Please don’t flush it

My children do not deserve Charmin.

Here’s the thing about the budget. I’ve cut back over the past year on a lot of things. Pedicures, hair appointments, wardrobe, eating out–virtually every corner of our life (minus our Comcast bill) has been scavenged for spare change. And it’s been good. We’re amazing. We’ve paid off massive amounts of our mountain, and haven’t put a penny on the credit card.

But there are some things that I’m just not willing to go without. Bare Minerals, for one. Anti-aging skin care, for another. I refuse to pass up a good deal on a girdle, will not sacrifice date night, however cheap it might be, and I insist on renting occasional movies. But top of the list? Good toilet paper.

Because let’s face it. Boys might not care that much, but as a girl, I need quality toilet paper. It’s one of the most under appreciated articles of household convenience the market. I don’t think we even realize how lucky we are to have toilet paper (versus foliage or newspaper). And no matter how hard I try to cut back, I like expensive toilet paper.

The only problem with having small children and an affinity for a classy wipe is that small children underestimate the value of a single square of toilet paper. Now that June is mostly potty trained (minus the pooping which I’m really sick of), she loves having a license to wipe. And let me tell you, that girl has some kind of handle on toilet paper.

I am now plunging on a daily basis, watching all that lovely, expensive soft tissue go right down the toilet in mass quantities. No matter how hard I try, I have to ask myself. Is this really worth it?

I don’t know, maybe the ghost of Dave Ramsey is haunting my vanity. Although, if the only thing I’ve got left as far as pride goes is a few squares of toilet paper, then I’m doing pretty darn good.


  1. Maybe you can hoard your special TP and buy nasty TP for the kids?

    This is probably TMI, but we use baby wipes in our household. Adam’s dad was in the military and this was what he used. It’s delightful!

  2. Oh girl, we discovered that with our oldest. Since then he has Sam’s Club’s cheapest in his bathroom and I have Charmin in mine. NO WAY I’m going without it. There have been times when I had to use their bathroom and I would keep a stash for me or guests. In fact when guests come over I offer a choice of bathrooms based on type of paper. He’s unloaded almost an entire roll before and the toilet can handle the cheap stuff but not the charmin. Since switching I’ve never had to plunge and before we were doing it daily.

  3. There are few things a girl just can’t skimp on, no matter how poor you are (and in this case, no matter how much your daughter wastes) and quality toilet paper is one of them.

    Also, peanut butter.

    Maybe you could buy the store brand just for her until she knows how much to use. 🙂

  4. I agree with Kristina. Get the 1-ply stuff for the babies, and keep the good stuff in the master bath.

  5. I skimp on everything. But most especially toilet paper. And the reason is Lauren. My darling Lauren is OLDER than June and likes to play with toilet paper and isn’t even a little potty trained. She recently discovered if you don’t break the roll and put a bunch in the water then flush, it will flush most of the roll. We now hide it after she clogged the toilet. She is my little menace who is trying to use me as a jungle gym right now. I need to go do a time out.

    • annie valentine says:

      I found an entire previously soaking wet role in the cupboard this week. She’d dunked it, realized her error, then hid it right back where she found it.

  6. I guess I’ve been lucky that my kids figured out that a little goes a long way when it’s quality. It took us a while to figure out why the toilet ALWAYS got plugged when my nephews were here!!!
    (I’ve actually been contemplating what to do when we host the family reunion here this summer…)
    Because I totally agree about the TP. You just don’t compromise on that. Especially if you’ve ever served a mission in parts of Mexico where there was occasionally no toilet paper TO BUY! (Thank goodness for the church news-eh?)
    So ya, that was a deal breaker when we got married (if I had a pre-nup, it would have been on the first line)- no cheap toilet paper. Charmin only.

    Oh, and after 8 moves in the first 2 1/2 years of marriage we have also learned that packing tape is just not worth buying cheap. Spring for the Scotch.

  7. I HAVE to have Charmin. There is no other.
    and I need to take lessons from you in cutting back. I’m sitting here, looking at my budget, thinking I’m pretty frugal, and wondering where all our $$ went.

    Will you be my personal coach?

  8. I just recently discovered the wonder of Charmin! Apparently, I grew up in a cheap household, and didn’t know any better (with a house full of girls, my parents probably had a late night discussion making an agreement to never introduce us to the good stuff, because we’d be living in a cardboard box with indoor plumbing if they did!) Funny thing, my husband doesn’t really care for Charmin. I have taken some pretty extreme measures to convince him to keep buying it for me. I won’t even get started on Bug…he thinks toilet paper is conveniently placed for blowing your nose while your on the pot!

  9. Oh dear. I have to tell you, I really prefer the single-ply sandpaper type toilet paper. Cheaper, last longer, gets places efficiently, never clogs. My husband throws a fit when I buy it. His bum is too precious. Me, I’m a real woman.

    My splurge I’ll never be able to give up? Target. I just can’t!

  10. Hey, I say use the good stuff in your bathroom only and use the cheaper kind in all the other bathrooms. Let’s face it, if you’re the only one that cares enough to use the very best, you can certainly be stingy and feel spoiled at the same time! Problem solved!

  11. I’m SO opposed to chaffing.
    We have “the boys'” bathroom and My bathroom. My kids don’t flush TP down in the quantities that they used to, but if they did, they’d be getting the nasty stuff and I’d keep my comfy stuff hidden away. However, I still have 2 left to potty train…

  12. Do you share a bathroom with your children? Because if you don’t, you keep the good stuff in your bathroom and the 1 ply in the kids. Works like a charm. . .

  13. It makes me so mad how expensive toilet paper is. And there is nothing we can do about it! They know we can’t stop buying it. They know they have us over a barrel! It’s the only truly recession proof product. ARG. (I have a lot of feelings about this.) (Apparently.)

  14. I thought you were going to post the rest of your Valentine’s Day story??? Where is it?

  15. When my husband served his mission in the Philippines they had to wash their butts with a bucket of nasty water instead of using toilet paper. This kind of makes me happy to have the super cheap TP. Just don’t hand me a bucket.

  16. Charmin is great!

  17. Well at least they use it? My issue is with Tristan not flushing it but walking in a room with toilet paper strewn everywhere and half of it is wet. It’s driving me up the wall!

  18. decomposable gold….

  19. This reminds of when we pottytrained our oldest and she was a paper wasting queen. This forced us to leave out a few strips on the counter and the roll out of reach. Which would force her to scream, ” I need my toilet papers!” at any old time after she had wasted the first batch. I am still chuckling about that now. It wasn’t too funny at the time because I was usually nursing her new baby sister.

  20. I put the cheapest toilet paper I can find in the kids bathroom for this very reason. I save the good stuff for our bathroom where it can be fully appreciated.

  21. I’m so with you on the TP. I refuse to sacrifice for less. I’ll never go back. They can’t make me.

  22. Annie, Buy Ms Junie her own TP make it her special roll and get 1ply that way she will think she is really something with her own roll.