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Extreme Couponing 101 – Creating Your Price List

In order to stock-up on items while  they are at their ROCK BOTTOM price you’ll have to know when an item is at it’s lowest price.

Stockpiling with your price list means that you:

  • won’t stock-up on “good deals” but will wait till they are great!
  • won’t be  running to the store last minute when you are out of something!
  • WILL SAVE MONEY by cutting out those impulse buys.

Several of you have asked for a list of my stock-up prices or my “Price List” (the price I try to pay for all items I purchase).  I’m hesitant to do this because I’m afraid that it might discourage some of you because prices vary so much by area.  Not to mention that prices seem to be rising by the day lately!  So, whatever you do please promise me that you’ll look glance over my price list and then focus on creating a price list of your own that works for you in your area.  Capeesh?

Make your own price list with this blank printable PDF:

Please not that the prices listed below are the prices I try never to pay more than (of course free or free plus overage is always best!).  These are the prices I get by combining a coupon with a sale and are not the typical shelf prices.

In our area we have an Sam’s Club, Aldi, Food Lion, Lowes Food, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, Walmart, Target, and a Dollar Store.  I’m looking forward to exploring our local Farmer’s Market here soon!

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 get them free with drug store deal scenarios (drug stores will be covered next in this coupon series).  Amazon also has amazing diaper deals to watch out for that you can buy for free if you use your earned Swagbucks.  Generally $5 per package or less would be a good price to stock up on.  Anything less than $0.10 per diaper is usually considered a good deal and less than $0.08 per diaper is usually a great deal!
Wipes — $1 per 64 wipes or less

Toiletries/Personal Care

Band Aids — $0.50 per 30-count box or less
Bar Soap — $0.50 per 2-pack or less
Cough Drops — $0.25 per bag or less
Deodorant — $0.50 per full-size stick or less
Floss — $0.25 per package or less
Liquid Soap — $0.30 per hand soap pump or less
Lotion — $2 or less (good lotion is a priority for me)
Mouthwash — free
Pain Reliever — (brand name) $1 per bottle or less
Razors — disposable $1 per package or less, cartridges $2 per package or less
Shampoo/Conditioner — $1 per bottle for name brand, $0.50 per bottle for off brands.  What I love to do is to look for super good deals on salon brands (Matrix is my favorite) and pair with a coupon.  Per oz these can often be cheaper than those sold at drug stores and I personally just like them better.
Shaving Cream — $0.50 per bottle or less
Sunblock — free
Toothbrushes — $0.30 per toothbrush or less
Toothpaste — free

Refrigerated Items

Butter — $1.69 per pound or less (If you have room stock up on a few pounds and freeze them.)
Cheese — $1.69 per 8 oz. or less
Cream Cheese — $0.50 per package or less (Another great item to stock-up on and freeze.)
Eggs — $2 per dozen for farm-fresh, free-range eggs.  Non-free-range eggs, $1.29 per dozen or less. (Even when eggs go below $0.99 I don’t buy more than 4 weeks’ worth at a time but maybe your family would go through them faster than mine.)
Milk — $2.50 per gallon. Milk can be frozen but until I get the deep freezer I’ve been dreaming of I only buy a few at a time no matter the price.
Sour Cream — $0.99 per 16-oz. carton or less
Yogurt — $0.25 per 6oz. or less (This will probably be changing as prices are hiking up.)

Produce

Bananas — $0.39 at Walmart to $0.44 per pound at Aldi but as of last week I can’t find them below $0.55 anywhere
Fresh Fruit — $1 per pound or less
Grapes — $1 per pound or less
Salad — $1.99 per 16-ounce tub/bag or less.  Head of lettuce for $1.60 per head or less.
Salad Dressing — $0.99 per 16 ounces or less
Strawberries — $2 per carton or less
Tomatoes — $0.99 per pound or less
Watermelon — $2.99 per seedless watermelon (medium to large size)
Carrots — $0.99 per small bag of baby carrots or $0.99 per large bag of whole carrots

Frozen

Frozen Dinners — We rarely buy these unless they are free or almost-free.
Frozen Pizza — DiGiorno $3 or less, Tony’s $0.25 or less
Frozen Vegetables — $1 per bag or less, steamer bags are usually $0.50 or less
Ice Cream — We rotate between Turkey Hill, Blue Bunny, & Breyer’s and aim for $2.50 per tub or less.

Meat

Beef, Ground — 93% lean beef when it is on sale for $3.69 per pound or less, 85% (best for hamburgers) when it is on sale for $2 per pound or less
Chicken, Boneless Skinless Breast — $6 per 3-lb. bag or less
Chicken, Whole — $5 We always buy the cooked chicken from the deli, it’s the same cost and a lot less work.
Roast — $3 per pound or less
Pork — $2 per pound or less depending on size, slicing, and if it’s marinated.

We buy steak maybe twice a year so I’m not really sure on a good price.

Dry/Canned Goods

Bread — $1.50 per loaf or less (for the nicer, high-quality brands)
Brownie Mix — $0.39 to free
Cake Mix — $0.50 to free
Canned Tuna — White meat in water is usually $0.25 per pack of cans.  You can often get the more expensive pouches for almost-free so we usually stock up on those.
Cereal — $1 per box or less.  I’m a cereal lover and if I’m low in my stock pile I’ll pay $1.50 for my favorite “healthy” cereals.
Chocolate Chips — $1.69 per package at Aldi or $2 per package of Nestle.
Cookies — I’ll occasionally purchase the rolled holiday sugar cookies when they are free.
Crackers — $1.50 per box or less.
Flour — $0.50 per pound for unbleached bread, wheat, self-rising, and all-purpose flour.
Hamburger/Hot Dog Buns — $1.50 per package or less (Sara Lee is our favorite when we can’t find a reduced organic brand)
Honey — Sam’s Club has the best price in our area but I’ll often buy a jar from a local bread shop to support our community.
Jelly/Jam — This is another thing I purchase locally and pay more to support my community.
Ketchup — $0.75 per bottle of Heinz or less
Mayonnaise — $1.50 per jar of Duke’s
Mustard — free
Oats — $1.75 per canister or less
Pasta — $0.50 per box or less
Peanut Butter — $0.75 per jar or less for Jiff’s natural line.
Soup — $0.25 or less per can for the larger, heartier soups.
Spaghetti Sauce — $1.75 per jar or less.  I guess we are spaghetti sauce snobs because we usually only buy one brand of organic sauce, Newman’s Own is our second choice.
Sugar — $1.34 per pound for raw sugar.  White sugar is usually cheapest at Aldi although I don’t have a price per pound because it’s been so long since I’ve bought any.
Syrup — $0.75 per bottle or less.
Tomato Paste — $0.15 or less per can
Tomato Sauce — $0.15 or less per can
Tortillas — $0.99 per package
Vanilla — Sam’s Club is cheapest by far!  The last time I checked it was one pint for $6.88.

Cleaning Supplies/Paper Products

This is a category I love to stock up on because the prices are LOW and the items won’t go bad!

Aluminum Foil — $0.50 or less for a 20-foot box.
Dishwasher Detergent — $1.50 or less per box of the dual tabs.
Dishwashing Soap — $0.25 or free
Laundry Detergent — $0.99 per 32-load bottle (Buying the smaller, concentrated bottles with a sale and coupon is always the best way to save)
Toilet Paper — $0.25 per roll or less
Kitchen Trash Bags — I know that $3 for 32 bags is a good deal but I usually just buy one huge container of Force Flex from Sam’s Club for $12 and it lasts me a year.  Ssshhh, don’t tell but sometimes I would rather spend a little more for the convenience.                                                                                                                                  Window Cleaner  — $0.75 or less
Zipper Bags — $1 per box or less

Are you ready to get started on your own price list? Here are my suggestions to get you started:

  • Make a list of all stores in your area.
  1. Big box – Walmart, Target
  2. Grocery – Lowes Food, Kroger
  3. Drug store – Walgreens, CVS
  4. Overstock stores – Big Lots
  5. Warehouse stores – Sam’s Club, Costco, BJ’s
  6. Dollar stores
  7. Farmer’s markets
  8. Health food stores
  9. Scratch and dent stores
  10. Discount gocery – Aldi, Save-a-Lot
  • Visit your area stores and record the prices of 20 items you buy regularly
  1. Don’t let this be overwhelming, just begin with 2-3 stores that you already shop at.  There will be plenty of time to branch out to other stores.  I don’t want you to get burnt out before you get started.
  • Find our those store’s coupon policies (many of these are found online) & discount days (this is the day they mark down the meat, bread, etc and any manager can tell you this).
  • Determine which stores generally have the lowest prices

After filling out the price book forms and finding out your local stores’ coupon policies and discount days, you will have a pretty good idea of which stores are best to shop at on a regular basis.  Most stores run their sales cycles every twelve weeks or so, with a few incredible sales thrown in on occasion. To get a more accurate picture, I’d recommend tracking the sales at a few stores for three months.

This does not mean that you need to go to five different stores each week and fill our a price list form but I would recommend scanning the sales fliers each week and visiting each store at least once a month.

I hope that you find this information and price list useful.  I know how overwhelming grocery shopping and couponing can be but I hope that by arming you with the right information and tools you can easily and dramatically reduce your grocery budget!

I would love for you to share this post with anyone you think could benefit from it.  However if you are going to share it on your blog, Facebook or any other media, I ask that you link directly to this post and not to the list itself.

View other lessons in this Extreme Couponing series:

Lesson 1:  Change the Way You Shop & Coupon Vocabulary

Lesson 2:  10 Coupon Myths Debunked

Lesson 3:  Where to Find Coupons

Lesson 4: Get Organized

Lesson 5: Creating Your Price-List

Lesson 6: How to Maximize Coupon Savings

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About Ashley

Ashley is very happily married and the mother to a beautiful little girl, and she is the main voice behind Embracing Beauty.

Comments

  1. Misty Pentecost says:

    I’m getting everything together for my binder that I have coming in the mail, which I’m super excited about however I can’t recall what the name of the paper is that has the coupon price, sale price and final price? It is driving me crazy!!! If you could help me out with this it would be a great help to me. I’ve been couponinf for years but my eyes have been opened that with a little more time and effort I can save more money than ever before. Thank you for all you have shown me already!!! You are a wonderful help and I hope oneday to have my coupon knowledge just as much as yours!!!
    Thank you,
    Misty Lynn

  2. I tried to go to your blank price list above and it said page not found. Can you tell me how to fix this or email it to me?

  3. Love your site. I’m a newbie trying to digest it all!

    When I try to click on your blank price list pdf I only get a “file not found”

  4. Tina, I’m glad to have you! If you ever have any questions feel free to ask!!! Thanks for the heads up on the pdf, I’ll have to fix the link.

  5. Ashley Mullins says:

    Just have a quick question, if possible. I know you stated that milk can be frozen but what about cottage cheese, sour creams, yogurts, cheeses, etc. And how long can they hold in the freezer without causing a funny taste in the food? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I google some stuff however, there are some things that I would rather know from a person that has done it. Thanks so much in advance for any help! Love the site btw, especially the new blank pdf sheets HUGE HELP!

  6. Hey Ashley! Yogurt can be frozen and I prefer to eat it slightly thawed as a frozen treat but if you would like thaw it completely it has a good taste but a slightly different texture…which you might not mind! Give it a try and see what you think. I think it’s a nice way to give kids a slushy treat in their lunch box.

    I rarely use cottage cheese so I don’t know from experience that it freezes well. Although I did a little research, “Both creamy and drier varieties of cottage cheese can be frozen for a month, although the creamy cottage cheese may separate when thawed, according to the University of North Dakota.”

    Sour cream freezes fine but the consistency is different when thawed. I use thawed sour cream for an ingredient in meals but I wouldn’t use it as a dip or on a baked potato.

    A grocery store block cheddar, monterey jack, or provolone are industrial cheeses, highly processed so freezing them is fine. If your family uses softer, hand-crafted cheeses I wouldn’t freeze them. They are more delicate and when frozen they develop ice crystals inside the cheese and when it defrosts it turns into a dry and crumbly wedge.

    Great questions, I think I’ll use this in a post soon. Thanks for the idea! 🙂

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