Remedy for the Shrinking TP problem

azzaleaJuly 4, 2011

I've been getting so sick of toilet paper shrinking--the rolls are narrower, the 'squares' are now short rectangles, the paper itself is so thin you have to take more and more of it to make it useable. Note here, that I've always ONLY bought the brand name 1000 sheet rolls. It's gotten to the point that a roll of one of those only lasts about 2 days in our house--at most!

Here's a good tip--if you go to your local janitor supply store, you can still buy the 4.5" rolls (the wider ones). The paper is of a better quality, it's SO much cheaper, too. I just got 96 rolls for \$55--that's only .57 per roll! These are 1000 sheet rolls. They're so much better, that now, I'm only using 2 rolls of TP per week. Now, I guess, the fact that you have to buy a case (96 rolls) could be seen by some as a disadvantage--but to me, it means I don't have to put TP on my list every week. Nice to know I don't have to keep picking it up every time I go to the store.

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Several years ago I started doing some serious math to determine which TP was the least expensive - I wasn't concerned with softness, just cost.

As you point out azzalea, the variables of length, width, number and size of sheets vary so much and seem to change often, it made figuring price per roll tricky. You really don't get an accurate gauge if all you figure is the number of rolls divided into the price.

The only constant variable, and accurate variable, I could use in order to check prices was to weigh a roll of TP (using my kitchen scale) and figure the price by weight. Total price divided by the number of rolls only gives you price per roll, not how much you are paying per gram/ounce of paper. Some rolls are very light and others are much heavier.

What is the brand you are purchasing by-the-case? Is it 1-ply or 2-ply?

In my test, POM (a commercial-grade, which are individually wrapped in tissue paper) is a brand I can purchase by the case at Sam's Club, but it wasn't one that was a bargain for price when you consider the weight of an individual roll.

-Dollar General has a 4-pack and each roll has 1,250 sheets (1-ply) and weighs 215 grams per roll (\$3.00/4-rolls).

-Quilted Northern (2-ply) weighs 125 grams per roll.

-POM (without the wrapper - 2-ply) weighs 165 grams.

-Scott Extra Soft (1-ply) weighs 130 grams

Now you can see how much disparity there is between brands when you calculate the weight of each roll.

July 5, 2011 at 7:49AM
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azzalea

That's certainly a viable method of comparison.

However, for me, I don't need to know which of ALL the available tissue rolls weigh more. My choices are very limited. I cannot use many brands because of allergies. With a FIL who was a plumber, the soft versions aren't on the table at all, of course--they're the worst thing you can use when it come's to your house's plumbing.

I'm really only concerned with getting a deal that's better for me.

The fact that the commercial rolls are about .20 a roll cheaper than Scott's (the ONLLY brand I've used for 38 years). The fact that the paper isn't loaded with ingredients that give me reactions. The fact that they are NOT narrower, and the paper isn't as thin are all excellant advantages. But for me? the real quantitative bottom line is the fact that I'm using at least 2 rolls less a week (of cheaper paper). To me, that's more important than the weight. Weight could be influenced by a lot of things (like the density of the adheasives, or the kinds of raw ingredients used for the pulp) or even the thickness of the cardboard roll. Seems to me, you could have a roll that weighs heavy, but isn't really going to give you any more uses than a lighter roll in many situations.

July 6, 2011 at 1:00PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I don't have a square to spare, I just can't spare a square. - Somebody had to do it!

I also buy TP according to which one feels heavier. I compare once in a while but always find Angel Soft to be the best deal of the available brands. If they were giving Charmin away for free I wouldn't use it because it is so lint-y. And the commercials with the cartoon bears really gross me out and turn me off to their product.

For any brand, I think 2-ply and some quilting is a huge factor in how many squares you need. It seems that 4 2-ply quilted squares do a much better job than 10 squares of single-ply.

I've also noticed the diameter of the cardboard tube inside PT (paper towels) has grown. The rolls look the same size, but there's much more air in the middle now. I just buy the cheapest ones since I don't plan to do any of the ridiculous stuff you see people doing with them in the commercials. I don't use them as a strainer, and would never attempt to scrub anything with a PT, or rinse it to use again. That's what washable rags (and collanders) are for.

We also save money by using PT's instead of napkins. I hate unfolding a napkin anyway.

July 7, 2011 at 11:55AM
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azzalea

You really think PT's are cheaper than napkins? I haven't done the math, myself. I use pt's for pt's and napkins for napkins, but my SIL swears napkins are cheaper, so she uses them for paper towels--LOL! Honestly, I don't know which of you is right on that one.

July 7, 2011 at 4:40PM
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The paper napkins we have in the house are "free" from restaurants, and the ONE roll of paper towels are ancient (at least 2-years old) because they are only there for "looks" on the cute paper towel holder. About the only time they are used is by a house guest. We use cloth napkins at the table and bar mops (white towels), rags and microfiber towels that can be laundered.

I hoard those extra paper napkins they toss on the table at a couple restaurants we go to occasionally (it's never less than 10 napkins). One time we got 2 ice cream cones at the drive-thru at McDonalds and they handed us 20 paper napkins with them, and that's how we accumulate paper napkins - I don't buy them.

Hubby uses them in his lunches. The one he used in his lunch we'll use in the evening with stainless steel pan cleaner to polish our pans when doing dishes, or to wipe gunk out of a pan. "Free" napkins are used to drain bacon, pick up that dropped egg on the floor, etc. I never buy paper napkins, and only rarely do I buy a roll of paper towels.

July 7, 2011 at 5:20PM
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Cynic

I'm skeptical of how weight will really tell you much. Similar to buying towels, sheets, pillows or any number of other things. It will not tell you the number of uses and IMO that's the only significant consideration when cost-comparing. A one-use amount of one brand weighing twice as much as a one-use amount of another brand is no benefit and would mislead if you buy solely by weight. If you have a 2 ply vs a 1 ply (or 3 ply for that matter), for me it makes little difference. Here, we still use about the same length of paper per use. The width is inconsequential too. It still goes back to the number of sheets per roll for me although actual length would be a good comparison. I'd be curious to see someone compare lengths of, say, the various 1000 sheet rolls. Although you could measure a sheet and multiply I guess. Granted the shortening of the "squares" could have some impact but I doubt it will really result in a big difference in number of uses unless you really use a long length per use. (Dang, it's so difficult to be "delicate"! LOL) I still buy the 1000 sheet rolls when I get them for about 25ÃÂ¢-50ÃÂ¢ per roll. I like Scott brand but I'm not that brand loyal and I actually prefer the . Several times I pick it up after Target's "Value Valley" sales when the promo sizes are put on clearance, that is *if* it meets my price. Right now I've got about 8 rolls on the shelf from a sale (@25ÃÂ¢ each) plus a pack of 24 that I bought on clearance for something like 18ÃÂ¢-20ÃÂ¢ per roll. Paper products don't spoil so stocking up on that is worthwhile.

I do have certain limits though, the ones that are so absolutely paper thin that they tear apart are not allowed, nor are the janitorial supply place ones that are like coated newsprint that several offices use don't come in my house either. Otherwise, I'm pretty open to trying different things.

July 9, 2011 at 3:31AM
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cynic-

I always love your thinking.... But "use" is the one variable you can't control, unless you are the only one in the household and have a 4-squares rule and only use it X-number of times per day - no matter what!!! But even then, that's just a use rule, not how much TP you have on the roll and how much you are paying for it.

I wonder, is there that much difference in the weight of the cardboard tube on a roll that weighs 215 grams (1,250 single-ply sheets) and the one that weighs 125 grams with 242 2-ply sheets? I will start weighing the cardboard tubes now, just out of curiosity. But I have noticed the Dollar General TP (215 grams) has a tube that is lighter than some of the other brands in my stash. The new tubeless rolls of TP have yet to be distributed in our area.

BTW - I've found the 1000 sheet brands, or in the case of the TP from the Dollar General store with 1,250 sheets, all noticeably last the longest, but what was the price per gram? Not all 1,000 sheet rolls weigh the same. K-Mart once carried American Fare - 190 grams, 1,000 1-ply sheets (comparable to Scott), was generally the price winner because they had it on sale several times a year. Now they carry Smart Sense - 195 grams, 1,000 1-ply sheets. While Scott Extra Soft - weighs 130 grams - 1,000 1-ply sheets. (Sorry, I don't have any regular Scott in my stash just now to weigh.)

Think of it this way.... If watermelon was on sale for \$3 PER watermelon, and you could pick any watermelon out of a truckload of them, would you pick the lightest one, or the heaviest one?

BTW - the fluffier - gives off all kinds of fuzz and lint - brands, disintegrate into a fine powder if stored long enough. People who do "serious" home storage have discovered this happening to their stored TP and find most of the more paper-like, no fluff, 1000-sheet brands hold up in long-term storage better.

Two weeks ago I purchased a 12-pack of Quilted Northern - not a brand I generally purchase - I usually stick to Scott and other 1,000 sheet brands (found at K-Mart and Walgreens on sale). The Quilted Northern was regularly \$8.99 (12-rolls - or .75 per roll - YIKES - who would pay THAT!!!), and I found it on the clearance rack for \$4.49 AND I had a \$1.00 off coupon, so I paid 29-cents per roll and will use it in my guest bathroom as a kinder, gentler, brand for guests ;-).

July 9, 2011 at 7:01AM
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joyfulguy

TP ... PT ... am I getting things backwards ... or all confused ... or something?

Maybe just too tight-a\$\$ed (so may not need to worry so much about shrinking paper?)!

ole joyfuelled

September 8, 2011 at 8:44PM
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hardee38

oh wow. great idea

October 31, 2011 at 4:47PM
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vala55

I am shorter on time than money and will not waste a precious second of that time on how to save money on TT. I economized when I was younger, used coupons, checked prices per ounce, etc., but never on TT. What is that syndrome called about being obsessive?

November 1, 2011 at 5:32PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

^^^^ Amen to that!

November 1, 2011 at 5:45PM
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elbits

I cannot stand 2 ply and find it does not last as long and I use more of it. I use Scott, CVS, & Walgreens 1 ply. No scents, too. BTW, why is tp scented?

November 20, 2011 at 10:29AM
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I thought the FDA banned certain dyes and scents in TP back in the late 1980's. -Grainlady

November 21, 2011 at 5:20AM
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joyfulguy

Being over 80 ... I sort of claim to be short of time, myself.

I figure that the best way to `go`... is at a retaurant, friend`s house, or wherever, when you`re away from home!

Can you beat thatÃÂ

o j (keyboard`s question marks not working right)

November 24, 2011 at 7:30PM
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vala55

I don't think you save money on stuff like that by buying cheaper. Cheaper usually means thinner so you use more, plush is thicker and you use less. You would drive your self crazy figuring it out.

November 27, 2011 at 11:47PM
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stonehard

it's hard, i know. but i started buying name brand. (charmin strong) and it last way longer then buying a 4 pack of cheap stuff every few days.

November 28, 2011 at 2:22PM
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chisue

I compare the *square footage* in a package of TP. I don't really like the soft, very absorbant type. You have to use more to avoid it soaking through while in use. A local grocery store brand, "Homelife" has been the best deal I've found; three 'squares' are adequate. I'd like to look into buying from janitorial supply. How do you find such a store?

November 29, 2011 at 5:53PM
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vala55

chisue, that's funny it is the opposite for me. In store bathrooms or when I try a new cheaper brand moisture goes right through. I will stick with my Charmin. My problem with it is to remember not to use so much after I have used a cheaper product.

December 5, 2011 at 1:09PM
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joyfulguy

" ... three squares a day ...", huh?

When I was a kid, Dad used to refer to "three squares a day" as how fortunate we were to be able to eat an adequate meal that often.

When I was younger ... I had to "go" fewer times each day.

Is it eating too much, now?

Doing too little work?

I've been known to say that civilized men sit down to pee (or clean up the floor) ... but didn't always do so.

But now, I find that the sphincters seem to be building a greater frendship, so more inclined to doing things together ... or involved with sympathetic vibrations ...

... (or just plain colluding against me?)!

But - I'm finding that when I stop to do No. 1 ... I'd better be able to quickly get into the mode to accomodate No. 2 ...

... or wish that I had!

And laundry in winter, in Ontario, when one's rather addicted to hanging a wash outside on the line ...

... is not appreciated!

o j

January 23, 2012 at 2:01PM
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joyfulguy

I`m surprised that the post next above didn`t elicit some comment!

Didn`t mention that I have a line in the basement, as well ... but it interferes with traffic some.

o j

March 14, 2012 at 5:01PM
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azzalea

Just a bit of an update, and a few comments.

Soft toilet paper? Never here--my FIL was a plumber. Soft toilet paper will cost you many times it's sticker price in the longrun. It solidifies in your pipes, and eventually, you will have a very expensive plumbing bill to take care of the problem. ONCE my husband bought 'soft' toilet paper because it was on sale. My FIL was retired by then, so we had to call RotoRouter--after 3 trips to the house, they told us their guarantee wouldn't cover us anymore (and they still hadn't removed the clog). It cost us ANOTHER visit by a different plumber to finally get that cleared up (so let's see, that 'sale' product cost us over \$500!)

But back to my commercial TP--AS you can see by my post, I bought that about 9 months ago. We JUST bought our second carton. So \$55 worth of TP lasted us about 9 months (we still have a couple of rolls from the last carton). The quality is just fine, and the rolls are the wider ones that you cannot buy in the grocery store any more.

Obviously, not everyone is willing to try my experiment, but we've been VERY satisfied with the results and the cost is SO much lower than buying 1000 sheet rolls at the grocery store, or WallyWorld.

March 16, 2012 at 4:45PM
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mikie_gw

I used to buy Scotts regular in the huge packages.

But now I don't use toilet paper.

Ive regressed in age maybe but think the baby wipes & tossing them into a plastic bag is way nicer & cheaper & certaily doesnt clog my sewer pipes.

March 23, 2012 at 8:46PM
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