We're reader-supported and only partner with brands we trust. When you buy through links on our site we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date and time indicated and are subject to change.
Should I stock up on food or household items first? It’s a great question, and the answer depends a bit on your goal. If you just want to get going couponing, you should stock up on household essentials first.
Household items fall into two categories: They’re either big-ticket items that tend to eat up a lot of your grocery budget, or they’re household items you can get for free. Some items tick both of these boxes (hello, razors!).
Using this stockpiling strategy will give you a quick return on your couponing investment. How? You’ll reduce the amount of money you’re spending on the expensive items at the grocery store, while simultaneously growing that stockpile of household essentials.
When one of the products on this list falls below the minimum stock-up price noted, buy enough to last your family a few months, until the next deal shows up.
Look for the “Great” deal and “Hot” deal indicators on the deal to know whether you’re safe to stock up.
1. Toilet Paper
Toilet paper coupons come in an abundance each week and range in value from $0.25 – $1.50 off, depending on the brand. Toilet paper is something we should all stock up on, and the regular price for nine rolls can feel significant when you’re looking at your weekly grocery budget.
Good news is you can find deals almost daily at the drugstores and big-box retailers like Target. Even Amazon Subscribe & Save deals can be quite hot. In order to get the very best deal, expect to stack coupons and rebates with store sales.
When comparing prices, always calculate price per square foot to get the best deal, as roll size varies among retailers — even among the same brand. For instance, a 30-pack of Charmin double rolls at Costco and a 30-pack of Charmin double rolls at Target are not the same size.
Tricky, huh? Be prepared to feel even more betrayed when you read this: How to Never Pay Full Price for Toilet Paper Again.
Stock-up price: $0.02 per square foot
Best places to buy: Target or Walgreens
2. Laundry Detergent
Watch for laundry detergent coupons that reach up to $3 off, depending on the brand. Plan to save the most money on Xtra, All, and Purex. You’ll have to calculate the price per load in order to create an even playing field to compare detergent prices.
Like toilet paper, laundry detergent isn’t cheap at full price. The best deals will be at Target and the drugstores. Deals will usually involve a Target gift card promotion or drugstore rewards points promotions that can be stacked with coupons and rebate app offers.
You should be able to find a “great” or “hot” Tide deal a few times every month. Deals often require you to purchase more than one product and tend to include Downy fabric softener.
- Tide Liquid: $0.09 per load
- Tide Pods: $0.10 per pod
- Purex: $0.06 per load
- All: $0.06 per load
- Xtra: $0.01 per load
- OxiClean: $0.03 per load
- Arm & Hammer: $0.06 per load
Best place to buy: Target
Toothpaste sits solidly in the “freebie” category, because deals are so good and so frequent, you can usually get it for free. Sometimes you can even come out of the store with money in your pocket, thanks to toothpaste moneymaker deals. In these cases, you’ll pay out of pocket but get store cash in return (like a Walgreens Register Reward).
When you see a deal that results in free toothpaste, buy as many as you can until the next deal rolls around. Toothpaste freebie deals happen a few times a month at drugstores.
Stock-up price: FREE – $1
Best places to buy: Walgreens and CVS
4. Tampons & Pantiliners
Feminine hygiene coupons are released frequently and are valued at up to $2.
Sometimes you can even find freebie or moneymaker feminine products. This happens most often with pantiliners when there’s a sale, coupon or store promotion, and a rebate app offer. But sometimes you can get free pantiliners with just a sale and a rebate offer. Look for the smallest box included in the rebate offer or coupon to save the most money.
- Tampons: $2.50 per pack
- Pantiliners: FREE – $0.49 per pack
Best places to buy: Almost anywhere! Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target, and Dollar Tree
5. Shampoo & Conditioner
Find shampoo coupons for brands like Pantene, Garnier, Herbal Essences, Suave, Tresemme, L’Oreal, Aveeno, Nexxus, Dove, Head & Shoulders, and John Frieda.
Coupon values range from $0.50 to $2.00 off, but expect to find drugstore deals that allow you to score dirt-cheap bottles of name-brand product. The most common deal will be a sale price, combined with a coupon and a store rewards program.
Like with toothpaste, you can often get some of these brands (Garnier and Suave, especially) for free.
Stock-up price: FREE – $2.50 per bottle
Best place to buy: Walgreens and CVS
- Pantene coupons
- Garnier coupons
- Herbal Essences coupons
- Suave coupons
- Tresemme coupons
- L’Oreal coupons
- Aveeno coupons
- Dove coupons
- Head & Shoulders coupons
- John Frieda coupons
6. Dish soap
Dishwashing coupons are often valued up to $0.50 and work really well with sale prices to get you bottles of dish soap for stock-up prices!
These are some of the simplest deals, because they often only require a sale price and a coupon. Pay attention to a coupon’s fine print and size restrictions, then buy the smallest, cheapest size to get the biggest savings.
Walgreens seems to run the most frequent stock-up deals on dish soap.
Stock-up price: $0.49 per bottle
Best place to buy: Walgreens
Razors can be pricey without coupons! Thankfully, we often see razor coupons valued up to $4.
If you time it right, you shouldn’t have to pay for razors, as freebie and moneymaker deals happen at least once a month. Buy enough to last you a month or two until you see the next hot razor deal.
What’s a hot razor deal look like? Free razors! Disposable razor freebie deals can happen by combining a sale price, a coupon, and an Ibotta offer. These show up often at Target.
To get cartridge razors for free, you’ll probably need to shop at a drugstore like CVS and combine a sale price, store coupons, and an ExtraBucks promotion (see example below).
- Disposable razors: FREE – $0.99 per pack
- Gillette Venus Razors: FREE – $3.99
- Gillette Fusion/Mach 3 Razors: FREE – $3.99
Best places to buy: Target, Walgreens, and CVS
Cereal coupons are super easy to find and use at your favorite stores. The best coupons are worth at least $0.50 but can be up to $1.50 off one box.
Stock up when you can get cereal for less than $2 a box. This happens most often during Kroger Mega Sales when you can combine a sale price with coupons and an Ibotta rebate. As long as you buy five items included in the Kroger Mega Sale, the super-low price is yours.
Stock-up price: $1.50 per box
Best place to buy: Kroger
Deodorant coupons, depending on the brand, vary from $0.50 off to $2.00 off. Look for the best deodorant coupon deals at Walgreens and CVS.
You can get free deodorant by stacking coupons, rebate offers, and drugstore promotions. We see these deals at least every other month or so.
Stock-up price: FREE – $1 per stick
Best places to buy: Walgreens and CVS
- Speed Stick coupons
- Gillette coupons
- Ban coupons
- Secret coupons
- Degree coupons
- AXE coupons
- Dove coupons
- Suave coupons
Diapers are the T. rex of a grocery budget, because they’ll eat all your dollars without apology.
Therefore, stocking up on diapers with coupons is a must when you’re on a budget! Lucky for you, it’s easy to get cheap diapers when you’re couponing.
Diaper coupons can be as high as $3.00 per jumbo pack. Target and drugstores like CVS are the best place to buy them. A drugstore deal will probably include a sale price, coupons, and a store promotion. Possibly a rebate offer too!
Stock-up price: $4.50 per pack
Best places to buy: Target, Walgreens, or CVS