Would you save money by buying ultra cheap toilet paper? I had an encounter recently at the grocery store that led me to consider it.
Several weeks ago I’m in the checkout line waiting to pay for my groceries. As I’m loading the items onto the conveyer belt a sweet, older lady steps in line behind me. She had only a few items in her hand to purchase so I immediately felt bad that she would have to wait for me – because I had a fully loaded shopping cart.
She began to comment on the size of my haul to which I’ve come to have a standard reply – “Yeah, it takes a lot when you are shopping to feed six.” But then she began to analyze my purchases. Evidently I’d done really well that week, as she was excited to see fresh fruits and vegetables in my cart and the assortment of buy-one-get-one products I snagged.
Then she asked me if I’d got “the penny item” on sale that day. I had a vague recollection of seeing somewhere along the way that my store promoted a penny item but I’d never paid attention to it. I don’t usually coupon so stuff like that is never on my radar.
So I told her, “No, I missed that” to which she proceeded to tell me that it was a four-pack of toilet paper. Not only that but she would go get me one if I wanted it.
Oh boy…what to do?
Should I Let Her Get the Cheap Toilet Paper?
The person in front of me is finishing their transaction so I’m up next. I told her not to worry about getting the cheap toilet paper for me. In my mind I’m thinking a) I don’t want to make her go get it, b) I’m worried she won’t get back in time and I’ll be left standing there waiting for her and c) because IT’S CHEAP TOILET PAPER (and I know its quality is going to be sorely lacking for a penny).
She insisted I have it and, as I’ve talked about before, I don’t play the “Take This-No Thank You-I Insist” Game very well. So after several back and forths about whether she would get it or not, I finally relented. She zipped off and within seconds (it seemed) was back grinning from ear to ear.
She had with her my penny item – a four-pack of the cheapest, 1-ply, generic toilet paper you can possibly imagine.
I thanked her for her kindness and proceeded to check out. It had been a very sweet gesture and I was appreciative of her thoughtfulness, even though I’d never buy that product for myself.
Taking Care of Business With Charmin Ultra Soft
In our house we use Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper. I usually purchase the Mega Roll – a ginormous 16-pk. monstrosity of a package that best fits in the rack under the shopping cart. At our Publix grocery store it retails for $21.99, which translates to $1.37 per unit price.
Boy is it soft.
The softness of the 1-ply, penny item toilet paper with a unit price of $.0025…not so much. Made going to the bathroom, well…enough said. This may be “T.M.I.” but I just wanted to be clear we actually did use the item until it was gone. Might as well have used sandpaper.
Odd thing is though I didn’t hear anyone in the family complaining about the radical change in toilet paper. They just went about their business (haha) as usual.
Which made me think, at least for a moment, why I’m spending so much on toilet paper when a cheaper alternative is available that no one seemed to mind. I know the generic, 1-ply brand doesn’t always retail for a penny but even its regular price is significantly cheaper than what I’m buying. I mean it is just toilet paper. Do I really need to make that daily experience more pleasurable with the gently comfort of Charmin Ultra Soft?
It all ends up in the same place, right?
To Switch or Not to Switch
I don’t know if I’ll make the switch. However, the experience reminded me again of the importance of analyzing purchases. Personal motive, price, purpose and outcome are all essential elements to consider when buying any product, even if it’s toilet paper. After analyzing those factors you may find the more expensive item really isn’t worth it.
Questions: What would you do…should we switch to cheap toilet paper to save money? What type of toilet paper do you use? Do you regularly search out penny items? Do you ever find it frustrating when people insist you take something?
Image by Luke1428.com