Cheap Paper Towels? Using a lot of paper towels can get expensive, but it’s easy to save money on paper towels. Check out our head to head paper towels test to see which one was the cheapest and learn to save money and clean better with fewer paper towels!
Cheap Paper Towels! The Great Paper Towel Test For The Betterment Of Mankind!
I often get asked how to get cheap paper towels, so I tested these 10 paper towels to see which ones saved the most money. I don’t use all that many paper towels, so it never occurred to me that it might be a big part of a family budget.
In my test, I discovered that the paper towels that many people expected to be cheapest were not. It was especially important to note that when you’re looking for cheap paper towels, the bulk size packages were almost never the cheapest.
If you use 1 roll of paper towels per day, it works out to $365/year!
If you use 1 roll of paper towels per week, it works out to $50/year!
Here is how I calculated the cheapest of the cheap paper towels:
I did this test to compare how well different brands of paper towels work, along with how well different kinds of rags and cleaning cloths work. I also compared the cost of each of these cleaning solutions.
Conclusion: If you switch from Bounty Full Sheets to Great Value Everyday Strong you would save 50% on paper towels.
Here is how I evaluated the cheap paper towels: I counted the cost of a roll of paper towels. Then I determined how many of each kind of paper towels it took to clean up a typical spill and divided the cost of a roll by how many sheets it took for each use.
I also included the cost to use various cleaning rags, towels and cloths for the same spills.
Rags – Free – Save $365/year
Wash Rag – 1 rag – $0.50/rag – $.0016/use – 300 uses/rag minimum
Dry 20 seconds completely dry
Wet 24 wipe once, wring out, wipe again dry.
Shirt Rag – Free – 300 uses/rag minimum
It took 45 seconds and didn’t get completely dry.
Towel – $0.50/towel – $.0016/use – 300 uses/towel minimum
Regular Towel – It took 30 seconds to clean and got most moisture but didn’t completely dry.
Flour Sack Towel, Regular – Took 30 seconds to clean and got most moisture but didn’t completely dry.
Multipurpose Cloths – $5 for 10 – $.50/cloth
Dry 20 seconds completely dry
Wet 25 seconds wring out once dry
Skoy Cleaning Cloth
It took 24 seconds. I had to wring it out once and wipe again to completely dry.
$1.39 per rag – 200 days – 6000 uses minimum – $0.00023/use
Great Value Everyday Strong Paper Towels, Split Sheet = 1 1/2 regular rolls 1 pack – 140 sheets/roll – $.98/roll
30 seconds – 7 sheets/use – $0.048
Great Value Ultra Strong, Split Sheets 2 pack – 168 sheets/roll – $3.64 – $1.82/roll
30 seconds – 5 sheets/wipe – $0.054/use
Black White Paper Towels – 88 sheets/roll – $0.50/roll
10 sheets – 55 seconds/wipe – $0.056/use
Great Value Ultra Strong, Big Sheets – 2 pack Double rolls – 96 sheets/roll – $3.64 – $1.82/roll
33 seconds 3 sheets/ use $0.056/use
Brawny Pick A Size 3 large rolls – 92 sheets/roll – $4.97 – $1.65/ roll
35 seconds – 4 sheets/use – $0.071
Bounty, Select A Size, 2 Bulk Rolls = 4 rolls 142 sheets/roll – $4.97 – $2.48/roll
28 seconds – 5 sheets/use – $0.073/ use
Viva Choose A Sheet – 102 sheets/roll – $1.98/roll
25 seconds – 4 sheets/use – $0.077/ use
Scott Choose A Sheet – $2.98 – 102 sheets/roll – $1.49/roll
46 seconds – 6 sheets/use – $0.087/use
Bounty Basic Full Sheets – 44 sheets/roll – $0.98/roll
40 seconds – 4 sheets/use – $0.089/use
Sparkle Pick A Size – 2 pack giant Rolls – 102 sheets/roll – $2.77 – $1.38/roll
40 seconds – 7 sheets/use – $0.094
Bounty Full Sheets – 45 sheets/roll – $1.97/roll
28 seconds – 3 sheets/use – $0.13/use
If you look at the cost of using towels, rags and cleaning cloths, you could also save a lot of money if you used those items at least some of the time instead of using even the cheap paper towels.
If you’d like to see some of my tests in my search for cheap paper towels, here is our show where I’m demonstrating how well each kind of paper towels cleans up spills.
Of course, rather than just looking for cheap paper towels, you can save a lot more if you simply use fewer paper towels! I know many people are afraid of certain kinds of messes and I admit that I have my limit, too, like pet messes and such, but many spills can be easily accomplished with cleaning rags instead of paper towels.
One thing that leads to spending too much money on paper towels is leaving them out where a family can easily reach them. Often minor spills, like water, juice, soda or Kool Aid spilled on a countertop doesn’t really require paper towels to clean up, but if the roll is on the counter or underneath the cabinets, husbands and kids especially will simply yank a big wad of them off the roll rather than using a rag, simply because they’re within view. Even when you buy cheap paper towels, the cost will add up if your family is wasting them.
You can save a lot if you keep the paper towels underneath the kitchen sink in a cabinet and put rags in a more convenient location so the family is inclined to grab them first.
We will be sharing more later in this post about how to spend less on paper towels by using rags more. Some people are afraid of using rags, thinking that they’ll be spreading germs around as they clean, but as long as you wash them regularly, and be cautious about not continuing to clean with one that has been in contact with raw meat or something, you’ll be fine and you’ll be able to save a lot of money.
How to Save on Paper Towels – Paper Towels vs. Rags
Tawra just emailed me and asked if I would write something concerning rags vs. paper towels. I have not spent a whole lot of time deeply contemplating the issue of paper towels vs. rags so, at first, I wasn’t sure what to write.
I do love paper towels and totally believe in using them, but I only use them rarely, so spending a lot of time looking for cheap paper towels was never an issue for me. I had a friend once who used nothing but paper towels. Not only did she use them exclusively, but she would think nothing of yanking off three or four of them at a time to use for just a small job. She definitely needed to learn how to cut back.
I remember watching her once and thinking that, some day when I am rich, one of the luxuries I was going to allow myself was to use nothing but paper towels and lots of them. Well I haven’t arrived at that point yet but now I find that, in most cases, a rag seems to do a better job.
I do use paper towels sometimes as I said because I have found nothing that works better for things like draining my bacon or lining my fruit and veggie drawer in the fridge. In the fridge, when the bins become dirty I can just throw out the paper towels and quickly wipe them down. I also like to set them under my spices and things that will create spills because it makes for easier clean up.
I have often wondered if others don’t use paper towels the way I do, especially after seeing shopping carts piled high with them and seeing so many people buying them in bulk. Then when I saw a show where a woman had a shower stall filled with them, I knew something was very different.
Since I use only one to two rolls of paper towels per year, I couldn’t even begin to imagine what people were doing with all these paper towels. Just then, I realized that many people not only don’t use rags, but a lot of people don’t know how to use them or even that you can. Hopefully the next few paragraphs will change all of that and maybe help you save money on paper towels.
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Yes strange as it may seem, I do have a background in rags. Not many people can say that. On the other hand I’m not sure whether this is something one should be proud of or not. : ) You might say my grandmother was an expert in rags and rags were her business. Now before you wonder what kind of a strange family I come from, let me explain.
My grandmother wove rag rugs for a living. She did it all of her life and her mom did it before that. They made unbelievably beautiful rugs, completely different from the ones you see sold now. The colors and designs she used would make any artist break down and weep and she made them all with rags.
I remember as a child going to her house where she would have huge appliance boxes full of carpet balls. These were balls of fabric (from rags) that had been torn into strips, sewn together and rolled into balls. My brother and I had great fun rolling and playing with all of those fabric balls!
Nothing was thrown away. Every button, zipper and piece of trim was cut off and saved. I guess frugality must be in my blood. : ) Needless to say, I did learn some things about rags that I hope will help you to look at rags in a whole new light.
Cleaning Rags – A Great Way to Save Money On Paper Towels
One of the main complaints we get against using cleaning rags to save money on paper towels is that people don’t like to wash them because they get so nasty sometimes. I don’t like to wash them either, so I don’t. My cleaning rags fall into two categories: rags to toss and rags to wash.
Rags to Toss
The cleaning rags I toss are the ones I use for the nasty jobs:
- If I wipe something greasy
- When I clean the bathroom floor
- If something is sticky like a bottle of spilled syrup
- My dust rags
- If I use them to dust mop my floors
- To clean really dirty tools or really dirty anything
- At times, if I just don’t want to wash them, I toss them.
By the time a rag gets to my “use and throw” pile, it is already pretty far gone. I have probably used it for many other “clean” jobs and it is on its last leg, so I have no qualms about tossing it. I use it just like I would a paper towel.
Rags to Wash
These are my studier cleaning rags. They are usually old tea towels, wash rags, etc. I use them to:
- Wipe fingerprints off of the wall
- Wipe mildly sticky things from furniture
- Wipe the spray starch off of my ironing board
- Shine my mirrors
- Wash the insides of my windows
- Wipe my bathroom faucets and wipe dry everything in the bathroom
Now here’s part 2, we’ll look at where to get cleaning rags and ways to make the most of them to make your life easier and save money on paper towels and cleaning in general.
For even more tip to save money on organizing, cleaning and laundry, take a look at our How To Organize And Clean Your Home e-books.