My Stock-Up Price List

I’ve received countless requests over the years for me to post my “Price List” (i.e. the price I shoot to pay for all items I purchase). I resisted doing this for a long time because I was afraid that many of you would find it discouraging since prices vary so much by area. However, I finally decided to go ahead and put this list together since many of you promised me it would be helpful.

Please note that the prices listed below are the prices I try not to pay more than. Of course, free or free-plus-overage is always the best thing, but if that’s not possible, than these are the prices I aim to match or beat when purchasing items. Also, note that these prices are normally the prices I shoot to pay by pairing a coupon with a great sale. These are not typically the shelf prices you’ll see here!

We don’t have a CVS or Rite Aid and we only have two grocery store chains in our area, so I’m not able to get some of the deals many of you can get routinely. At the same time, though, we’re blessed to have Walgreens, Walmart, Target, a few Dollar Stores and a health food store in addition to the two grocery store chains.

Toiletries/Personal Care

Bandages — $0.50 per 30-count box or less
Bar Soap — $0.30 per 2-pack or less
Cough Drops — $0.25 per bag or less
Deodorant — $0.50 per regular-sized stick or less
Floss — $0.25 per package or less
Liquid Soap — $0.30 per hand soap pump or less
Lotion — I rarely pay for lotion as I usually get trial-sized bottles for free by signing up for free samples or by using coupons.
Mouthwash — free
Pain Reliever — $1 per bottle or less for name brands
Razors — $1 per package or less
Shampoo/Conditioner — $1 per bottle for name brand, $0.50 per bottle for off brands
Shaving Cream — $0.50 per bottle or less
Sunblock — I’ve never paid anything for sunblock before.
Toothbrushes — $0.20 per toothbrush or less
Toothpaste — free

Baby Items

Baby Food — I don’t buy baby food unless I can get it for free. Otherwise, I make my own or just use a baby food grinder at the table.
Diaper Rash Ointment — free
Diapers — I personally don’t pay for diapers because I used to get them free by working them into my drug store deal scenarios. Now, I get them free by using my accumulated Swagbucks. If you don’t play the drugstore game, $5 per package or less would be a typical stock-up price. Anything less than $0.10 per diaper is usually considered a good deal. Less than $0.08 per diaper is usually a great deal. However, with the insane Amazon diaper deals right now, you can often get diapers for less than $0.04 each shipped to your door!
Wipes — $1 per 64 wipes or less

Refrigerated Items

Butter — $1.69 per pound or less (Whenever I find a great deal on butter, I usually buy a few pounds and freeze them.)
Cheese — $1.69 per 8 oz. or less
Cream Cheese — $0.50 per package or less (Whenever I find a great deal on cream cheese, I buy four to six blocks and freeze them.)
Eggs — I pay $2 per dozen for farm-fresh, free-range eggs. If I were buying non-free-range eggs, I would shoot for $1.29 per dozen or less. (Sometimes Aldi will have them as low as $0.69 per dozen, but I’ve not had great success at freezing eggs, so I don’t buy more than 4-6 weeks’ worth at a time.)
Milk — The cheapest I can usually get rBGH-free milk is $2.50 per gallon. Milk can be frozen, but we’ve found we prefer to only use milk which has been frozen in cooking. If I find organic milk marked down to $1.99 per half-gallon or less, I buy it and freeze it to use in pancakes and waffles.
Sour Cream — $0.99 per 16-oz. carton or less
Yogurt — $0.25 per serving or less


Bananas — $0.19 to $0.44 per pound (Once a week, a local store has bananas for $0.19 per pound, so if I’m out shopping that day, I’ll price-match at Walmart. Otherwise, I buy them reduced at Dillon’s for $0.39 per pound or $0.44 per pound at Aldi.)
Fruit in Season — $0.99 per pound or less
Grapes — $0.99 per pound or less
Lemons — $0.25 each or less
Salad — I buy organic greens when I can get them for $1.99 per 16-ounce tub or less. Otherwise, I try to get heads of lettuce for $1.59 per head or less. Occasionally, they go on sale for $0.99. I also look for bags of salad greens which have been reduced as this is often a better deal.
Salad Dressing — $0.99 per 16 ounces or less
Strawberries — $1.85 per carton or less
Tomatoes — $0.99 per pound or less
Watermelon — $2.99 per watermelon
Carrots — $0.99 per bag of baby carrots, $0.99 per one-pound bag of whole carrots


Frozen Dinners — We basically do not buy these except for the on rare occasions they are free or almost-free.
Frozen Pizza — Again, we have only purchased this a few times when it was free. We much prefer homemade pizza!
Frozen Vegetables — $1 per bag or less
Ice Cream — We usually only buy Breyer’s ice cream — yes, we’re ice cream “snobs” 😉 — and try to get it for less than $3 per tub.


Beef, Ground — We buy 93% lean beef and I usually try to buy it when it is on sale for $3.69 per pound or less.
Chicken, Boneless Skinless Breast — $5.99 per 3-lb. bag
Chicken, Whole — We don’t buy whole chickens, ever. Yes, I know that breaks one of the major laws of frugality, but none of us like dark meat, so it’s more cost-effective and less wasteful to just buy chicken breasts. :)
Roast — $3 per pound or less
Steak — $2 per pound or less

We rarely ever eat pork, so I’m not even sure what a good price on it would be.

Dry/Canned Goods

Bread — $1.49 per loaf or less (for the nicer, higher-quality brands)
Brownie Mix — $0.39 to free
Cake Mix — free
Canned Tuna — You can often get the pouches for almost-free, so that’s usually what I buy when buying tuna.
Cereal — $1 per box or less
Chocolate Chips — $1.69 per package (Aldi regular price) or less.
Cookies — We rarely ever purchase packaged cookies, but I would buy them if they were free.
Crackers — $1 per box or less.
Flour — $0.69 per pound for organic wheat kernels (we grind most of our own flour) or around $0.50 per pound for unbleached flour.
Hamburger/Hot Dog Buns — $1 per package (I get Nature’s Own Hamburger/Hot Dog buns at Dollar Tree for $1 or Rudi’s Organic Buns for $0.99 when they are reduced at the health food store.)
Honey — Aldi has the best price the I’ve found in our area (around $3 for 16 oz. last time I checked) unless you have a Sam’s Club membership or buy from the Bulk Foods Store. I love the raw honey from Tropical Traditions and do splurge on it when I can get it Buy One, Get One Free plus free shipping.
Jelly/Jam — $1 per jar or less.
Ketchup — $0.50 per bottle or less
Mayonnaise — $1 per jar
Mustard — free
Oats — $1.69 per canister (Aldi price) or less
Pasta — $0.50 per box or less
Peanut Butter — $1 per jar or less
Soup, Canned — I pretty much only buy this if I can get it for $0.15 or less per can.
Spaghetti Sauce — $1 per jar or less
Sugar — $1.34 per pound for turbinado (raw sugar). We’ve not purchase white sugar for a long time, but Aldi usually has the cheapest price on it.
Syrup — We make our own or buy organic maple syrup when it’s on a great sale from Amazon.
Tomato Paste — $0.15 or less per can
Tomato Sauce — $0.15 or less per can
Tortillas — $0.99 per package
Vanilla — The best price I’ve found is at Sam’s Club. Last I checked, they sell one pint for $6.88.

Cleaning Supplies/Paper Products

Aluminum Foil — $0.50 or less for a 20-foot box (Walgreens sells it at this price fairly often).
Dishwasher Detergent — $0.50 or less per box of tabs
Dishwashing Soap — free
Laundry Detergent — $0.99 per 32-load bottle
Toilet Paper — $0.25 per roll or less
Kitchen Trash Bags — $2.98 for 32 bags (Aldi price)
Zipper Bags — $1 per box or less

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  1. says

    Wow! you’ve inspired me even more, Crystal. I need to relook at the prices I pay. Even for natural and organic foods I know there are sale cycles, I just don’t know what they are :)

    I also, need to take the plunge and try a different grocery store in our city (local co-op). I’ve been wanting to check it out for a long time because I’ve heard the prices are better, but have resisted because the selection isn’t quite as good and I’ve been afraid of having to go to both stores to buy what we need.

    Our spring break is next week, and my younger sister will be staying with us while the dorms are closed. I think I’ll venture a shopping trip to compare prices. The two of us should be able to keep the kids happy during a longer than normal shopping day :)

    Thanks again! I love when we can eat on less because any excess in our grocery budget goes straight to buying food to deliver or make for others. Thanks for helping us be a blessing!

    • says

      Would you believe that it’s been years since I’ve purchased coffee to brew at home? I drink it on occasion, but I somehow accumulated quite a little stash of free samples, so I’ve slowly just been working my way through those!

      If anyone wants to chime in on the best coffee stock-up prices, I’d love to know.

      • Jenn says

        My husband drinks a lot of coffee, but he’s fairly picky about what he drinks. He’s found one certain type of Folgers he likes, and the cheapest I ever see it is $5.99 for the large tub (regularly priced between $7 and $8). Often there are coupons out ranging from 25 cents to $1. So, my stock up price is $5 for the large tub. If I buy “fancier” coffees for him (such as Seattle’s Best), it’s probably around $4 for a bag with coupons and sales.

        • Karen says

          We have a Kroger here and often times I will find the big gallon size Maxwell House go on their Mega events for 4.99 and there is almost always a .50 coupons that doubles. So I normally stock up on that deal and pay 3.99! Otherwise 5 is a good price!

      • Michelle says

        We are coffee snobs, not for brand but just insist on whole bean. My stock up price for whole bean is less than $4/lb. It often goes on sale for $4/12 oz. package, but its rarer that its $4/lb.

        In case there are any other whole-bean users out there.

      • Jennifer says

        We’ve gone to roasting our own coffee. We buy high quality bags of green coffee beans for around $4.25 a lb. and roast them air popcorn poppers we buy at thrift stores. It takes about 5 minutes to roast 1/2 a lb. We are coffee snobs and this saves us a lot. Plus, nothing compares to fresh roasted coffee. is where we buy our beans. The popcorn poppers are usually around $1.50 at thrift shops.

      • Bethany says

        I’m a huge coffee snob, and I’ve had to lower my standards because my favorite brands were just too pricey. I like Starbucks, and when there are coupons out, I get that at a local grocery chain here that doubles, and even better, they have a Starbucks keiosk inside! I recently won a $20 Starbucks giftcard, so I dragged as much mileage out of it as possible. I would buy the bagged coffee at the keiosk instead of in the grocery isle and they would still double my coupon and I could use my gift card. Plus, bringing in the empy bags gets you a free tall coffee.
        I also just got a shipment of Melitta coffee yesterday from amazon. I went thru the amazon mom subscribe and save section and got 4 10.5 oz cans for $11.99 shipped. This is considerably less than the grocery store since I never see coupons for this brand and it’s regularly at least $8 a can. And boy is it good, I’m sipping my first cup right now.
        I love coffee. :)

      • Anna says

        I have got so much free coffee in the last year from different companies. We don’t even drink coffee that much but I did buy some coffee after Xmas at Target. They had little bags in the dollar section for 25 cents so I bought quite a few of those. :) I would not know how much coffee cost but I know has good sales periodically.

    • crystal says

      If you have a Wal-Mart you can get the small prepacks of Millstone for free right now with a coupon that’s out…there are really small packages, but they are free! Otherwise, I’m thinking drugstore game is a good way to go…I only have a RA around here but I know it’s been cheap (as low as FREE for rite aid brand, and cheap for others).

    • ann says

      You can also find the small jars of Folgers/Maxwell house coffee @ $2.50 each on sale at CVS every few weeks. Combined with a $1/1 or $1.50/1 q makes for some cheap coffee. I don’t pay more than $1.50/jar(small) and stock up when the price is that low. hth :)

  2. Julie says

    I typically dont pay more than .50 for Hormel always tender pork and for the breakfast chops I typically dont pay more than $1.00. I have such a stockpile of stuff and have bought things so cheap that really my goal is not to pay more than $1.00 per item. Most of the same things on your list is the same prices I pay…I usually try to get everything free or money maker..fruit, veggies, milk and diapers seem to be the thing I spend the most on but I also run a home daycare.

  3. Yvonne says

    You can get chocolate chips at Target (21st and Greenwich) for $1.47 a bag for the Market Pantry brand. That’s the kind we always get now that Aldi’s has gotten more expensive (I remember when they were $.99!)

    • Mary C says

      Target or Aldi brand comparable in taste to Nestle Toll house? We haven’t had chips in a long time and we are wanting our muffins and cookies SOON. :-)

    • Sheila says

      Thanks for that tip! I was frustrated the other day when I went to get choco chips at Aldi’s and they weren’t 99cents anymore! I checked Walmart, didn’t even think about Target!

    • crystal B. says

      No Aldi’s here…and at Save-A-Lot, they are $1.79…There were some at Kroger, their Kroger-Value brand (the plain white packages) for $1.65 but then they got recalled due to an undeclared allergen–milk product. I was so sad because they had to pull them all. Every once in a while there will be a Nestle deal around here where we can get them for $1.50 and I get really excited.

    • flutemom says

      we buy our nestle’s choc chips in the 72 oz bag at costco (and try to wait until there’s a costco coupon for them for $2 off per bag- limit 2). i think it’s $8.79/bag (comparable price $1.47/12 oz bag of choc chips)

  4. sharlene says

    Luv this! I’ve started my own several times, and just got discouraged. This makes it so much easier with just a few tweaks. Thanks.

  5. Julie says

    What a wonderful post! Thank you, this is just what I needed! Together with this and what seasons to stock up on certain items is a surefire way to get great deals. :)

  6. Shelley says

    I think the part where it reads that you get diapers for free through swagbucks earnings should actually read “I get diapers free thanks to my loyal readers that sign up under me, who help me earn lots of swagbucks” because not everyone is so fortunate to reap such rewards off swagbucks because they don’t have the podium to collect referrals as you do. That’s where I find bias in the list….not in the variations of the prices, but in the fact that it’s not realistic for us (without a massive following) to seek to achieve that goal. (which is not a regionally priced thing anyway.) Just like the ipad and everything else that you get free because of your readers help you earn it or because companies send them to you so that you can share your opinion with the readers. I’m not trying to be ‘hateful’ about it, but realistic….because when you share this information, someone develops a goal based on what they see you doing and it’s important to be real about how some of it is achieved.

    • says

      While I am blessed to have readers who sign up under me, it’s actually quite realistic for people to be able to pay for all their diapers with Swagbucks — if you’re willing to put forth some effort. Stay tuned tonight because a post is going up with details on how to earn 100 Swagbucks every day — without referrals. :) That’s enough for $25+ in Amazon gift cards every month. And if you stack that $25 with the Amazon diaper codes, you can easily pay for diapers and wipes for two (maybe even three) children for free! :)

      By the way, long before I knew about Swagbucks or had this blog, I got all our diapers for free by playing the Drugstore Game. So I believe that everything — including the free diapers — on this list is achievable for anyone, provided they live in an area with decent prices and sales and multiple stores. You don’t need a blog to get great deals on groceries. :)

      • Jenn says

        I just wanted to affirm what Crystal wrote. I don’t have a blog and (while I’ve done Swagbucks for over 2 years), I’ve never had anyone sign up for me. My baby’s 8 months old, and I almost never pay for diapers for him. If you do the drugstore game (Rite Aid), and do the Amazon Mom deals combined with just one or two $5 Swagbucks gift cards, you really can get them free.

        • Melissa says

          I agree. I don’t even use Swagbucks for diapers and I rarely have to pay for them as long as I stock up when I can get them free at CVS or Walgreens or through Amazon. I have bought them before, but through fault of my own (laziness in not couponing) or crazy situations where I do not have access to my stockpile (we travel a lot currently due to some crazy circumstances and I’m not always near our house). Right now with the Amazon deals, I go hunting for Baby talk magazines whenever I am anywhere that has magazines (waiting rooms, dr. offices, etc.) or get codes from other people who do not use them to try to stockpile in every size that I can for our new baby coming. I will have 3 in diapers this spring, so if I can do it without Swagbucks, anyone can. =) (provided there is a drugstore within 45 minutes of them or they have access to amazon right now). I have used various methods to get free magazines (parents, babytalk, etc.) in order to score free codes as well- surveys, mycokerewards, random free deals, etc. Then I search on amazon to find whatever diapers the $10 off + 20% off will score me for free and that’s what I order. This month alone I’ve ordered 8 huge boxes of free diapers as my husband has an amazon account and I do as well and other friends have used the codes to order under their accounts as well. I wish I had a ton of swagbuck referrals, I’m trying, but I only have 1 and it’s not producing any swagbucks for me. :) So it is possible if you are patient and stockpile!

    • Lise says

      I’ve not been successful with the Swagbucks gig either. The points were so miniscule that I stopped doing it because it was more work than I was getting from it. Glad for others that they’re able to make it work, though.

      • says

        Did you try watching Swagbucks TV? You can earn up to 75 points per day with it. It’s a great way to earn if you’re on the computer a lot during the day!

        • Shelley says

          I’m very active in Swagbucks – and have no referrals under me….but $25 a month in Amazon GCs does not seem realistic even with the suggestions you posted tonight. And to be honest, I am shocked that you would suggest putting forth that much time into it. I read your blog daily and you tend to focus a lot on time versus money. I believe you have even said that you have found surveys to not to be worth your time – and personally, I have less time in surveys and I make more at that than I do swagbucks. Just because it ‘can’ be done doesn’t mean that it’s realistic…we’ve all got families and responsibilities. This site is about moms, after all. And just to be fair, I felt it worth mentioning….

          • says

            Thanks for chiming in! You are definitely right that I think it’s very important to consider what is the best return on our investment of time. The reason I posted this series was not so that people would feel like they needed to do all of these things, but to just give people ideas for ways to earn more Swagbucks. Not all of these ideas will work for everyone, but some of them will work well for some people. And that’s why I share them here… to give people ideas and then to encourage you to decide what works best for you.

            I’m not sure if you saw the breakdown, but I show how you can earn $25 in Amazon gift cards every month. Yes, it would take some effort and yes, it might not be something that everyone would want to put the time and effort into, but it’s *possible*. And that’s what I wanted people to see… that you don’t have to have referrals in order to earn a good amount of Swagbucks. For those who have a job which requires them to be on the computer for hours at a time each day, playing the Swagbucks videos while working is a great way to multi-task. It will only actually take a few extra minutes added up over the course of a few hours and you can earn up to 75 Swagbucks per day. And by doing this, you could earn 100 Swagbucks per day in less than 15 minutes of your actual time spent dedicated to it. For some — especially those who are on a very tight budget where every penny matters — that would be very worth the effort.

            However, Swagbucks might not be something you find worth your time. If not, you can skip these posts guiltlessly, okay? As I always say, just do what works for you and don’t feel badly if something that works well for someone else doesn’t work for you!

            I hope that clarifies things for you. Please feel free to email me if you have further questions or concerns. I’m always happy to try and address things.

            Have a wonderful day!

        • ann says

          On another note, it would be great if you could initiate a post where you or your readers(in comments) could list the best deals they have found on amazon. It would help because I find many things to be expensive on amazon.

    • crystal B. says

      Two points:

      1. I agree with you to some extent…I was just telling my hubby the other day that some things are “easier” for blog owners–like on that extreme couponing show and the KCL lady had TONS of free coupons–these are sent to regular people occasionally, but big blog owners get frees a lot more often from companies who are wanting advertising, etc. And, I’m sure it is much easier for the swag bucks and that kind of things as well.

      2. With that being said, I actually find her prices to be very realistic…Her list is quite similar to mine, with some of mine being a little higher and some a little lower based on region. And, since I started the drugstore game (I am LUCKY that in my small little town, I have Dollar General, Family Dollar, Save a lot, and RITE AID!!!–that’s it, but I do have RA)…anyway, for the past year I have gotten the following for FREE–ALL household cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, dish detergent, diapers, baby wash, wipes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, OTC medicines, occasional soda/treat splurges which we otherwise couldn’t afford, make up, shampoo/conditioner, razors/shaving gel, socks, pacifiers/baby toys, candy, chips, body wash, deoderant…

      I don’t mean that I get them for free every once in a while…I mean that I haven’t paid for any of those items for our family in the past year. So, it is entirely possible for a regular person to do that…I don’t “buy” coupons either. And, in addition to all of those things I get other stuff too, like some food items and other random items free at rite aid.

      • Emily says

        Are you willing to get whatever brand is free on any of those items you listed above? I have been able to get a good amount of things free, but some things we prefer a certain brand and I have a hard time getting them free. For instance, my husband prefers either Mitchum or Sure deodorant. I can get Mitchum for maybe $1 or $1.25 at CVS (depending of the coupon that is out) or Sure for $.50 at Walgreens, but I have never been able to get either for free.

        • crystal B. says

          Two things,

          1. Our allowable budget is $150 per month for ALL household and food items. We are dictated by finances more than preferences and I’m not ashamed to say that. It just means that we are being responsible by our family. Yeah, I prefer certain things over others, but I have to think about what’s best for my entire family, and what fits in our very tight budget.

          2. In playing the “drug store game” there are often chances to make money (for example a few weeks ago they had motrin 20 ct. for $3, with a $3 UP reward, and a $6/2 coupon out. So, you just made $3 per box (CVS and Walgreens do the same types of things), if there are things we prefer that we can’t get cheap or free–my hubby says that ONLY mucinex will work for him, so that is all he will use despite all the other similar meds that I can get for nothing–I get those with my extra “rite aid money” and it is still free to me.

          It’s defintely a game of sacrifice/compromise.

      • Shelley says

        Amen to your point #1! I’m glad someone shares my view! It’s a fact – and as much as it keeps being denied and disputed, it’s very much the case! More power to them for having that advantage – it is good for them! I would just feel better if some of these ‘benefits’ weren’t so hidden from the readers. Our available avenues aren’t as yielding and therefore we look for ways that are more realistic and relatable to our lives. I think sometimes blog owners start off “just like the rest of us” but then shift away and become more about making money from their blog instead of connecting as it use to be. (and no, I’m not speaking about Crystal – I’m just sharing my concerns in general – I don’t just read this blog, I read anywhere from 20-30 a day.) Again, it’s good for them…but from a reader’s standpoint it can get frustrating.

        • says

          I know that sometimes people get frustrated because bloggers have an advantage, but I just want to gently remind you that anyone can start a blog — for free! :)

          You can read my Blogging for Profit series here:

          Yes, there are lots of wonderful perks to blogging, but I will be the first to tell you that it is a LOT of hard work. In fact, my team combined puts in over 90 hours per week to run this blog. So while the rewards might seem nice (and they are!), it’s important to remember that they didn’t come without a lot of sacrifice, diligence and discipline on the blogger’s part.

          But it’s also important to remember that blogging is truly something *anyone* can do. You don’t need a blogging degree and you don’t have to spend anything to set up a blog. I truly believe that anyone can be a successful blogger if they are willing to put forth the time and effort and patience to stick with it.

          That said, finding the balance between being relateable and realistic while being open and honest that this blog earns a good income for our family is constantly a challenge and I don’t profess to know how to do it perfectly. However, if you ever see me hiding “benefits” or perks or anything from anyone, please come knock me over the forehead. It is highly important to me that I am 100% open and honest in blogging. I am here to help you — which is why I turn down dozens of opportunities each month to make a quick buck because it doesn’t benefit my readers.

          Helping you save money always has been and always will be my first priority. If you ever feel like it’s anything but that, please email me because I want to know.

          • ann says

            Crystal, your blog has NEVER come across as a marketing website (unlike many others). Your articles and tips are very inspiring. I have read other blogs, but am stuck to MSM because your blog is not a Sales pitch! What you earn is something you truly deserve!
            I don’t go to my office to work for free. 😉
            Goodluck and keep up the good work !

          • ann says

            And I must add that I have stopped running after deals and have reduced my wants… thanks to your blog. My life is simplified and I’ve saved good money and sanity following your tips. Love the time I can spend with my family and friends. Thank You.

          • Leah says

            I just want to chime in and add that I’ve never felt like you were trying to unfairly make a profit off your readers (the way I feel about some blogs I read). I would have found the original comment a little hurtful, honestly (but maybe I am just sensitive?), so I hope you weren’t offended by it. I find you to be very sensitive towards your readers.
            Also, I use Swagbucks ONLY as a search engine, exactly the same way I used google previously, and I earn $5/month in Amazon GCs. Not much, but I usually use it to buy printer ink or coconut oil. One less thing I’d have to buy on my own. It’s not much, but it requires no time investment on my part.
            I get diapers for free from drugstores. I combine $x/$x coupons, MQs, store Qs and ECBs/Ups and get them for free. I also cloth diaper, so I don’ t need to buy them as frequently as some other moms (usually just use them overnight), but I still get them for free.

  7. Michelle says

    I’m in Canada and we don’t have anything NEAR the deals available in the US. Still, couponing helps … especially when stacked with a sale. And stock piling.

    We all do what we can … and even though my grocery budget for our family of six (children 9, 8, 5 and 2) is roughly 10 times what Chrystal spends ($600 a month!) it is still just a fraction of what most of my friends and neighbours are spending!

    • says

      Michelle – I am totally with you on this! But thankfully, there is still ALOT we Canadians can do too! I constantly have cashiers asking me where I get all my coupons, and I am definitely spending less than my neighbors too.

  8. Michelle says

    Having trouble commenting … but just wanted to say, here in Canada, our deals are nothing like what you all have! Kudos!!

    I do what I can to coupon and stack with a sale … every little bit helps, right?!

    • Leah Nissly says

      I live in Canada too and can certainly feel your pain! You are doing great, it is quite the challenge to keep prices low. Do you have No Frills near by? They have some good sales that are great for stockpiling. Every little bit helps!

  9. says

    I’ve been waiting for this post! Love having an idea of what good stock up prices are, thanks! I love all the deals and freebies at the grocery store, although now my husband thinks all stores need to “pay” me to take things out for them 😉

  10. Courtney says

    Wow, I am impressed with the awesome deals that you get!

    Now I’m wishing someone would make up a list like this for organic foods, since that’s mostly what we buy.

  11. Melissa says

    Crystal- Have you ever checked out “day-old” bread stores? We have 3 in our area. I frequent Nickels (sp?) and on my last trip I got a 1 package of English Muffins, 1 package of Bagels, 1 package of Pull-Apart Bread (like a dinner roll), can of bread crumbs, and 2 loafs of bread for less than $5.
    They have frequent flyier stamps were once you fill a card you a stamp ($1= one stamp)
    I can typically get 3 loafs of bread for less than a $1.50 all together.

    • says

      Yes, there’s one day-old bread store in our town, but it’s not in an area I’m in very often and the prices there are typically higher than what I can get at Dollar Tree and the health food store. If I wasn’t able to get such great deals on bread at the health food store and Dollar Tree, I’d either be making all our sandwich bread and buns or making a trip once a month to the day-old bread store. My mom always did that growing up and we’d stock up on bread for the next 4-6 weeks!

      • Sheila says

        My friends and I will buy an entire rack of “day old” bread from the bread store at 47th & Broadway for $12.00 … we split it between 4-7 families and we each end up with at least a laundry basket full of bread. We always call ahead to make sure that the racks are full of bread and not full of lots of ding dongs, hoho’s, and donuts! :)

        • says

          Oh wow! What brands do they typically have and is this something others could do as well (i.e. do they have more than one rack available?) I’m super impressed!

          • Sheila says

            We have to call ahead to find out what is available… it’s always quite a variety, Home Pride, Nature’s Pride, Wonder, etc. Some times they will slit the packages so they cannot be returned/resold, other times they won’t. If the packages are slit, we inspect the loaf then tape it shut. Anything overly expired, we pass on to a friend with chickens :) The rest we bring home and freeze. We were so disappointed when all the other bread stores closed because not too many of us frequent the south part of town either!

      • crystal B. says

        I stock up on Aunt Millie’s when it goes on sale at Meijer…I LOVE that bread…they will send coupons too if you contact them to let them know how much you love their product.

      • Jamie says

        We have a Wonder Bread outlet in our town that also carries soon to expire bread in other brands from the local grocery stores and Target. I have gotten Market Pantry whole wheat bread for .79 cents a loaf and Nature’s Pride whole wheat for $1.00 a loaf. I go maybe once a month and spend $10.00 and stock my extra freezer. I recently did this and then whent to the local HyVee to see what my savings was and I had saved over $30.00 in bread compared to the retail prices :-)

      • Laura says

        Crystal, what other deals do you find at the Dollar Tree? We have one close to our house and I’m curious to see what kind of deals I could find there as we don’t go there very often.

          • Jennifer says

            I live near 2 Dollar Trees and they have recently started accepting manufacturer coupons. It made me happy to find this out, because the ones I frequent carry a lot of name brand food and personal care items. :)

  12. says

    Wow, I’m really surprised! I have always assumed that my area (DC) has higher prices, and maybe it does, but my target prices are almost exactly the same as yours!

  13. Mary says

    Although we do not eat dark meat, I can almost always buy whole chickens for less than 70 cents a pound. I buy several and cut them up, saving the breasts for recipes using breasts, the tenderloins for stirfry or chicken fingers. We like wings so those go in a separate bag. I then use everything else to make chicken stock which is much better than the canned variety. I weighed my results once and found that even if I threw everything else away, the breasts are cheaper this way!

  14. Kelly says

    Thank you so much for posting this…I know it took a big chunk of your time to do it (really, no pun intended!). Looking at your best meat prices makes me especially thankful for my husband’s dedication to our country for 21+ years, and thus, our commissary priviledges…

    • Jennifer says

      Kelly, I couldn’t agree with you more! The prices we pay for meat at the commissary is incredible compared to off-base prices. I just recently started shopping at a local grocery store but I will always buy my meat from base.

      • Rae says

        Surprising to me. Meat is one thing I never buy at the commissary because I stock up when the other stores do loss leader sales on meat and it is about half the price of the commissary.

  15. Allison V. says

    Crystal-I know you just made homemade dish detergent, but our “local store” *wink wink* carries bottles of Cascade for $2.99 (last I shopped anyhow) that I use the $1 coupons from the P&G booklet during Double $ week and pay .99/bottle. Plus I only fill the soap reservoir about halfway, so that bottle lasts me 2-4 months.

    Also, they are doing meat “bundles” now, and while I can’t remember specifics, I’m quite sure you could buy something like 20 lbs of their 97% lean ground beef for less than your listed price here. Something to check on next time you’re there!

    • says

      Thanks for the tip! I’ve missed the last three Double $ coupon weeks… bummer!

      I hadn’t heard they were doing meat bundles; I’ll check on that. Thanks, girl!

  16. Kim says

    I do think this is helpful, although I have to assume that some of these grocery store deals are only available to you if your store doubles coupons (which does not happen in Florida).

  17. Jamie says

    I’m in DC and while our produce prices are more expensive then anywhere I’ve ever lived (I’ve lived in MO, UT, and WA) our meat prices are the lowest. Have you ever tried ground turkey? We were very reluctant, but can’t tell much difference in things like tacos, sloppy joes, etc. We can get it for.99/pound and it REALLY cuts down on our meat budget! LOVE your site! Thanks for all you do!

  18. Lori says

    Crystal, we’re in the Midwest too. Do you usually buy most of your produce in one store? If so, from which store do you usually purchase it? I’ve managed to get the rest of the grocery and household budget down but that’s one place I am struggling with. I don’t have time to drive all over town to get the best deals on produce, and I can’t bear to price match at our Wal-Mart for produce – I just don’t think theirs is very fresh. Suggestions?

    • says

      I shop the loss leaders and markdowns on produce at the health food store and Dillon’s. And then I usually buy whatever produce is on sale at Aldi that week — usually enough of it to last for two or even three weeks so that we have more variety.

      • Jamie says

        Just curious about your healthfood store. Is it a chain or locally owned? We have one in our town but it is small and I am not sure if it would be worth it to stop in (with a baby and being 81/2 months pregnant :-)

  19. Amber says

    Thanks so much! This is wonderful and is such a huge help!!!! You truly are such a blessing. Thank you for all of your hard work! :)

  20. says

    I always buy meat in bulk at the meat market and separate and freeze it. I just picked up boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.49 a lb. whereas my grocery store wanted $3.69 a lb.! I also get ground chuck for around $1.59-$1.89 a lb. at the meat market.

    Also, I am in the Midwest too but have a hard time lately finding cereal under $1 a box…I did recently at Rite Aid but other than that haven’t seen that good of a sale in a year. So last week when I could get it for $1.25 a box, I stocked up! :)

    All in all, my prices vary slightly in some areas but this is around the same as my stockup prices too. I also won’t pay more than $.25 for chili, $1 for pickles, free for salsa, etc. I need to make up an actual list of my prices and follow it though. Have yet to do that! :)

  21. Crystal says

    Thank you so much for this post! Not only does it affirm that I’m keeping up with the ‘pro’ in some areas, but it gives me new goals in other areas. I really appreciate all of the information you provide on your blog… I found it only a few months ago and now visit daily (well, more than daily) and refer everyone to it. YOU ARE AWESOME!

  22. says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I am going to print it out and stick it in my coupon binder. That way, if I’m not sure if I’m getting a good deal, I’ll check your list. I’m thinking that since I’m in California, if I can get close to your “max” price, it’s probably a good deal!

  23. Karen says

    We get 91/9 ground beef for 2.39 a pound and boneless skinless thighs for .98 cents. We decided to make the change to thighs to get them less than a buck a pound. We could probably get BS breasts for about $1.50 a pound but I am too cheap and do like the thighs better. My husband makes the sacrifice and my boys do not know the difference. We are also gluten and cow dairy free so we buy A LOT on We are very stocked here but it is all pretty healthy food with the exception of some cookies here and there and the occasional chips. We have done great with diapers on too. I am learning about diapers still. I used to buy for 5 bucks and was very happy with myself but takes it to a new level! Thanks for sharing this info even though we have to change it up for our dietary needs!

  24. says

    Thanks Crystal for this post its a saver and encouragement. We have setup a $50 for our weekly budget which works because we shop at Indian stores(we always come under), however its another story for the household staples such as toilet paper and kitchen rolls.I usually buy every 3-4 months for our household of 3.
    Trying to build up a good year’s emergency fund and a stock-up. being new at it all , this helps for sure even though you are in kansas.

  25. carla Sorensen says

    Whenever I have tried to freeze bread, it never tastes the same. I must be doing something wrong. Do you just put it in the freezer in the original bag or do you use freezer bags, too. Do you empty the bread from the original bag if you do use freezer bags.


  26. says

    We’re Ice Cream snobs too, but down in Texas, it’s Blue Bell! Anything else just doesn’t compare. And anything less than $3/half gallon is a steal!
    Thanks for posting this, it is very helpful to those of us who are new to coupons and the drugstore game.

    • Charity says

      Yee haw for Blue Bell!! My husband and I had it for the first time when were engaged and on our way to Mexico for a mission trip. We had stopped in a border Texas town to grab something to eat before crossing the border and we discovered Blue Bell! I was SO excited when we moved a few months ago to the Low Country of SC to discover that many places around here sell it. It is the. yummiest. ice cream. ever!!

  27. Anna says

    Crystal, thank you for posting the prices. I live in the midwest also and most of my price list is the same as yours with a few differences.

    I have been doing “strategic shopping” for two years now. I still feel this way sometimes but am getting better…I get envious of those who can get products for free. BUT now I know it is better to only compete with myself and that is why making a price list has been helpful. I can get many things for free but I have learned that sometimes the best free items are things that I come by on “accident” and find on clearance or an unadvertised sale. I use to buy some “free” things only to discover that I never used it so what was the point??? Yes, I can donate but that also takes time and I find that places that take donations are getting “picky” and should be because their clients deserve the best too :).

    Free is not always the best. I learned on some of the blogs about getting products for a few pennies or for free!!! For example, Glade candles last year, I got dozens for free. After the candle freenzy was over, I thought what do I need all these candles for and what am I going to do with them. I finally found a good home for them. Then I started reading Crystal’s blog and started to spend my money much more wisely and with purpose. I still get things for free but now I buy with an end in mind.

    My suggestion is to develop one’s own list price and compete with yourself. Also, keep track of the sales and the cycles in one’s own area. Make notes to yourself about clearances so that the next year you can be prepared (Target’s toy clearance in January and July). Makes notes when bread, meat, etc. goes on sale at the stores. I just think a smart shopper needs to document, document, document their shopping expenses–where, when, why, how, cost, date. Not only is it good for budget assessment but it really does not take much time to write down shopping expenses. One can do it on little notebooks that you keep in your purse. I keep my list price comparison list simple.

    Finally, keep in mind prices comparison expenses like gas, ink, paper purchase, time investment, when making a price comparison list and shopping. These are often hidden expenses. The Target. Aldi, CVS, & Walgreens I shop at are all within a few blocks from each other. There are other good stores across town but it would cost more time and gas to get there and therefore I would lose my “savings” by driving there. It is more cost effective for me to stay in my shopping radius (about 5 miles from home is my limit).

    Again, my advice is only compare to yourself (this is not aimed at Crystal but to those of us who may envy others bottom price list). Certainly share the success stories but there are so many different factors for each family who live in different parts of the country that influence one’s budget.

  28. says

    I know some people commented that they were depressed because of your low prices, but this post has been so encouraging to me!

    We’re in no coupon land and now I see how you can have a food budget of $40 per week for your family. I enjoyed reading your post!

    Even if some people can’t/don’t want to use coupons, many of the other strategies you use will work to lower their food budgets (sales, menu planning, etc.).

    Thank you for posting this!

  29. Rae says

    Another place to keep an eye out for sunscreen is the testing sites (bzzagent, shespeaks, etc). Last year I got to try the new Hawaiian Tropic Creme collection on shespeaks. They sent me a full size bottle of all 3 products (sunscreen, after sun care, and tanning lotion) a couple months in between each product as well as sample packets to pass out. I have also seen other sunscreen programs on bzzagent and others just not been offered them myself (or was too late to accept)

  30. Jamie says

    Thanks so much for this list. Glad you finally decided to post it, it has sparked a really good conversation. I have learned a lot from everyone else’s comments. I also think I might print your list and keep it in my binder like someone else said. I have tried to start my own price list before but it fell by the wayside. So, thank you, Crystal for allowing me to be lazy and use your list as a guideline! :-)

  31. says

    Bananas are .59 a pound here, and I rarely see them on sale. A bunch of bananas is usually 5or 6 bananas, and with 6 children, we can easily go through several bunches in a week :)

    I see a lot of differences in your prices because Dillon’s does double coupons for you; we can have the same sales on brownie mix, but there are no double coupons here.

    Obviously we’re all looking forward to any sunscreen deals that you post this year :)

    I would also like to know how you get diaper rash ointment for free. I have had 2-3 children in diapers at a time for 7 1/2 years now, and the best deals I have found are manufacturer’s coupons stacked with a Target coupon stacked with a sale at Target, but it’s never been free, or even close to it.

    Are your mustard and canned goods (esp. tomato paste and soup) prices because you have double coupons for those items? Is soap that little for the same reason? (Also, are you brand-loyal on soap, or do you use any brand? )

    • says

      I’ve gotten diaper rash ointment free by playing the drugstore game as well as I got a coupon when I was pregnant for a free tube from some online promotion. We don’t go through it very quickly here, so that few tubes have lasted through all my children!

      The mustard and canned good prices are definitely the result of doubled coupons. Dillon’s also have Hunt’s tomatoes part of the Buy 10, Get $5 Off promotion a couple of months ago and I got at least 9 or 10 cans for pennies with that.

      We’re not brand loyal to soap; I just buy whatever is free or cheap. I can typically get better deals on bodywash so we often use that.

  32. Jen Carl says

    Thanks for the list:) I buy a lot of organic items, so I have my own list for those and have prices in my head that I like to pay for things and we have about the same baseline for prices! It’s amazing the fluctuation between sale prices and regular prices in a store. Sometimes a few DOLLARS per item. That’s crazy. Stockpiling has helped us to save thousands a year for our family. Friends are shocked when they see my pantry. I have a stocked pantry filled with organic varieties like Muir Glen and Cascadian Farms and also natural brands like Kashi all for pennies. I just got Terra Chips for $1 at Giant with coupons and a sale and normally would pay around $2.99. We love the sweet potato chips so I stocked up! The savings definately add up over time! Thanks for all you do:)


  33. Beth says

    Thank you for once again being so encouraging. And for your constant reminders about comparing ourselves to others. What I take from your list of target prices is encouragment. It makes sense my grocery bills would be much higher than yours because my target prices and my family’s tastes are different. Not to mention the slight differences in costs between cities. (Like eggs! I pay more than $3 a dozen for free range eggs from local farmers. You are very lucky!) So I’m not going to beat myself up when I see your Super Savings Saturday posts of grocery trips that total much less than mine. We’re all different and work with the differences in our situations. Thanks for posting this!

  34. Kathy says

    Your posts have inspired me to cook more healthy and make stuff on my own, including buying a bread maker! Just curious if there is a health reason you don’t eat much pork or another reason?

  35. says

    You know, one of the great things in stock is a bit of left over chicken from your roaster. So, like, eat all the white meat, save back the dark and throw it in the stew pot with the bones while you’re making stock. Makes it much richer. You might like shredded dark meat in the finished soup, too, I don’t know.

    And should you make your own stock, a celery stick and carrot stick are a must. Or, if you’re like me and always throw chopped celery and carrots in your roast, save back the celery and carrot tops to throw in your stock. No use using a whole veggie when the stuff you’d normally throw out work fine!

  36. Jessica says

    Thank you so much for the list! I have items w/ prices jotted down all over but not a nice organized, updated list. Haha! One question though, the toilet paper on your list….what size roll? regular roll? double roll? why are there so many roll sizes anyway?!?! 😉

  37. Reeca says

    Thank you so much for posting these guidelines. I am new to using coupons and I’m always wondering if it’s a good deal. Do any of you ever by produce at the local farmers markets? I like to but is it cheaper than getting it on sale at the store? It’s local and fresh and most of the time organic but it just seems higher but I’ve never compared the prices.

  38. Naomi says

    I need to “Ditto!” the last commenter. You have taught me everything I know about couponing and saving at the grocery store, and made it sooo easy. I too was pleased to see I’m doing fairly well, since I am getting many prices similar to yours. Thanks for sharing, this gave me the encouragement that I am meeting my goals and contributing to our family’s financial goals, as we also are a 1 income family. : )

  39. Naomi says

    Ground beef tip: You can boil it to cook, so you are cooking out all the fat. Of course, you can’t do that for burgers, but for everything else when you actually break it up, you just boil it and dump the water. Since you are cooking out all the fat, you might as well spend less by purchasing the higher fat content. You can google this for more info.

  40. Michelle says

    I keep track of my lowest prices in a tiny address book that I carry in my purse. Under “S” I will list my lowest price on sugar and the store I got it from. For some items I will list several stores and prices since I go to some stores infrequently. This helps me when I see a “sale” and I can’t remember what I want to pay.

  41. Lisa bagg says

    How do you get so many things so cheap? We live in a small area with a Wal-Mart, United, and Jumbo’s (local grocery store). Not one of them doubles coupons. Any advice?

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