Thrifty Thursday: What I’m willing to pay for things

I have gotten several requests from people asking what good “stock up” prices are for items I buy. Please keep in mind that I have been doing this for awhile and so I already have a pretty good stockpile of things and can wait for the next time these items go on sale. In other cases, my family goes through some things pretty quickly (my husband loves crackers and granola bars), and I don’t have space to stockpile as much as I’d like of these items, so I have a “stock up” price, but I also have what I’m willing to pay when these items are not at “stock up” prices. I also have grocery stores that will double and triple coupons which helps A LOT!

As you are starting out, you will probably have to invest a little more money at first, but once you get your stockpile going, you should be able to get things at these prices, too!

I hope that you will find this helpful! In most cases, these are for “name brand” items. If I missed an item, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I’ll add it to the list!

After reading comments and e-mails, I wanted to add a few more disclaimers:

*These are not “standard” prices in my area. Items go on sale for these prices every 3-6 months (depending on the item). I stock up at these times and make them last until the next big sale.

*Also, even if your area does not double and triple coupons, don’t be discouraged. I have been able to get many of these items at Target by using store and manufacturer’s coupons (cake mixes, canned vegetables, canned fruits, granola bars, cookies, crackers, pasta sauce, and peanut butter).


*Baby shampoo/conditioner ~ free to $1 (we use Johnsons and I try to get this only when there are deals where it is free or close to free)

*Diapers – I try not to pay more than $5-6 for a jumbo pack of diapers and/or Pull-Ups using coupons/RRs/ECBs. But, I usually try to buy them when there is a “deal” so I pay even less. I have a big stockpile of diapers (13 jumbo packs of diapers and 13 packs of Pull Ups currently), so I only buy them when they are at really good prices

*Infant/children’s Tylenol – free to $1-$2 per bottle (I was able to snag two bottles for free at Walgreens a free a few weeks ago, so that is always the idea, but not always possible!)

*Wipes – I stockpile wipes, too. I got such a good deal on Huggies wipes in December of 2007 that they have lasted me until this point. There was a good deal at Target a few months ago where I was able to snag them between .50 and .80 per tub, so I’m stocked up again for awhile!

GROCERY: (I’m not including produce prices because that varies a lot by location and by “season”…I just buy what is on sale and in season typically)


*Brownie mixesfree to $.20/box

*Cake mixesfree to $.50/box (I have been able to get cake mixes for free several times using coupons and sale prices)

*Chocolate chipsno more than $1 per bag (this is for Nestle brand)

Canned Goods

*Canned fruits$.50-.75/can

*Canned vegetables$.25-.40/can

*Chef Boyardeeno more than $.65/can

*Soups$.70/can for “cooking” soups (cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, etc. because I use the 98% fat free and it’s hard to find “deals” on that…you can get the regular for a lot less) and $.50-.75/can for soups like Progresso or Campbell’s Chunky/Select

Convenience foods (cookies/crackers/chips/granola bars/fruit snacks/etc.)

*Cookies$.50/package (this is typically for the Keebler line)

*Crackers$.50-$1 per box (this is for Sunshine, Keebler, or Nabisco)

*Fruit snacks$.35-.50 per box (this is for Betty Crocker or Kellogg’s)

*Granola bars$.35-.50 per box for Nature Valley and $.50-$1 per box for Quaker (the Quaker ones are my husband’s favorites and it’s not as easy to find “deals” on them)

*Juice$.50-.75/bottle (this is for Juicy Juice or Mott’s apple juice)

*Pastapreferably free, but no more than $.50 per package – Barilla comes out with $.50/1 coupons which double at my grocery store, so when there are 10/$10 sales, I can usually get this for free and I stock up!

*Pasta sauce (jarred or bagged)no more than $.70/jar (this is for Ragu, Prego, or Barilla)

*Peanut butterno more than $.75/jar

*Pop Tarts – $.50/box for 8 ct and $1/box for 12 ct


*Cheese $.49-$.99/package (when Kroger has their Mega sales, I can usually get the bags for $.49/each using coupons and the expiration dates are usually several months out, so I stock up and wait for the next sale)

*Cream cheese$.99/package (this is for Philadelphia)

*Eggsno more than $.99/dozen (I don’t stockpile these, though I have heard of people freezing them…)

*Sour creamfree to $.99 (when Kroger has their Mega sales, I can usually get Daisy sour cream for free or close to free using coupons and even when there are not Mega sales going on, I can usually get it for a decent price using a coupon that doubles or triples – the Daisy sour cream coupons don’t seem to ever come out in the inserts in my area, so I have to buy them other places and when I stock up, I look for expiration dates that are about 3 months out so I will be set until the next sale…this DOES NOT freeze well!)

*Yogurt$.25-$.35 per cup (this is for Yoplait)

Meat (There are LOTS of ideas for stockpiling meat on a budget in this post here)


Beef roasts – $.99/lb (yes, you can really get it for that cheap on sale – I’ve got several roasts in my freezer right now to prove it)

Beef round steak – $.99/lb

Ground beef – we ONLY use the 93/7 lean beef, so $1.99/lb is a “stock up” price on this for me

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – $.99-$1.69/lb (it’s hard to find it for $.99/lb these days although it does happen every now and then…so, I consider $1.69 to be my “stock up” price when I’m getting low) – I know that “bone in” chicken or whole chickens are much cheaper but this is much more convenient for me, so I’m willing to pay more

Split chicken breasts (these typically have the bone) – no more than $.99/lb

Pork chops (again I buy boneless) – $1.39/lb

Pork spare ribs – $.77/lb

Pork roasts – $.99/lb

Ground turkey – $1.99/lb (again we buy the 93/7)

HEALTH & BEAUTY ITEMS: (if you have a Walgreens or CVS, you should be able to get most of these items for free or close to free)

*Band Aidsfree (there are so many coupons and RR/ECB deals for these that you should never pay for them!)

*Body wash free (whenever a new body wash comes out, it seems like there is a way to get it free with coupons/ECBs/RRs and I stock up – we’re not brand specific at all on this stuff)

*Contact solutionfree (in about August, CVS/Walgreens both tend to offer deals on contact solution so you can get it for free after RRs/ECBs. I stock up at this time and I have more than a year’s supply stockpiled right now)

*Deodorantfree (my husband and I each have a specific brand that we use, and I have at least a year’s supply stockpiled for each of us and only get it when I can get it for free or close to free using ECBs or RRs)

*Feminine Hygiene products – free (from my experience, the best time to stock up on these is during the summer months and then during January)

*Over the Counter cold, cough, and flu meds (Theraflu/Triaminic/Tylenol/etc.) – free (for two years now, I’ve managed to get a HUGE stockpile of this stuff for free)

*Pain relieversfree (we’ve got Advil, Excedrin, and Tylenol ~ we use Excedrin the most, but our stockpile of that is dwindling, so I’m hoping for a good deal soon so we can stock up again!)

*Razorsfree (my husband uses Gillette razors and I use Schick razors and I can’t remember the last time I’ve spent real money to actually buy either one…the “catch” is that you sometimes have to use a new razor rather than buying refills – the Gillette cartridges seem to go on sale at CVS in December and I stock up them, but sometimes we can’t make it through the whole year on that)

*Shampoo/conditioner/stylersfree (I’m not really “brand specific” when it comes to shampoo although I am currently in love with the Infusium 23 that I got at Walgreens recently – we have at least a year’s supply stockpiled for our family and I only get this when I can get it for free or close to free using ECBs and RRs)

*Shave gel – preferably free but up to .50 (I really don’t like paying for shave gel, but there aren’t really good “deals” on it as often as I’d like, either. So, if we’re getting low, I try not to pay more than .50 per can using coupons or ECBs/RRs and sale prices)

*Toothpastefree (even if you’re just starting out, if you’re not brand specific, you should be able to easily get a stockpile of toothpaste for free or close to free pretty quickly because it’s on sale almost every week at either Walgreens or CVS)

*Vitamins – this varies, but I typically like to buy them during BOGO free sales when I can use coupons on top of the sale – I was able to stock up for this year at the Nature’s Bounty BOGO free sale at CVS a few week’s ago and got all of our vitamins for free! (with the exception of “kid” vitamins which are much harder to find deals on)

HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES: (Here’s a tip ~ There aren’t a lot of ECB/RR deals on household cleaners, but there seem to be a lot of BOGO free deals, so I use those to stock up and use two coupons – one for each item – to bring the price down!)

*Bathroom cleaners/toilet cleanersno more than .75-$1 each (I typically buy Lysol toilet bowl cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaners)

*Dish soap (liquid) – free to $.50 (I buy Dawn or Palmolive, whichever is on sale and you can get it fairly often at CVS or Walgreens for these prices when you use coupons and take advantage of ECB/RR deals)

*Dishwasher tabsfree to $.99 (high dollar Electrasol coupons come out fairly regularly where you can get these for free or up to $.99)

*Dryer sheets/fabric softenerfree (I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to pay for these…I use either Bounce or Snuggle and have a pretty good stockpile of both that I’ve gotten for free)

*Hand soapfree (I have two grocery stores that triple coupons and I am usually able to get the Softsoap hand soap for free when they go 10/$10 using coupons)

*Kleenex – no more than $.50/box (this is for the actual Kleenex brand)

*Laundry detergent$1-2 (I usually buy All or Tide – this price is for the liquid, 32 loads)

*Multi-purpose cleanersno more than $.75/$1 each (I typically buy Fantastik or the Windex Multipurpose)

*Paper towels .25 per roll (I never pay more than $.25/roll…my grocery store has the Bounty paper towels 10/$10 pretty regularly and they triple coupons so I’m able to use the $.25 coupons to get them for $.25)

*Toilet paperfree to .30 per roll (this was a hard one for me because it’s been so long since I’ve paid for toilet paper, but I know people want to know good “stock up” prices, and so I would say no more than $.30/roll)

For more Thrifty Thursday ideas, check out Coupon Teacher and Life as a Mom.

Feel free to link up with your own Thrifty Thursday ideas below!


  1. LOVED this post! Super interesting and it gave me an idea of how I am doing with my purchases too!

  2. Thanks Melissa. I have copied and pasted this and actually will tailor it to fit my area. I thank you for inspiring me to jump on the Thrifty Thursday bandwagen. I will link to you each week and look forward to what you bring next time.

  3. Thanks for this!
    I just mailed you some coupons that I hope you can use 🙂

  4. Family, Money and Stuff says:

    Wow! That's fantastic! We don't seem to be able to coupon in Canada like you can, but I'm sure if I know the sales like you do, I can stock up on sale prices too!

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!

  5. This is enough to make me want to move back to a big city! Prices NEVER get this low in this small town I'm in. And the grocery stores don't double or triple coupons. But I'm still plugging away at trying to be thrifty!

  6. Thanks guys for your comments 🙂 I know that pricing can vary a lot from area to area and I'm definitely fortunate to have a variety of grocery stores to choose from (which also leads to competitive pricing) along with grocery stores that double and triple coupons!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Since many of your stock-up prices are based on the practice of using double coupons the prices posted are not realistic goals for those live in areas where these are never or rarely offered. How can we know what the stock-up prices are for those who live in areas where the double-triple coupons are not available?

  8. shopannies says:

    thank you so much for sharing the information I will share it with my daughter who often ask me the same sort of question you answered

  9. Anonymous ~ as I stated in my initial post, many of my items were not purchased my my grocery stores that double/triple coupons. I get 99% of my health and beauty items at CVS and Walgreens. There aren't usually coupons for meat, so those prices aren't impacted by double/triple coupons. The prices I quoted cake mixes, canned vegetables and fruits, granola bars, cookies, crackers, pasta sauce ,and peanut butter were all based on using manufacturers/store coupons at Target. So, really the only things that were purchased using double/triple coupons are dairy products. The prices may vary greatly based on cost of living in your area and in that case, there may be blogs for your area which have prices more reflective of what you would pay in your area.

  10. wow, those prices are amazing! We rarely see deals that good. Way to go.

  11. SunshineofAutumnQuilts says:

    Thank you so much for doing a post like this. I am constantly trying to find out if what I am spending is a really good deal or not. This laid it out. Granted I think some of the Free depends on what your store doubles coupons to etc. Well again thank you, what a great blog!