have been somewhat scarce lately, and in addition, it’s just darn hard to figure out whether you’re really getting bargain on it. With double rolls and ultra packs, etc., how do you know if you’re paying a reasonable price or not?
Reader Beth left this tip on my recent Target and CVS Savings post that makes it super easy to tell if a sale price on toilet paper is worthy of stocking up or not. It shall forever be known as the “Toilet Paper Principle” here on Deal Seeking Mom!
Look at the front bottom of the toilet paper package to determine the total square feet. Now insert a decimal point in this number two places to the left. If the cost of the package minus coupons is less than or equal to this figure, it’s a decent deal — basically $0.01 or less per square foot!
TP #1 = 400 sq. ft.; price = $6; stock-up price $4, so not a fabulous deal.
TP #2 = 650 sq. ft.; price = $5; stock-up price $6.50, so definitely a bargain!
Thanks so much, Beth, for sharing this simple concept!
Do you have any similar tips and tricks that you use to determine whether a price on a product is a stockpile deal?
Not completely ‘necessary’, you can always go the family cloth route :D We haven’t, my husband didn’t like the idea…but it is getting tempted, at least for the ladies for number 1! we use cloth diapers and I prefer cloth pads too… avoids throwing stuff out all the time. Toilet paper really bugs me to be constantly flushing money! :D
I have never heard of the family cloth! I think I actually might try this- just for pee though. I already do several loads a week for cloth diapers so I can just wash them at the same time.
I always figured that you’re doing the wash, a few clothes aren’t going to even make a difference in those costs :D
I know lots of people that do family cloth! They just have a little trash can with a lid next to the toilet and they put their cloth in there after it’s been used. Then it gets washed when cloth diapers do, or whatever.
I’ve long since wanted to try it, but dh is not on board. I think I will very soon start doing it for myself and the kids anyway. ;)
What’s with all these picky men and tp? LOL Their precious little bottoms deserve only the finest, apparently! lol
With travel this summer. Kroger has Angel Soft .99 for four single rolls. Matched with .50 off coupon doubled equals free toliet paper.
FYI: White cloud coupons has been the recent issues of All You! I have purchased it along with the marcel so that I could stock pile. It is hard to stock pile anything with 4 kids in the house + their friends!!! LOL!
I only have to buy t.p. for myself, not a whole household, so the price of t.p. is one of the few prices I dont really think about, I just buy whatever I can when a see a decent deal.
I use cosco brand and it beats the headache that goes along with finding the perfect deal. But now you have my mind thinking…should I be paying more attention! I think I may!
I use the Costco brand too. I just picked some up on 30June2010 it was 17.99 per 36 pack. Each roll is 53.1 sq feet which makes a case 1911.6 sq feet. If I am doing this formula correctly then it is less than .01 a sq foot. We actually like it better than the “fancy” TP and it does not stop up my toilet. Guess I will be sticking with Kirkland on the TP.
Thank you so much…I’ve been looking for an easy way to figure this out!
This is a wonderful tip! I get so confused with double rolls, giant roll, mega rolls, one ply , two ply, etc……SHEESH! This will definetly help. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for the tip on toliet paper. It has always been very confusing!
Do you have a tip for buying tall kitchen garbage bags?
It would be nice to apply the TB philosophy to garbage bags. I might just try it as I am going out today. Somehow I just dont think I will get the same results. lol
My workplace is having a TP drive to collect rolls for the local homeless shelter. We have “teams” trying to compete to get the most rolls. I am looking to get the CHEAPEST TP available right now and could use some help finding deals. They are counting actual rolls, so “double rolls” only count as one, ply also does not matter, so single ply single rolls work fine. I just need to the most rolls for the lowest cost. If anyone knows on any deals this week, please let me know. Stores in my area include Walmart, Target, Hy-Vee, Baker’s (Kroger), Bag N Save, Aldi, and No-Frills. Any coupon game expert’s help would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
I was at Office depot and saw that a lot of the Marcal stuff was on clearance. The big 12 pack was $2.xx, so super cheap if you have the coupon. Dollar store could be a good bet as well.
Does Office Depot accept coupons?
I truly, only like the Ultra Charmin, I buy cheaper ones, and I always wind up regretting it :-)
What’s a good stock up price for paper towels? Would the same math apply? I try to use rags (cheap white washcloths, stained dish towels cut up, etc.) for wiping up spills, but sometimes paper towels are handy for certain messes like bloody meat. I, too, usually buy whatever is cheaper at Costco – both TP and paper towels – now I’m going to start paying better attention!
What about a stockup price for chicken breasts? I have such a hard time remembering what a good price is. I need to start keeping a notebook but it’s one more thing to carry around.
How funny is this, Saturday night on a holiday weekend, and I’m sitting here reading about TP and our fussy husbands!!!!!!
LOL!!!!!! Thanks for the great tips. Sometimes my hubby brings home TP from work, ya get crotch-rotch then spend $$$$$ buying expensive creams to combat the problem. It’s like sand paper!!!!! thanks, but NO thanks honey!!!!
LOVE this. i’m always looking at “price per unit” on the store tags, but this makes it SO much easier to figure out… wonder if it works on other stock-up products?
Just out of curiosity… is there a good rule for paper towels? I imagine it would be more like $0.02 or more per square foot, but I’m not sure.
Also, I found a deal on Amazon that matches the TP principle! It’s only 1-ply TP… never tried it, so it could be sand paper… but surely it can’t be any worse than the stuff my company uses. :)
I always buy Dollar General TP which is comparable to Scotts.
4 Big Rolls = 544.57 square foot.
is only $3.00 any day, every day.
That equals $0.0055 per square foot.
It lasts FOREVER. Once in awhile I receive a $5.00 off a $25 purchase which can be used only on Saturday. I normally spend it all on toilet paper.
is there something similar to tell a good deal for paper towels? I have the $5 Bounty coupon and want to use it for the best deal not necessarily just because its free or cheap?
Jax – after doing some research, I’ve started to consider paper towels a good deal when it’s less than $0.03 per sq. ft. Using Beth’s rule as a guideline:
Look at the front bottom of the toilet paper package to determine the total square feet. Now insert a decimal point in this number two places to the left. ** Now, multiply this number by 3. ** If the cost of the package minus coupons is less than or equal to this figure, it’s a decent deal — basically ** $0.03 ** or less per square foot!
That would put a 6 pk of Bounty Basic that I got for $1.99 at $9.15!!!! That’s a horrible price and more than they charge. What am I doing wrong with your calculations?
This idea sounds good. I’m going to have to try this next time I go to the store for tp or paper towels. I wonder if it would work for paper plates. :)
Kudos for this idea!! I’ve been using price per roll but with the different size rolls, I’ve had both hits and misses.
They currently have Marcal® Small Steps®100% Recycled Bath Tissue Rolls, 2-Ply, 12/Case, regularly $14.99 on sale for $4.49 – over 70% off PLUS there is a coupon available in most Staples stores on the front of their Breakroom/Cleaning Supplies Catalog for $20 off a $75 purchase – You can get 17 packages for $56.33 plus tax WITH FREE SHIPPING – regular price would have been $254.83 – total discount of more than 78%!! I purchased a set for the women’s shelter as they always need bathroom tissue and other paper products!
Im grateful for the post. Fantastic.
I did find a new factor to consider in the paper towel pricing. I found the new Scott towel is much more absorbent that either Brawny or Bounty. It doesn’t have any fancy designs but it almost has a quilted texture and absorbs so much more that it takes fewer sheets to clean up large spills.
why cannot I find one simple laundry sopa coupon. I have been on so many sites saying that this would be the site to print your coupons!!!! I have tried for 2 days and I am in tears. Somebody please help
shelley, start making your own laundry soap. It is super cheap and it cleans as well as regular soap. It is very easy to make
I found a recipe for laundry soap on Pinterest. Borax, Washing Soda and FelsNaptha. It took a little work to make it, but I have been using it for over 4 months and it cost me less than $10!!!!!
Is there any version of homemade that would be comparable to a Free & Clear? Looking at the ingredients in FelsNaptha, I can not use that, I currently use Purex Free & Clear for my family as I have found the best deals on it
Any recipe that calls for a bar of felsnaptha can be equally substituted with ivory soap. Ivory is the most pure and natural of all the soaps I have come across in stores. I have not tried handmade soap yet but I am very interested in knowing if it would work even better. There are also recipes for fabric softner too. But u can always just do a 50:50 water and vinegar solution.
Beats By De Shop
It is super cheap and it cleans as well as regular soap.
Do you have a recipe for making your own laundry detergent?
Also, what is the best laundry spray to get stains out of clothes?
Also, what is the cheapest way to product to use to wash dishes by hand and in the dishwasher?
Thank you for this site and great advice–it all makes so much cent$ ! I do have a question if in the original posting, are the dollar amounts reversed in the bargain example? It’s really late on Sunday, but if the last example is correct, both examples would yield the same price point, right? Maybe my brain is drained, so I’ll just sleep on it–probably dreaming upon a Cottonelley White Quilted Northern Cloud fanned by Mr. Whipple squeezing me out of another nickel or dime or worse…BUT (I’m on a roll here…), with good advice, I’ll figure out in the 7th Generation how to manage without getting soaked and maybe get it Scott free. Now that would be a dream, or a M-i-arcal. Good night John Boy.
At the stock-up price I have list, they would be the same price per square foot, but before that price is my example shelf price which is what determines if it’s a good deal or not.
I will say that it’s been more and more difficult recently to hit the stock-up price recently, so another good rule of thumb for purchasing is $0.25 per single roll and $0.50 per double roll.