A soft generic?

tishtoshnm Zone 6/NMMarch 24, 2008

I am looking for ways to keep my grocery/household goods bill get out of control as prices just seem to go up, up and away. We have always been a Charmin family but the price is getting ridiculous for something that just goes down the drain. However, whenever I buy a lesser brand, we get a stomach bug and are reminded why we like Charmin. I was curious what other brands that are actually cheaper than Charmin are still pretty soft. Any recommendations? We are a family of 6 fortunately 4 of those are male) and hopefully at least 1 of the last 2 will potty train soon.

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This is difficult to answer since toilet paper is such a personal thing as to what people like or dislike. I used to use nothing but Charmin. But the price was unreal, it wasn't going on sale and at the time it started getting so dusty that I switched around. I settled on Scott. 1000 sheet rolls equals about 5-6 of the other brands rolls and I get it for about 50/roll. I like the strength and it's plenty soft for me. It's not overly thick but it's strong and I use less of it. They have an extra soft version that I don't like as well but a friend won't buy anything but. She prefers the Scott extra soft to any other brand. They have fewer sheets on a roll, about 700 if I remember right but it's still a good value.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 12:21AM
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I can't afford Charmin at all.

The one time my husband bought a pack of it because it was on sale, it ended up costing us many hundreds of $$$. Took us 4 plumber's visits to finally get the clog it caused cleared out of the pipes. I was especially annoyed, because his father, who was a retired plumber, had WARNED us FOR YEARS about how BAD Charmin (and other soft tissue) is for the plumbing. GRRR!!!! Sooner or later, that soft stuff will solidify in the pipes, creating a clog that rivals concrete in it's inability to be moved.

I find the best values out there are Scott's and Marcal (1000 sheets certainly do last longer than 200 or 300). I don't care for the soft, melt-in-your hand tissue anyway. Of course, you don't get as much with the 1000 sheets lasts longer rolls these days either. They've shortened the rolls from side to side (they used to extend from one side of the holder to the other, now there's about 1 1/4" gap on the sides) AND they've shortened the squares--they're now rectangles, so you get 1000 sheets, but they're not as big as they used to be.

Here's a suggestion--why don't you buy some of the soft, and some of something more economical. Hide the soft stuff and just use it when it's needed. Use the cheaper choice when everyone's feeling well.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 8:15AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Only Scott single ply (Blue package) comes into this house.
It is soft (enough) and is practically fuzz and lint free.

Some people are going use what they are going to use...regardless if it is single or double. They will give that TP a jerk and send that spindle to spinning.

Occasionally I come across coupons for it, and often it is on sale at the drug store (CVS)at a good savings over the regular price anywhere else.
You may want to give it a try first though b4 buying it in much quantity.

However, whenever I buy a lesser brand, we get a stomach bug and are reminded why we like Charmin.
I am curious about why anyone would get a stomach bug due to changing TP. I would think that would more likely stem from improper hand washing after using the restroom.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 8:55AM
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"However, whenever I buy a lesser brand, we get a stomach bug and are reminded why we like Charmin.
I am curious about why anyone would get a stomach bug due to changing TP. I would think that would more likely stem from improper hand washing after using the restroom."

Exactly what I thought when reading the original post!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 9:14AM
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Our Wal-Mart occasionally carries an "off" brand, TEMPO - 24 Big Rolls for $5 that we like alot. They don't stock it on their shelves, but you'll see it staged in strange places since it must have been a test market for the brand. The last time they heaped a small mountain of it in the meat department and the gal that stocks the meat department said it didn't last one whole day. I found a stack of it near the magazines another time. When they have it, I purchase as much as I can and put it in the basement storage.

Sam's Club has a "generic" that is pretty good, although it doesn't break up as well as some brands. Otherwise I wait for a sale and use a double-off coupon to help bring the price down - usually Scott.

I have a friend who purchases a huge industrial-size box of POM every year or two. It's the stuff they use in business. He gets it from a paper distributor, but it's also available at Sam's Club.

There is an old trick to using less. You squish the roll down so that the cardboard is no longer round. It doesn't come off the roll as easily as a round roll so you tend to take less. You'd be surprised how much TP people just plain waste. Try consciously using less.

There is also an interesting push by the greenies, and one you have to have an open mind to even consider. Use cloth wipes and to wash and reuse them. Check out the link below for more information. It sounds gross, but with both our children I used cloth diapers and homemade cloth wipes that got washed and reused, rather than using paper disposable diapers and wipes. This is taking it one step more....


    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 9:42AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Thank you everybody, I will pick up a package of Scott this weekend. I apologize if my wording was off on the stomach bug issue. I am well aware that the TP does not give us the bug it is just the timing. I had not heard before about Charmin and the pipes but it is certainly something to keep in consideration. There was a period where we had some clogs which I thought was probably related to my 9yo DS using way too much paper. RotoRooter is definitely not cheap.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 11:19AM
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I noticed the comment and was going to make a wisecrack, but didn't - assumed it was just wording! :)

I've heard the claim about Charmin too, but I've never found anything to really back it up. I used Charmin exclusively for at least 15 years (and offhand know quite a few others too) and no backups from the toilet paper. Slow drains from grease going down but not from toilet paper. And when you think about it, the grease combined with the Charmin myth, if true would compound the situation, but it didn't. Another urban legend for the pile.

I was going to say, when I was sick, I enjoyed the Charmin and said why not get it all the time. But now, I'm just as happy with Scott even if I have problems. It's not as scratchy as Northern, Cottenelle and the like. It's a good, economical product. I have used the Walgreen's version a couple times when I bought 1000 sheets for 25¢/roll but the price has gone up on that now so I go for Scott with a coupon coupled with a sale and like I said, aim for about 50¢/roll or less for 1000 sheets. Nothing compares in my book.

As far as waste, I noticed for some reason I started using much less when I put another dispenser higher and next to the toilet. I guess I notice the number of sheets being used better and even count them. I've kept meaning to write the date on the inside of the roll as to when I put it on to see how long a roll lasts, just out of curiosity. Haven't done it yet though. Never have a pen when I'm on the pot!

Be sure to look at the number of sheets you're getting. Terminology like "big roll", "double roll", yay, even "triple roll" doesn't mean much. There's no standards as to what is a "roll".

Happy frugaling everyone!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 8:49PM
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It's not as scratchy as Northern, Cottenelle and the like.

I had to laugh at that comment, as a kid in the 50's, I remember going to the outhouse with catalog pages and scrunching them up a bit so they were not so hard and stiff! We had indoor plumbing, but in the summer we kids were to stay outside and play....and what kid wants to run all the way up to the house to do their business when they are busy playing? The outhouse was closer.

Using less is a good idea and it takes awhile for some people to realize they do not need as much as they think they do. Just consciously subtract a sheet or two every time ya go. I still am trying to convince my DD of this.

I still am not that particular as to the TP. Personally, I like the stuff that does not leave lint all over the place and holds together when you use it. Northern works well for me, but it depends on the price and if it is single or double ply.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 12:34AM
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Hi everyone,

I couldn't tell you what kind I'm using, and I just opened a new roll a few days ago.

I don't usually get high on TP ... but this time, the cheapie that I'm using is called "Everest". It works O.K.

Usually on ordinary TP, I used to pull off exactly four sheets, then fold them into 5 plies. Recently, however, I've become more extravagant/self-indulgent ... pull off six sheets, fold in the middle, then fold in three to make 6 plies.

Could that be a function of not seeing quite as well as I did, so needing a somewhat larger pad?

Oh, right - this really is a situation where a blind person and I are both playing on the same field, isn't it?

My friend the carnie guy says that a good place to find useful TP is to be at a carnival, ribfest, or whatever kind of summer festival when the toilet maintenance guys come along late at night or early morning. They throw the partly used rolls from the Johnnies-on-the-spot out on to the walkway when they install new rolls. If a worker comes along before the sweeper, one can pick up a number of part rolls ... that aren't contaminated.

Pull off a few sheets to dispose of grass stains, etc. and you're set to go. I guess - I haven't had any such.


I think that we'd better get used to paying quite a lot more in the food store ... the price of wheat has doubled, recently, as world supplies are down to a few weeks' worth.

They say that there's about 7 cents worth of wheat in a loaf of bread, so doubling the price of wheat shouldn't be so troublesome ... but then there's the fuel to grind the grain, run the trucks, run the bakery, etc.

However, as a way to save on the cost of food, my son has used a bread machine for years and now is using his second one because I think the seal at the bottom of his unit leaked, letting moisture down into the motor. He says that he figures that a loaf (probably about 2 lbs.) costs him about 50 cents and he prefers that to paying about $2.00 or more in the store.

I figure the cost per loaf at more like 35 cents - but I've turned out to be incorrect, on occasion.

And corn, which is processed to have its products included in many food-related and other products that we use, is getting more expensive.

Some of its kernels is used to fuel heating units directly.

Some corn is producing ethanol as an additive to fuel for our engines (mainly cars), which will bid the price up.

But using corn to produce ethanol is a fool's game, as corn is expensive to produce, energy-wise, and producing the ethanol from it uses more energy still ... it takes about 4 litres of petroleum to produce 5 litres of ethanol, I've heard ... and there's less combustible power in ethanol - you get fewer miles per litre than you do from gasoline.

Which makes it appear as though we're achieving something, but it's sort of like running on the spot ... one expends a lot of energy, but doesn't get far ahead.

I hope you all have a fine week, and find more ways to cut your bills on the essentials.

ole joyful

P.S. to the poster who suggested using squares of cloth (possibly old sheets?) ... do you recommend embroidering the names of the various family members on different sheets, perhaps storing them in used Kleenex boxes? Or writing their names with a Sharpie? Rub-a-dub?

[I really shouldn't have written this bit, as I shouldn't add more ammunition to the arsenal of those who would poo-poo ... no, no - that's "pooh-pooh" ... the suggestion, out of hand.]

Seems to me that we need to consider many ways in which we can achieve our purposes in what we earlier considered improbable, even unacceptable ways.

Many of us in the western world are going to be a lot poorer than we've been used to being ... and that sooner than many of us expect.

o j

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 1:32AM
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had problems with Charmin blocking the pipes here too (as did my neighbors). Now I just buy whatever is on sale.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 9:06AM
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Are you sure it's the Charmin blocking the pipes?

I was a little worried about it when we moved on acreage and had our own septic system, but it's been 15 years now and we pretty much use Charmin with an occaisional package of White Cloud thrown in. No problems yet.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 6:55PM
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I don't believe the Charmin hoax. After all you can't blame the paper when someone flushes two rolls at a time.

There's no credible documentation for it. Simply another urban legend.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 8:28PM
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Hi everyone,

You have a blocked drain (due to small sheets of Charmin, or for whatever reason)?

Go to a plumbing supply store.

Buy a relatively inexpensive "snake".

Much cheaper than calling a plumber ... and if it doesn't work, resulting in your having to call the plumber anyway ... your incremental costs are rather marginal: maybe it'll work next time.

If you live in a small habitation (like a small apt. - but it you're in an apt. bldg. and have plumbing problems, you call the "super") maybe have an arrangement with about 4 other residents that you all share the "snake" ... with it being stored at the home of the guy where it'll interfere least with daily living or regular storage issues in between usage occasions (like up in the joists of a basement).

But it isn't of much use to help get the crap cleared out of ordinary conversation!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 11:42PM
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TP doesn't impress me much. i have used an outhouse with sheets of newspaper for wiping. In my elementary school, we had dispensers with sheets of scratchy brown paper, and I've used every store brand under the sun. Not impressed. But DH insists on Charmin, which is his only "luxury" in this life. The dear man dosn't drink, smoke, swear,gamble, alley cat around, or treat me bad, so I let him have his Charmin. We wait for sales and buy the 24-multi pack.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 12:20PM
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We just renovated our master bathroom. The upgrades include one of these (see link below). Our TP useage has decreased 80%. LOVE LOVE it!
Less tp is just one of the many advantages to a Washlet.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 10:20PM
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