Monday, March 3, 2014

Saving the Moola: the great TP debate (and experiment!), part 1

photo credit
I'm just going to say this right off: yes, this post is going to be all about toilet paper. Generally, we all use it. You'd be hard pressed to find any bathroom, at least in the United States, without toilet paper.

But if you think about it for just a second, you will come to realize, as I have, that you're basically spending money on paper that you flush down the toilet. 

Since money is paper, it's almost like you're just flushing money down the toilet. 

Ouch. 

Since I'd prefer to do something else with money, I've really been thinking on toilet paper. The issue really came to light when I recently read that the average American uses 24 rolls of toilet paper a year. 

Really? That's it? I can tell you we use much more than 58 rolls of TP in our house in one year. There are some things going on there that may account for why we use so much more. One is that I'm a girl. So I use TP no matter what, whereas Jason only uses TP in one instance. Also, Jason works 40+ hours a week outside the home, whereas I'm home all day. So he uses TP at work, and I'm only using ours, for the most part. That definitely accounts to extra TP usage on my part. Also, Jason usually grumbles that I use too much. And I probably do. 

To determine exactly how many rolls we use in a month, I plan to start March 1 with a fresh roll in each bathroom and keep count of how many rolls we use during the month. Mainly, I'm just curious. I highly doubt our count will stop at 8. But I also do wonder how much money we're spending on TP per month. Based on what I know we buy, I'd guess we use about 18 rolls per month for a total of $8 per month. 

I'm all for saving money however I can, so how does one save money on TP? We've found TP is generally cheapest at Aldi. We will, on occasion, also use amazon.com gift cards we earned through Swagbucks to get toilet paper. Our total out-of-pocket expense then is $0. 

Since we cloth diaper Bug, I have given thought to using cloth for us when we use the bathroom. It doesn't disgust me in the least, but I will say that after all the poop I've dealt with for the last year, I'm not sure how eager I am to continue dealing with poop. But I have been giving considerable thought to using cloth when poop isn't involved. The conclusion I've come to: it's definitely worth a go. I have flannel scraps in my fabric stash, so this month, I'll be working on sewing some of up to use in the bathroom. 

After March is over and our count of used toilet paper rolls is complete, we'll start April with a new experiment. How many rolls will we use if I use cloth for part of the time? 

We'll update ya'll on our experiment in May and let you know what our plan is for the future. 

3 comments:

Carlye Jean Rankin said...

Nathan tells me I use too much toilet paper. Hailey is also potty trained but she will tell me when I give her too much. :D She is like her daddy. haha

I am interested in how many rolls you use in a month. I know that I will never use cloth (unless we desperately need too.) We also purchase our toilet paper at Aldi. Great price and lasts us longer.

Good luck!

Jonathan Carlson said...

If every American uses 24 rolls a year, with 2 people in the household that should easily be 48, you are really not that far over the average then. Especially considering that you are home 24-7 now

Jess and Jason said...

Carlye, we can unite in our too-much-TP madness!! :)

Jonathan, I mis-typed and meant to say 48. Thank you for noticing that. I agree - me being home all the time doesn't help keep TP usage low.