Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The White Fluffy Stuff

Um... not what you were thinking huh?

OK, here's the skinny on toilet paper... you can't live without it (well...?), but everyone HATES paying for it!

I've been asked to share how I have kept from spending one red cent on toilet paper since May 2008 (yep, I haven't spend money on TP in 20 months!!!)!

First of all, our family has decided NOT to be brand loyal. If it looks like toilet paper, feels like toilet paper, and smells like----- I'm not going to go there! You get the idea.

Secondly, I'm willing to shop where the sales lead me. Costco does not have great prices on paper goods- the BIG packages simply keep you from running low as often! Do a price comparison for yourself if you don't believe me!

We practice purchasing before the need in our home. If I wait until I am either out of a product, or nearly out- then I run the risk of needing to pay whatever price the store requires that week. If toilet paper is on sale I'm happy, but if there isn't a deal running that particular week- I'm stuck paying (gasp) FULL price!

So I have taken a 'mental inventory' of our most commonly used items, like toilet paper, dish soap, laundry detergent and many other household items, and I look each week for sales on these types of items. Sometimes I am willing to try a new brand simply because I am able to match a coupon with a sale price (I call this a 'double dip discount!!!) and get a steal of a deal!

The truth is that sales (and coupons for that matter) on specific products *may* only happen a few times per year. In my experience, good toilet paper deals are scarce! If you find a great deal (I promise that I post the deals that I find!) make sure to take full advantage! Purchase a larger than average quantity because the money that you spend at the time of the sale is far less than the individual purchases in the long run!

The best advice that I can offer to keep your grocery store spending lower is to recommend purchasing your toilet paper at the drug stores. Yep, drug store prices are more expensive than the grocery store prices, BUT drug stores offer reward programs like CVS's Extra Care Bucks.

I find that is more wise to spend your store reward money on something *useful* rather than just rolling your reward money into products that are FREE, but not necessarily useful to your family!

If I were to need to purchase a package of toilet paper this week, I look for sale items at CVS, I'd work a deal to roll my store rewards, manufacturer and store coupons plus a $5/$25 coupon- and I'd apply the $5 in FREE money from the $5/$25 coupon towards the package of toilet paper. I'd easily be saving $6-$9 off of my grocery bill that week!

Maybe you need to practice rolling store rewards around toilet paper deals for awhile- until the next BIG toilet paper deal comes along... your budget will thank you in the meanwhile! Or you could practice this... just kidding!


Carrie B

PS: Not sure if you knew, but CVS has these "Green Bag Tags" that you can put on your own reusable bags. Every 4th visit they give you $1 in Extra Bucks! It costs .99 to buy but you can get coupons for BOGO. :) Thought I'd share.

Laura Webber

See, the drug stores literally want to pay for your goodies for you!


I'm intrigued. Here's my question. With about 3,000 variations of toilet paper out there, how frustrating is it to find THE correct coupon to match up with a package of toilet paper?? The subtleties of coupons and what they can be used on can make me crazy!

Laura Webber

Hi Jen, I hear ya!

If you have read the coupon verbiage and think you have correctly matched the product with the coupon... then you could just double check with the cashier or manager.


This was a good post. During the summer I spent $40.00 on toilet paper (we like Scott basic brand - not the fluffy kind because typically I find that to be more expensive & with 6 of us in the family, well...) - I bought 12 packages of 12 rolls each(1000 sheets/roll). It came to much less than Costco's Kirkland brand of the same type. We're still using that (but I already had a big stash before that).

Question - do you think it's cheaper to buy the basic kind (like the 1000 sheets/roll) or can you find 'good deals' on fluffy kinds too?

Laura Webber

Coupons usually depict the packages that you may spend them on... like Quilted Northern's save $1 on a 6 roll or higher count package.

Spend you coupons on the smallest size package possible! 6 single rolls will be less expensive than 6 double rolls... so your coupon value will make a more significant impact on the 6 single roll cost!

Also, shop around at several different stores for the best value for your money. Some stores will carry a larger variety of size packages of your favorite brand.

Convenience stores like Walmart & Target are likely to offer a greater size selection- and the drug stores will offer the most limited...

Keep in mind that some stores will double your coupon's value ($.50 coupons at our local grocery stores).