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Paper Products Aisle

Save Money on Groceries: Paper Products 
by Michelle Jones,

Tip # 1 - Make Room 

Purchase paper products when on sale and stock up with an extra package or two if you have room for them in your kitchen pantry or garage.

Tip # 2 - Increase Savings

Coupons for these products are pretty common because the brand name companies are trying to win our business. Combine sales with coupons whenever possible to increase your savings.

Tip # 3 - Paper

Don't be brand loyal unless you can afford it... and even then, remember, it's just paper!

Tip # 4 - Discounts

As for store brands here, I cannot really recommend any that I've tried--especially not tissue products. I prefer to get the best buys on name brand products as often as possible by waiting for sales and using coupons when available. And shopping at discount stores.

Tip # 5 - Dollar Stores

Dollar stores are also great for paper products, each one may only have a small supply of name brand items but boy can they be cheap.

Tip # 6 - Monthly Trip

Schedule a monthly trip to your local discount store of choice to pick up any paper products you might need that may not have gone on sale yet.  At least you'll still get them for a good price.  (And trust me, running out of toilet paper because you're waiting for a better sale will not help your family get on board with your money-saving venture!)

Tip # 7 - Cheaper than Maid Service

Try to use paper plates and paper or plastic cups as little as possible, and these products should definitely be purchased at discount stores. As a busy working mom we often resort to using paper plates on a regular basis, but I still cringe every time I put them in my shopping cart. The only thing that I can say in my defense is that they are cheaper than maid service! ;o)

Tip # 8 - Picnics

Picnic supplies such as plastic forks, spoons and knives can also often be purchased at discount or dollar stores for much less than the grocery store, unless they're on a really good sale.  Sometimes you can bring your regular tableware (just be careful not to throw them out with the trash) and bring them home to wash when the picnic is over.  You can also look for a second set of inexpensive tableware at yard sales for outside use, and save your good set for inside use only.

Tip # 9 - Rotating Sales

Paper products (like toilet paper and paper towels) often go on rotating sales.  In other words, "name brand A" may be on sale this week, while "name brand B" may go on sale next week, and so on.  So if you prefer name brand paper products like we do, just play the game and be patient for your brand of choice to go on sale.

Tip # 10 - Ultra Cheap

Over the years I've found that the old saying 'you get what you pay for' often applies to several paper products. I won't even consider buying ultra cheap toilet paper, facial tissue or even paper towels that seem to run out within a few days. It may cost a little more to buy a better brand, but to me it's worth it. If you can get by with the store brand paper products, God bless you!

Tip # 11 - Wash and Reuse

Use washable hand towels in the kitchen as much as possible to cut down on your use of paper towels and napkins, this can make a huge difference.  You'll need to take into account the cost of initially buying them and washing them each week, but still it should always be cheaper in the long run than using paper towels.

Tip # 12 - Not All Spills Are Equal

Teach your children the difference between a hand towel spill and a paper towel spill. For example: RED Kool-Aid is a definite paper towel spill!

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Readers' Tips...

"Do you want to know how to get cubes of tissues at a quarter the cost?  Just open the SIDE of an empty box (leave the plastic guides in) and take about 90 tissues out of one of the 280-count boxes of Kleenex (the only one that works because they are interleaved to pop up one at a time), fold them over and carefully tease the top Kleenex into the cube opening. Then tape the side of the box with a piece of package tape. I ALWAYS buy the big boxes with coupons and have refilled some of my cute little cubes more than four or five times before they begin to look ragged. And, when you are using them inside bathroom cube tissue dispensers it doesn't matter if the box you are refilling is beginning to look shabby." - Mary Johnson of Ohio

"I used to go through a roll of paper towels every day to every other day (I have kids that spill A LOT and I am a little OCD with cleaning and hand washing). I started buying bar towels from Walmart and using them in place of paper towels. I cleaned out a junk drawer by the sink and put the folded hand towels there. After a week or so it became second nature to grab a towel instead of a paper towel. At the end of the night I just toss the whole pile of rags in the wash and the next morning into the dryer, 30 minutes later, I am ready for the day! Also, just recently I found a local commercial cleaners that does hospital floor mats and restaurant napkins and table cloths. I went in and asked for any less than perfect bar towels, napkins, etc and they sold me a HUGE bag for $7. You can't buy the big pack of paper towels for that! The rags that were in really bad shape, I gave to my husband for his garage. I can't tell you the last time I bought a pack of paper towels! I later asked about less than perfect floor mats, they GAVE me a stack of thick commercial carpeted mats. They don't slip and are great for in front of the sink and stove where I seem to stand for hours. How cool, when they get really dirty I lay them on the back porch and hose them off. If I ever have to toss them, I don't feel guilty because they were free and I have gotten a TON of use out of them." - Kathyrn

"One store brand I do approve of, and I only buy Quilted Northern TP, is Target Brand. It’s hard to tell the difference. Although, if the QN is on sale, I’m not sure how much you would actually save with the Target brand." - Hillary Prichard

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