Here on BargainBabe.com we discuss and debate many important strategies to save money on groceries, eating out, and other everyday expenses. But occasionally I venture into really important things, like whether it is cheaper to blow your nose into tissue or toilet paper.
I decided to crunch the numbers after running out of tissues last week. Should I buy another box, or install an unsightly roll of toilet paper on my desk?
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am biased against toilet paper.
I crunched the numbers and am prepared to settle this debate once and for all.
I pay $.79 per box of 110 tissues (sale price at Walgreens), which is $.0072 per tissue (just under 1-cent each).
I pay no more than $.50 per roll for toilet paper (Walgreens often sells a 9-pack of Quilted Northern for $4, about 100 sheets per roll). At $.50 a roll for 100 sheets, that amounts to $.005 per sheet (half of one penny). If I use four sheets every time I blow by nose, that costs me $.02.
To recap, each tissue costs me under a penny while a wad of toilet paper costs me two cents.
Tissues are cheaper! And less unsightly than a roll of tp. If you regularly pay higher or lower prices for tissue and/or toilet paper, you’ll need to crunch your own numbers.
An alternative that cuts down on waste is to buy a few cloth hanky’s and rotate them through the wash.
UPDATE: Readers chimed in with questions and interesting points. Junie said:
Ever had a cold and used TP to wipe your nose? Kleenex doesn’t leave my nose red and sore…
If your nose is sore from blowing – and I’ve had it happen from using tp and tissue – dab a bit of lotion on the irritated skin. This moisturizing the skin and has worked well for me.
I prefer to use a tissue. TP is made to dissolve when wet so that it doesn’t hold up well with a runny nose. I also use more TP when I have to use it on my nose. I try to buy tissues when it goes on sales and I have coupons.
Myke’s point about tp dissolving makes sense and is another reason to buy tissues on sale so you have them on hand when a runny nose hits.