From the Magazine

4 Easy Ways to Save Cash on Paper Towels and Toilet Paper

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We all use napkins, tissues, and other paper products every day, making them a large chunk of our grocery budget. Fortunately, these smart tricks make it easy to save every time you buy them, so you can keep more cash in your wallet.

Stock up on two-ply.

Think you’ve got to give up comfort to save money on toilet paper? Not at all! Simply buy your favorite high-quality two-ply brands in large bulk sizes (which cost less per roll) and when on sale. Believe it or not, a study from the University of Michigan and the University of California at Davis discovered that by following this simple step, you’ll spend essentially the same amount as when purchasing cheap one-ply toilet paper brands — without sacrificing quality.

Hit the cheapest stores.

For the biggest savings, head to Target, advises Schisler. “Not only do they have great deals on paper towels, toilet paper, and other paper goods, they frequently offer deals where you earn a $5 Target gift card when purchasing a certain number of paper products.” Prefer online shopping? “Sign up for Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program, which gives you a 15 percent discount when you subscribe to five products per month,” she advises. Stack them with Amazon coupons, and you’ll save up to 35 percent!

Score bonus coupons.

Sure, you can find coupons for paper products in store circulars — and don’t stop there! You can often find bonus coupons at the websites of your favorite brands, such as Kleenex and Bounty, says Heather Schisler, founder of PassionForSavings.com. “Papergoods manufacturers know they’ve got lots of stiff competition from other brands, so they offer moneysaving incentives to win you over as a customer.”

Make this smart swap.

In some cases, you can ditch paper products altogether and replace them with an inexpensive permanent solution that you only need to purchase once, says Lydia Senn, founder of FrugalDebtFreeLife.com. Her clever swap? She uses baby burp cloths (about $7 for a pack of three) instead of paper towels to clean up messy spills. “They are super absorbent and last wash through wash.” Another trick: Use cloth napkins instead of paper — simply opt for ones in a dark-hued pattern to best camouflage any stains.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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