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

In-Store Deal
Buy 1 Cottonelle Toilet Paper, 30 count, $25.49 reg. price
  • $2/1 - Cottonelle Toilet Paper - 18 pack or larger, Target Circle offer
  • $5/$25 - Cottonelle, Fetch Rewards Rebate
  • $0.50/1 - Cottonelle Toilet Paper, 12 count or larger, Ibotta credit
Pay $23.49, submit for $5 Fetch Rewards credit and $0.50 Ibotta credit
Deal expires Mar 22, 2023

 

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.

Stock-up prices:

  • 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

In-Store Deal
Buy 1 Tide Lidquid Laundry Detergent, 154 ounces, $19.99 reg. price
Buy 1 Gain Liquid Laundry Detergent, 154 ounces, $14.99 reg. price
Buy 2 Downy Liquid Fabric Conditioner, 164 ounces, $11.99 reg. price
  • Buy 2, receive $5 Target gift card
  • Spend $20, submit for $5 rebate
  • $3/1 Tide Laundry Detergent 92 ounces or larger
  • $2/1 Gain Laundry Detergent 65 ounces or larger
  • $3/1 Downy Liquid Fabric Conditioner, 164 ounces
Pay $50.96, receive $10 Target gift card and submit for $5 rebate
Deal expires Mar 22, 2023

 

3. Toothpaste

Use toothpaste coupons to score free tubes at drugstores like CVS and Walgreens when you combine store loyalty points promotions and sale prices.

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

In-Store Deal
Buy 2 Colgate Toothpaste, $2.99 sale price, $3.49 reg. price
  • Buy 2, receive $5 Register Reward
  • 2 - $1/1 Colgate Toothpaste, 3 ounces or larger from SS
Pay $3.98, receive $5 Register Reward
Deal expires Mar 22, 2023

 

 

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.

Stock-up prices:

  • Tampons: $2.50 per pack
  • Pantiliners: FREE – $0.49 per pack

Best places to buy: Almost anywhere! Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target, and Dollar Tree

In-Store Deal
Buy 2 U by Kotex Select Tampons, $4.00 sale price, $6.99 reg. price
  • Buy 2, receive $2 ExtraBucks
  • $4/2 U by Kotex Tampons from SS
Pay $4.00, receive $2 ExtraBucks
Deal expires Mar 22, 2023

 

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

In-Store Deal
Buy 2 Suave Hair Care, 12 – 13 ounces, $3.00 sale price, $4.49 reg. price
  • Buy 2, receive $2 ExtraBucks
  • $2/2 Suave professionals Hair Care products from SS
Pay $4.00, receive $2 ExtraBucks
Deal expires Mar 22, 2023

 

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

In-Store Deal
Buy 1 Palmolive Dish Liquid, 8 ounces, $0.99 sale price, $1.29 reg. price
  • $0.50/1 Palmolive Dish Liquid, Walgreens L2C Coupon
Deal expires Mar 22, 2023

 

 

7. Razors

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).

Stock-up price:

  • 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

In-Store Deal
Buy 1 Gillette Mach3 Razor, $9.99 reg. price
Buy 1 Venus Smooth Razor, $9.99 reg. price
  • Buy 2, Receive $10 ExtraBucks
  • $5/2 Any Brand Shave products, CVS Store Coupon
  • $3/1 Gillette Razor, CVS L2C coupon
  • $3/1 Venus Razor, CVS L2C Coupon
Pay $8.98, receive $10 ExtraBucks
Deal expires Mar 22, 2023

 

8. Cereal

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

In-Store Deal
Buy 2 Quaker Cap'n Crunch Chocolate Caramel Cereal, 13 ounces, $2.79 sale price, $3.29 reg. price
  • Buy 5, Save $1 per item
  • $1/2 Quaker cereals
  • 2 - $0.75/1 - Quaker Chocolate Cereal, Ibotta Rebate
Pay $2.58, submit for $1.50 in Ibotta credits
Deal expires Mar 17, 2023

 

 

9. Deodorant

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

In-Store Deal
Buy 2 Dove Men+Care Deodorant, $6.99 reg. price
  • Buy 1, get 1 50% off
  • Buy 2, receive $3 ExtraBucks
  • 2 - $3/1 Dove Men+Care Deodorant, Manufacturer coupon
  • $2/2 Dove MenCare+ Deodorant, Fetch Rewards Rebate
  • 2 - $1/1 Dove Men+Care Deodorant, Ibotta Rebate
Pay $4.49, receive $3 ExtraBucks and submit for $2 in Ibotta credits and $2 in Fetch Rewards
Deal expires Mar 22, 2023

 

10. Diapers

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

In-Store Deal
Buy 2 Pampers Diapers Jumbo Pack, $10.00 sale price, $13.99 reg. price
  • Buy 2, Receive $4 Register Reward
  • Spend $20, Receive $5 Walgreens Cash
  • $3/2 Pampers Diapers, Walgreens L2C Coupon
Pay $17.00, receive $5 Walgreens Cash and $4 Register Rewards
Deal expires Mar 17, 2023
Stockpile Building 101: What Should I Stock Up on First?