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See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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When it comes to cleaning up messes, you want to be sure you have plenty of paper towels on hand. So this week are taking a look at how to recognize a good price for paper towels.

Like with toilet paper, paper towels come in a variety of sizes and packs. You have Big, Huge, Giant, Mega, SuperMega and other marketing words to make you think you are getting a lot for your money.

Is it cheaper to buy a 6 pack of “Big” size towels, or an 8 pack of “Regular” towels? To really figure out the best price, we need to take a close look at the math and square footage of paper that comes in the package.

For example, let’s look at Bounty White Paper Towels which come in sizes including Regular, Big, Huge, Giant, all the way up to Oversize (available only at Walmart).

The math that is on the front of packages can be misleading. On this 6 pack of Bounty Big Rolls, we see “6 Big Rolls = 8 Regular Rolls”.  A Regular Roll has 41.3 sq ft of paper. A Big Roll has approximately 50.83 sq ft, and when we do the math, we get a very different comparison.


8 Regular Rolls at 41.3 sq ft each = 330.4 sq ft
6 Big Rolls at 50.83 sq ft each = 304.98 sq ft which is equivalent to 7.29 Regular Rolls

That’s is more than half a roll off…I guess they are rounding up. Who said that math class would never come in handy?

Let me show you a short cut to really figure out the cheapest price per square foot. At some stores, they have done the math for you on the price tag:

If your store doesn’t do this, you can do it yourself using the same formula. Take the current price and divide it by the total square feet of paper in the package. This gives you the Unit Price Per Square Foot.  So when you are in stores this will make it easier to find the best price on paper towels. You can also factor in any coupons you have into the price per square foot to get your true bottom line.

On weekly lists that you can pull using the Item Search feature here on Southern Savers, you won’t find a Unit Price Per Sq Ft. Most people tend to buy the same exact brand and size of paper towel on a regular basis without thinking to compare. To get the best deals on your favorite paper towels, you’ll need to plan ahead a little.

Next time you think about it, take a look at the paper towels you normally buy. Make a note of what size rolls they are, how many come in the package and the square footage. Then when you use the Item Search feature, you can search for that specific package (or ones similar if you aren’t brand loyal). Divide the sales price after coupons by the total square footage and you’ll see the price per sq ft.

For example:
Sweetbay – Bounty Big Roll Paper Towels, 6 ct., $9.99
Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
Manufacturer Coupon -$1/2 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
(use $1/2, makes it $9.49 ea.)
This package has 304.98 sq ft of paper in it, so…
$9.49/304.98 sq ft = 3.11¢ per sq ft.

Typically we see the best prices on paper towels at drugstores like CVS or Walgreens. Sometimes even the office supply stores have great deals using an in ad coupon. Using the Item Search, I went ahead and searched for the best paper towel deals available this week if you need to stock up!

Paper Towel Deals This Week

  • CVS – Bounty Paper Towels, 12 pk., $9.99
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1/2 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
    (use $1/2, makes it $9.49 ea.)
  • Walgreens – 3,000 BR wyb $15 in Bounty Paper Towels, 6 rolls, $5.49
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1/2 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
    (buy (3), use $1/2 and .25/1, makes it $4.07 ea. After Points)
  • Staples – Bounty Basic Paper Towels, 8 pk., $4 (with in ad coupon), limit 1
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1/2 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 1/27
    (use $1/2, makes it $3.50)
  • Office Max – Bounty Basic Paper Towels, 8 pk., $9.99
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1/2 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
    (use $1/2, makes it $9.49 ea.)
  • Office Max – Sparkle Paper Towels with Thirst Pockets, 6 pk., $5.99
  • Ingles – Sparkle Print Paper Towels, single big roll, $1
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1 off Sparkle paper towels, 6 roll+ printable (limit reached)
  • This is a great deal. Stock up! Ingles – Sparkle Paper Towels, 6 rolls, $4.88
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1 off Sparkle paper towels, 6 roll+ printable (limit reached)
    (makes it $3.88)
  • Kroger – Home Sense Paper Towels or Bath Tissue, 6 big rolls or 8 regular rolls, or 12 double rolls, $4.99
  • Food City – Valu Time Paper Towels, 3 pk., $1.94
  • Food City – Sparkle Paper Towels, Selected Varieties, 6-8 rolls, $5.99
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1 off Sparkle paper towels, 6 roll+ printable (limit reached)
    (makes it $4.99)
  • Food City – Sparkle Paper Towels, 6-8 Rolls, $6.49
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1 off Sparkle paper towels, 6 roll+ printable (limit reached)
    (makes it $5.49)
  • Walmart – Brawny Paper Towels, 3 big rolls, $4.97
  • Sweetbay – Scott Mega Roll Paper Towels, 6 ct., $5.99
    Manufacturer Coupon -.75/1 Scott towels, 6 ct., October All You magazine
    Manufacturer Coupon -.75/1 Scott towels, 6 ct., November All You magazine
    Manufacturer Coupon -.75/1 Scott paper towels, 6 rolls+ printable
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Scott paper towels printable
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1 off Scott towels, 6 rolls +, SS 1/13
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1.25/2 Scott towels, 6 rolls +, SS 1/13
    (use $1 off, makes it $4.99)
  • Food Lion – Angel Soft or Bounty Bath Tissue or Paper Towels, 8 triple, 12 double, 24 regular or 6 regular, $4.99
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Angel Soft bath tissue printable
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1 off Angel Soft bath tissue, 12 double roll+ printable (limit reached)
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
    Manufacturer Coupon -.45/1 Angel Soft bathroom tissue double roll, 4 pk. +, RP 1/06
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1/2 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
    Manufacturer Coupon -.45/1 Angel Soft double roll bath tissue, 4 pk. + printable (limit reached)
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1/2 Angel Soft bathroom tissue double roll, 4 pk. +, RP 1/06
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1 off Angel Soft bath tissue double rolls, 12 pk. + printable (limit reached)
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 1/27
    (use $1/2, makes it $4.49 ea.)
  • Publix – Bounty or Bounty Basic Paper Towels, 6 ct., $6.99
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30
    Store Coupon -$1 off Bounty Towels, 6 pk. +, (Publix Coupon), Special Olympics Donation Sheet
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 1/27
    (use $1 off store and .25/1 mfr makes it $4.99 or $5.49 in FL)
  • Winn-Dixie – Winn-Dixie Ultra Premium Paper Towels or Bath Tissue, 8 Orlls, 12 Rolls or 1000 Sheets, $6.99
    5¢ Fuelperk wyb (1)
  • Winn-Dixie – Sparkle Paper Towels, 6-8 Rolls, $5.50
  • Harris Teeter – Sparkle Paper Towels, 6-8 rolls, $4.97
  • Lowe’s Foods – Lowes Foods Paper Towels, 8 ct., $4.99
  • Rite Aid – Bounty Paper Towels, 12 rolls, $9.99
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30 (exp 01/31)
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1/2 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30 (exp 01/31)
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 1/27
    (use $1/2, makes it $9.49 ea.)
  • This is a great deal. Stock up! Rite Aid – Bounty Basic Paper Towels, 1 roll, 99¢
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30 (exp 01/31)
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1/2 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 12/30 (exp 01/31)
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Bounty towels or napkins, excl trial size, PG 1/27
    (use $1/2, makes it 49¢)
  • Walgreens – Scott Naturals Paper Towels , 6 rolls, $5
    Manufacturer Coupon -.75/1 Scott towels, 6 ct., October All You magazine (exp 01/31)
    Manufacturer Coupon -.75/1 Scott towels, 6 ct., November All You magazine (exp 01/31)
    Manufacturer Coupon -.25/1 Scott paper towel printable
    Manufacturer Coupon -.50/1 Scott Naturals flushable wipes tub or refill, SS 1/13
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1 off Scott towels, 6 rolls +, SS 1/13
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1/2 Scott Naturals flushable wipes tub or refill, SS 1/13
    Manufacturer Coupon -$1.25/2 Scott towels, 6 rolls +, SS 1/13
    Store Coupon -$1 off Scott Naturals paper towels, 6 roll, February Walgreens coupon book
    (use store and $1 off mfr, makes it $3)
  • H-E-B – Hill Country Fare Paper Towels, 8 Regular Rolls, $3.97 w/ in-store coupon
  • Winn-Dixie – Winn-Dixie Ultra Premium Paper Towels, 8 Roll
    5¢ Fuelperk wyb (1)

Do you have an tips or tricks you use to save on Paper Towels? What is your default brand?

    • hazybuck

      I purchased four of the Bounty packs at Staples . . . paid $4 for the first, then used the $1.50 off any Bounty pack of paper towels that printed on each receipt to get the remaining 3 packs at only $2.50 each!!
      Wahoo!!

      • mslonas

        Thought I got a good deal price matching at Walmart and using a$1q making them $3,, I’m going back to staples!! Lol

    • stella

      I usually take a calculator to the store with me – to make sure I don’t blow my budget if I come across a great deal in the clearance section. That helps with figuring the price with coupons/promos added. I’ve also found that the select-a-size papertowels last longer at my house – so even though those sometimes cost a bit more, they can end up saving me more because I need fewer rolls.

      • couponbug

        Exactly!

    • jen r

      thanks to a challenge from my friend, we rarely purchase paper towels…maybe once in the last year or less!!
      try cutting up old cotton tshirts in about 6 x 6 inch squares that are worn out and not able to be handed down or shared….use them for spills and dusting and clean up! just throw used rags in any washer load and you have saved a ton of money on paper!
      we clean often with just vinegar and water (in a spray bottle) so the cleaning agent is fine in any wash….
      give it a try!!
      :)

      • kmjs

        The school my kids attend do this. Well, they use washcloths for cleaning and drying hands and cloth napkins at meals. Then they put it into the “laundry bin.” Each week parents take turns doing the “laundry” and the kids learn how to fold the washcloths and napkins too. My 3 and 5 year old fold their own clothes now – it’s awesome!

      • mlw1ofakind

        We use our dish rags like this but not all of the time, gives me a good excuse to buy more dish rags when they go onsale!

    • Lyn

      And then there are the rolls that give you a choice of 1/2 sheet or a full sheet per use. I prefer them because I can use the amount I need. Lots of time, instead of figuring the cost per sq ft, I figure the cost per sheet.

    • sydranicole

      So what is a good price per square foot?

    • Allison

      Thank you for the tip hazybuck. I was going to buy mine at Staples too. Now I am going to copy you and buy more. Paying 1/10th of my weekly budget on papertowels drives me crazy.
      Alternately, we can buy 3 rolls at CVS ($9.99) and get one free because of the $10 bucks back.

      • hazybuck

        Allison, I’m excited that I finally had something to offer – I’ve gotten so many leads, tips, and wonderful savings advice from this forum, it’s wonderful to pay some back!

    • instantphoebe

      I guess my main issue is that I don’t know how much my paper towels cost without a sale going on. I use Bounty (the regular, not the basic), and though I know how to calculate price per sq ft, I am not sure what is a good deal b/c I don’t know what the towels cost full price. I guess I have to start keeping a list.

      Does anyone know off hand?

      • Kristen

        I don’t- but I do see people keep a price list in a notebook while shopping and have thought I need to do this myself- just to track the prices of things I buy on a regular basis.

      • I usually see the store brand at $1 per roll, so anything cheaper is a deal, plus easy to calculate.

        • instantphoebe

          Thanks — it does, unfortunately, vary how big the roll is from brand to brand. And because I’m brand loyal to Bounty (and know that Bounty is a more expensive paper towel), I can’t really compare it to a store brand price.

      • I have been tracking prices … Costco sells 12 “jumbo” rolls (which they claim = 22 regular rolls) for $19.99, with a $2 coupon every so often. So 82 cents per regular roll. Then CVS does a $1ECB on their $9.99 for 12 regular rolls .. so .75 a roll. I have also seen them at Target, 15.99 for 18 regular rolls, and buy two, get a $5 gift card, which makes it .75 per roll. Both the CVS and Target deals would get better with manufacturer coupons!

        • instantphoebe

          Thank you!

    • I find your posts like this, and the one on laundry detergent, so helpful. Thank you for helping us figure out what the best prices are.

    • Kristen

      This is wonderful- thank you so much for taking the insanity out of it:)

    • cbrock

      Shopping by unit price is a good plan for almost everything, not just paper towels.

    • JasonJames122

      Here’s a tip: The rolls that let you “pick a size” are worth a little higher price. For me, a lot of the time a full sheet is more than I need to do the job; a half-sheet would do just fine.

      So let’s do the math. Assuming my messes are divided evenly between small (½ sheet), medium (1 sheet), and large (4 sheets)…if I had a standard roll with only full-size sheets, I’d average 2 sheets per mess. If I had a “pick-a-size” roll, I’d only average 1.83 sheets per mess.

      So I’d be using about 9% more paper towels on the whole with a standard roll. That means it’d be worth paying up to 9% more for “pick-a-size”, although rarely is there ever a significant price difference anyway. And then there’s the added bonus of producing a little less trash!

      • couponbug

        I prefer the select-a-size…less waste!

    • Melissa

      Thanks for this post! I try to stock up on paper towels (t.p. too) when there is a good sale price (or ECB deal at CVS) where I can combine coupons with…but I also have recently started paying attention to deals on single rolls where coupons can be combined. For instance at Publix this week you can get a single “big roll” of Viva for only $0.50 after coupon. ($1.50 regular price minus $0.50 manufacturer coupon (doubled to $1 in Georgia) = $0.50 for the roll. A $0.50 or $1.00 off coupon isn’t as great on a big pack that costs more but on a single role it will get you down to “acorn” price! ( : Also, sometimes Publix will have their Greenwise paper towels rolls as a penny item on Thursdays. Even though these single roll purchases may not be in my preferred brand, they are fine for cleaning purposes or to keep in the car for unexpected spills on the go and you can’t beat the price!

    • ncadette

      Also the Bounty single rolls are on price lock at Bilo for 97 cents till March and if you use the 25 cents of one towel/napkin it doubles making it 49 cents per roll

    • katkoupon

      I’m almost at the point of loyalty to Bounty SAS, for a lot of the same reasons the others mentioned. I usually pick them up when on sale at Costco, which is every couple of months or so. Got mine for $16.99 this month; I think it was “equals 22 regular rolls” or close to it.

    • PJ

      what do you consider a “stock up” price per square foot?

    • camper2

      I’ve been doing this kind of math on paper towels and tp but thought the people in the store (and my husband) think I am crazy! Ha! Sometimes it makes me crazy trying to get the comparison right. I definitely need to start tracking my buy price on these and get a good base line number. Thanks for the help!

    • Brick By Brick Investing

      Great explanation! Thank you, my wife and I are in the process of stocking up on both paper towels and toilet paper.

    • chunkygal

      I personally like the viva pick a size the best, due to their consistency, absorbancy and option to use a little or a lot. That being said, I am definitely a rag girl. When I pick out new towels, I always think, what color do I want my rags to be in X years? I also love old diapers. I have my 21 year olds old cloth diapers. I have met people though who will never use a dish towel, rag or nonpaper product to clean with.

    • Travis 3

      I recently purchase from Kroger 6 big rolls = 8 that says on the front that they have 280 Sq. Ft. I have an 8 regular roll that says on the front that they have 304 Sq. Ft. That’s a difference of 24 Sq. FT. per roll equivalent or 4 Sq. Ft. short for each of 6 rolls. I don’t know how companies get by with blatant false advertisement.