- Personal Finance
How To Save Money On Toilet Paper
More Money Saving by Springboard
- The Springboard: PART ONE: BRINGING HOME THE BACON
Each and every second of our lives we are consumers. As the clock ticks away the seconds, minutes, and hours of the day an invisible average is being calculated and recalculated and recalculated again. A long time ago I started to call this my daily
- The Springboard: PART THREE: HOW TO BRING HOME THE BACON WITHOUT SLAUGHTERING THE PIG
Even with all of the efficiency inventions and innovations have brought to our lives, it seems we have less time than we have ever had before to get things done. For that reason something as simple as a box of macaroni and cheese seems very economica
We've all seen those television shows portraying the cheapest of the cheap in our society. You know the ones I am talking about. The ones who cut up old clothes, or use old dish towels or rags, and then use those to wipe their dirty posterior parts—only to toss them into the wash and reuse them again. This is not what this article aims to show you. Somehow the prospect of actually doing this gives me a bit of a queasy feeling to say the least in any event.
What I'm talking about is breaking down the cost to the square feet. That's right. The sqaure feet is what makes all the difference in what you actually pay for your toilet paper. And the companies who manufacture the stuff know this all too well. What they also know is that nobody ever bothers to look at the square feet, even though it's always printed right on the package for everyone to see.
What do people look at? The number of rolls. Or the number of total sheets. In fact, you'll typically find that these two numbers are usually the largest in print on the package, and the sqaure footage is printed much smaller. People also look directly at the price, and the lower the price, in the eyes of most consumers, the better the deal.
I say, not so. Hiding the real cost of the things we buy is the art of the deal. It's all about simple bait and hook. And while most marketers will tell you that consumers are smart, this too is not always necessarily the truth. Consumers are smart. But they are also easily duped. And this generates tons of revenue for nearly every supplier of any product we buy.
I tend to buy most of my toilet paper at Sam's Club. That's mainly because so far I've found they tend to have a pretty good price on the stuff. But, it's not the Member's Mark store brand that's the best deal, even though on the surface it looks that way. For example, The Member's Mark toilet paper with the exact same number of rolls as the Quilted Northern brand is around $17. The Quilted Northern is priced at around $19. Right away one would generally look at these two options and immediately assume that the Member's Mark is the better deal.
Again, not really.
The fact is that the Member's Mark, priced just about $2 less, is actually more expensive then the Quilted Northerm which is priced at about $2 more. The difference is of course the square feet. The Member's Mark toilet paper package only has about 976 square feet of paper, while the Quilted Northern has about 1,100 square feet of paper. Doing the math, the Member's Mark toilet paper costs around 1.74 cents per square foot, while the Quilted Northern actually costs 1.72 cents per square foot.
Granted, we're talking about hundredths of a cent here. Two hundredths of a cent to be exact. But consider we're also talking about hundreds of square feet of paper, and so the costs have a little more impact. Assume that the price of the Member's Mark is actually $17—I've rounded up the price. That would mean that the Quilted Northern would be $16.78 if it were only 976 square feet, meaning that even though you're actually paying $2 more, in reality, you'd be spending $2 more on the Member's Mark to get the same amount of paper as the Quilted Northern. The Member's Mark, at 1,100 square feet, would actually cost you $19.14. What's more, you're actually buying a brand name for less than you'd be buying a non-name brand.
That's their trick.
Now for the math, for the non-math folks out there. Determining the price is as simple as dividing the price by the number of sqaure feet. $17 divided by 976 sqaure feet is .0174. $19 divided by 1,100 sqaure feet is .0172.
Granted, shopping in this way does take a few extra minutes, and I always hear from people, "I don't have the time." What I always say to that is, "If you think it is a waste of time to spend the extra time, keep in mind the extra time you'll spend at work making the money you could have saved by taking the time."
In the end it's the pennies that count. Those are easy to lose. They're easy to forget about. They're easy to take for granted. And all one need to do to understand the value of pennies is to toss them into a jar and see how fast they add up. The money we waste is money we have to work harder and longer for, and unless you want to spend more time at work, you'd be better off taking a closer look at how you buy things. Including things like toilet paper.
Of course, you could just do your business at the office.