Thursday, July 24, 2008

What Charmin Doesn't Want You To Know

What's one thing you can't live without? For me it's Diet Coke. I am such a fiend. I'm really trying to cut back but right now I drink about 2-3 cans a day. I shudder as I type that, but really it's like: have one in the am (like a cup of coffee), have one at lunch time to go along with lunch, and have one late at night while eating a snack. And besides, it's only 1 calorie (or is it zero?). I seem to have justified it to myself but I really want to cut back. Every sip I take I can hear the little "cavity creeps" saying, "yummmm acid.... easy to eat away at the enamel..... pretty soon you'll need dentures....."

So anyway, if I were at Target and only had enough money for either Diet Coke or toilet paper, and I was out of both, well... I'm sorry Coca Cola but the toilet paper is going in the cart. I don't particularly like buying toilet paper, but, well, do I really need to describe what it would be like to wipe after going #2 with an aluminum can?

SO, let me share with you my most favorite bang-for-your-buck secret. It's about toilet paper. I often think that it's just a matter of time before the toilet paper giants figure this one out. I will share it with you, but first let me ask you a question: How does your family dispense its toilet paper? Do they take the paper and split the layers, thereby doubling your toilet paper usage? Nope, mine don't either. Does your family count the number of squares, using only 2 squares for #1 and AMAN (as much as needed) for #2? Again, not in my house. If your family is like mine, the bathroom trip includes a kid slapping the toilet roll a low-5 and watching the roll spit out sheets of toilet paper like a slot machine spitting out quarters. Of course, they let it go until the roll quits turning. That is the EXACT amount they needed. How handy!!!

Again, let me preface the next part by saying that I'm a high-school math teacher, currently on another assignment (SAHM). Considering my finely honed analytical mind, the next paragraph may not seem so absurd to you.

A couple of years ago, while buying toilet paper, I was comparing prices and - like I'm always told to do by the money saving gurus - I was checking UNIT PRICE. To me that means how much something costs per usage. The toilet papers I checked were all the usuals: Charmin, Cottonelle, Northern, Angel Soft, Scott, and the store brand. I was SHOCKED when I found that one toilet paper was extremely cheaper than the others. I mean, like, half as much or more. The toilet paper brand???


This has continued to be true. Every time I go to the store, I give a little private giggle to myself when I pick up the "Scott 1000" rolls. It's like I'm getting an awesome clearance deal that no one else knows about. When I see other moms pick up the CHARMIN (the worst deal) I give a little inward sigh, like "Too bad she's wasting her family's money".

To show you what I mean, lay your eyes on these pictures:

Angel Soft. $5.99 for 501 sq. ft. Twelve "double" rolls.

Charmin. $7.14 for 284.6 sq. feet. Twelve "double" rolls.

Northern. $6.19 for 450 square feet. Twelve "double" rolls.

Cottonelle. $7.99 for 430 sq. feet. Twelve "double" rolls.

Target Brand. $5.49 for 300 sq. feet. Twelve "double" rolls.

Okay, now the Scott Toilet Paper.

$8.99 for 1382.4 sq. feet. 12 REGULAR rolls.

Now, check your math. Yes, this package is indeed the most expensive. You can probably guess that it is not on sale. Usually I buy it at Wal-mart or I wait until it's on sale for less than $8. But still, check out the number of square feet it covers. The only one that even comes close is Angel Soft at 501 square feet and Scott is almost 3 TIMES as much. But it is not 3 times as expensive. It is not even 2 times as expensive as the cheapest store brand.

Now, some moms will say, "OOHHH The Charmin is softer. OOOHHH I like the quilting on Northern." Does it really matter? Scott is definitely not newspapery like the stuff in public school bathrooms. My family has never once complained, except that my oldest daughter SE said that sometimes the toilet paper tears off and gets stuck in her crack when she's wiping. I think that's user error, not mechanical failure. But I think the Scott is really soft, and let's face it: it does the job it was made for.

So come on, join me. Hop on the "Scott" toilet paper bandwagon. Get some more bang for your buck. Your wallet will thank you. Plus you'll have enough left over to buy some Diet Coke.

**author's note: Yes I did stand in Target and take all these pictures. I was sure I would soon be escorted out by security, assuming I was a spy for Kimberly-Clark or something, but I guess I escaped under the radar.


Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

LOL...did anyone actually see you take the pictures?? Thanks for the math lesson...I may need to buy that while we are in major budget mode...otherwise, it's worth the extra $.005 cents for me to buy the Cottonelle...and yes I did the's summer you know...break time...

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

Oh I forgot...I found the recipie...thanks again.

Tara said...

Wow....never noticed that! Thanks for the tip!

P.S. Found your blog via SITS.

Bridgett said...

I don't know which is funnier to me: that you took these in Target or the term "user error" in this situation.

I used to be a part of a yahoo group called living-frugal-in-st-louis, and the toilet paper conversation came up pretty regularly. Both "this is on sale at walgreens!" posts and the "which is the best value" debate. Obviously Charmin and Northern were right out, but one mom of 6 swore by angel soft, based not on square feet but by how long it lasted per dollar spent. She found her husband and two older son used up Scott way faster (maybe to compensate?).

My own husband told me at one point: "cloth diapers, clotheslines, and rags in the kitchen instead of paper towels, that's fine, but do we have to skimp on the toilet paper?" and so I went back to bulk purchases on sale... :^)

Elizabeth said...

okay...this is going to be a 3 parter...

I saw your comment on Lisa's blog about why blogging and not telling our 'face' friends and what works for were winking at me thru it all and made me stop by your blog so I could get a closer look...b/c your comments were so darn cute (accurate). hehehe

then, I get over here and read your post about TOILET PAPER...seriously, Toilet Paper. So I just need to be really honest with you...YOU ARE FUNNY! I loved this post. It takes me about 1 paragraph to tell if I'm going to be a returner and commenter or a lurker...and I'm a returning & commenting on your blogs. just saved me A LOT of time in front of the TP section. Go for the long as you are telling the Honest to goodness truth that it's not just newspaper disguisted as TP!

I'll be just better watch out! I might never leave!

Elizabeth said...

hey...i do this thing at my place...FEEL GOOD FRIDAY...hope you join in. :-)

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

I find that we use up Scott at about a 30% faster rate than the others. I really do hate it. I won't buy it. Sorry. It is supposed to be the best to use if you have a septic system, though because it disintigrates faster. That is what my MIL was told.

I have found our Walmart and Kroger OFTEN have the unit prices INCORRECT on their prices/displays. It makes me furiuos because I often use that as my guide for buying.


Donna-Michele said...

You get points for me for the research, and for your wonderful writing.

BUT ... Scott?? It could be 1 tenth the price of other brands ... I still wont 'use' thin-rough-tissue-paper on that part of me, or on my nose. There are limits to what I will save money on, and this is one. My hubbie likes AngelSoft, so he will love this post. We buy at a bulk store, and omitting Scott, we get a good price.

Vive-la-difference, right??