Whether your family runs through one trash bag per week or one trash bag per day, there’s money you’re probably leaving on the table if you don’t know exactly how to save on garbage bags. Wanna learn? For starters, the most important factor to consider is your cost per trash bag. After crunching the numbers on several brands and retailers, I found that the ideal cost per bag should be $0.12 or less. Not surprisingly, that’s way cheaper than the everyday prices we see on top brands like Glad and Hefty.
Below, I’ll break down exactly how to save money on garbage bags, including a comparison of each brand’s cost per bag, where to buy each, and everything you need to know about recycling and biodegradable trash bags. Once you figure out which trash bags you want to use, remember to download The Krazy Coupon Lady app and set alerts for name brands.
1. To find the cheap trash bags, start by calculating the price per bag.
Calculating your cost per trash bag is easy, as long as you can block out all of the extra info that brands and retailers throw at you. Simply take the cost of the box and divide that price by the total number of bags.
A $15 box divided by 100 bags = $0.15 per bag.
Breaking down your purchase by cost per bag makes cross-brand comparisons easy. I’ll go over the top nine brands in the U.S. in just a minute, all of which are well reviewed. Then you’ll be able to make an educated choice on whether you want to switch from the brand you’re using to something new.
2. The goal is $0.12 or less per standard kitchen trash bag.
The two big names in trash bags are Glad and Hefty. Each brand usually sells 13-gallon kitchen bags for $0.20 or more at your local supermarket or a few pennies less at big-box stores like Target and Walmart. But I’ll teach you how to leverage promotions and sales to get the big brands for less.
And I discovered while researching this topic that the key to paying just $0.12 is looking outside the two big names.
By shopping well-reviewed store brands or waiting for the perfect sale for stocking up on name brands, you can absolutely meet the goal of paying no more than $0.12 per trash bag. And you may be able to do substantially better.
3. Here’s the average cost per trash bag by brand:
Here, I’m exclusively studying cost on standard 13-gallon kitchen trash bags, the most popular garbage bag size in the U.S.
Sam’s Club trash bags
Sam’s Club garbage bags top our list with the best everyday value on the market.
- Member’s Mark 13-gallon Power Flex Kitchen Trash Bags 200-count costs $18.98 ($0.09 per bag) here.
But remember if you’re not a member, you can still shop Sam’s and pay an extra 10% “handling fee” for every purchase. Even with that fee, the average price per bag only goes up to $0.10. That’s still tied for the best value on this list. Choose curbside pickup if you can. That way you’ll dodge their $5 shipping fee.
As if the price isn’t already good enough, Sam’s Club is still actively offering Instant savings a few times a year. That will get you another $1 off the price.
For membership discounts and this week’s biggest sales, view KCL’s Sam’s Club deals.
Home Depot trash bags
Home Depot’s brand, HDX, is a surprise contender for best place on trash bags. HDX makes two types of bags: the normal “Flex” bags have poor reviews so we skipped them in this article, but the FlexPro reviews are great.
There’s a strategy you’ll have to use when buying Home Depot trash bags if you want the best price. You have to stock up. If you buy only one box at a time, you’re leaving money on the table because buying two will drop your cost per bag significantly. The multibuy discount is exclusively online. Select store pickup for a quick, no-cost option. Or shipping is free to your house on orders over $45.
- HDX 13-gallon FlexPro Kitchen Trash Bag 140-count costs $19.97 ($0.14 per bag) here.
- HDX 13-gallon FlexPro Kitchen Trash Bag 280-count costs $27.94 ($0.10 per bag) here.
- HDX 13-gallon FlexPro Kitchen Trash Bag 600-count costs $55.97 ($0.09 per bag) here. (Plus, you’ll qualify for free shipping.)
See this week’s biggest Home Depot deals.
Amazon trash bags
Amazon’s Basics (previously known as Solimo) trash bags are what I have under my kitchen sink. I’ve been paying $0.11 per bag not knowing I could do better. The bags have nearly 100,000 great reviews, and I can add my own to the pile. I’ve never had a single problem with Amazon garbage bags.
When aiming for that $0.11 per bag price, you get to choose whether to buy a smaller box and leverage the 15% Subscribe & Save discount or just go with the bigger box to begin with.
- Amazon Basics 13-gallon Kitchen Trash Bags 200-count costs $26.68 ($0.13 or $0.11 per bag with Subscribe & Save) here.
You’ll save 15% ($0.02 per bag) when you subscribe to any five items in the same month. Here’s a list of our best Subscribe & Save deals so you can find others to add along with your trash bags. And yes, if you have the room, you could just subscribe to five boxes of trash bags at once to get that 15% discount. Remember you can cancel Subscribe & Save any time, including after your first shipment.
See this week’s biggest Amazon deals.
Costco trash bags
It was difficult to rank Costco trash bag prices because they frequently have higher prices online and cheaper prices in stores.
In fact, the $0.11 per bag is the online price. At my local Costco, the 200-count box sells for $18.99 instead of $21.49 online. This drops the price to $0.095 per bag and puts Costco trash bags nearly in line with Sam’s Club trash bags.
For me, the podium is clear: Sam’s Club, Costco, and Home Depot are the three best places to buy trash bags. Sam’s Club gets the gold. Costco may have a better argument than Home Depot for the silver. Home Depot is great if you want to shop online. Costco is better if you want to shop in store.
- Kirkland Signature 13-gallon Flex-Tech Kitchen Trash Bag 200-count costs $21.49 ($0.11 per bag) here.
- Kirkland Signature 13-gallon Flex-Tech Kitchen Trash Bag 200-count costs $18.99 ($0.095 per bag) in store only.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we used to see Instant Savings of $2 – 3 per box a few times a year. Back then the regular price per box was cheaper, too. When those Instant Savings return, Costco will catapult to the best place to buy during the instant savings period.
A Costco membership costs $60 per year, but nonmembers can shop Costco or Costco.com with a gift card. Get any member to purchase a gift card for you. Then take advantage of Costco’s prices any day.
See this week’s biggest Costco deals.
Lowe’s trash bags
I seriously didn’t know about Home Depot and Lowe’s trash bags until writing this article. How cool is it that we have two new brands competing for your business and keeping the pricing low? Lowe’s isn’t as good as Home Depot, but this is still a solid price, cheaper than either Target or Walmart brands.
- Moxie 13-gallon Kitchen Trash Bag 130-count costs $18.98 ($0.15 per bag) here.
Whatever you do, don’t buy a smaller pack of Moxie trash bags, like this 50-pack for $9.78 ($0.19 per bag). The value at Lowe’s gets significantly worse the fewer bags you buy, (the 40-pack runs you $0.32 per bag). “I don’t need more than 40 trash bags,” said no human ever.
See this week’s biggest Lowe’s deals.
Target trash bags
Even with your Target RedCard, the savings on Up & Up trash bags from Target don’t really stack up.
- Up & Up 13-gallon FlexGuard Kitchen Trash Bags 120-count costs $15.59 ($0.13 per bag) here.
See this week’s biggest Target deals.
Related: Here’s the Definition of a Stock-Up Price
Walmart trash bags
I was surprised to find Walmart trash bags actually have the highest cost per bag of any of the store brands I checked. Reviews for the Walmart bags are pretty good, with a typical sprinkling of angry people calling the bags flimsy. Let’s not worry about reviews too much here because the price doesn’t cut it. So it’s a non-starter for that reason.
- Great Value 13-gallon Kitchen Bags 80-count costs $13.76 ($0.17 per bag) here.
See this week’s biggest Walmart deals.
Hefty trash bags
Hefty garbage bags are actually only a fraction of a penny cheaper than Glad bags. But you’ll see that tiny difference on the shelf, especially if you’re at Target, where Glad bags are a bit overpriced. There, the difference between the two is widened.
Hefty kitchen bags typically sell for $0.17 – $0.18 at big-box stores. Expect higher prices at supermarkets.
Unlike the store brands above, you have options with where to buy Hefty. Third place in the race is Target. Occasional gift card promotions like “buy 3, get a $10 gift card” can overlap with coupons in the Target app. That can create incredible deals (some as low as $0.08 per bag) but doesn’t happen very often.
Amazon gets second place. About twice a month, Amazon will run a promotion (often a match of those Target gift card promotions), plus you can save an additional 15% on top of the promo when you subscribe to a few boxes of trash bags at a time. When we see these deals, the price per bag is around $0.12.
Who has the best price on Hefty trash bags?
The best price on Hefty bags comes from Sam’s Club, where they cost just under $0.10 per bag every day.
- Hefty Ultra Strong 13-Gallon Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags 150-count costs $15.48 ($0.10 per bag) here.
Where can I find coupons for Hefty trash bags?
Hefty releases coupons pretty regularly. Your best bet for finding Hefty coupons is to look in your store’s app. Kroger and Target have both had Hefty coupons every month or two.
See this week’s biggest Hefty deals.
Glad trash bags
Glad trash bags are the most expensive supermarket brand in the U.S.
Sold everywhere, Glad bags frequently sell for over $0.20 per bag. Even Target’s shelf price is $0.19 per bag. Walmart is a little better at $0.177 per bag. And Amazon is even better — they get second place in the rankings of best places to buy Glad garbage bags. At Amazon, Glad trash bags are often just $0.14 – $0.15 each when you select Subscribe & Save.
- Glad ForceFlex 13-gallon Tall Kitchen Trash Bags 110-count costs $21.98 ($0.20 each) or $18.68 ($0.17 each) with a Subscribe & Save discount here.
- Glad ForceFlex 13-gallon Tall Kitchen Trash Bags 80-count costs $17.38 ($0.22 each) here.
Who has the best price on Glad trash bags?
The best price on Glad bags comes from Sam’s Club, where Glad bags are just under $0.14 per bag every day. While that price is over my $0.12 stock-up threshold, Amazon’s $0.22, Walmart’s $0.20, and Target’s $0.16 all miss by a long shot.
- Glad ForceFlex Tall Kitchen Trash Bags 150-count costs $20.98 ($0.14 per bag) here.
Where can I find coupons for Glad trash bags?
Glad trash bag coupons are extremely rare. Particularly since early 2020, there have been virtually no coupons available. Previous to the COVID-19 pandemic, Glad released coupons fairly regularly, including some with values as high as $3 off one.
Today, the best Glad deals usually feature sales, subscription discounts, and wholesale club instant savings. Download The Krazy Coupon Lady app and set alerts for Hefty or Glad. Then you can just sit back and let us find those deals for you.
See this week’s best Glad trash bag deals.
4. Trash bag deals are driven by promotions, not coupons.
As I stated above, there aren’t a lot of trash bag coupons out there, and trust me, the team here at KCL has looked. But that doesn’t mean there’s no savings angle. Promotions and sales are the key to saving and finding great trash bag deals.
At Target, watch for promotions like “Buy 2, Get a $5 gift card” or “Spend $50, get a $10 gift card.” To calculate how much this saves, take the value of the gift card ($10) and divide by the spend ($50). In that example, you’re saving 20%.
At Amazon, watch for promotions that match what Target is running exactly. Target releases new promotions on Sundays, and by Sunday afternoon, Amazon has matched them. And the best part? You can stack the Subscribe & Save discount with the promotion. You’ll just have to subscribe to multiple boxes of the same trash bag in order to stack both savings.
Don’t count out stores like Office Depot for sales and promotions, too. Join the rewards program here and watch for steep sale prices a few times a year. These bring name brands like Glad to their lowest price anywhere.
5. This is one category where store brands are winning.
I wasn’t expecting this conclusion when I started this article on trash bags. I figured that I’d teach you how to get name brands as cheaply, or even cheaper, than store brands like I did in How to Save on Paper Towels.
But I learned I was wrong. The trash bag game is dominated by incredible store brands. Sure, Member’s Mark is at the top of my list, but HDX, Kirkland, and Moxie all impressed the heck outta me.
And given the reduction in sales and coupons on big name brands since pandemic times, I don’t see a compelling reason for brand loyalty in this category.
6. Buy the knockoff Simplehuman trash bags.
I’ve nearly bought a sleek Simplehuman trash can on dozens of occasions, but I’ve yet to take the plunge. The trash cans aren’t cheap, but they’re nothing compared to the ongoing cost of the Simple Human trash bags. If you want to tempt yourself, these are the two bestselling trash can models:
- Simplehuman 14.5-gallon rectangular hands-free kitchen step trash can with soft-close lid, $179.99 here.
Simplehuman charges upwards of $0.47 per bag for many of their trash bags. But really, you don’t have to use Simplehuman trash bags just because you have a Simplehuman trash can.
I’ve read Reddit threads where Simplehuman trash can owners say they’ve successfully used any old trash bag. But if you’re a little nervous, Plasticplace trash bags on Amazon are known to work well with Simplehuman trash cans. The best part is they cost as little as $0.18 per bag.
- Plasticplace Simplehuman-Compatible Garbage Liners, 12- to 13-gallon, 50 ct, $19.09 ($0.38 per bag) here.
- Plasticplace Simplehuman-Compatible 13-Gallon Garbage Liners, 200 ct, $36.69 ($0.18 per bag) here.
7. Of all the trash bag sizes, 13-gallon kitchen bags are the most popular.
Most families keep their largest trash can in the kitchen — the place where we create the most trash. Ultimately, 13-gallon trash bags are the most common size for most kitchen cans in the U.S.
Garbage bag sizes for other rooms in the house include bathroom cans that are generally about four gallons and office trash cans that are more like seven gallons.
For the purposes of this article, I’ve been focusing exclusively on 13-gallon trash bags.
8. You can’t recycle trash bags unless they’re made for recycling.
Plastic trash bags are like any other plastic bag. Most standard curbside recycling bins don’t go to recycling centers that process plastic bags. And you can only recycle trash bags at a recycling center that processes plastic bags. In most places in the U.S., the best place to recycle plastic bags is a local supermarket. Find a location near you by visiting this website.
If you want to use trash bags for your recycle bin, you must buy a transparent bag made specifically for recycling. Using a regular white bag in the recycle bin could result in all your recyclables being sent to the landfill.
- Hefty Recycling 13-Gallon Trash Bags, Blue, 60 ct, $9.35 on Amazon ($0.15 per bag) here.
9. Biodegradable garbage bags in the 13-gallon size can cost $0.50 per bag.
Unfortunately, if your priority is to lessen the environmental impact of consumption, switching to a 13-gallon compostable bag isn’t cheap.
- BioBag 13-Gallon Compostable Bags 12-Count cost about $5.99 at my local Albertsons ($0.50 per bag)
- Hefty 13-Gallon Compost Bags 12-Count cost $10.99 on Amazon ($0.92 per bag) here.
Now I’m shopping for compost bags. Biodegradable trash bags typically come in a 2.5- to 3-gallon size and cost about $0.20 per bag. But the most affordable options are on Amazon. If you use that same Subscribe & Save service that I mentioned earlier, you can boost your savings by 15% by subscribing to five total products, making your per bag cost only about $0.16 cents.
- BioBag 3-Gallon Compostable Bag, 100 ct, $21.92 ($0.22 per bag, $0.19 with subscription) here.
- UNNI 2.6-Gallon Compostable Bags, 100 ct, $11.95 ($0.12 per bag) here.