Alana Vandagriff | 

Coupon Stockpile Building 101: What to Stock Up on First

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Now that you know how to use coupons, it’s time to build up your coupon stockpile. But the question is — should you 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. Before you do anything, make sure you know a good stock-up price before you shop.

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 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.


1. The best coupon stockpile is for toilet paper.

One pack of Cottonelle Mega toilet paper sitting in a Target shopping cart parked in an aisle next to a shelf displaying more Cottonelle toilet paper packs.

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.

The 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 the 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 sizes.

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 is a must for your stockpile.

A person's hand resting on the handle of a Target shopping cart holding up a 1.2 gallon container of Tide Original 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 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


3. Your coupon stockpile will become loaded with toothpaste.

A person's hand holding up two stacked boxes of Colgate Total toothpaste. One is Whitening and the other is Fresh Mint Stripe.

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



4. Get cheap tampons and pantyliners for your stockpile.

U by Kotex tampons and pads held in a woman's hand in front of a shelf at Target

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 pantyliners when there’s a sale, coupon or store promotion, and a rebate app offer. But sometimes you can get free pantyliners 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


5. Shampoo and Conditioner won’t cost you an arm and a leg anymore.

A person's hand holding up two bottles of Suave conditioner in front of an aisle in a store. One is Suave Keratin Infusion smoothing conditioner and the other is Suave Moroccan Infusion shine 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 off, but expect to find drugstore deals that allow you to score dirt-cheap bottles of name-brand products. 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 places to buy: Walgreens and CVS

In-Store Deal
Shampoo & Conditioner Deal Example:
$2.00$8.98(78% off)
What to buy
2 Suave Hair Care, 12 – 13 oz, $3.00 $4.49
Buy 2, receive $2 ExtraBucks
Newspaper coupons needed
$2/2 Suave professionals Hair Care products from SS
Price Summary
Pay $4.00, receive $2 ExtraBucks


6. Add dish soap to your coupon stockpile for under $1.

A person's hand holding a bottle of Palmolive Ultra Strength liquid dish soap next to a shelf of different variations of Palmolive liquid dish soap at Walgreens.

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



7. Get paid to stay smooth with new razors.

A person's hand holding up two reusable Gillette razors in front of an aisle at a store. One is a Venus women's smooth razor and the other is a Mach 3 men's razor.

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
Razor Deal Example:
-$1.02$19.98(105% off)
What to buy
1 Gillette Mach3 Razor, $9.99
1 Venus Smooth Razor, $9.99
Buy 2, Receive $10 ExtraBucks
Mobile coupons needed
$5/2 Any Brand Shave products, CVS Store Coupon
$3/1 Venus Razor, CVS L2C Coupon
$3/1 Gillette Razor, CVS L2C coupon
Price Summary
Pay $8.98, receive $10 ExtraBucks


8. Add to your stockpile or donate cereal for cheap.

fred meyer cart with capn crunch in basket

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



9. Make money buying deodorant for your coupon stockpile.

A person holding up two sticks of Dove Men +Care antiperspirant deodorant. One is Stain Defense Clean and the other is Sportcare Comfort.

Deodorant coupons, depending on the brand, vary from $0.50 off to $2 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
Deodorant Deal Example:
-$2.51$13.98(118% off)
What to buy
2 Dove Men+Care Deodorant, $6.99
Buy 1, get 1 50% off
Buy 2, receive $3 ExtraBucks
Newspaper coupons needed
2 - $3/1 Dove Men+Care Deodorant, Manufacturer coupon
Price Summary
Pay $4.49, receive $3 ExtraBucks and submit for $2 in Ibotta credits and $2 in Fetch Rewards


10. Load up your coupon stockpile with diapers of all sizes.

A person's hand holding up a Jumbo Pack of Pamper's swaddlers diapers in front of a shopping cart, with two more packages of diapers, parked in an aisle at CVS.

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 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
Diapers Deal Example:
$6.00$28.98(79% off)
What to buy
1 Huggies Pull-Ups New Leaf Training Pants, 14 - 18 ct, $10.50 $13.49
1 Huggies Diapers, $10.50 $15.49
Must buy 2
Buy 2, receive $5 ExtraBucks, limit 1
Mobile coupons needed
$3.00/1 - Huggies Pull-Ups New Leaf Training Underwear Bag 18 ct or lower, CVS Digital Coupon
$2.00/1 - Huggies Pull-Ups Diapers Jumbo Pack, Pull-Ups, Goodnites or New Leaf product, CVS Digital Coupon
Price Summary
Pay $16.00, receive $5 ExtraBucks and submit for $5 Ibotta credit
$3 each, when you buy 2

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