Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Toilet Paper News

I offer this outstanding news for those who hoarded the same toilet paper that I did. We no longer need to worry about productivity miracles making our hoards seem silly.

November 2, 2009
8.6% Return on Investment!

Click to enlarge.

See that toilet paper hoard off to the right? That's Georgia Pacific's Marathon brand purchased at Costco.

A recent purchase was accidentally opened by my girlfriend. We normally use oldest first. That did allow me to compare the newest rolls to our oldest rolls.

The rolls were slightly different sizes (which I knew) but something felt wrong about the actual sheets. I felt a bit like the Princess in The Princess and the Pea. I therefore decided to take two rolls to the kitchen scale.

The new package has 4.0" x 4.5" sheets.
The old package has 4.0" x 4.5" sheets.

No change there.

The new package has 48 rolls at 470 sheets each.
The old package has 45 rolls at 500 sheets each.

No meaningful change there.

The new roll weighs 174 grams and has 470 sheets.
The old roll weighs 200 grams and has 500 sheets.

The cardboard tube weighs 5 grams.

The new sheets therefore weigh 0.36 grams each (169 / 470).
The old sheets therefore weigh 0.39 grams each (195 / 500).

Very clever. I seem to be getting about 8% less toilet paper per sheet and nobody is the wiser.

Well, that's not quite true. At least one person is the wiser now and if he tells two friends, and if they tell two friends, and so on, and so on, then perhaps nearly everyone can be the wiser.

In any event, I would argue that the majority of my toilet paper hoard just went up in value by about 8%. Woohoo! I feel so much richer now!

November 9, 2011
How to Find the Best Deals on Toilet Paper

Find the Total Square Feet number on the package. Then divide it into the price that the package costs.

The weight of each sheet should also be factored in apparently, unless of course you would enjoy watching TV through a sheet of 2-ply toilet paper someday, lol. Sigh.

The Illusion of Prosperity is alive and well. Good times.


Mr Slippery said...

But the CPI and BPP say inflation is 2-3%. Surely, we can trust such authoritative sources to measure inflation for us, no?

In nickel news: the US is considering a bill to change the composition of pennies and nickels to steel. If only someone had thought of this last year and hoarded nickels. No worries, still plenty of time. Congress moves slowly.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Mr Slippery,

In nickel news: the US is considering a bill to change the composition of pennies and nickels to steel. If only someone had thought of this last year and hoarded nickels. No worries, still plenty of time. Congress moves slowly.

Just think how well you'll do on rainy days if they opt to replace them with iron instead of steel!

Then again, some people might prefer volume over quality.


As rust has a much higher volume than the originating mass of iron, its build-up can also cause failure by forcing apart adjacent parts — a phenomenon sometimes known as "rust smacking".

Ah, but that's where the Fed steps in and smacks down that rust smacking, lol.

Stagflationary Mark said...

In all seriousness, I do trust the CPI and the BPP more than most seem to.

I do not expect perfection from them. They do make an effort to adjust for smaller package sizes.

This change was particularly clever (and/or diabolical).

Troy said...

I still remember when Baskin Robbins upped the price of a single cone from 25c to 28c.

Dark day for humanity in 1975 then, lemme tell you.

Funny thing is Nixon resignation in '74, Fall of Saigon in '75 . . . absolutely no memory of those events.

Rest of the 70s pretty event-free, too.

I started a paper route in '79 so after that I got some news via osmosis at least.

Stagflationary Mark said...


My first paycheck (in the 1970s) was for delivering free papers to *every* home in my hometown (once a week).

Horrible job. If memory serves I got 2 cents per paper. There were about 200 homes on hilly terrain. It took about 3 hours by bicycle. $1.33 per hour? The papers were so heavy (the bag would cut into my shoulders). One person would yell at me each week. Didn't want the paper!

I quit that job after a month. The sad part is that many children in the world would work for $1.33 an hour today (not even adjusting for inflation) doing jobs even more unpleasant. How do they do it?

Stagflationary Mark said...


I was working for roughly half the federal minimum wage *and* supplied my own transportation (bicycle)!

It was a good life lesson though. For all I know, it is what planted the thought of retiring early in my skull. Seriously.

nanute said...

Does this mean you've got to lighten the "load" by the same amount? (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

Stagflationary Mark said...



Let's just say that the fan better be no more than 92% covered during the next crisis. ;)

Anonymous said...

This is why I come here.

You can't find data like this anywhere else on the web.

nanute said...

This sounds like a recurrence of opticalrectalitis. Remember the definition? On a more serious note: I see Campbells Soup on the shelf. Have you checked the price of a goddam can of soup at the grocery store lately? In NYC, $1.95.

Stagflationary Mark said...


You are too kind!

Stagflationary Mark said...


Have you checked the price of a goddam can of soup at the grocery store lately?

I can't remember the last time I paid more than 60 cents, but then again I'm more of a stock up the Apocalypse Pantry when things are on sale kind of guy.

$1.95 for a can of condensed soup? Oh, that really needs some math!

Here it comes!

Campbell's Tomato

90 calories per serving
About 2.5 servings per can
About 225 calories per can
At $1.95 per can, that's $0.0087 per calorie

A 2,000 calorie diet would require the equivalent of $17.33 worth of condensed tomato soup.

Stagflationary Mark says, "Let them eat cake!"

Honestly, it would be a lot cheaper, lol. Sigh.

Troy said...

My go-to diet food.

30c per serving, that and a slice of cheese gets me from lunch to dinner.

0.2c per kcal, 4X the caloric efficiency.

One thing I really want to do is start a backyard tomato greenhouse here in Fresno. $6B in ag production in this county ($6000/capita), might as well join in . . .

Stagflationary Mark said...


I'm more of a rice guy. 30,000 calories in the bag. I usually finish it off by noon and then start dipping into the spaghetti hoard.

Tongue in cheek! ;)

In all seriousness, I do love rice and pasta. I can't say they are all that good for me though.

Jazzbumpa said...

Mark -

I recommend you use a kind of Greshem's law, modified for practical T.P. use.

Use the cheap stuff for normal day to day . . . ah -- duty; and save the heavy-weight stuff for more dire (so to speak) needs.

And don't forget to wash your hands after.


Stagflationary Mark said...


Great idea!

I'll use the cheap stuff for typical recessions and the heavy-weight stuff for recessions in this century.

Hold on, this can't work. I'll NEVER be able to ever use the cheap stuff, lol. Sigh.

nanute said...

You're up over 8%. Spend some capital, you cheap bastard! (You know I'm joking, right?)

Stagflationary Mark said...


I'm "flush" with profits! ;)