Cheap Tricks

Roll Your Owns Revisited

My parents always smoked two kinds of cigarettes. I am not referring to the brand of cigarette but to the means of production. Between paydays they smoked “roll your owns” and on paydays, they treated themselves to “tailor-mades.” Not a term you hear a lot these days.

My husband “rolls his own”. He started doing this for the same reason my parents did it, to save money. Over the years of course the saving has diminished as the price of tobacco has moved ever upward.

Tobacco, gas and alcohol are the items economists dub inelastic because demand doesn’t change no matter the price. These items are of course the goods governments like to tax and when the prices go up it is usually because the taxes have. You can say what you want up smokers but the minute they all quit, there is a hefty tax deficit headed your way.

Of course I would prefer it, if my husband didn’t smoke. I love him and like most bad habits, it’s expensive. Expensive seems to be one of the qualifying factors for a habit to be bad. Walking is a good habit. It is good for you and it’s free. Of course if you make a habit of walking off cliffs, then this good habit goes bad, but not for very long.

A couple of years ago we discovered that we could get tobacco cheaply by ordering it online. The savings are amazing. We get 6 months of tobacco for about $400 and that includes all the taxes and the delivery.

Of course, he then has to shred it and roll it. It is time consuming but the savings are significant. And it is just tobacco. No additives. His cigarettes actually taste like the first cigarette I ever had, almost 50 years ago. Unlike tailor-mades, these cigarettes don’t burn away when left unattended, they go out. There is less waste. My husband also smokes less.