Yes, this is gonna be about toilet paper. While both of us were working at Big Corporation, I didn't really think much about what kind of toilet paper we used at home. We picked up Northern or Charmin or Cottonelle when we went to BJs (there's no Costco here in Western New York) and that did us just fine.
When I stopped working outside the house, at the insistent request of Big Corporation in 2002, we suddenly noticed a spike in our toilet paper usage. Gee, now that I was home all day, it drained our supplies much faster than before when we were both gone 10 or so hours a day. And I began to be fussier about the toilet paper we purchased. We tried economizing and that was unsatisfying to me. We shopped around and tried every brand possible to find one that was satisfactory to the primary user (me) and that John found acceptable as well. I wanted cushy, he wanted ... well, I dunno exactly what he wanted but it wasn't the same as what I liked.
Anyway. Once he retired, his interest in toilet paper rose as well. The TP debates started and the shopping around was coupled with debates along the way evaluating our preferences. I even tried the single ply, mostly recycled paper. While it may be good for the environment, it probably isn't the best option for us given the quantities I require to keep my hand from getting soiled. This past summer on a joint trip to Aldi's, we picked up a package of Panda toilet paper to give it a try. It was inexpensive and looked like a reasonable experiment.
Eureka! We had found the toilet paper for the ages! It is cushy, thick, doesn't leave a lot of paper dust and it generally is a unanimous choice. We liked it so much that we looked for it on the next trip to Aldi's so we could stock up. Apparently, many others also liked it and there was none of the good Panda paper to be had. When shopping at Aldi's, it's kind of a catch-as-catch-can thing: if you like something, you better stock up because they may never have it again unless it's one of their standard items. We've learned this the hard way with many of their special buy products.
John liked the Panda TP so well that he went online to find the supplier of Panda and called them to find out (a) when Aldi's might have it again and (2) where else we might find it if Aldi's wasn't carrying it. Turns out that WalMart's Great Scott toilet paper is also made by the same company. You can tell you have the right one because it has a rose embossed on the paper itself. When we ran out of Panda, we stifled our gorge (at having to shop and spend money at WalMart*) and went to WallyWorld to get some Great Scott paper. And the bottoms in our house were happy once again.
The TP supplier also told John that Aldi's had another Panda TP special coming in late September so we were on the lookout. The TP didn't hit the shelves at our local Aldi's until early October but we were ready. Over the past couple weeks, we have purchased more than 20 12 packs of toilet paper -- I've forgotten just how many I bought. We could seriously build an awesome fort with the packs of TP in our basement. I haven't yet taken the little girls downstairs to play among the TP but it's tempting and it should be a blast to build a fort. Emily doesn't yet know about using whatever building materials present themselves to build forts and playhouses but we have a playdate to do so coming up in the near future.