Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bathroom Frugality (Saving One Flush at a Time)

I'm going to try to say pretty classy with this post, but no promises.

Who here gets tired of buying mass amounts of toilet paper? I do. I load up the cart (hey we have 6.5 people in this house, our toilets are well used) with all the tp and I just KNOW someone is looking at me in the checkout line assuming I'm having chilli for dinner.

Fact is, they are probably right. I plan ahead you know. But still, I hate broadcasting to the world that our family does twosies. (Have you ever seen my most favorite tv show "Scrubs"? Go watch it--- the entire thing--- and once you are done laughing so hard you weep you will understand my bathroom issues. Elliot and Jordan are my muses.)

Anyhow, I love deals, but as our family has grown I have learned that sometimes convenience needs to outrank the deal and honestly nowadays the deal is secondary to the value of my time.

So, I've been brainstorming how to save money AND time while buying toiletries, particularly tp.

First thing I went to was family cloth.
Yep, it is what it sounds like. You use cloth that you wash over and over again for your tp. Did you cringe and scream "NO!" in your head? Don't lie, I can't see you through the screen, just own it. It is okay. That ws my knee-jerk reaction too when the idea first came to me. But as I kept having to go out and pay for the hiney wipe I really started to consider it. I went so far as to purchase it for my family. I was so excited! I had big plans for how to set up my system, how to ease us into the switch, everything. Then I told my hubs and he pulled out his RARELY used power of veto (we each have a few limited vetos to use, I used one a few years back when he killed a pesky squirrel with a rock and a stick and then tried to get me to cook it for dinner... yeah, I'm not THAT cheap) and he rejected my family cloth plan.

Frick on a stick.

Because I can't challenge the veto (yet), I've had to put the cloth away for the day the zombie apocalypse comes and we can't get to the store for fear of our brains being eaten but we really, REALLY need to go and then I'll be the hero because we will be saved in more ways than one. It will happen, mark my words.

So, next I tried to think of how other cultures handle this issue, but we have mostly pine trees at our house so that "basket of leaves" plan wouldn't be the funnest ever. I've also heard of wearing skirts to help things, um, dry and, yeah. No. I like living more naturally, but this is a scenario where I don't want to move backwards in time.

Of course, the last thing I thought of was the best way for us. Amazon! I love nearly as much as I love Costco. (Don't worry, I'm sure I'll be writing about both in more detail over time. Amazon has this awesome Prime shipping thing. It runs about $80 a year for the regular membership and they have several cheaper options for having a Prime membership, so you should look and see if any of them fit you. There are a ton of perks, but the one that stands out in this article is the free two day shipping. Perfect. They also have a program called "subscribe and save" so you can get grocery and toiletry items shipped to your house monthly or every three or even six month. Then you won't forget and you get a small discount for doing this. (Yes, you can stop anytime you want, fear not.) Love it.

I watch a lot of websites for deals, but tends to post the Amazon TP deals faster than a lot of other sites so I use them a lot. When I see tp drop to a level I can deal with, I buy. A few days later only the UPS man knows what really happens behind closed doors.

Now, moment of truth:
Am I getting the best deal ever?
Monetarily, eh. I think it is cheaper than the big stores a lot of times, other than sales. But, the time factor and the benefit of it coming to my door is huge for me. I'm at a place where spending an extra dollar or two in order to save myself a few hours of driving to the store, shopping and coming back, realizing I forgot the tp and going back out is worth that dollar or so.

But, really, here is how it will break down deal-wise:

Cheapest option 1: Family cloth. One time purchase, washing machines do most of the work. But, you have to get past the "ick" factor and the risk of people dropping cloth into the toilet and flushing.

Possible cheapest option 2: couponing at your local store. However, when you factor in the driving, cutting coupons, getting enough coupons to make it worth it and watching for the sale and hoping you don't have to buy more tp before then, I feel like it is a lot of work for money you are flushing away.

Easiest and most cost effective option 3: Online shopping. Order when you think of it (there is always a tp sale somewhere in my experience), get it in bulk, have it come to your door... love it. I'm also not buying other items just because I'm in the grocery store and come on, who buys only tp when they shop? NO ONE. So that additional savings is pretty big for me.

And, there it is. I suggest you go to Amazon and google "toilet paper" and see what you find. I'd look at Prime  too because I use it for so much.

Now, print this out so you have some bathroom reading!

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