Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cost per Sheet for Paper Products

Okay, I feel pretty stupid.

For years, I've heard or read the advice that one should use the cost per sheet when buying paper items like tissues, paper towels, and toilet paper. Using the cost per sheet instead of the cost per package gives one the real cost of the paper product.

I always assumed that these people were doing some math in the store to figure out the best price -- multiplying the number of sheets per roll by the number of rolls in the package, and dividing the price by this number to figure out the lowest price. This seemed like far too much work, so I've always just looked at the prices and used a bit of reason to grab the package that appeared to be the best deal.

But then yesterday I had a little time to kill, so I decided to break down the cost of the toilet paper offered at my neighborhood Duanne Reade. I set to work multiplying, dividing, and remembering the results of each brand.... and then I spotted the small font on the price tags.

The work had already been done for me! The cost per sheet was already listed right there in front of me, and even though I use the unit price on other items, for years I had ignored it on paper products. As my father would say, "If it were a snake, it woulda bitten you."

It's very likely that I'm the only one who has never noticed it, but just in case I'm not, I want to draw a bit of attention to two things... First, hey look! It's right there! And second, some of the prices are broken down by per sheet, and some are broken down by per 10 sheets, so a little bit of math is still required to not be fooled.

But even looking at the cost per sheet and the cost per 10 sheets, it certainly is a good deal less arithmetic than I previously thought was required. Now I have no excuse, and will be happy to use these price break downs in the future to figure out the best buy.

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