How to Save Money on Toilet Paper [Tips & Alternatives]

Everyone remembers where they were in the early days of the pandemic—when they realized they were out of toilet paper. A few weeks prior to COVID-19 hitting the U.S., I had impulsively purchased a huge box of baby wipes off an Amazon surplus sale.

I had been mocked by my friends and family—until a few weeks later, when I was the only one who did not have to go to extreme measures to get toilet paper. 

My husband insists that he never questioned my purchase to begin with. Toilet paper is something that is frequently overlooked for money saving opportunities, it is just automatically believed to be a household necessity.

However, sometimes toilet paper has to take a financial backseat through either necessity or preference. Fortunately, I have a list to help you figure out how to save money on toilet paper, and some affordable alternatives.

You can save money on toilet paper by buying cheaper brands, using less toilet paper, buying in bulk, or taking advantage of good deals through subscriptions and coupons. Additionally, if these aren’t quite what you’re looking for, you can look at affordable toilet paper alternatives.

The best way to save money is to combine some or all of these money-saving techniques, as they can be applicable to toilet paper alternatives as well.

Keep reading to find out what you can do to save money on toilet paper!

1. Buy A Cheaper Toilet Paper Brand

While Charmin commercials have been charming us with silly bear cartoons for years, they aren’t exactly the cheapest brand. Realistically, how much “luxury” can toilet paper actually provide?

There’s no shame in saving some money and buying Great Value or another store brand. When comparing prices, always make sure the check how many square feet of toilet paper you’re getting!

It may be tempting to just grab the cheapest brand you see on the shelf, but taking a few moments to calculate which one is giving you the lowest price per square foot could make a long-term difference.

Once you’ve made your pick, just mark the details down to make your next trip quicker!

2. Use Less Toilet Paper

Whether we realize it or not, many of us have been wiping the same way since we were first potty-trained. The issue is that most kids do not know nor care how much toilet paper costs, so these wasteful habits of bunching up 10+ sheets per wipe starts racking up fast when you’re the one paying the bills.

So, if you’re in a household of one, this may be the easiest starting point. Slow down and be a little more thoughtful about how much toilet paper you really need—especially, if you want to make ultra-absorption toilet paper last longer.

3. Buy Toilet Paper In Bulk

Buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money on household staples. If you already know exactly what you want, feel free to head to your local Sam’s Club or Costco. However, if you want to do some price comparison, I strongly recommend lurking on Amazon.

Amazon features a wide variety of brands, and frequently has specialty sales like surplus stock, holidays (e.g., Memorial Day, Labor Day, Black Friday), and more. The fact that you can also immediately read reviews lets you know if a certain brand is worth paying more upfront for.

The other convenient thing about bulk, is that it normally lasts months. So, you get to check that off your to-do list for a while.

4. Get A Toilet Paper Subscription

In a world of streaming, food-delivery, and make-up subscriptions, we shouldn’t be surprised that you can subscribe to toilet paper as well. There are a few ways to go about subscribing in order to save on toilet paper.

While you can subscribe to a variety of novelty sustainable brands, the one with the best and lowest prices is Grove Collaborative. You can choose between a few types of toilet paper and tissues, and decide which is best for you. Grove does have a price order minimum, so if you’re not loading up on tons of toilet paper at once, feel free to check out their other sustainable products!

If you’re not particularly interested in sustainable brands, then Amazon is your best bet for convenient, money-saving subscriptions. Often-times, if you subscribe to a particular brand of toilet paper for automatic deliveries, Amazon will give you 5% or 15% off each order. To make the deal even more enticing, sometimes brands will give an upfront coupon with the purchase, in addition to the subscription discount.

5. Use Coupons To Get Good Deals On Toilet Paper

Even if you’re not actually shopping online, you can find coupons online for local stores. Some of 2021’s top websites for couponing are Rakuten, Ibotta, and Swagbucks. They offer deals that can redeemed online or in person.

If online isn’t your style, you can also always check out the local grocery store magazines or Sunday paper coupons! Many local grocery stores offer subscriptions to their weekly or monthly newsletter that is filled with all their coupons and good deals!

6. Switch To A Toilet Paper Alternative 

It is possible that the best way to save money on toilet paper… is to just not buy toilet paper. Although many of us have never imagined making something other than toilet paper a regular choice, it’s worth a second thought if you’re looking to save money long-term.

Cost Comparison of Toilet Paper Alternatives

Toilet Paper Alternatives Quantity Cost Where to Buy
1. Paper Towels 649 sq ft $14.97 Walmart
2. Tissues 360 tissues $3.94 Walmart
3. Baby Wipes 1,280 wipes $24 Amazon
4. Washcloths 7-pack $3.22 Walmart
5. Bidet 1 bidet $29.99 Amazon

Now that you have an idea of the overall list, I will break down why each item is a good choice, what to expect (including potential downsides), and ways to multiply your savings while choosing alternatives.

Paper Towels

The key to deciding between toilet paper and paper towels is to look at the amount of square footage that you’re getting in a package.

At Walmart you can get approximately $14 of Great Value 2-ply toilet paper or paper towels; however, you get 77 more square feet if you buy the paper towels. These savings can be multiplied if you’re buying in bulk!

Even when purchasing more expensive brands, paper towels are often cheaper by square foot than toilet paper.

The one downside: paper towels are absolutely not flushable, and you should make sure to have a trash bin near the toilet.

Tissues

Facial tissues may not necessarily be a favorite due to their generally flimsy nature—however, if you’re in a pinch you can approximately buy a month’s worth for less than $5. This option is better for single or two-person households, and households without children.

Due to their flimsy nature, tissues do not fare well when flushed, and it is best to throw them away to avoid clogging your toilet.

Baby Wipes

The benefit of baby wipes is they tend to be more effective. So, while you may use 2-10 squares of toilet paper during one “visit”, you likely won’t need to more than 1-2 baby wipes. The additional bonus is that it is very easy to buy baby wipes in bulk and get subscriptions online.

For an order with a whopping 1,280 wipes for just $24, that can easily last a 1 to 3-person household at least six months. If you decide to get a subscription to deliver every six months, you could save up to $3.6 per order!

Of course, if you choose to use baby wipes, please note that they should not be flushed and that it’s best to have a trash bin near the toilet.

Washcloths

Washcloths definitely have the potential to be the most economical option, especially for those who do laundry frequently.

For sanitation, you may want to pick a particular washcloth color to be exclusively for your bathroom necessities. A small basket filled with the clean washcloths would be convenient for users. Additionally, I would recommend having a separate basket for post-use, and to machine wash with a disinfecting soap and hot water.

While the washcloths I listed are a cheaper (and rougher) pack, there are also 10-packs of soft baby washcloths for just under $6 at Walmart that may be more comfortable. You also may want to get the washcloths slightly damp before using, to maximize effectiveness and comfort.

Bidet

A bidet is a toilet fixture that washes you with water after you use the bathroom. The cost of a cheap bidet is about the same as six months’ worth of baby wipes. 

What’s the difference?

Well, bidets are an excellent way to nearly, if not entirely, eliminate toilet paper from your household. Additionally, they are a much more hygienic method for cleaning males and females.

Another bonus, they are extremely accessible for people who are pregnant, elderly, or have motion-limiting disabilities.

What’s the drawback? Well, those from places where bidets aren’t the norm may find it to be a bit of a learning curve. On the other hand, those who are ready to jump all in for the multi-setting spray and heated seat luxury-bidets would have to dish out a couple hundred up-front, so it may be over a year before they actually breakeven on savings.

Final Thoughts

The great aspect about looking for savings on toilet paper, is that because it is such a common necessity, there are plenty of money-saving techniques and toilet paper alternatives to look for.

While most options benefit from a combination of mindful usage, price comparison, and bulk buying, there are some long-term more sustainable options to consider like washcloths and a bidet.

Related Guides 

Leave a Comment