This question got me thinking, I spend around $3 per week on toilet paper for the bathroom.

If I could half that, I could save ((3*52) *60 years of life left) = $9,360 over the rest of the course of my life!!! Now, if I invest that money and get generous returns, we could be talking a 6 figure return on this opportunity.

So my question is: How can I reduce my toilet paper usage by 50%? Are there any particular 'wiping' techniques I could use? Perhaps something to reduce bathroom frequency or maybe some kind of water cleaner like they use in Japan?

Answers greatly appreciated.

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    You spend enough time in there, don’t you think that if you are unhappy with the rate of your tissue consumption that you could experiment until you found a better technique?
    – Ben Miller
    Aug 30, 2019 at 13:14
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    The one thing that I like about this question is it get attention. While the premise is a bit silly, it does show knowledge of how small changes can make big impacts. Over 50 years, $7 per month could grow to over 120K. Wow. Imagine how much wealthier we would the average person be if they avoided car and credit card interest payments? Or if they bought used instead of new cars and saved rather than paid the depreciation? The opportunity is out there, we just have to have the right consumer behavior to realize the wealth.
    – Pete B.
    Aug 30, 2019 at 14:05
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    How many people in your household? $3/week sounds like a lot.
    – Hart CO
    Aug 30, 2019 at 14:45
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    @Cloud On-topic would be Q: How do I reduce expenditure? A: Look to cut-down on recurrent costs (e.g. toilet-paper). But How do I wipe my bottom better? isn't. IMHO. Perhaps better suited to Lifehacks.se (although I've not checked their on-topic criteria).
    – TripeHound
    Aug 30, 2019 at 15:10
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    The best way to use less TP is to not go at home, always go at work when possible. Need to go in the morning, then go into the office early. Things starting to move late in the day, don't go home, stay at work (both you and the traffic will be lighter for the trip home!) As an added benefit, your boss will think you are putting in extra time. Note, these are ideas from a book I've been wanting to write for the last 30 years entitled "Always Crap on Company Time - and other ways to get ahead in the business world."
    – Glen Yates
    Aug 30, 2019 at 16:08

4 Answers 4


I love the bidet idea. Other than that you've got an array of tissue quality options that can impact price significantly.

You could try to go for the truckstop/restaurant quality giant rolls, might save you a bit, but standard sized rolls frequently go on sale. The Costco toilet paper standard price (might vary by area) is $0.00125/sheet. If you already have a membership that's a great option. Otherwise stock up when there are good sales. One of the foremost experts on toilet paper deal tracking only purchases when the price is under $0.00253 per sheet, but few sales strike lower than the Costco price, just be sure to factor in membership cost if you don't already have one.

Using $3/week sounds like a lot. Maybe you have a large household and this reasonable, but I'm guessing there is a technique issue. Apparently a large number of people just tear/wad/wipe and repeat. Even https://howtowipeyourbutt.com/ shows the inefficient wad method. The more efficient approach is wipe, fold, wipe again, until the the folded size becomes unusable. What I've gleaned from personal experience and quick scan of some search results is that people who fold typically use 3-4 sheets to clean themselves up.

There could also be a dietary component, if every cleaning effort is an ordeal that is not normal.

Edit: Just checked Sam's Club, they have 1,000 foot rolls of rest-stop/restaurant style 2-ply 6 for $20.34. These are non-perforated, but if you go with 3-sheets per foot that's a per sheet price of $0.00113. Not a pleasant way to save a few cents a week in my opinion.


You could invest into a bidet.

A bidet is a shower which allows you to clean your nether-regions after using the toilet. When you use a bidet, you can use a lot less toilet paper. But you will of course slightly increase your warm water consumption.

They are available in form of a stand-alone installation which looks like a cross-breed between a toilet and a sink or as add-ons for a regular toilet.

The add-on solution can be pretty inexpensive (Amazon has some for below $30), but I wouldn't expect those to work for very long. A dedicated bidet can be more expensive (not the material itself but mostly the work to get it installed, which can vary a lot on how your bathroom is designed and what handymen cost in your area) but will likely last for a lifetime.

  • 1
    Any thoughts on what the payback time would be on installing a bidet at the OP's rate of tissue consumption?
    – Ben Miller
    Aug 30, 2019 at 14:16
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    @BenMiller Stand-alone bidets go for below $200 on amazon.com, addons for toilets for a lot less. But the expensive part appears to be to get it installed. Unfortunately we can only guess here, because it would depend on how OPs bathroom is designed, if OP feels comfortable doing the necessary work themselves or not and what professional plumbers cost in their area. Any in-depth questions about how to install a bidet should be asked on diy.stackexchange.com
    – Philipp
    Aug 30, 2019 at 14:18
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    Don't they leave you with a wet bum? Do you still tissue dry after using?
    – Hart CO
    Aug 30, 2019 at 14:38
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    @BenMiller Definitely need one of those then, else you're back to square one on tissue usage.
    – Hart CO
    Aug 30, 2019 at 14:43
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    @Ben Miller: But you then have to figure the cost of the electricity used to run the blow dryer :-) And to pump the water, or your service charges if you're on a municipal system...
    – jamesqf
    Aug 30, 2019 at 17:44

If you are spending $3/week on toilet paper, the likely problem is not the wiping technique, but the folding technique. People who wad up a large amount of paper will use far more than someone who pulls out 5 or so sheets (2-ply) and folds them.

As a child I had a friend with a very large family, and there was a house rule that limited the number of sheets used. I thought it was odd, but I learned that with very little effort some waste could be avoided, so I adjusted my behavior.

I make it a point to avoid wasteful behaviors because I know that wasteful habits add up over time. Whether it's the impact to my budget, or to the environment, or whatever, I try to find reasonable efficiency habits and adopt them. This change is probably one that could save you plenty of money through your lifetime, but your costs strike me as higher than what I would expect on average.


You could save money on the paper instead. For example, Costco Kirkland Signature paper is $26.99 for 36 rolls, or 75 cents per roll. It seems unlikely that you’re personally using four rolls per week, so you could save money by switching. (I have no affiliation with Costco.)

  • 1
    And be sure to buy a lifetime supply so that you don't have to re-up your Costco membership.
    – Hart CO
    Aug 30, 2019 at 14:41
  • @HartCO a lifetime supply risks spoilage. I lost a roll in a vanity cabinet once on a sink leak. People in hurricane territory might have water intrusion in storage areas.
    – user662852
    Aug 30, 2019 at 23:10
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    @user662852 Though I was just joking about getting a lifetime supply storage is a problem for all kinds of bulk purchases. For backpacking/camping/boating vacuum sealing some toilet paper works brilliantly, not practical for a lifetime supply of toilet paper though.
    – Hart CO
    Aug 30, 2019 at 23:26

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