A Case Study: Toilet Paper Prices

>> May 21, 2010

What is a good price for Toilet Paper???

I bought both packages of TP earlier this week at CVS on sale for $4.99 each. They both have 12 rolls and visually appear to be the same size package. However looks can be deceiving!

Precious @ FrugalMakesCents brought up this topic on Wednesday. She uses the price point of $0.01 a square foot to judge whether its a good deal.

I hadn't really considered the price per unit on toilet paper very carefully before... (How disappointing I know!) I do know that I prefer to buy regular old Scott TP or something like it vs. soft/fluffy stuff because it lasts longer.

So today I grabbed my recent purchases to examine my deal, did I meet the target price??

The top package (green earth essentials) is 1311.5 sq ft and the bottom package (blue) is ONLY 426.9 sq ft. That means the green toilet paper has THREE (3) times as much toilet paper in the package!!! Crazy!!

So using $0.01 per square foot... the top package is a good deal if its under $13.11 and the 2nd one is only a good deal if its under $4.26! I paid $4.99 for each, using CVS $. The earth essentials TP is a great deal according to the $0.01 price point! However the blue kind is not...

Since I know I can usually get the CVS TP (either style) for $5 or $6 each, I think I should cut my ideal price point for TP to 1/2 a cent a square foot. ($0.005/sq ft) Precious also decided that $0.005/sq ft is a great stock up price for her (now in NY).

I have decided to return the blue package to CVS and exchange it for the "good" earth essentials kind. I didn't choose to buy the blue TP to begin with, but my fave CVS store only had 1 of the earth essentials kind, so I just grabbed the other kind that was on sale because I was in a hurry. However you are paying THREE times as much for the blue kind vs the earth essentials even when you pay the "same" price!

On a side note.. I have been getting the Marcal TP for free with the $1 sale at Albies and the $1 MQ. Free is great, but if I had to pay for this TP... its worth less than $0.75 a package (using $0.01/sq ft) or $0.37 a package (using MY $0.005/sq ft). I can't recall what the regular price is for this, but the sale price is $1... so it my opinion I wouldn't buy this TP on sale without a coupon!

What about you, what is a good price for TP where you live?


Heather May 21, 2010 at 2:52 PM  

What a good case study! I never considered a price per square footage before...I still have my stockpile of free Scott TP from Albies, from way back in the day....and I stockpiled two different times, and noticed that the size of the package had changed (even though the price remained the same). So watch out for shrinking packages/less square footage over time! Those sneaky devils!

Jennie May 22, 2010 at 12:42 PM  

I am not sure how the deal today only at staples compares, since I can't find info on square footage. But they have 24 packs of Marcal Small steps for 4.99. I ordered 5 through staples.com, and got free shipping, plus 3% and $5 sign up bonus from shopathome.com

I figure $16 including tax for 128 packs of tp is great. It has been a while since i was able to get free 4 packs, I used to all the time. It gets harder to go for all the deals with 3 kids, including a baby. So these deliver to me things work great at this point in my life.

Do you know, kcchia, if this at all measures up to your goal price?

kc May 22, 2010 at 1:55 PM  

Hi Heather! I miss the free SCOTT, we just go through so much and don't have a ton of storage for it. I wish I could stock up on a year's worth sometimes!

kc May 22, 2010 at 2:43 PM  

Hi Jennie,

I think you got a pretty decent deal! Everyone's goal price will be different depending upon your market, what stores you shop at, their prices, what brands/sizes they sell and what coupons you have available.

However, with that being said.. I think you are paying somewhere between 1/2 and 1 cent a square foot. Just estimating it out... You are gettin 30 4-packs, the same Marcal 4-packs I mentioned at the bottom of my post and I said they are worth $0.75 if you are paying $0.01 a square foot. That would be $22.50! 1/2 a cent would be $11.25, so you are paying somewhere in between!

I think you found a great deal for yourself! Plus having it delivered is a great bonus for a mom with 3 kiddos!!

Precious May 25, 2010 at 3:09 PM  

Hi KC,

I am just catching up on everyones blog posts after having company here for 6 days. Thnks for the shout out of my blog.

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