Every family has certain expenses they are focusing on lowering. Once you’ve lowered your bills, reduced your grocery spending, and cut out superfluous spending, you can look more closely at even more specific expenses.
I don’t know about your family, but our family seems to go through a lot of toilet paper. When I look at how much we spend each month on toilet paper, it makes me cringe.
We are literally flushing that money down the toilet!
Even so, I’m not interested in the “family cloth” trend among the very green community (Google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about). I’m cool with cloth diapers, but expanding the concept to the entire family, just doesn’t sit well with me, even if it intends to save both money and the environment. We had to find another way to save money on toilet paper.
Since the beginning of the year, we have implemented some changes that have had a positive impact on our toilet paper budget. It’s so nice to be able to get more money to our loan servicer instead of just flushing it.
Here are 5 things we’ve done to reduce our toilet paper expenses. I would love to hear your ideas and strategies in the comments.
1- Personal rations
We no longer keep a roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. Each family member has his or her own roll to bring with them to the bathroom. Girls get two rolls per month and boys get one roll per month. We’ve noticed a drastic reduction in toilet paper use with our rationing policy. We only use seven rolls of toilet paper for the entire month.
2- Don’t save it for home
I had been noticing that when I would pick my kids up from school they would be on the verge of wetting their pants. For whatever reason, they weren’t going to the bathroom at school. Once we started to focus on lowering our toilet paper expenses, I told the kids they needed to be sure to use the bathroom at the end of the school day before coming home. I also encouraged my husband to do all his business at work before coming home.
3- Bring home the extras
When we get fast food (which honestly isn’t very often), I notice that they always give us plenty of napkins. I’m not sure if they do that with everyone or if they take a look at our little ones and figure we’ll need them. Either way, we don’t let those napkins go to waste. They’re not as soft to use as toilet paper, but if someone uses up their ration, they are allowed to use the extra napkins. Just for the record, we don’t fill our pockets with napkins or toilet paper with the purpose of taking it home to use. Honesty and integrity is worth more than saving money.
4- Offer your clean-up services
Every neighborhood has a house that always seems to be the target of teenager pranks. Those pranks often involve toilet paper strewn through the trees and bushes. We are very upfront about our willingness to clean up such messes. We started by just helping out our friends and family members who had been targets of wasteful TP-ing pranks, but the word got out quickly that we were the ones to call. Our kids actually think it’s fun to roll the toilet paper back onto the cardboard tubes.
5- Make your own
I’ve always been bothered by how much paper our elementary school goes through. I don’t mind when they use it for actual school work, but when a two sentence reminder comes home on a full-size sheet of paper, I get annoyed by the wastefulness. Lowering our toilet paper budget has allowed me to look at all that paper in a new light.
I take all the school papers that I would otherwise throw away and cut them down the middle lengthwise, making it the same width as a cardboard toilet paper roll. Then I let my kids wrinkle and crinkle it to their hearts’ content, which softens the paper and makes it almost comfortable. They love that part. Then I roll the sheets onto an empty cardboard roll.
This is the toilet paper we get out when we have company over. Not only does it give a homemade touch to something that’s usually so impersonal, but our guests get to see the beautiful school work that our children do. The kids are proud both that they got to help make the special toilet paper and that their work is being displayed for our guests. It’s definitely a win-win!
You can do it too!
I hope you’ve been inspired to find ways that your family can save on toilet paper. Seeing the numbers in the household budget category go down really makes it all worth it! I can’t wait to hear how you implement these frugal and creative tactics!
How about you?
- How much do you spend on toilet paper in a typical month?
- What ideas do you have for saving money on toilet paper?
For frugal people, we are actually slightly snobbish when it comes to toilet paper. We won’t have anything to do with that 1-ply stuff! We keep our bathroom stocked with toilet paper and welcome our guests to use as much as they like (well, maybe not in so many words, but it’s implied with our hospitality).
Need another laugh? Check out my 2016 April Fools post and 2017 April Fools post share with your friends!
acne worse says
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Claire Hydrafirm Cream says
Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Finding the time and actual
effort to produce a superb article? but what can I say?
I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly
Even though I knew it was a joke (I read the 2016 post first), I still think this was so hysterical!
Jenni @ Ditching Our Debt says
Okay, just so you know, #5 is not a joke in a country I used to work in (Uzbekistan). They would not roll up school papers, but they would use old textbooks and just set them next to the hole-in-the-ground toilet and you would rip off a page to use.
Awesome! I bet a lot of the world is like that. When we lived in Guatemala, I carried my own with me– TP, not textbooks 🙂
That had me laughing out loud! Especially the shot of the kids school work on the roll – OMG! Now I know what to do with low grade papers that come home in the back pack!
I just found your website on Pinterest and saw this article. TP is so expensive (even as a single person) I thought I would read it for some tips. (your tip for stretching beef was great btw) I’m laughing so hard, I’m crying. I thought this woman is nuts, why not buy in bulk or use coupons! The first one made sense. My aunt used to tell her kids to only use 2 squares for #1 and 4 for #2. She was really thrifty and a little over the top. I doubt any of my cousins actually listened to her and did this. Thanks for the laugh.
Shelly O says
LOL!!! Okay but have you seen that some people use fabric? No fooling, some people use fabric and wash it. Eww!!!
Hilarious! ! Thank you so much!
Great gag! But you really had me going there.
This was really funny. Thank you! The first suggestion (rationing) really is used some places, though. LOL I’m on the medical staff at one of our state prisons. Inmates get one roll of tp issued per week. If they require more, they have to see one of the docs and get a medical waiver allowing them extra. And, I am guilty of suggestion number 3. I keep a small stash of extra napkins in my purse. It sucks to really need to use a public restroom and they are completely out of toilet paper. LOL
I went to school in Egypt for a semester, and they really did ration toilet paper. Everyone had their own roll which they had to carry with them when they went to the toilet and if you asked for another roll you got the stink-eye. We ended up going to the grocery store and buying our own supply rather than put up with the rationing.
You know that game people play at bridal showers, where they make dresses out of TP? At my sister’s shower my mother insisted on collecting it all and reusing it. She didn’t see the point in letting it go to waste (so to speak).
Oh Boy the comment section wasn’t coming fast enough to give you a what fer…. But this one is 1 to remember…. rofl….
Really funny but had me thinking back to my childhood, this side of the pond, in the 1950s when the other use for TP was to use it as either tracing paper or Air Mail Paper! It was not soft but thin and shiny on one side! I would think lots of ladies of a certain age if they have kept the letters from their sweethearts in the military in the 40s & 50s would find that they were actually written on TP!
Love letters on TP– that’s great!
Oh my! #1 I thought was doable (maybe, sort of…OK, not really), and then it went rapidly downhill! By #5 I was like no way! They really do that?!? Then I remembered that I had seen this in my feed yesterday and never actually read it. Pretty great post!
You got me! That was funny, but in reality, TP actually is a big expense. I recently bought Wally World TP and didn’t realize it was one ply till I got home. It’s not so soft, but the rolls do last much longer. On a more serious note, I remember Oprah doing a series a long time ago on the poor in America. I remember a man who was literally separating 2 ply TP and re-rolling it to make two rolls. You may not be old enough to remember, but there was a once famously frugal person named Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced Decision). I remember the first time she appeared on Phil Donahue. People thought she was crazy. She wrote a newsletter called The Tightwad Gazette which later became a book. She’d probably think your post was serious. And, btw, I always “go” before leaving work. It saves on water too! 🙂
My mom totally had the Tightwad Gazette books when I was a kid. I guess come by the frugality honestly. 🙂
Wow, you’re good! Had me going the whole time! I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now and really enjoy it. The beginning of your list raised my eyebrows just a bit, but by the time I got to the end my eyes were bugging out! I, too, thought you had lost it! Bravo for such a good prank!
Oh my god you had me. In the past week ive read through all your posts and really enjoyed it. Ive implemented a heap of changes. Yet I was sitting here with my hand over my mouth going ‘you do whaaa?’. I almost deleted you from my favourites in disgust 🙂
Definitely just a joke! I hope I didn’t scare away too many other readers!
My house got TPed a few times when I was a teenager (by friends). My mom’s rule was that they had to come back and help clean it up, and we saved any that was salvageable. I remember one time we ended up with almost 30 full rolls after cleanup. (She didn’t require it be rolled up unless it was still attached to the roll… lol)
That’s awesome! Free TP! 🙂
Hi Stephanie this is Amanda (Mrs. Barebudgetguy). This is the first post I read and you had me! I was getting stressed out about whether or not I could get my kids to carry their own toilet paper rolls and keep track of them. By the end I was thinking, this seems like a bit much, but maybe we just aren’t hard core enough. 🙂 Good one.
Ha ha! What a great introduction to me and my blog! It’s fun to let my real-life silliness show on the blog sometimes.
As for the real-life implementation of #1, I totally know what you mean. In fact, I can totally see my oldest scamming her younger brothers out of their rations. “If I read you this book, you have to pay me 8 squares of TP.”
Very clever indeed!
I will say, though, that I have actually heard of people actively practicing your second suggestion:)
Jayleen @ How Do The Jones Do It says
Lol! Love it! You’re quite the genius, Stephanie!
So funny. Thanks for going to the effort to give us a good laugh. Love it!
I actually had lots of fun writing this one! It’s fun to be a little extra creative every now and then!
[email protected] says
Is it weird that I didn’t think any of this was especially weird until 4 and 5? 🙂
This was the first post I’ve read other than one that brought me here from Pinterest… I was weirded out by the end but now I think I’ll stick around and read more haha!
Sorry for the temporary weirding out! Usually I’m level-headed, but I do like a good prank or joke every now and then!
Keary McHugh says
Great one!! You totally had me going until #5! Although, #4 reminded me of a story my husband told me. Apparently when he was in high school (he grew up in a small rural area with lots of frugal. old-school farmer types), the local kids TP’d the house of one of his neighbors. So the farmer went out, collected it all up, rolled it into a giant ball, and stuck in the bathroom– where he used it. His wife and kids flatly refused to have anything to do with it, but he wasn’t about to let all that “perfectly good” toilet paper go to waste!
That’s awesome Keary!
Haha! You totally got me!
Trisha Russell says
I was curious to read because our family goes through so much toilet paper! You lost me at the rationing and totally grossed out by the homemade paper but it still didn’t dawn on me that was a joke! You are scary good!!!
I had a lot of fun writing this and was laughing out loud at some points. It’s fun to be silly sometimes!
Sarah @ little bus on the prairie says
I was seriously scrolling down to comment about the wisdom of using regular paper with a septic system!
You TOTALLY got me.
Yeah, not sure how the plumbing would handle those old school assignments. I did leave my fake TP in the bathroom for the kids to find in the morning. They thought it was funny, so they snuck it into my in-laws’ bathroom too.
You got me. I was thinking OMG I am going to buy the some toilet paper. 🙂
Haha, I believed this and was wondering was kind of plumbing you had!
Ha ha! I thought about going into some excuse about why it’s not bad on your plumbing, but that got me thinking about how in Central America (and lots of other places), they never flush TP at all (even real TP). They put it in the trash can next to the toilet. That took some getting used to when we lived abroad (and when we returned to the TP-flushing homeland)!
That was great.you had me…happy April fools day
Mary Ann says
Hahahaha! I started wondering if it was April Fool’s between tips 2 and 3. So glad because I was getting embarrassed for you. LOL!!!
This is hilarious! I had just finished contemplating rationing the toilet paper for my oldest son when I got to the punch line! He recently clogged our toilet when he ran out of TP and decided that he needed to use, and attempt to flush, half a roll of paper towels! So, in spite of your tongue in cheek advice, I am seriously considering using it! Thanks for the morning chuckle.
Monica S says
OMG – good one!
Love it! Yes, the journey from hmmmm to noooo to this has to be a joke. I was thinking of all that dew and pollen on the TP. But seriously, I appreciate so much a blogger who is “in deep” like us and trying to do the right thing.
Ha! You totally got me and I JUST told my husband that it’s April fools day so don’t let your guard down…
Blake Cooper says
I’m glad I kept scrolling down–I was starting to think you’d lost it. Good one!
Michelle S says
OMG! For a moment I was doubting why I was reading this blog. Usually you are so sensible. Now I know what my April fool’s home is going to be today! You rock!
Saving Sanely says
Oh my Gosh you got me on that last one! I was like: no no no NO! Haha. Great sense of humor and I’m the same way about TP. I buy generic everything but have yet to find generic TP that does as well as my name brand. It’s the only thing I’m picky about but it is expensive!
Wow! I was like, “this is the weirdest thing I’ve ever read.” I’m glad I kept reading to the bottom – I thought, “those poor kids, that’s taking frugality a little too far.” Good one!
That was too funny! I just can’t picture my husband ‘taking care of business’ at work in the name of saving a few cents. By number 5 I thought you had gone crazy! Thanks for the good laugh!
Annie LeMaster says
Oh my gosh!!! At first I was like WHAT? Then I realized It was April Fools! Thanks for a laugh this morning!
Totally had me going…so glad it is a joke 😉
Oh, my goodness! You totally had me. I was thinking, “Stephanie has gone a little overboard today. I don’t think I’ll be implementing any of her tips today.” So glad it was a joke. Funny!
Hahahahaha, what a great joke! I started doubting after number four, and number five just finished it. 🙂