This in turn put me in mind of dental floss, the cost of which has long been a personal pet peeve. What is the stuff spun by eunuch silkworms? It's THREAD, for heaven's sake! Tell me three hundred yards doesn't cost about .00008 cents to manufacture! Tell me the inventor of Glide isn't sitting in a Frank Lloyd Wright mansion with their own personal in-house dentist, laughing his or her way to the bank while we saw away down below...
But it was while trolling the aisles of Rite-Aid the other afternoon that an outrageous markup, an unconscionable profit margin, a staggering cost of daily life to which I had hitherto given scant thought was revealed to me. I refer of course to toilet paper. $8.69 plus (just shy of 10%) tax for 12 rolls of Simplify, the cheapest brand on the shelf. Again, are they hand-pressing the stuff from Egyptian papyrus?
There has got to be a cheaper way, I thought, and came right home and googled "industrial toilet paper." Maybe I could go with those gigantic rolls they have in airports and office buildings, I mused. Of course since it wouldn't fit in a regular holder you'd just have to let it sit there on the floor dripping water on it as you got out of the shower and also, if someone came to visit, reveal you're insane, but I've gone to way greater lengths than that to save a buck.
Anyway, who knew there's a whole world out there of janitorial supplies? On Cleanit, for example, you can buy 60 rolls of Scott Extra Soft for $48.86, 10 4-packs of Charmin Ultra Soft for $36.94, or--this last caught my eye right away--24 rolls of Windsoft 2-ply "Recycled" for $11.76.
I must say the description gave me pause, though: "Premium wrapper adds an upscale touch to any facility. Brighter and whiter...Safe for sewer and septic systems. Individually wrapped...Softer and more absorbent toilet tissue provides 'at-home quality'. Meets EPA guidelines for post-consumer content. 40% post-consumer waste content"...
"Post-consumer waste content"? Is it made from other people's...? GROSS! Probably all TP is, but if so I REALLY don't want to know. More to the point, 60 rolls of Scott weigh 16 pounds and cost $9.90 UPS ground to ship, thereby more or less offsetting any savings. Again, Mother Teresa was ahead of the curve as apparently people in India often use their hand.
I'm not quite ready for that. But I did happen upon the wikipedia entry for toilet paper which is highly entertaining and contains some atypical "personal opinion"; to wit: "Toilet paper is a soft paper product (tissue paper) used to maintain personal hygiene after human defecation or urination. However, it can also be used for other purposes such as blowing one's nose when one has a cold or absorbing common spills around the house, although paper towels are more used for this particular purpose."
People don't use toilet paper to absorb common spills! They use their shirt sleeve or the hem of their hoodie!
Anyway, you can learn more on this entry about hygiene during the Tang Dynasty; the use of wool, hemp, lace (!), sand, seaweed, and corncobs; ply, pattern, dispensers, and the Whole World Toilet Paper Museum. So there's my latest budget-tip foray, writing about which is much, MUCH more fun than looking for a job.
|Here's a money-making idea: "Art" prints.|
This one is called Two Desiccated Leaves on an Oil-Stained Sidewalk
|Two Leaves and a Sneaker|
|Call the Ambulance|
Have a great weekend!