The Fool-Proof Method for Finding the Best Deal on Paper Products

by Chris Tecmire

Toilet Paper Attacks

Here’s the list of Bounty paper towel varieties that I found at my local Wal-Mart:

1 regular roll

2 regular rolls

2 HUGE rolls

6 regular rolls

6 Super rolls

6 Super Mega rolls

8 regular rolls

12 Big rolls

12 Giant rolls

Are you as confused as I am?  And that’s just Bounty!  You would be reading this article for days if I mentioned all of the other brands that are available.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve most likely stood motionless in the paper product aisle with your mouth wide open, not quite sure what to do next.

Do you go with the store-brand option?

Do you choose the toilet paper package that’s bigger than your cart, assuming that it must be the best deal?

How do you pick between regular, big, giant, and super mega rolls?!!

What if you have a coupon?  Does $1 off Bounty give you a better deal than just buying the similar store-brand package and leaving the coupon at home?

The paper product companies are TRYING to confuse you.  Seriously.  They want you to get frustrated and just grab the first familiar name that you see.  That’s why Bounty, Brawny, and Cottonelle spend so much money keeping their name at the forefront of your mind.  The more confused you are, the more likely you are to resort to one of the most familiar brands.

So, here’s what we need.  We need a way to compare and contrast the available options to determine which is the best buy once and for all.  We need a way to stop the madness.  That’s where I come in.  Charmin may be trying to make you dizzy with options, but they didn’t realize that I was going to create the Profoundly Popular Paper Product Pricing Prognosticator (PPPPPP for short).  The only thing that’s confusing any longer is the name.

Here’s a brief video on how to use it.

The 3 steps to finding the best deal on paper products

1.  Download the Profoundly Popular Paper Product Pricing Prognosticator.

2.  Gather some information from your local store.

I grabbed my information from Wal-Mart because I’ve completed enough informal price comparisons to know that Wal-Mart’s prices on paper towels and toilet paper are the best in my area.  Also, my ability to price match means that I won’t miss the coupons or sales that other stores advertise.

Grab a pad of paper and a pen and head to whichever store is your go-to destination to gather 3 pieces of information:

  • The brand name and description of any product that you would like to compare
  • The regular price of each product (you’re not interested in the sale price yet)
  • The total square feet listed on the package

By the way, if you’d like to gather information from a couple of different stores to make sure you get the best deal, go for it.  This would be especially helpful if you’re not quite sure which store would present the best deal.  If you routinely shop at a bulk store like Sam’s Club or Costco, it would be helpful to grab the prices of a couple items next time you’re out and compare them to similar items at the grocery store of choice.

3.  Input the numbers into the PPPPP.

Ta Da!  You finally know which is the best deal and can purchase accordingly.  No more confusion.  Check out the video to see how it works.

However, don’t stop here.  The #1 reason why having a spreadsheet like this is beneficial is because you can determine whether coupons or sales are truly helpful or not.  Just because a particular brand of toilet paper is $1 off this week doesn’t mean it’s a better deal than the generic brand you usually buy.  Now you can input the sale price, and the price per square foot figure will change accordingly.  You can finally make an educated purchase.

P.S.  Don’t “save” the spreadsheet once you’ve entered the sale price.  You want to keep the original form on hand for next time.

P.P.S.  The best deal on paper products that I found was the No-Name brand at Wal-Mart.  The 2-ply, select-a-size paper towels are quite a bit cheaper than even the 1-ply variety of Bounty Basic.  As far as toilet paper is concerned, the No Name brand crushed the competition in 2-ply, but the best price overall was the Great Value 1-ply variety at just over a half a cent per square foot.  Angel Soft was the best deal of the name brand toilet papers.

Now What?

Get to work.  Don’t let those evil toilet paper companies fool you any longer :)

If you enjoyed this article or found it helpful, please share it with someone (or everyone).  Thanks!


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

manderee June 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I swooned at your spreadsheet. I am the offspring of a spreadsheet-queen so these things excite me. I started a “Cost of…” spreadsheet that I have used so far to compare the cost of my commute route, auto and home insurance, and various gyms and fad workouts in my area. I have yet to get down to the nitty gritty of my everyday purchases but I’m heading there shortly. First order of business is to cut down on my clutter and storage. Just found your website today but I think I will be a regular peruse-er. Thanks for the inspiration!


Chris Tecmire June 29, 2013 at 8:58 am

A fellow spreadsheeter! Yeah, I generally head straight to excel when I need to figure anything out. Check out the “experiment in frugality” where my wife and I got rid of 25% of our belongings if you’re interested in reducing clutter. I’m always trying to get rid of more stuff. In fact, right now I’m going through my wardrobe yet again. Thanks for perusing the site Manderee.


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