My husband John and I had an appointment to look at smaller houses with a realtor.  We were going to go this afternoon, but after going to the grocery store early this morning, I cancelled.

“Why did you do that?”  asked John, puzzled.  John wants to get rid of the big house.  He wants to get rid of the big mortgage.

“Sorry,” I told my husband.  “I can’t downsize.”

“Why not?” he asked again.

“Toilet paper.”


Everyone I know talks “downsizing.”  Our friends are mostly middle-aged like us.  We all bought 4 bedroom 2-1/2 bath colonials back when our kids were small – we thought it was a legal requirement that came with the birth certificates.  Now the kids are off at college, or off working, or just off.  Occasionally friends decide to downsize because they are not yet empty nesters and are trying to push their overgrown open-mouthed offspring/bloodsuckers out of the nest.

As I said I had just come home from the grocery store.  With 36 rolls of toilet paper.  Double sized rolls.  That means I had actually just come home with 72 rolls.  For two adults and one dog.

What made me do it?  We really only need a fraction of that.  Why not get a six-pack?  And then a six-pack of toilet paper?

Earlier, I stood in the aisle at my local Safeway and considered my options.  Hmmmm.  I thought.  This HUGE package costs $15.00.  The size I really need costs $9.00.  But the 36-which-equals-72 roll package was only 6 bucks more.  I had no choice.  I bought the big package.  It was cheaper.  Unless you totaled up today’s groceries.  Then it wasn’t cheaper.   But into the cart it went.

I continued on down the aisle.  Damn, I thought.  I need paper towels tooSixteen rolls?  Why not?

Go through any grocery store.  You can buy small, but it’s gonna cost you.  You can buy a six-pack of soda for $4.99.  Better still, you can buy a twelve-pack of soda for $6 or two twelve-packs for $12 and get three twelve-packs FREE!  What a deal.  You save $18 just by spending $6 more than you were going to spend in the first place!   I must buy them.  Just because I stopped drinking soda in 1996 doesn’t mean I should pass up this deal.

Twenty-four 12 oz. bottles of pure spring water?  Sure.  I only have six left from the two dozen I bought in 2007.

These promos work on me every time.

The price of wine also goes down as the quantity goes up.  I can buy one bottle of my favorite Pinot Grigio for $9.00 or I can buy two for $7.50 each.  If I want to buy even more, I can buy six or more bottles for $6.00 each, get totally sloshed and not really care what I’m spending.  There’s some logic there.

It even happened in the produce section. I wanted one small container of blueberries and one of strawberries.  Instead I took home two hefty containers of each.

“Are you going on a ‘berries only’ diet?” asked John as he helped me unload the groceries when I got home.

“No,” I responded.  “It was ‘buy one, get one free.’  I couldn’t let them go to waste, could I?”

“Well at least not until the extras have been in our fridge for a few weeks,” John muttered.

So you see, I can’t downsize.  I cannot get a smaller house. I can’t even get a smaller car.  How would I get my groceries home?

I think I’m going to call the realtor back.  We need a bigger house.


Filed under Humor

32 responses to “Downsizing

  1. This was written before I found you! OMG! We are so alike. I have a BJ’s membership. There are two of us! Two! We always have an attic full of toilet paper and paper towels. Buy one, get one free? Always! Even if I don’t like the stuff! I inherited that gene from my mother who hoarded sugar. When she died she had 25 pounds of sugar in her attic. No, she didn’t run a bakery.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. cortney

    This. I am hooting with laughter (and green with envy)!

    The first time I saw a two-roll package of TP in the store in Geneva, I just stared at it. Who buys only two rolls at a time? Especially when every store is closed one day out of the week?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And pink! Why is it always pink?!?

      It seems like we have a mutual friend. Ruth from the Int’l Women’s Club. We met when we were both new to CH and have remained good friends.


      • cortney

        Yes, Ruth mentioned you last week – I met her in some workshops last year and she is taking over one of my roles here at the club when I return to the “real” working world soon. Hello to you from offline life as well as online!

        Liked by 1 person

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  5. Julie

    you know what? I think I might love you….


  6. This happens every time He-Who steps into a grocery store. He loves grocery shopping. I hate it. He use to own a grocery store so he considers himself a professional. The thing is we have downsized…considerably but he still comes home from shopping with massive amounts of stuff he has “saved” money on. I have toilet paper, paper towels and kleenex stashed in every cupboard, closet, and nook and cranny. I have often threatened to rent a storage locker for all this stuff but fear he would fill it and then just fill our space up again. The good news is I honestly believe there will never come a time when I will be sitting on the “throne” and have nothing but an empty roll in front of me.


    • I’m glad hoarding is not a one-sex only tendency! When we moved to Switzerland, I was shocked that people bought only one package of 4 rolls of TP — and it was all pink! By the time I’d returned home, the humongous packages had become the norm. Now, as a girl with GI problems, I am always secure. Plus I can TP the neighbors’ trees if they irritate!

      Thanks for stepping into the Way Back machine with me, Michelle. Although you and I have been buddies for a very long time!


  7. My bathtub has be come the housing unit for extra TP and whatnot…it’s redonk what we have to store b/c no one has room for 75 rolls of toilet paper in its proper place.


    • It does drive me crazy — no wonder folks keep building bigger and bigger houses. You have your wine cellar and your TP storage room and a special one for the 251,438 cartons of Mac&Cheese from Costco … (I bought a case of the stuff when we came back from Switzerland. My son loved it — but briefly! His interest ran out long before the supply did!


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  9. OMG-how did only three people Like this post? I laughed out loud at the “Why not get a six pack? And then get a six pack of toilet paper?” line.


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  13. Thanks, Karen! Now if we can only get rid of the house …


    • Marianne Baker

      “You just change what you do next.” Wow. Karen, that is so simple and so profound. And you can apply it to virtually everything you want to change in your life, from your weight to your abode. I think I’m going to tape that to my fridge! And, Lease, of course you know I love this piece, and you know how much I identify. I recently had to open a closet in my house while a neighbor was present. He looked at the stacks of toilet paper packages and said, “Oh you, too, huh?” I guess it’s the one thing everybody is afraid to run out of!


  14. As someone who just downsized, I can tell you that your aspirations are not mutually exclusive. Yes, I buy the 72 roll package of toilet paper, and yes, I have two pints of blueberries and two pints of strawberries in my fridge (and I live alone).

    But the toilet paper fits in a lovely basket on the floor of my bathroom and the blueberries freeze beautifully (the strawberries I will eat before they go bad: in my cereal for breakfast, smothered in madeira after dinner).

    But, once I got over the trauma of letting go of precious pieces of furniture (I remember the gathering when that scratch happened to the old dining table: it was really fun), it’s nice. Electricity is cheaper; heat is cheaper; the house is cheaper. I love the things I have, and when they’re not in front of me, I don’t miss the things I let go.

    You can do it. And you don’t have to let go of some of your most ingrained habits. You just change what you do next.

    I love your voice and look forward to more blog posts.


  15. So should I call TLC and see whether you’d be good material for “Hoarders”? I too am like you with bulk items. I am shamefully seduced by economies of scale and BOGO schemes. You could just bring your haul to a storage unit and downsize for you hubby. Then it is a win-win! He gets the smaller nest and you can drive over to your secret bunker and sit surrounded by 256 rolls of t.p. and 12 cases of Pino Grigio. Just down forget a wine opener…you one funny beee-atch


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