How to compare toilet paper

stir_fryiJanuary 23, 2009

We two little girls in the house, we go through an aweful lot of TP. I have a hard time decided what a good deal is because there are single rolls, double rolls, mega rolls, 2-ply, 3 ply, etc...

At Costco yesterday I tried to compare two brands but one was priced by the linear foot and the other by some other unit.

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I went through the math. comparisions for toilet paper just last year. You can't compare sheets because not all sheets are the same size. And don't even get into plys.... Some 2-ply TP you couldn't tell from single-ply.

After purchasing Scott, Pom, (always supposed to be less expensive - and WASN'T) and several other brands, Hubby and I decided to WEIGH individual rolls and do the math via the weight of each roll. TA DA! Weight was the only constant variable. After that, it's up to the individual to control use.

American Fare DOUBLE Roll (K-Mart) was the best bargain, and consistantly lasts the longest at our house. It's often on sale - I just stocked up earlier this week. Next was Scott. Scott is a good value when you can stack the savings - by that I mean it was on sale to begin with, PLUS I used a double coupon. If you haven't checked Scott out lately, they have a softer variety, which is nicer than the original and a good value. Another good buy is a brand I occasionally find at Wal-Mart - TEMPO. They don't carry it consistantly, and it readily sells out when they DO have it.

If you want a quick test - squeeze the roll. If there's an inordanant amount of "give" to the roll, there's not very much on it no matter how many plys or sheets. That's one thing we noticed when doing the tests.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 11:49AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

When I was trying to wean my family off of charmin I noticed that the packages told how many feet were in each package and I used that as a rough comparison. I tried the softer Scott first. Dh told me he preferred to go at work than to use the Scott so I now use Cottenelle which is cheaper then Charmin but not the absolute best deal. There are only 2 females in our house of 6 so that helps our situation some but I still found that the boys needed a hard and definite rule. I tell them 3 squares at a time. If you need more, only grab 3 more squares at each rip until you are finished. This helped a lot more than saying hey, you don't need that much because the next question was how much do I need then?

I must admit that it was hard for me to decide that this would have to be one area where we would not get the absolute best deal but I compensate in other areas.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 1:56PM
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Life is too short to compromise on TP! (grin)


    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 5:02PM
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I've been using Scott for years now. There's a lot of ways to compare but realistically, the number of sheets is the most practical IMO. Some claim that some rolls are narrower than others. If true, that would affect weight and I tend to tear off a certain length/# of sheets so width would be irrelevant until it gets to the size of adding machine paper.

I tried the extra soft Scott and I prefer the regular. The extra soft is about 3/4 the amount of the standard and 1000 sheets of Scott regular is about 5 rolls of Northern, Cottenelle, Charmin and others. At about 55¢/roll, there's no better bargain that I can find. For a while I could buy the Walgreen's 1000 sheet rolls for about 29¢ - 33¢ per roll so I'd buy them and it was fine, although I preferred Scott which at the time was about 45¢ - 50¢ per roll.

I used to be Charmin only. Tried others and then decided that since at the time I could buy Charmin on sale cheap and buy a case at a time it wasn't worth messing with other brands. But then I noticed a change in it. Many brands changed dramatically. Cottonelle used to be like cotton pads, but not anymore. Northern has improved since the sandpaper days but I still don't get excited about it.

It's a personal thing. Some are snobs about what they flush. I'm not! I hadn't really thought about the price on it until I noticed how much less often I changed rolls with 1000 vs 150-200 sheets per roll!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 6:47PM
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Regular Scott here........wouldn't use anything else! We have a septic system. If you take a square of Scott and a square of any other TP and drop them in the toilet together, the Scott starts to break down immediately, that is just what a septic tank needs.
A friend of mine kept having tree root problems in her sewer line nearly every year. Had the lines cleaned out and switched to Scott and hasn't had a problem since.
I swear by Scott Tissue. Plus you don't have to change the roll as often as other brands.
Now, when my boys were teens their friends would rate bathrooms. We all ways scored high on reading materials, but low on softness. Too bad, told them to go home and do their business if they didn't like my TP!
Kathy G in MI

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 8:30PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

We use Angel Soft double rolls...I have often tried to compare prices and also found it frustrating.
I will take a look at the Kmart brand though.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 9:57PM
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American Fare DOUBLE Roll from K-Mart is septic tank friendly and is also 1/4-inch narrower than the other brands. You'll never notice the loss of width - especially when you get MORE TP on the roll and don't have to change it as often.

Each time I've seen this subject come up on a message board, most people already have their TP favorites for any number of reasons. Most people never even consider the price because they have to have it.

I do keep the softest brands I have in storage - usually TEMPO - in the guest bathroom. Some people are "fussy" about the tissue issue on their backsides, I'm not. I prefer regular Scott and American Fare Double Roll because they both break-up quickly. POM is a rip-off. I think people like purchasing it because it comes in HUGE amounts in a cardboard box. I don't like that each roll is wrapped in a sheet of tissue - more wasted packaging. We never liked Charmine at any price. While it's the #1 toilet clogger, it's the #1 TP sold - go figure.

My analysis was after trying a large number of popular and not-so-popular, brands for the REAL cost analysis based on length, sheet size, plys, AND weight of each roll. I keep a price book and figuring unit pricing isn't a problem - until it came to TP.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 7:26AM
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I vote for the weight test.

I used to buy the expensive 2 ply stuff until I had wealthy friends. Most used 1 ply scott. That made me wonder how many other pricey items middle- and low-income people buy bc they are "affordable luxuries," that some wealthy pass on? (btw the scott is fine to me, and I don't feel like I've given anything up.)

Reminds me of a time we were taking the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. There was a snack bar on the ferry, charging outrageous prices for hot dogs etc. There was a large multi-generation family on the ferry too. The grandpa had a big soup pot and a loaf of bread, and he was ladling it around to his clan. How much you wanna bet they were some loaded old New England family headed for their weekend island home? How much did they spend for their healthy dinner, and I for my salty, fatty hot dog?

We went through a really tight period financially, and whenever I put on my worn shoes, faded jeans, and got into my beat up car, I whispered to myself, maybe people think I dress like this and drive this car because I'm so rich I don't feel like I have to prove anything! It made me smile. Maybe I should keep the faded jeans, and keep whispering. :-)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 3:55PM
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My Sis finally got my mom to use TP by buying it for her and putting it in the bathroom. Now the problem is her not using enough sheets and she ends up with sh** under her finger nails. I think she uses 3 or 4 sheets. You might want check the boys nails or smell their fingers.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 7:09PM
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With regard to the width issue ...

... I've heard that some people have wider asses than others.

Think there may be anything to that rumour?

ole joyful ... usually use about five, sometimes six squares per sit ...

... but at table, it's about three squares per day. Goin' into the other end.

o j

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 3:32AM
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stargazzer - that's way too funny. I was thinking the same thing but didn't have the guts to write it. I'm glad you did ;>)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 6:53PM
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I love Angel Soft....I think for the price that it is good. However, I shop at the local Aldi's and they have their Clarissa brand....I promise that it is very close to the Angel Soft and is only 79 cents for a 4 pack. I buy 5 packs a time and that only last about a week here....

We are on a septic tank though and I am wondering if this is why we are having problems????


    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 7:19PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Stargazzer and Sephia--No worries, we are definitely handwashers here and the kids have all been trained to scrub under their fingernails when they wash their hands, as that is certainly a harbor for germs.

After several threads lately I am beginning to wonder if perhaps the title of this board should be Money Saving Tips, responses welcome as long as they do not give someone the heebie-jeebies!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 8:12PM
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We use charmin. It is soft and absorbant. Tried a few of the others and used twice as much trying to stay dry. We have lived in two houses with septic tanks, this last one for 16 years and haven't had any problem with our septics.

It is important for those with septic tanks to be sure and not let grease from cooking go down the sink drain. That will clog the septic up fast.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 10:04AM
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tish, but, but, why would you take a chance that they get it on their hands and trust them to wash so their germ free. That's where Giardia comes from and it's rampant in the USA because of ADULT child care workers not washing their hands and ADULT hikers drinking out of mountain streams?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 5:54PM
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Along with weight, size, etc. ... for me, one of the high priority items on my wish list relating to toilet paper is how resistant it is to tearing (disintegrating?), especially immediately upon encountering dampness.

Keep not only your powder ... but your T P ... dry, everyone.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 9:11PM
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Agree - Scott's (1000 sheets) is overall the best tissue and best buy. With a coupon in hand can be had for a 4-pack for about $2.75 to $3. I shop at Food 4 Less (a Kroger affiliated store) and take all expired coupons (some are from 2006) so I buy Scott's there.

Aldis & Walgreens carry a knockoff of Scott's for about $2.80 without coupon that's almost identical.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 3:25PM
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A couple of yrs ago there was a long thread on what happened to Scott TP. Many users found it had changed and now was disintegrating on contact. Has it change back to old normal Scott that I did use for years?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 9:19AM
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I am laughing so hard.... To me there is only a couple ways to decide about the TT.
I change the rolls. Nobody else. They will sit it on the tub, the sink, the floor, the back of the tank, ANYWHERE except on the roll holder. How much work is that anyway??? When we had 9 people in house, it was impossible to use the stuff that lasted less than a day. I found that the Scott lasted a week in each bathroom.
I actually found the Scott in the $1 store for 5 rolls for $1!! I filled up my basket and took it home. DH thought I was carrying in groc,( he's really drooling) and finds out it is 40 rolls of TT. He thought it was such a good deal that he went back and bought the rest! We had rubbermaid totes in the basement full of TT! Didn't have to buy any for a YEAR!
Now that there is only us and one teenage boy, I still change the rolls, but don't complain too much. Given a choice, the 16 YO DS would rather clean the bathroom than do the dishes!!
The other deal breaker is the lint that is generated off the "Soft stuff" that settles all over the holder and wall and floor (and up my nose!)
I don't get obsessive about how much they use, but a gentle coaching at a young age did it for us. Especially after they clogged the toilet up a time or two with so much paper! I'll not forget the terrified look on a little boys face when it overflowed and he had no idea what to do!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 4:15PM
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if you have a septic system as we do you have to be super careful on the toilet paper that you buy, never put any toilet paper like charmin down your it will NOT break down, no won't.

we ended up having to have our tank pumped and it had charmin in it still in squares and we had only used one package a long time before..our septic guy said it is the worst..but also to take any toilet paper and to put a piece of it in a glass of water and stir, if it doesn't shred and break down not put it down any septic system..ever

we switched to cottonelle, there are some others that work well too..saves you the couple hundred buck to pump the septic or worse if it overflows and gets ruined

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 2:03PM
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Good Thread. I never thought about weighing the TP. All brands list square footage and that is what I go by. Maybe I'll try the weight method and see if there is any difference.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 2:40PM
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I don't see how the weight makes a difference. No one I know uses it by the ounce.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 5:09PM
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"No one I know uses it by the ounce." But they all purchase it by weight whether they think about it that way or not.

How much you pull off a roll for use is irrevelant to figuring unit price of TP. Once again, weight is the only variable that remains constant for all brands.

If one roll of brand X weighs 165g and brand Y weighs 110g (which are two rolls from my stash I just weighed), by my math there is 67% (or 2/3) more on the one that weighs 165g.

With that information you can NOW accurately figure unit price of a roll of TP. It won't matter if you buy it by the single roll or in a package of 12 rolls. You don't have to try to figure plys or number of sheets, because those vary too much from brand to brand.

The original post was how to compare toilet paper. I use logic and math, you use ----- some other method.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 9:07PM
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Don't forget when comparing prices, to add in the expense of the plumber's visits to the soft tissues. FIL was a plumber--they LOVE their customers to use that stuff (but won't let their own families have it in the house--LOL). Sooner or later, the soft stuff will create a clog that's very, very expensive to treat. My husband should have known better--since his father warned us often enough--but once Charmin was on sale. That was the most expensive 4 rolls of toilet paper he ever bought. Roto Router came out 3 times, couldn't shift the clog, and told us not to call again. Finally, after about 2 hours more work, a different plumber FINALLY was able to get through. total cost? over $300.

I stick to Scott's or Marcal. The 1000 sheet rolls, while smaller than they used to be, still last longer than most other ones, aren't dangerous to the plumbing, and don't 'melt in your hand' when the paper gets wet.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 8:50PM
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In case some of you may be interested in recycling T.P., here`s a thread related to that issue that appeared several years ago ... and caused some levity among the denizens of this place.

Actually, though it was billed as `recycle`, that`s after goods have undergone some reprocessing ... but in this case, it was reuse of the T.P., as no further processing had been involved.

Some time ago it was on about p. 14, I think, but then was reetreaded and now is on about p. 6. But I`ll include a link to save you the trouble of searching for a report of a research project on recycling (but it was actually `reusing`) toilet paper.

Sorry - there`s usually a place to put the link that requires you only to click on it, but there wasn`t such available this time, to here`s the link ... but you`ll have to highlight it.

Good wishes for success in practising frugality: it pays well.

Grandma used to say that a penny saved is a penny earned, but Grandma was only partly right.

As most of the stuff that I buy isn`t income tax deductible and I`m in 25% tax bracket, I must earn pre-tax $1.33 in order to produce the equivalent of saving $1.00 on some purchase that I`m considering.

But - wait a minute. Most of us have to pay sales tax, and in our case there`s some that goes to the province and some that goes to the feds ... about 13 cents on the dollar.

So, in order to earn the equivalent of the $1.00 not spent, plus 13 cents sales tax, I must earn a hair over $1.50!


ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 3:41AM
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I live near a Kroger that doubles up to $0.50. A 4 pack roll of single ply Cottonelle is $0.99. My Kroger will double to the full amount.

Hence, I have switched to the above TP for....FREE. You can also get extra q's online.

I now have Cottonelle stockpiled at my house and cabin.

I don't have a preference in toilet tissue....but, if it's free, it's for me. :)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 7:41AM
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You know, the consumer has been screwed as usual. In the old days the TP rolls were big. Then we went through a period were they reduced it to skinny rolls. Then they came out with large rolls that are just little bigger or the same size as they were in the old days. So we think we are getting more, but in reality it is just labeled to appeal to us.

I've got no answers to the TP question. But if you got a bidet you can save some of the TP use.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:02AM
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I am always amazed at how manufacturers try to slip one over on the consumer by reducing the amount of the product (slightly) and still market it as the very same product as is was previously. Toilet paper, I've noticed has been decreasing not only in the tightness it's wound on the roll, but also in the length of the roll itself (the rolls are becoming increasingly shorter in length). I notice this because I've got a toilet paper wall fixture with little spring loaded clips that catch into each end of the roll and lately there's not enough length of roll to keep the TP in the holder. I've not done any measuring, but I bet the width of most TP rolls have decreased by 1/4 - 1/2" in the last year. Not much, but still sort of a sneaky way to short-change the consumer.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 6:14PM
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Someone posted that Scott Tissue lasts longer so I bought some the other day even though it cost more. Weve been uing the same roll for 48 hours now and the whole family is home since it's a weekend. We usually go through a roll a day. I may have to hunt down some Scott coupons.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 7:22PM
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Hubby and I were at ACE Hardware this weekend. On an end-cap were packages of TP (Charmine) - pkg. of 4 rolls for $2.74 (YIKES!). Even hubby noted how teeny-tiny the rolls were. I did the squeeze test and there couldn't have been even 1/4 the amount on a roll as other brands. We had a good laugh thinking you could easily smash a roll and tuck it in your back pocket it was so punny.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 6:34AM
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Yes, the 'squares' count has been reduced, usually when they change the packaging and sell as 'New Look, same great product'! 20 years ago my favourite brand sold regular rolls with 390 sheets, or 'double' rolls with 500 (but weren't twice the price-it was comparable). Then the double fell to 450, single roll perhaps 330, on and on. Now the same brand is declaring their double roll as having 280 sheets per roll, lasting much longer than their single roll. Yeah, sure. I think the single is sitting at 180 sheets now. All this because consumers would be so freaked out at what the manufacture would be asking if they were still selling 500 sheet rolls, probably no one would buy them.

A good deal on tp here is at the Costco, and I buy it sometimes but hate myself for it, since I like to try to be green, and they wrap each roll individually in plastic, then bundle the the whole kaboot in more plastic, seems very wasteful. I'd pay the same if they didn't wrap each roll individually, and walk away feeling better about it.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:53PM
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Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time...yes! Get serious and add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. Available at with these you won't even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! It's cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You'll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. And after using one of these you won't know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. Now we're talking green and helping the environment without any pain.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bathroomsprayers

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 10:21PM
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