Cheaper Than Cheap Tip Of The Week #3 : Separate Your Two Ply Toilet Paper

by The Happy Rock on September 4, 2007

“Cheaper Than Cheap” is a recurring tip series about frugality. The idea is to provide helpful frugality tips that border on fanatical to the point of being humorous. Love them or hate them, let’s hear what you think. Tip #2 was on saving gas by Hypermiling.

Cheaper Than Cheap Tip Of The Week #3 : Separate Your Two Ply Toilet Paper

Let’s visit the age old joke about the frugal grandmother who separates the 2 ply toilet paper to save money. The trick is to have empty toilet paper rolls to split the 2 ply onto. The process should go significantly faster by putting the 2 ply roll onto the toilet paper holder and winding each ply onto the empty toilet-paper-tp-roll.jpgcardboard rolls, which have a stick or pencil through it to make it easy to roll. With the technicalities out of the way, let’s look at how it saves you money.

Here is the savings breakdown :

12 rolls of 352 count 1 ply Charmin Regular @ $8.99*
12 rolls of 200 count 2 ply Ultra Soft Charmin @ $8.99*

21.3 cents per 100 sheets – Charmin Regular
18.7 cents per 100 sheets – Charmin 2-ply (Ultra Soft Sheets)

If an average household uses 100 sheets a day that would be a savings of about $10 dollars a year, plus the added bonus of getting Ultra Soft vs. regular. So no more laughing at your frugal grandmother for splitting the TP, taking the time to split 2 ply toilet paper does save money. Do you know anyone who does this, and is it separating the two ply TP worth your time?

Cheaper Than Cheap Poll :

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Double Eagle September 4, 2007 at 11:42 am

I don’t know anyone who does this, but I’ve seen talk shows where the topic is frugality and they always manage to find people who do this. Honestly, I’m all for trying to cut out the spending excesses, but this borders on neurotic. The labor involved in splitting rolls of toilet paper for a year can’t be worth $10.


Mike September 4, 2007 at 11:43 am

So no more laughing at your frugal grandmother for splitting the TP,

I’m sorry to say that this is one of the few places I’ll continue to laugh.

If you’re going to go through the trouble to unwind and separate the rolls of toilet paper (ignoring the possibility that users will just double-up the wad that they take from the roll), why not just encourage people to wipe with their hand and wash up really well.

Too gross, but still interested in saving a few $$$? The calculation requires a roll to be split every 4 days. I’m willing to bet it’d take a least 15 minutes for the entire operation, giving 22 hrs a year spent manipulating toilet paper. I suspect that the average person could take the time involved in unwinding, splitting, and rewinding to do something that would either make or save more than $0.50 / hr.


Steven September 4, 2007 at 8:45 pm

Hmmmmmmmm I wonder what the late Ann Landers would have to say about this. She wrote several columns on the subject of toilet paper and it has be dteremined the end of the roll should be on top, not the bottom.


Tim Diehl September 4, 2007 at 11:41 pm

Love it! Mike, I’m with you, use the ol’ hand. I mean, after all, toilet paper is a luxury of the affluent. We cut down thousands of trees every year, further contributing to deforestation, desertification and global warming, just so we can keep our hands only mildly cleaner…What’s the point of antibacterial soap afterall? Are we really that consumed with cleanliness? In many developing countries they wipe w/ the left and do everything else w/ the right. We do have two hands after all. So there you go! Save money. Save the environment. It’s a win win.


Mark September 5, 2007 at 5:33 pm

That’s ridiculous. Get the 4-ply and split it into 2-ply! C’mon!


The Happy Rock September 6, 2007 at 4:22 pm

@Double Eagle – I don’t know anyone who does it, but a quick google search reveals that some people love it.

@Mike – The tips are supposed to border on ridiculousness. But your analysis makes a strong case for the futility of such a practice.

@Steven – I have been told by my wife that it should come over the top. I don’t really care, so I do it that way for her. Although growing up, it was underneath!

@Tim – Quite the funny take on Mike’s argument. It looks like you have created tip number 4. No toilet paper! Here’s our jingle : “Save the forest, save the trees. Don’t use TP!” or “Save your money, save your G’s: Don’t use TP!


tehnyit September 11, 2007 at 10:56 am

This really funny! My wife and I are just doing something quite similar except we are forgoing toilet paper for a wet cloth. No, not on our bums, but our son’s bum. He is only 22 mths old and using several wet clothes on him is probably the only economical way to wipe his bum as he does “his serious and wet business” about 2-3 times a day. Prior to using the wet cloth, we used baby wipes which costed a fortune.


Pinyo September 12, 2007 at 2:04 pm

True story. I knew someone who insisted that he only use one sheet of toilet paper to clean up after he poops. I think that’s gross.


SavingWithMe September 14, 2007 at 9:57 am

Very humorous! I am sure there is someone that is trying that right now to save a buck. I read on another blog the other night a person uses the restroom faithfully before leaving work to save from using her own water, soap, and TP.


Debt Destroyer April 29, 2009 at 11:37 pm

I see that Cracked.com linked to this article.


Congrats…I guess :)


b May 3, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Better yet, stop using TP at all. Drip dry for #1 and save the #2 business for school / work. Surely you can hold it for a measly two days. You’ll save dozens of dollars a year!


Toilet Repair Man January 8, 2010 at 9:20 pm

While I have no doubt that this would save you money in the long run, I think it is just a bit to much for me. Of course, if you were in a situation where every cent counted, than by all means do what you have to do to survive.


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