Pricing Toilet Paper – Best Value for the Consumer

Frog calculating the cost of toilet paper!

Frog calculating the cost of toilet paper!

Pricing Toilet Paper  –  Best Value Calculations

Let’s take a look at pricing toilet paper in today’s market.  We will look at a typical way to price the cost of toilet paper and see if this leads us to the cheapest toilet paper prices. Most toilet paper is sold and packaged as a 4-Pack or 12-Pack of Rolls.  In order to get a rough idea of the price we will calculate the price per roll.  We might expect that, as with most things, the 4-pack is generally more expensive than the 12-pack, etc.

Pricing Toilet Paper: Finding Best Toilet Paper Prices

Dollar Store a 4-Pack of  the Home Store Brand TP: 275 Sheets per Roll;2-Ply Unscented.Priced at, of course, One Dollar!  So cost of each roll is 25 cents. Easy Math!

Food Max 12-Pack of  Fiora Brand TP: 382. sq.ft(35.5 sq. meters);290-2-Ply Sheets(4.1 in x 3.9in sq;Lavender Scent on the Core.

Priced at  $5.99, therefore each roll is $0.4991 or about 50 cents per roll.

Trader Joe  8-Pack of Trader Joe Brand TP:

Priced at $4.99 for 12 rolls. giving $0.4158 or about 42 cents roll.

Dollar Store Single Roll of  the Home Store Brand TP:1250 Sheets per Roll;1-Ply Unscented. Priced at $1.00 for one roll.

Dollar Store: 4-Pack of Scott “Comfort Plus” Brand TP:116 Sheets per Roll;1-Ply Unscented. Priced at $1.00 per 4 rolls, giving $0.25 for each roll.

Please Note: local and state sales taxes left out of the above calculations.

Hold On!  What is the Proper Way to Price Toilet Paper?

Let’s think about this pricing structure for a minute.  When you  go to the grocery store to price peanut butter, you  price it by the jar, and it is a  fair comparison if  the product in each of the jars is the same, say 32 oz. of peanut butter.  This is a measure of the $cost/weight of the product. But sometimes when we think of TP paper value , we think of the cost per roll. Is this the proper way to evaluate what we are getting?

Cost to Manufacture Toilet Paper Affects Purchase Cost

One of the  major costs of supplying  TP product is the material inputs for manufacturing  the paper! Material inputs to paper making include wood pulp, maybe some recycled paper and chemicals to complete the processing.  To make paper, the manufacturer must produce paper in very large quantities and factor in the cost of equipment and labor. One of the big costs to make TP, is the material  paper cost inputs per ton, pound, or kilogram. We know that the manufacturers will shape TP into sheets of a certain size and thickness. But in the end, we will pay for paper only by one measurement which is not related to each, or sheets, or the number of plys. So let’s take a further look at pricing toilet paper, and a proper pricing method.

Pricing Toilet Paper by Area – (sq.ft or sq.meters)

Toilet paper manufacturers  want to sell products and so do their retailers.  Pricing of all products and in particular, the Pricing Toilet Paper is determined by the market competition, and profit margins companies seek. Often, toilet paper is sold by the “roll”, but a roll of one brand  is not exactly the same as a roll from another.  As an example, lets take the info from a typical 12-pack of TP from one manufacturer:

Multiple rolls of toilet paper

Multiple rolls of toilet paper

Brand: Fiora (12-double rolls)


EACH SHEET  (4.1 IN X 3.9 IN), (10.9 CM X 9.9 CM)

The label gives us more information, letting us know how many square feet (or square meters) of product comes in each package.  We use this info to get a better measure of the cost of our purchase. So let’s do some more calculations. In this example, we purchased 380.0 square feet of TP rolls. We divide the cost by the total area (square feet)  of the paper.  Our cost for all rolls is 49.91666 cents x 12 rolls – $5.99 for all of them. Cost per square foot is $5.99/382 sq ft =  1.5763 cents per square foot or (16.8 cents/square meter). To simplify, lets work with cents/square meter so we can deal with larger numbers, making the calculations  easier, (at least for me). Looking at pricing toilet paper by the roll, or pricing by the cost per sq. meter are other approaches. After that we’ll  take a look at the true cost of the TP; To find this we divide $cost by the true weight of the paper in each roll!

Pricing Toilet Paper by its True Cost – by Weight!


So looking at Fiora Brand again, we get out our electronic postal scale and take a very precise look at pricing toilet paper by the true cost of each roll.  The exact weight of one Fiora roll is 4.1 ounces or 117 grams. Taking it apart and weighing only the roll that the paper is wound around (called the core) gives it a weight of 7 grams. So we see that the total weight of the actual paper on the roll is 11o grams. (117g – 7g) and this is what we are really paying for. Reviewing our pricing, we see that this roll costs us 49.91666 cents for 110 grams. Converting to weight-kilograms we get $4.53/kilogram or $2.059 per pound. Yes, you buy tomatoes and peanut butter by the pound, and you may as well think of TP purchases in the same way!

Various Brands – Summary of Pricing Toilet Paper-

Examples: Brand [Source]

Fiora [Food Max]  12- Roll Pack   Total Cost  Cost Per Roll

Cost By Weight [$2.09/lb]

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

the Home Store [Dollar Store] 4-Roll Pack  Total Cost $1.00  Cost/Roll $0.25, weight= 0.775 lbs.

Cost by Weight [ $1.29/lb]  [Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!]

the Home Store [Dollar Store] 1-Roll 1250 Sheets –  Cost/Roll $1.00, Wt. 218 grams.

Cost by Weight [ $2.08/lb]

Trader Joe 12-Roll Pack  Total Cost  $4.99 Cost/Roll $0.4583

Cost by Weight [$2.21/lb]

Value Corner  [Safeway Stores]  4- Roll Pack- Total Cost $1.50/Roll  $0.375

Cost by Weight [$3.40 /lb]

Is Pricing Toilet Paper a Big Deal Over Time?

Making some estimates that each person in any given household uses up one roll of TP per week, throughout the year. For a family of four, this amounts to 208 rolls of paper  and in 30 years totals 6,240 rolls of paper, averaging around 50 cents/roll.  An approximate  overall savings could be made of about 0.22 cents per roll or $1380 or about $45/year. To find your savings, try putting in your data and see what happens!

The Intangibles in Pricing Toilet Paper

We have looked at pricing toilet paper in several ways, conclude that it really is only unit price/weight which determines the actual cost.  As with any consumer product, there will be the intangibles that may, or may not, be of significant value to the customer. Some of these are the brand, “feel of the paper”, number of  plys, watermarking, perfume, smell, or look of the roll.  Also the ability of the paper to remain whole and not  flake off might also be important. Some persons may wish to select a toilet paper produced the “Green Ad Pages Online Way”, and designated as such with the “Sustainable Forest Initiative Logo” . We have not factored in any of these variables, including toilet paper packaging design. We considered only only one variable, the  “value of the paper”,  as determined only by the cost/weight.  Using this strategy you should find that pricing toilet paper becomes a lot more accurate.  As with all consumer goods, ultimately all  customer’s purchases determine what parameters are valued.

Have You Ever Analyzed Toilet Paper Pricing Before?

I would like to know if pricing toilet paper, using these measurements, is something you do, or ever did in your household.  How do you normally price the TP , by package, by roll, by sheet or some other method. My wife used to only look at the cost of each roll. Later on I suggested costing the sq. meters in the package. This is simple to do as all you have to do is divide the price by the square meters of the paper in the package.  I have since shown her the weight method of calculating the true cost of buying toilet paper. Have you had similar discussions in your household? Please let me know in the comments below.

 Pricing Toilet Paper: Some Surprises! Winner,Winner Chicken Dinner- It’s the Dollar Store 4-Pack!

In some ways, this method of pricing toilet paper  is somewhat academic, and not of great interest to a majority of people. It appears that TP paper companies still might want us to think of our TP purchases in terms of cost per roll, or  perhaps cost per sheet. Its similar concept to  buying vegetables by the “each” , the tray, slice or the bunch, and not by their true cost, which is the cost of the paper per pound.

Surprisingly, we found that the Home Store brand’s, the  4-pack Home Store [(Dollar Store]) was a better value because its cost/lb.equals $1.29/lb., better than another manufacturer’s  12-pack offering!

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner


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