My 17p toilet roll road (trip) to success

'We bought 128 loo rolls for just £22'

'We bought 128 loo rolls for just £22'

Whenever I tell anyone we’re going on a 24-hour road trip to visit family in Poland, I always encounter the same confused look and the same question: “Why not get a plane?”

It’s simpler than flying, and filling up on diesel as we cross Europe is often cheaper than buying air fares for four people.

But our other, slightly barmy reason, is for our household stash of loo roll and non-perishables.

Even with four of us in the car, we have an unlimited allowance to bring back goods into the UK (see the HMRC website for more info on what you can bring back).

So we can cram in a huge 128-pack of two-ply, aloe vera toilet roll for just £22 (111 zloty). This equates to 17p per roll, and easily beats the 30p per roll price point I use when buying in the UK.

Space may be a bit tight on the way back, but at least it’s buffered by the cushioned softness. And our rolls will easily last a year (we bought a 64-pack at Christmas which lasted till June).

Here are a few other things we stock up on:

  • Ketchup at 47p
  • Mustard at 32p
  • Instant soup at 18p
  • Spice mix for barbecues at 19p a sachet
  • Washing liquid for delicates (2-litre) at £1.72
  • Toilet paper (10 rolls) for £1.70
  • Smirnoff vodka 700ml for £5.28
  • Sanitary towels at 50p
  • Air Wick refills for £1.97

Most of these aren’t well-known UK brands, but Polish equivalents, so we’re well on our way for the MSE Downshift Challenge (dropping brand levels to reduce your supermarket shop).

Our stocking-up isn’t the main reason for taking the car on a 2,000-mile road trip, but while we’re there, and if the product’s got a long shelf-life, we may as well bring back anything that’s cheaper than it is in the UK.

Is there anything you like to pick up during a road trip, space and customs permitting? Let us know in the comments below, or in the forum discussion thread.