Yes, the subject today is toilet paper [ht: ja]?
Why? Because it’s just about the perfect illustration of poverty in America.
For low-income families, the discounts shoppers get from buying in bulk are often out of reach — forcing them to pay more for everyday items like toilet paper.
That’s one of the findings of a recent study from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, which analyzed toilet paper purchases among 100,000 U.S. households over the course of seven years.
Researchers found that low-income families were less able to afford the higher upfront cost of buying items in bulk than households with higher incomes. For example, 36 rolls of two-ply paper might cost about $15, but an individual roll of one-ply paper might cost only $1.
The inability to buy in bulk can hurt a low-income family’s budget in more ways than one, researchers found. Because low-income families can’t afford to stock up, they have to shop more often. This means they miss out on sales — when the toilet paper runs out, you can’t wait for it to go on sale to buy more.
The researchers found that low-income households — those making below $20,000 a year — made just 28.3% of their toilet paper purchases on sale, while families making more than $100,000 took advantage of sales nearly 40% of the time.
One way low-income families did try to save on toilet paper was to buy cheaper brands. . .
Low-income families might benefit more from such things as sales at the beginning of the month or financing options, like a line of credit or payment plans. Unlike with TVs or other big ticket items, most stores don’t usually offer financing options for staples such as toilet paper.
Alternatively, we might consider actually eliminating poverty in America.