When To Stock Up?

One of the questions we repeatedly get in our inbox is, “At what price do you stock up on item X?”  Or, “What are you willing to pay for toothpaste, toilet paper, cereal, etc.?”  The truth is, there is no magic number. It depends on how brand specific you are and how big your stockpile is. Obviously, if you aren’t in desperate need of an item, you can wait for a better deal before you buy. But here are just a few of the items we are asked about most frequently. For a more extensive list, go see Monica’s post HERE!

Toilet paper: $5-$7 for the Charmin 9 roll or FREE-$2 for knock-off brand

Paper towels: $.75

Ziploc bags: $1/box

Toothpaste & toothbrushes: FREE

Napkins: usually find the generic brand is cheaper than name brand, even with sale+coupon

Cleaning supplies (Scrubbing Bubbles/Windex/toilet bowl cleaners, etc.):  FREE-$.50

Dishwasher soap: $4 for Cascade

Hand/dish soap: FREE-$.25 for Soft Soap  type and free-$.50 for Dawn/Palmolive

Laundry detergent: $2-$4 depending on the brand

Pads & tampons: FREE-$1

Johnson Buddies soaps: FREE

Paper plates: FREE- $.50

Deodorant: FREE-$.75 depending on the brand

Body wash: FREE-$1

Ground Beef:  $1.79/lb

Chicken:  $1.69/lb

Milk:  $1.99/gallon

Cheese: $3-$4/2 lb

Spaghetti/pasta: FREE

Granola bars: $.50/box

Bread: $.50-$1/loaf

Cereal: FREE- $.50/box

Fruit snacks: FREE-$.50/box

Brownie/cake mix:  FREE-$.50

100% juice: $.50-$1/bottle

Juice boxes: FREE

2 liter Coke/Pepsi: $.80

12 pack Coke/Pepsi: $2-$2.50


  • Rana

    I have only been couponing for 3 months and I haven’t seen much of dishwashing liquid (for the dishwashers, not for “by hand” washing). I usually stock up at Costco when they have their huge Cascade Complete $2 off coupons, they are only $7 after the coupon and they last me about 4 months. But I have been trying to find some other coupons lately with no luck. Are these kind of harder to come by then all other coupons? Also, when you wrote “juice boxes”, what kind are you talking about? I put Capri Sun Roarin’ Waters in my DD lunch and I have yet to see a coupon for them. Any advice or help is appreciated.

    • Monica

      Ok the way that I usually get dish washer soap is when the $2.50/1 Electrasol coupons come out. Check out this link here: https://fabulesslyfrugal.com/?s=electrasol to see how we got them for only .50 at Smiths, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Family dollar and more. Just press ctrl F and type in electrasol and keep hitting next to see how many times and how many places we have been able to do this. However if you need detergent now, go get it at Costco now and then the next time these coupons come out you can get yourself a little stockpile.

      Juice: We get the Tree Top juice and the Juicy Juice boxes for free any time the $1/2 coupon comes out on the Tree Top, and when the $1/1 comes out for juicy juice. We just use doublers to do this. If Capri Sun is what you seek hold out a little longer. The spring/summer time is a hot time to get CAPRI sun FREE! We got it free or cheap multiple times last summer. There were coupons and there were promos.

      I hope this helps you!

  • natalie kay

    thanks for the list again!

  • Vaun

    Thanks for this list… it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thanks again!

  • Nikki

    Are these scenarios based on areas where doubling occurs? I can’t double Q’s where I live so I’m wondering if these prices are realistic for me.

  • Leah

    Thanks so much, I’ve been desperately trying to find a price point for toilet paper or detergent, etc. This is a fabulous list :). Also in case anyone doesn’ t mind cutting up their own chickens I get my chicken breast for $.69-.89/lb because I buy whole chickens and store them according to piece.

  • Susan

    I noticed under stockpiling steps you mention you get 6 Sunday papers. Why so many, don’t they offer the same coupons? Isn’t there a limit to how many of the same coupons you can use?

  • trish

    To Susan’s question, I am new to this, but might be able to supply you an answer. I have been getting 5 papers delivered (they had a get multiple Sunday paper discount here in Seattle) and if the coupons are great i run out and get a few more. Every store is a little different in there coupon policy, but I worked for Safeway for years. We use to separate the customers orders to help with savings and limits by making it more than one transaction. This was just with the store sales with the club card being used. Using coupons should work the same way. You will need a lot of coupons to start your stockpiling. If the store has a limit on how many coupons can be used, that is usually per transaction! Hope this helps and if anyone has better advice please let me know!!

    Also thanks Amber for the list. It helps me figure things out, except we don’t have stores that double coupons here :{ (Well Albertson’s does sometimes in there weekend ad!)

    Remember I am new

  • pam

    how much for canned goods?

  • andrea

    The list is great, but from a year ago. Do you guys still get milk that cheap? Ours in So Cal is roughly $3 a gallon. And only Ralphs and Vons doubles. I have noticed there is correlation between the Safeway sales and Ralphs – seems like they’re similar (though not as generous at Ralph’s in So Cal), except that the Safeway sales precede Ralph’s by a week. Gives me time to anticipate and plan what we might see the following week. Anyway, thanks for the great site and info. I’m sure we’d all love updated price points if you all have extra time (cough cough)!

  • Hi Ladies!

    Do you know why some places double coupons and some don’t? I am also in Tacoma/Seattle area, and it’d be nice to have someplace other than Albertsons that doubles!!

  • I was excited to see your list. However when I took a closer look at the numbers I realized no way would I ever be able to get those prices in my region. I live in Northern California where they don’t double. Is there a list that I could look up that better reflects this regions price point(s)?

  • Yes, I can’t find any stores that double either other than Albertson’s when they send home the super saver booklet, and even then the coupon is only good to double one coupon up to a dollar and you can only use one per transaction. Two come on the booklet and I sometimes get more from my neighbors but still they are a bit of a pain. Does anyone know if any stores in las vegas double and what is the rule for stock up prices for regions that don’t?

  • Adrienne

    I was wondering if this price list is still accurate today, or if it isn’t, if there is a more accuate one (to reflect our economy/inflation) on the website that I can be pointed to? Thanks! 🙂

  • Amber

    How do you get chicken for so cheap? I just bought some boneless, skinless chicken breasts today, and they were 3.99/lb!!!

    Also, what are some tips for couponing at Pick N Save?

  • Beth

    Would LOVE to know where you get your chicken & beef for so cheap. However, I know that this is just a guideline list and after couponing and shopping sales only (esp on meat) for a year, I know what prices are stock-up prices for me in my town. I live on the Oregon coast, so my options are more limited, especially with gas so high. It’s all about knowing what is a stock up price for your area, considering other things such as time spent going to different stores, details (such as, ground beef 80/20 or 93/7, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, ect.), and availability. Thank you, Fabs, for continuing to help me & my fam save $!

  • Ryan

    So far I haven’t seem any stores that double in Vegas or Henderson. Albertsons for sure does not.

  • Peggy Doneghue

    I have been trying to coupon for a little while now and I would love to know some tips and is this list gonna be different beings this is 2014. If someone could please help me with this.

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