Thursday, March 29, 2007

Cha Cha Cha...

I can tell I'm getting older because I'm getting more set in my ways. I'm just not as flexible and easy going as I used to be. Take, for instance, toilet paper. There was a time when I had no preference. Give me dyes, perfumes; quilted, not--heck I would even take one-ply and not even flinch. I probably would have been happy with newspaper!

And then, over time, I started caring a little bit...I would get annoyed when the TP was on the holder going under, instead of over. I noticed the different types of quilting, or lack thereof. I felt the different levels of roughness in the paper. I wondered why some people were so cheap that they couldn't even spring for two-ply. I pondered whether they consciously chose this sub-standard way of living, or if they were just ignorant. Are there people out there that actually put the toilet paper on the holder in an underly fashion on purpose?!?

Then came the dilemma. As a child and even into my teens and twenties, I often accompanied my mom on grocery shopping trips. During those trips to Waremart (now WinCo) and Safeway, Mom taught me some valuable lessons, like how to get some extra cash without Dad knowing by writing the check for ten dollars over, and where to hide the King-sized Hershey's with Almonds so no one would find it, and so it wouldn't melt in the summer heat! (Maybe someday we should explore this need to hide things ! :)

But I digress...I also learned some tried and true money-saving rules. One of the rules is to have a top price in mind for something. When the product you're looking for falls below that price, stock up--when it's above that price, avoid buying it if you can. What's funny, is I still live by many of those prices today: I never pay more than $1 for a Tostino's pizza, $1 for a can of Ravioli, $1 for a can of juice, $4.99 for a pound of deli meat. Although I often have to, I hate to pay more than $1 for a pint of sour cream, $2 for a gallon of milk, $2.50 for a quart of ice cream and $2 for a Lean Cuisine Entree.

Here's the dilemma: one of Mom's price rules was that she never payed more than $5 for the equivalent of 24 rolls of toilet paper. Naturally, I adopted that rule, and with the specials that would come and go, I was usually able to get some Angel Soft or Walmart's White Cloud brand for around that price. And that was good enough for me. Then one day I got some Quilted Northern on sale. I liked the feel of the paper, and the quilting, but I noticed that it was a little fragile and often left some remnants, if you know what I mean. Now, I'm a girl who prefers to be hygienic, so that wouldn't do. I happily went back to the cute babies on the package.

Until I walked into Smith's one day and saw a mother of a sale: 12 big (supposedly double) rolls of Charmin Ultra for $4.99! (Insert angels singing here) I snatched it up and when I came out of the bathroom that next time, I was a changed woman. No other paper would ever be enough for me. The softness, the strength, the texture--all of it made the trip to the bathroom an event, not merely a routine!

But here (really, this time!) is the dilemma: Charmin Ultra has not been on sale since, and their so-called double roll is not as big as the White Cloud double roll. I think they call it a double roll, but don't even make a single roll anymore, because it would only have a few squares on it! So do I feel guilty and pay an enormous amount of money for a really good product, or do I go back to the so-so paper that every time I use just makes me long for the good stuff? That, my friends, is my struggle. I've kind of settled into a little pattern: I never pay full price for the good stuff. Some times that means I just get the economical stuff, but I'm always on the lookout for my little bear friends to be on sale!

What are your little indulgences?


  1. Andrea12:25 AM

    I LOVED this article. I too have become more picky about the brands, softness, etc. of the toilet paper. Some days going to the bathroom is my ONLY break from kids, and why not enjoy a little part of it, right?!

  2. Funny post...I try not to buy charmin because it is so soft--I'm afraid of liking it too much. I actually like the kirkland (costco) brand.

    my indulgences: real butter, salon brand shampoo (it might be my imagination, but it makes my thin hair seem thicker), quilt shop fabric (this is a new one. I used to buy all my fabric at Joann's or walmart, but then I started buying a few yards here and there of the good quality quilt shop fabric, and now I can't go back...this is a BAD indulgence.) Cheerios (not the store brand...I can get away with most generic brand cereals, but not Cheerios.) That's all I can think of now. This was fun.

  3. I, too, love the feel of Charmin. But when you have kids old enough to wipe their own bums, Charmin doesn't work. It's "too" comfy, "too" thick, "too" quilty. They use altogether too much of it and it clogs up the toilets.
    On another note...want to hear a toilet paper horror story? I went to the dollar store to buy various items. I found these big snack bags of trail mix advertised at 2/$1. I thought the kids would enjoy them for after school snacks. After I made the purchase, I looked at my receipt and I had been charged $1 a piece. I talked to the clerk, who assured me they were rung up correctly. It was as much a matter of principle as anything, but I wanted to return them. I was told they don't do returns, but I could exchange them for something else right then. Of course, I was in a huge hurry by then and so I ran through the store trying to find something useful. I decided on toilet paper. Bad move. Do not EVER, and I repeat E*V*E*R buy toilet paper from the dollar store. I ended up with about 6 packages of sand paper rolls.


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