The average American uses nearly $10 worth of toilet paper every month. Daily, we use 8.6 sheets of toilet paper every time we go to the bathroom—that’s 57 sheets every day! An average roll costs about $0.84 and contains 150 sheets, so you’re using 11 rolls per month. Add kids to the mix (and don’t think for a second that they use less toilet paper than you), and you’ve got a costly, ongoing monthly expense on your…hands.
Cut your toilet paper expense by 70%. Instead of an average of $0.05 – $0.06 per foot, follow these 9 tips to pay no more than $0.02 per square foot on your choice of brands including Charmin, Cottonelle, and Quilted Northern.
1. Never trust the roll size.
Prepare to feel betrayed when I tell you that toilet-paper-roll size varies by store. Based on misleading information like the chart at left, I used to believe that ‘regular roll’ was a standard unit of measurement I could use to calculate cost per roll.
But roll size is actually subjective, determined by negotiations between the retailer and the manufacturer. Mega roll, double roll, and regular roll mean nothing. The roll comparison chart from Charmin is bogus in about a third of the cases.
A 30 pack of Charmin double rolls at Costco and a 30 pack of Charmin double rolls at Target are not the same size. Even within one retailer, like Amazon, depending on the specific toilet paper pack, your square footage per roll varies by up to 20%.
|Amazon||Charmin 36 mega roll/72 reg roll||751.5 ft||10.4 ft/reg roll|
|Costco||Charmin 30 double roll/97 reg roll||865 ft||9.0 ft/reg roll|
|Target||Charmin 24 double roll/54 reg roll||456 ft||8.4 ft/reg roll|
|Walmart||Charmin 24 double roll/48 reg roll||400 ft||8.3 ft/reg roll|
2. Always calculate price per square foot.
Since price per roll is subjective, (and attempting to understand it across stores, sizes, and brands is a giant waste of time) we must focus on price per square foot. To calculate, take the price and divide by the square feet. The Quilted Northern 30-roll pack costs $24.99 at Costco. $24.99 ÷ 550= $0.045 per square foot.
Square footage will always be listed on packages, but online shoppers will note that square footage is often missing in product specifications. If you can’t locate square footage, the next best way to calculate unit cost is in sheets per roll. The size of individual sheets varies by about 5% between brands, which is why we prefer to calculate cost per square foot instead. Price per square foot is a near-perfect unit cost. The only thing it doesn’t take into account is the difference between a one, two, and three-ply paper.
3. Stalk toilet paper sales with the free Krazy Coupon Lady app.
If you wish you had a personal shopper who read all the weekly store ads for you, shopped at all your favorite places, and always knew where to find a toilet paper coupon, you’ve gotta download the free Krazy Coupon Lady app on iOS or Android.
Toilet paper deals, (along with detergent, breakfast cereal, and baby diapers) are our favorite deals to find! Each week, Krazy Coupon Lady publishes at least three toilet paper deals at national retailers like Target, Walmart, Amazon, Kroger, Safeway, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Costco. Download the app to see them all! Then follow the step-by-step instructions to save 50 – 70% on the retail price!
Here’s an example of a deal that recently ended at Walgreens:
4. Print toilet paper coupons online.
Toilet paper coupons are rarely hard to find if you know where to look. At KCL, we scour the latest websites, apps, and yes, even the Sunday newspaper. We find every toilet paper coupon available so you can clip, print, and download them today! Printable coupons, especially those valued at $0.75 or above, are worth printing right away. Coupons worth $0.50 or less are more common and less likely to disappear quickly. To easily find toilet paper coupons in the future, bookmark the pages below:
5. Shop at the best store for your brand.
Interestingly enough, different stores tend to have better deals for different brands. Depending on which brands you like, your best-bet retailers will vary.
Find the best Angel Soft deals at Kroger.
Find deals on Angel Soft toilet paper just about anywhere. You can usually find a sale on the Angel Soft four-packs for $1, and there are often $0.25 – $0.50 Angel Soft coupons. If this is your brand, we recommend buying and using coupons at a store that doubles coupons. Here’s a deal we’ve seen recently at Kroger:
Find the best Charmin deals at CVS.
At the beginning of every month, Coupons.com usually releases high-value Charmin coupons, valued up to $1. Follow The Krazy Coupon Lady to be notified when these coupons come out; then print them right away. I always make sure to print at least four of these coupons (I can print two per phone number) and hold on to them until I see a good sale or promotion. Target and CVS are known for having promotions where extra money can be saved by spending or buying a certain amount of product. Here’s a recent CVS deal:
Find the best Cottonelle deals at Walgreens.
Walgreens is known for their $5 12-packs of Cottonelle toilet paper. Plus, you can get this price even lower with printable Cottonelle coupons, Walgreens booklet coupons, and rebate apps. Here’s an example of what you can expect to see at Walgreens:
Find the best Scott deals at Target.
If you’re a Target shopper, you’re familiar with their gift card deals. Almost every week Target has a gift card promotion on either Charmin or Scott, and Cottonelle. I find the best deals on Scott toilet paper at Target, and occasionally I’ll score a really great deal on Charmin. Here’s an example of the savings you’ll find at Target:
Find the best Quilted Northern deals at Target.
About twice a year, Target has 12-packs of Quilted Northern and Angel Soft on a gift card promotion: buy three and receive a $5 Target gift card. During this promotion, we almost always see a double or triple coupon stack to match with the promotion, making this brand super cheap! So, as always, keep an eye out on The Krazy Coupon Lady to know when these deals happen. Here’s an example of what you may see at Target:
Or, when there’s just a coupon stack:
6. Don’t discount generics.
One of the first “aha’s” of couponing is that it’s actually cheaper to buy name-brand than generic when you use coupons! That’s usually true with toilet paper, but there are exceptions. Both Walgreens and Costco generic brands are frequently competitive with our after-coupon bargain prices.
Costco‘s Kirkland brand is competitively priced without coupons.
The Kirkland brand toilet paper at Costco comes in a big pack at a good price. Plus, it’s been rated one of the best-quality tissues–even when stacked against big names like Charmin.
Kirkland Signature Bath Tissue, 30 rolls $15.99, reg price
No coupons needed
Final Price: $15.99, ($0.01 per square foot)
Keep an eye out for coupons to use on Nice! brand at Walgreens.
Recently (within the past year), we’ve seen great deals on this Walgreens store brand with printable coupons and Walgreens booklet coupons. Plus, readers have even claimed that this brand is comparable to, if not better than, Charmin.
7. Stock up at $0.02 per square foot or less.
By following sales at Krazy Coupon Lady and printing toilet paper coupons online, you should be able to find a stock-up price on toilet paper in your area a few times per month. Your goal should be to never pay more than $0.02 per square foot (less than half of the average price of $0.05 per square foot).
Another one of those first couponing “aha’s” is the stockpiling principle. Aside from sales and coupons, it’s the thing that saves me the most time and money. And it’s stupid-simple. When you find a product you use regularly (say, toilet paper?) at a significantly lower price than you normally pay, stock up. How much? A cabinet-full or a storage-unit-full? We suggest not buying more than a one-year supply ever. It’s just not necessary. We promise you’ll find another great sale on KCL between now and next year. Here are my stock-up guidelines for name-brand toilet paper:
$0.01/sq ft = I buy 6 month’s worth
$0.02/sq ft = I buy 3 – 6 month’s worth
8. If you run out, Kirkland brand (sans coupons) is a sure thing.
Kirkland brand toilet paper is hands-down the best toilet paper deal you can get without coupons. So if you’re in a pinch, head to Costco where Kirkland brand is always $0.01 per square foot. Want to try it without a membership? Find out how.
9. Which just leaves one decision: over or under?
According to a Cottonelle Roll Poll:
72% hang toilet paper with the first sheet over the roll
28% prefer to hang the first sheet under the roll
Which are you?