Yes, everything is going up in price. Except for things we hope will go up. A few years ago I did a column on the cost of Bathroom Tissue. I broke the price down to per sheet and per ply. I mean, how do you know which big package is the best buy?
I posit that they all do an adequate job doing what they are made to do. Yes, some are softer and thicker, but I’m not convinced that those characteristics actually impact the product performance.
The other day I was confronted with the massive packages, sale prices, ply, and ‘mega’ vs ‘ultra’ again. So I did the research, again, and here are the findings.
I’m not making any value judgments. I’m not comparing products, I’m simply calculating the price of the product.
How I calculated the price.
First of all, I calculated the number of single-ply sheets in the package. Then I calculated the cost per single-ply sheet. Then I calculated the cost per sold sheet. For example, if the product is sold as 2-ply, I doubled the single-ply sheet price.
Then I calculated how many sheets of product, off the roll, for a penny. This is just what it costs per sheet you roll off the roll.
This is the tell, for me. The most expensive was 1.2 sheets per penny. The best was 4.9 sheets per penny. That’s a span of almost 500%.
However, if we look at the price per 2-ply ( if it’s 3-ply, I used the per-ply cost times three for the sheet price in the last column), one product came in at 5.4 sheets per penny.
That’s pretty good on paper, but the pack size ( 48 rolls) and the availability (wholesale store only) were a deterrent for me. And really, is 3-ply 30% more efficient than the 2-ply?
The one that did surprise me was the Eco-friendly one at Walmart. Typically these products are more expensive than the ‘generic’, but this one actually rates near the top of sheets per penny.
And if you see glaring errors in the math, please let me know. I don’t care about rounding issues; I set the prices to two decimal places, which does impact later calculations, yes.