Monday, March 23, 2009

Paper Products...

I have received many sad emails from shoppers who are so disappointed in the Cottenelle disappearing from our Kroger stores. I'm with ya...

It is so hard to know exactly what you are purchasing in the TP/paper towel world before you actually bring it home, remove the plastic wrapping and give it a try. The good news is that if you are not satisfied with the product you can simply return it to the store for a full refund (or just suffer until the package is finished.)

When trying new brands, I recommend purchasing a small sample size of the product (or just be willing to make a large return). Give it a healthy shot and decide whether this could be your brand of choice.

We used to be loyal only to Quilted Northern TP in our house. Quilted Northern is really nice and does have coupons from time to time in the Sunday paper, but when I could purchase a large quantity of Cottenelle at CVS using ECB's (store reward money) and gift cards from transferring my prescriptions I stocked up... like a mad woman on a TP mission!

When I learned of the Kroger FREE TP it was icing on my TP cake... little by little I stocked up on Cottonelle for future use.

The same deal (at CVS) that turned my loyalty to Cottonelle, also had 8 roll packages of Bounty paper towels (again, our family's favorite) as part of that promotion. I picked up 4 packages of 8 roll Bounty to last us for a long time as well.

All of this for a shameless plug for stockpiling: purchasing several identical items that your family needs/consumes on a regular basis; such as toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, diapers, wipes, cereal, pasta...

Stockpiling helps your household to have the luxury of the lowest prices on the items that you purchase - over a longer time span than the sale runs (weeks, months maybe even a year or longer...)

*For example: If I purchase 3 tubes of toothpaste when they are on sale for $1 (from the regular price of $2.50) AND I use a coupon for $.50 at a grocery store that doubles coupons... I will receive all 3 tubes of toothpaste for FREE. That would mean 3 months of FREE tooth brushing for my husband and myself! (I like FREE!!!)

Stockpiling also keeps your week to week grocery budget down because you don't need to purchase small quantities of almost every single product that is used in your home.

If every week you are looking for 1-5 items to stock up on, then your list will be shorter because the majority of the items that you will need for the week will already be at home (excluding dairy, breads, produce and maybe meats). And your overall grocery bill will be lower because the items that you are stocking up on will be sale prices on items with the added savings of coupons!

Back to the toilet paper and paper towel savings. My rule for our family is to get as much as I think that we might use in a year, as these items will not expire, when I can get them on a ridiculously low sale. It may seem silly to stock up for a year... but it has been AWESOME not to have had to put these two items on my grocery list or have had to PAY for these items in nearly a YEAR! Woo Hoo!

The CVS deal that I alluded to earlier, was last Spring... maybe April or May. The deal running was if I purchased $20 worth of Cottonelle & Bounty products I would earn $10 back in ECB's. I think that it was limit 3 transactions per card... and so I stocked up as much as was allowable!

I'm keeping my eye open for this sale to come around again...

In the meantime, if you are needing to purchase TP or paper towels for your family, I recommend purchasing them at a drug store with your store rewards. You may not be rolling your rewards, but you will be purchasing items that your family will definitely use and you will still be lowering your grocery budget.

I'll post about the CVS deal if I catch wind of it... until then, I hope this post has helped.