Ask The Readers: What are Your Stock-up Prices on Paper Items?

I love getting to hear from you guys! Here is the latest question that was sent in - and I'm curious what YOUR answers are:

I have been couponing fairly seriously for a year now. I'm looking to reduce my cost on paper goods like paper towels and toilet paper. How do people get such good deals on these items? I can never seem to save more than possibly a dollar and the coupons for these items are usually never more than .25 or .50 cents. What are your "stock up" prices for paper goods, and do you have any tips for how to save a lot on these kinds of items?



  1. angela says

    i would suggest using some Register Rewards from Walgreens or Extra Credit Bucks from CVS to really reduce ur cost of these things and even get them free. u’ll still be able to use ur coupons on the items to lower ur cost even more.

    • Tameka says

      You are so right. Right now Walgreens has a great deal on Cottonelle tissue $5 each. Buy 2 12 pks. and use (1) WIVC-booklet and (2) man. coups and get them for under $4 and get $3RR back. At Cvs get the 8 pk. of Sparkle paper towels for $4.99 and get $1ECB back. Theses are great savings at stock up prices. Even better if you have RR and ECB to put towards the purchase.

      • Mary S says

        Exactly what I was going to say on the Walgreens sale this week–that’s my stockup price on tp. If I run out before the next Walgreens Cottonelle sale, I spend Rite Aid UP rewards on their brand for 90 cents for a pack of 4 (after my 10% discount). Or 89 cents for 4 at Aldi–we like their brand slightly better than Rite Aid, but I’d rather buy it with UP rewards rather than pure cash. :)

  2. dana says

    I do the same as the first comment, usually CVS ecb and a coupon or 2. Or I got to Aldis.
    But my main way to save on paper towels is not to rely on them. I have a roll always in the kitchen but i also buy those mechanic shop towels that you can buy a whole bunch of for really cheap, have a whole massive stash and use them for spills, and general wiping instead of papertowel. Wash and reuse :)

  3. sarina says

    this week at Walgreens if u buy 2 of the purple packs of Cottonell 12 pack of toilet paper which are $5 each. then use the $1 off in walgreens booklet (takes $2 off) and use 2 $.50 MQ u pay $7oop but get $3 RR

  4. says

    In my case for toilet paper $0.25 cents or less per double roll is a great price. Paper towels – Up to $0.35 cents per roll (on good brands) Cheap paper towels won’t absorb enough and ends up being a waste.

  5. Janice says

    Walgreens has the best deal on Cottonelle every 3 months, now during October you can get 2 packs of 12 rolls each (purple bag) for $3 or $1.50 each, $0.12 per roll is a good stock up price.

    • Lisa says

      I was nicely suprised by how good the Cottonelle Ultra is. It’s way softer than, say, Charmin Basic or Scott, and it’s thick so you don’t need to use a lot of sheets. You can’t beat the price and my store said their back room is filled with it. :)

  6. des says

    I get all my paper products from CVS. The sales cycle around often, so I don’t stockpile any paper products.

    I look at the upcoming ads ( to see what will be on sale and what has Extra Bucks deals, so I can compare ads and make my purchases before I run out of TP or paper towels.

    I always use my Green Bag Tag (to use when you bring your own reusable bag), which give me a $ 1 Extra Buck every time it’s used for four separate days of purchases.

  7. Emily says

    One roll of paper towels will last us two months or longer. At dinner we put a dish rag at the table. We all use it then it gets washed. Yes we may use it more than one time before it gets washed. We don’t eat on paper plates. Such a waste of money. For toilet paper your best bet is cvs or walgreens

    • Caroline says

      Ms. Emily: Awww! That reminded me of my dear, now gone, Aunt. She was a great cook and loved to feed people. She often had big dinners, but even eating lunch at her house would be a table of food and barely room for your plate. When it was just my family and/ or her kids and grandkids over to eat, she used what she called a “pass towel”…a dish towel that we all shared. It was fun and intimate. “Hey, uncle, pass the pass-towel, please!” It felt nice to know she considered my family among her closest family. Sort of like the old Southern sentiment of “Back Door Guests are Best.”

  8. Rachel C. says

    For those of you who buy your toilet paper at CVS and/or Walgreen’s, are you sure that you’re comparing apples and oranges? When I’ve looked at the TP sold at the drug stores, the rolls do NOT look to be the same size as the ones (packaged in the same colors) at the grocery stores/Walmart, etc. I buy my TP at Publix most of the time when they have their lowest prices, and I have good manufacturing coupons plus store/competitor coupons. Last time I stocked up was at KMart when they had a rocking sale and I had coupons.

    • Maggi says

      This is very true, and also applies to other products like cereal and crackers. The sizes are often smaller that the usual item in the grocery store. Not that they’re not still a good deal, but it often is less of a good deal than first thought.

    • Amy says

      I just left Walgreens empty handed. I went looking for the Cottonelle toilet paper everyone is talking about. The rolls in the pack seemed super small to me, even though the package said they were double rolls. I also didn’t see any sign for RR when you buy that product. I think I will just stick to the sales at Publix.

      • Toni says

        I thought the same thing when I went to get the Cottonelle at Walgreens. The rolls were super small, so I’m sticking with Publix too. =))

    • Hunter says

      You have to convert to all apples or all oranges. For example, Charmin toilet paper comes in Regular, Double, Mega, Giant size rolls. There may be others. Each package says how they compare to other packages – 16 double rolls = 32 regular rolls, etc. Figure out the cost for the size you want or use and do the math. Get the price per roll of the same size each time.

      • Susie says

        Okay, I must be the only Charmin snob here. 😉 I only buy Charmin Strong, which I know goes against all couponing/saving norms.

        I actually use anything under $0.50 per double roll as a “maybe” buy. At $0.40/double or less, I will buy a lot. And yes, I’m aware this is expensive for most of you! 😉 Double those prices for “Mega.”

        Double Charmin Strong (or Soft) rolls are half the size of the Mega rolls. The “Large” and “Big” that you can find at Wags and elsewhere are smaller even than the Double. I’ve never seen “Giant” – where do they fit in with this game?!

        If someone else has a better deal they do on this kind of Charmin, please post!

        Ditto to the person who posted about Chinet napkins. I buy a LOT when they have the cheap price after coupons…it doesn’t come around that often. When I run out, I use half-sheets of paper towels.

  9. Tiffany says

    I stocked up on toilet paper a while back at walgreens. They had it for 5$ for a pack of 12 cottonelle. The store had a 2 dollar off coupon and we had a manufactor coupon for .75. The store was giving register rewards when purchasing 2 at that time. For paper towels, I wait until the grocery stores mark those down or bogo for one roll and stock up then. I have also gotten bounty 6 packs at cvs when they had a gas card promotion.

  10. says

    I stock up on paper towels when they are priced 50 cents or less. I try to get the 1000 sheet rolls of toilet paper for 50 cents or less each.

  11. Peggy says

    Sometimes when I am purchasing paper products, I am really trying to maximize the number of products that I get for the money. Like some of the other comments advise, I use register rewards to purchase paper towels and toliet paper a good bit of the time. This morning I got eight Dixie products at Publix for 2/4.00. I used the Free Brawny Paper Towels wyb 2 Dixie products store coupon plus a .50/1 manufacturer’s coupon on each paper towel. (The store coupon subtracted 2.29 per roll and the .50 cent coupon doubled.) At the end of it all, I got 12 products (4 paper towels, 2 bowls, 2 dessert plates, 2 dinner plates, and 2 luncheon plates) for $11. 70. I was happy with that savings.

  12. Nathasha Jackson says

    I wait until the price is really low at Publix, Winn Dixie and Target for paper towels and then I stock up. The best toilette paper deals are at the drug stores, Kmart and Family Dollar. Regardless of the sale, Scott Toilette paper has the most sheets for the roll and doubles in size. AN ALL TIME STOCK ITEM! To hold me over between paper towel purchases, we use paper napkins from our Dollar Store (Dollar Tree). Over 3000 napkins per pack last the 4 of us which includes two kids for two weeks.

    • Toni says

      I agree about Scott Toilet paper!! Thanx for the tip about Dollar Tree napkins, I hadn’t thought to look there. =))

  13. says

    My rule of thumb is if it costs less with coupons than it would without coupons at Aldi, then I buy it. I used to be an Aldi snob and thought you couldn’t get anything cheaper than at Aldi. I know better now! I keep a Word document on my laptop with a price list of Aldi products and refer to it when comparing prices.

    • Caroline says

      Ms. Wilson: That’s a good system! My household is a little more lax about savings. Our time is a little more precious than our money. If I can get an inedible product at Publix for cheaper than it would be bought in bulk on sale at Target or Wally, I go for it. I love your Aldi idea, though. I will remember that when I start looking for ways to save more than I do now.

  14. says

    The way to know if you are getting a good deal on Toilet paper is to look at the total square footage in the package. It will be in parenthesis (206.2 SF). Move the decimal point over 2 places and anything at that number or lower is a stock up price. So for this package anything less than 2.06.

  15. Ashley says

    I try to spend no more than $.18 per(double) roll on toilet paper. As for paper towels, my family goes through so few of them that I don’t have to worry about them often. When we are running low I am for no more that .50 a roll which isn’t too excellent of a price but since we don’t go through many rolls (maybe 6 a year?) we don’t really have to worry about them. Napkins I will not pay more than .01 a piece but usually get those dirt cheap when Chinet goes on sale bogo at Publix (.08 for 90 count) and stock up on them for a long time (kids sure do get dirty when they eat lol).

    I buy most of my paper goods from Publix and buy as many as I can when they have them at a low price matched with competitor coupons and mm. I buy toilet paper about twice a year and make sure I have enough to last. Same thing with paper towels.

  16. Jennifer N. says

    I also tend to pick up these items at CVS and Walgreen’s – they frequently have $10 wyb $25 in certain paper products (which you can also combine with coupons), and Walgreen’s has a really good Cottonelle deal (2 12 packs for $5 each, plus coupons and RR = about $2 each!)

    One thing that I’ve done also is reduce our need to purchase these products. Instead of paper towels, we try to use re-usable cloth for cleaning. You can buy packs of small squares of cloth, or you can make your own out of old sheets or T-shirts. We also use cloth napkins in lieu of paper. Hope this helps!

  17. Elyn says

    I save on paper towels by not using them. I think we have one roll in the house that we’ve been working on for 3-4 months. I only use it for blotting/draining oily foods. I do own 20-30 basic flour sack kitchen towels that get used for all cleaning tasks and are frequently laundered with bleach.

  18. Kimberly says

    Like a lot of the others have mentioned, I tend to go for the Cottonelle deals at Walgreens also. Just today I got two packages, used two $0.75/1 coupons and two $1/1 Walgreens coupons AND received $3 in RR, which I then used to buy a pumpkin that was priced at $3.99. So, for about $7.49, I got 24 rolls and a pumpkin. Works for me! I really like the Cottonelle too because it’s so soft and absorbent that you actually end up using less, making it a good value. Paper towels, $0.50 or less per roll is the best I’ve been able to get. There’s no perfect number or formula for a “stock-up price.” It differs for each person. I figure that if you feel like you’re getting a good value for what you’re paying, then it’s a good price.

  19. Jennifer says

    For paper towels, we use the washable rags u can get for like $2 for 8, on spills and general cleaning in the kitchen. Bit I will not spend anymore than .25 on a roll of paper towels. On toilet paper about .18 a double roll is my stock up price,

  20. Lois says

    drugstore deals are where we stock up for the most part. For example the Cottonelle deal @ Walgreens right now is a good time to stock up. I was able to get a 12 pack of Cottonelle for $1.50 after coupons and RR, which works out to $0.13 a roll!!! My stock up price might be higher than others but it comes from my years of living @ home with my mom. She always stocks up on CVS toilet paper when it was $0.33/roll or less, so I use that as well. I’m not really sure how she decided that :-). It may just be from watching sales, but it has worked nicely. You can also get good deals with ECBs @ CVS, though you may have to use more ECBs some weeks, but it nevertheless reduces your OOP.

  21. Lisa says

    We own a small business so when I shop at Staples and get those great rewards I take my rewards check and buy TP or paper towels – they go on sale frequently. That way paper goods are a “business perk”

  22. Donna says

    I wait for the Bilo sales. For example last week the Brawny paper towels were 10 for $10. I used the .50 manufacturer coupons which doubled so I got them for free. A few weeks I got the same deal for the Bounty paper towels. The Cottonelle double rolls were on sale for 5.99, I used the Walgreens $1 coupon and stacked it with $1 manu coupon. I paid 3.99 for each pack.

  23. jULIE says

    Are there any good sites or blog tabs that have paper good deals??? Just like they do for diapers. I have a hard time knowing when to buy these until im desperate. PLEASE HELP!!!

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