Rock Bottom Price List

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This deal has expired and may no longer be valid.

Update 10/7/12: This list is no longer being maintained. Instead, we have switched to using the everyday prices at Aldi as a guide for to-beat prices when sales are combined with coupons. We update Aldi’s price list twice yearly and post it each week in the current Aldi shopping list.

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A key to saving at the grocery store is the ability to spot a good deal. But you can’t trust the weekly sales flyer to do it for you. Grocery stores often advertise items as being on sale when they really aren’t, and some sales are better than others. You have to know what a really good sale price is because that’s when you want to stock up.

If you know the rock-bottom prices for items that you regularly buy, you’ll be able to walk through the grocery store or scan a weekly sales flyer and know at a glance whether something is really a deal or is just being advertised as one.

I help you with that through Pocket Your Dollars’ weekly shopping lists, but sometimes there are items you need to buy that don’t make the list.  What is a good price for those?

Let’s work together to compile a robust library of the maximum price we will pay for household and grocery products. Maximum price is calculated after sales and coupons. Note that your rock-bottom prices might differ depending on your brand loyalty and frequency with which you need to purchase these items.

Your turn: Where do you agree or disagree with this list? What should we add to it?

Produce

Fruit (except bananas). $1/lb

Meat

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast. $1.99/lb
Ground Beef (93% lean). $2.20/lb
Ground Turkey (97% lean). $1.87/lb
Ground Turkey (80% lean). $1.00/lb
Sirloin Steak. $3.99/lb
Whole Turkey Breast. $.99/lb

Dairy

Cheese. $1.25 for 8 ounces
Sour Cream. $.99 for 16 ounces
Yogurt (multi-pack). $1 (but I aim for free)
Yogurt (single cup). $.20/individual cup

Refrigerated

Biscuits/Rolls. $.25
Cookie Dough. $.50
Eggs. $1/dozen
English Muffins. $1.99

Frozen

Frozen Entrées (Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones). $1
Frozen Pizza. $2
Frozen Vegetables. $1 (but I aim for free)
Premium Ice Cream. $2 for 1.5 quarts

Groceries

Boxed Cereal. $1/box (but I aim for free)
Bread (we eat more expensive whole grain breads). $2.00/loaf
Broths. $.50/can
Cake Mixes/Frosting. $1 (but I aim for free)
Canned Soup. Free
Crackers. $1/box
Granola Bars. $.50/box
Hamburger Helper. $.50
Pasta. Free
Peanut Butter. $1/jar
Pop. $2 for 12 pack.
Salad Dressing. $.50
Snack Mix (Chex Mix, Cheerios Mix, etc.). $.25/bag
Spaghetti Sauce. $1.00/jar

Household

Air Fresheners. Free
Aluminum Foil. Free
Dish Soap. $.50
Laundry Detergent. $1.50/bottle (50+ loads)
Paper Plates/Cups. $.25/package
Toilet Paper. $.25/double roll

Personal Care

Body Wash/Soap. Free
Deodorant. $0.75
Diapers. $.07/diaper
Disposable Razors. $.25 each
Feminine Products. Free
Hair Stylers (hairspray, mousse, etc.). $1
Makeup. $1 (but I aim for free)
Medicines. Free
Shampoo/Conditioner. $1 (but I aim for free)
Toothbrushes/Toothpaste. Free

About Carrie Rocha

I am passionate about helping people live within their means so they can get out and stay out of debt. I live in Minneapolis, MN with my husband and two little girls.

Comments

  1. My eyes just about popped out of my head when I saw that you pay 7c per diaper! How in the world do you do that? You go girl!!! (But do tell…)

  2. I would love to be able to get down to some of those prices, but I'm finding that you have to be extremely unpicky regarding brands for some of these deals. I'm finding there are certain brands of food and particularly deoderant that I would never buy again even if it were free (except to donate). And given that my family will only eat whole grain breads and cereals (and cereal with less than 25% sugar content, which is surprisingly hard to do even with "adult" cereals) it can be difficult to find as good of deals. Plus we try and use more "green" products which aren't always as good of a deal. But thanks for the guidelines! It's good to know where I could be so I have something to aim for.

  3. I just started writing to companies for coupons and so far I've received coupons from 3 companies (2 of which sent coupons for free products). The other was (2 coupons) for $.75 any of their product.

    I try my best to save money when I go to the store, but I find it difficult not to spend $50 or more and most of the time it's more! I really would love to be able to spend $20 on a basket full of food! But HOW!

    There are certain things I don't spend money on like Deordorant. I get the free Degree's and Dove deodorant and I'm expecting a Secret Clinical (from Vocal Point) in the mail. I have 2 trial's and 1 full sized deodorant in my stockpile. Also toothpaste. I get the freebies when available and I buy it when it goes on sale for $2 or less and it's less if I have a coupon.

    My family and I are picky, but not to the extreme picky. I mean I like Horizon's Organic Milk. That's $4 for a half gallon, but it lasts us almost 2 weeks! So that's $2 per week on milk is how I look at it. Cheese is $5, my husband loves the cheese from Schwans, so I treat him on that. Other things I look for sales on and only get them when on sale (cereals we like, etc. I stock pile them when on sale for $2 or BOGO)

    I'd love more info on how to just spend $20 and get a load of groceries. I live in Louisiana and we don't have Krogers, Safeways or Albertsons (They CLOSED). We only have Rouses, Whole Foods, Winn Dixie, Save A LOT *I spend $40 here*, Breauxmart, Super Walmart and Target that isn't a Super Target.

  4. Nate ~ I'm at the same place as you. I like to buy eco friendly products (mostly for household cleaning/laundry). But as I have been reading Carri's site for 3 months now, I know how to get the best deal on those more expensive items (coupling coupons w/ a sale and a store coupon if one is available, and then stocking up on that deal). I also realize that if I can get rock bottom prices on other things, groceries, it's ok for me to get the more expensive eco friendly products.

  5. This is a great goal for me to shoot for in buying products. You do have to be less picky about brand and you might buy some things you don't like. The majority of switches I have made are fine. My family will let me know if not (like spaghetti sauce).

    My first goal was to get to $100.00/week – ya, we were spending a lot. Now my goal is $75.00/week. My husband shops too, so that can be problematic. He went to Cub after hunting in Colorado for nine days, only eating freeze-dried food. That was a big bill, but the boy was hungry after losing 16 lbs in nine days! :-)

  6. Sandra: Carrie's site is specific to Minnesota mostly. To search for your local stores (Winn Dixie and Whole Foods) try here: http://www.becentsable.net/Default.aspx?pageId=33

  7. My price point for pasta and toothbrushes is free.

    Frozen pizza: $2 for average size (like Tombstone), but $4 for a fancier one like Freschetta because it's a treat.

    Frozen entrees: $1

    Salad dressings: 50 cents, which is really maximum! I don't think I've paid more than 25 cents in a year or so.

    Fruit: $1/lb

    My list is very similar to yours, Carrie, with some small variations. And it's important to note that everyone's list will be a little different. Like Carrie's family having a higher price point for their bread because of their requirements, every household will have their own items like this. Additionally, I try to aim for $1/meal/person on average (that's where the frozen entree price originates from). With a household of 3, I calculate my maximum weekly grocery budget at $63 (don't spend more than $50 usually though–usually more like $30).

  8. I was just wondering how much time everyone spends grocery shopping each week? I used to do this kind of shopping, but then began working more and not having enough time. Now I'm working less and want to start this up, but it seems overwhelming. I can't go to all these places each week and I have a hard time deciding which stores to go to. Just thought I would see what you guys do. Also how much time do you spend preparing for the grocery trips?

  9. I like to shoot for $1/meal/person for everyday kind of dinners with the occasional nicer dinner costing more. I alwasy laught when at Cub or other stores they have the "Dinner for 4 for only $15" section. As if that were a good deal.

  10. I agree it is good to have a basis for best prices to pay. I think it is fantastic that you find Toliet paper at 25 cents. My best is 50 cents or a little less and I can not think of getting soup free. yet. I have something to strive for. Prices can vary depending on where you live also. Thanks for posting your list. It is a good topic to talk about and share with others.

  11. i but thomas english muffins when they are BOGO or 1.99 or less.

    organic valley milk is 6.99 a gallon but i think organic milk is best for my growing boy. i love when i can double a dollar off for this one.

    i only buy pasta sauce for 4 or 5 months out of the year. i make my own with tomatoes from my garden for almost free and much healthier and yummier.

    i dont buy all purpose cleaners, drain stuff, wood floor cleaner, laundry detergent, or toilet cleaner. i just make my own for pennies.

    i use cloth diapers and when i do buy disposables, i pay no more than 12 cents ea.for name brand.

    hamburger helper for 50 cents

    i buy romaine lettuce for 1.29 and cut it myself. bagged lettuce is way over priced.

    canned kidney/chili beans hopefully no more than 60 cents a can

    broths, 50 cents a can

    i totally recommend making your own detergent and all purpose cleaner.

    here is a link for a recipe.
    http://www.doitgreen.org/article/health/cleansers

  12. For those who are comparing what we spend on groceries: for a family of 8, I WAS averaging $130/week. Since stocking up starting in July, probably $100/week or less. Note: children's ages 12, 11, 8, 6, 4, 1. So…not all teen boy eating, but diapers, TP, Kleenex included, and our kids are big eaters. I buy oats in bulk and make granola and buy wheat in bulk and make bread. It's gotta be cheaper than $1/box of cereal and $2/loaf of bread, but I've never figured it out. I also don't buy furniture polish or many cleaners…we use washable antibac microfiber cloths.

  13. Boneless, skinless Chicken breasts $1.67/lb

    Milk $1.65 gallon

    Tropicana OJ $4.99 gallon

    Bananas 0.55/ lb

    sour cream 16 oz 0.99

    hamburger 93% lean $2.20/lb

    sirloin steaks $3.99/lb

    whole turkey breast 0.99/ lb

  14. Kim,

    Do you have a good granola recipe? I've always wanted to try making it.

  15. Kim,

    You are my hero! You go girl!

  16. a note on bread…. If you live or work in the area the Franklin Street Bakery has selected bread varieties for $0.99. Whole wheat bread is included as well as many other types. I go and stock up on several loaves to save added trips. They are preservative free so they need to be frozen if the are not going to be used. Just go to theri website for their location which is in Mineapolis by 94.

  17. Here are some of mine:

    - air fresheners: free

    - refrigerated biscuits: $0.25

    - dish soap: $0.50

    - eggs: $1.15/dozen (Aldi's price)

    - ice cream: $2.00 for 1.5qt (for the good stuff)

    - 12pk soda: $2.00

  18. We've started stopping at Kwik Trip for milk, eggs, and bananas. Sorry I can't be more specific on exact prices.

    Milk–varies, but less than Cub, except when they have a sale

    Bananas–was 29 cents/lb. over the summer, now has gone up to 39 cents/lb. Still a good price!

    Eggs–varies, but often better than Cub and comparable to Aldi's.

    Check their prices on potatoes and onions, too!

  19. Karla Scott says:

    Hi I love your site!

    I see on this list that for feminine products you have free down. I do not pay for panty liners anymore. I get those pretty much free with sales and coupons but I can never seem to find any great sales on tampons even with coupons. How do you do it? With just coupons and sales?

    I shop at Walmart, Target ,Kmart and Walgreens for those types of things.

    Thank you for saving us money and time!

    Karla

    • Karla – I use coupons alongside promotions at Walgreens and CVS. There haven't been any deals making them free as of late, but I bet we'll see some again soon as it was this time last year that I stocked up.

  20. As far as bread goes – I try to shop the Taystee bread stores – They always have high quality product at half the price! They have a frequent shopper card that gives you discounts, coupons, and usually BOGO specials. Last week, I got two packages of Hamburger buns, two packages of hot dog buns, both Sara Lee Healthy Heart brand, and two packages of Sara Lee Delightful multigrain bread for a total of $2.36. (The buns were $.90, and BOGO, and then I had a $2 off coupon.) Normally, that would have been $14+ at the regular prices!

  21. I'd like to figure out how to get more of the household products for free. I've been here for about 2 months and haven't gotten that far. Food is getting easier to figure out. I still say Rainbow's 10/10 deals are the best – this week most of my items are on sale there I like to buy.

    For a family of 4 I am down to roughly $35 a week on groceries. Before I lost my job 5 months ago, I was spending at least $100/week. What a huge savings – AND we aren't that picky anymore!

  22. Oh my word! I was reading this column not realizing I'd find my own comment or response to it. So sorry for the months of delay…here's my granola recipe (and my personal favorite is using it as cruch coat for vanilla ice cream):

    6 1/2 c. oats (all regular or quick or combination)

    1c. coconut

    1c. sunflower seed nuts

    1/2c wheat germ (opt)

    Mix above in roaster pan with a silicone mat (for nonstick).

    Combine in 4c. liquid measuring cup:

    1/2c oil

    1/2c. honey

    1 1/2c. brown sugar

    Micro for 3 minutes, stir in almond extract or peanut butter or cinnamon….use your imagination.

    Mix with dry and bake 350 for 15-18 minutes, stir and bake another 15-18 minutes. Stir in raisins or other dried fruit and stir as it cools (unless you like the big chunks to snack on). I store in used ice cream pail or cereal container or whatever!

  23. … are you (general you) brand loyal with your boneless, skinless chicken breasts? I find ranging quality in frozen, making some of the good deals not feel as good.

    I am about 50 miles east of the cities, and we have a grocery store, Lammer's in Menomonie, that sells lean ground beef about once every five weeks for $2/lb. I think its 95% lean, but it might be 93%.

    I am curious if anyone limits their family's intake of foods … like if we are to have at least 3 servings of dairy a day, do you cut off consumption at a certain point? I mean for needs other than possibly weight control.

  24. Just a comment about organic milk…I cringe at the thought of people paying high prices for this. Beware!! A LOT "organic" milks come from factory farms. Here is a link to a website that reports on the true organic-ness of milk by brand:

    http://www.cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/Ratings_Alp

  25. Just wondering what everyone is eating when spending $35-$50 per week. I have 2-year-old twins, plus myself and my husband. He takes a lunch to work everyday and I have the kids at home with me, so I have to plan for 3 meals per day plus snacks (especially for the kids – they get a small one in the afternoon and one before bed since we eat dinner somewhat early). I am spending $100+ per week, especially since the kids are still in diapers (we are working on this right now), but would love to spend less.

    • Kierstien says:

      as far as diapers go…stock up would be my advice when they are on great sales like last week at target! or this week at cvs (i believe) not sure what brand diapers you use but if you use huggies i suggest signing up online because I recieve $3 or $2.50 cpn off ANY diaper which is a GREAT coupon and when you can pair these with target cpns you can get a fab deal and really lower your diaper OOP price.

      I have been working at keeping costs down for our family we eat No Name Salmon a lot so i always make sure to stock up when its on sale for under $10 a box and try to have a cpn on hand as well (not always the case!)

      we eat lots of ground turkey meals….wild rice hot dish, hamburger hot dish

      we eat lots of chicken too….stir frys are most popular

      Do you make your husband a "special lunch" my husband takes leftovers from dinner for lunch everyday and if we dont have leftovers he'll take canned soup w/snacks or sandwhich or two. HTH!

      • Kiersten,

        Thanks. I have signed up online at Huggies, so I sometimes do receive the coupons. When I shop, I always calculate the per diaper cost (after taking into consideration deals and coupons). Sometimes it works out best to buy Huggies, othertimes, Luvs (wish I could get more coupons for these). I usually make my husband a sandwich for lunch, with a piece of fruit and a granola bar and/or some chips. Sometimes he takes leftovers, but I usually plan to get another dinner out of leftovers when I can. I will try the No Name Salmon. We like the other No Name products and bought some during the Cub 4/$19 sale last week. We use ground turkey a lot, too. My husband I are also trying to lose weight, so I try to buy "healthier" foods, but find that sometimes they are so expensive! I am determined to keep trying to save money, though.

    • It can be done. I have a family of 5 with kids ages 5, 3, & almost 1. My husband brings a lunch to work, we eat 100% whole grain bread, lots of fruits and veggies, snacks, etc. It is possible to spend just about $35 – $50 on groceries per week. I mainly do it by shopping at Aldi for produce – spending about $5-7 per week, and then shopping at Rainbow on Wed, doing 2-3 transactions and keeping my total to exactly around $25 shelf price before doubling coupons. I find healthy recipes to use what we purchased. I do still buy fish, salmon, & shrimp, but always get it when it's BOGO or a good sale price.

      I do not include diapers in my grocery budget of $40-$50 per week. I admit I use cloth diapers to help keep costs down, but I do diaper deals at CVS when they have them (this week!!) and then use Target Up & Up diapers (see Carrie's post about Target's online diaper sale – great value!) I also potty train my kids shortly after they turn 2 (27 – 30 months) to help keep diaper costs to a minimum! But, I readily admit that potty training is my least favorite parenting duty – 2 kids down, 1 to go in that area!

      • Do you do your shopping at rainbow in several transactions? Isn't there a limit to how many coupons you can double? My kids are 29 months (twins) and the potty training is going slowly, but I am looking forward to getting there!

  26. It took me a bit longer at first, but after 5 months of following these lists I do a weekly Rainbow run on Wednesdays. That is my minimum for the week. I do a Cub run about once a month during a week that I feel they have the best sales on things I need or could stock up on – like about 3 weeks ago when they had ground turkey for $1/lb and I had $1 off 2 coupons. I have started going to Aldi every other week to stock up on fruits/veggies for 2 weeks (oranges, bananas, carrots, etc). I do a CVS run about every other week for H & B items.

    I don't do Target, Walmart, or Walgreens – it just seems like I don't need to.

    Am I spending more time shopping? Yes, a little, but I've gotten pretty quick about making lists and spotting deals better on my own. Am I enjoying it? Yes. If I didn't enjoy it or if it stressed me out or made my family life more difficult, would I do it? No. You have to find a balance that works for you personally. Hope that helps.

  27. So, I am new/very new to shopping for the best price. It is me, my husband and our 5 year old son and we spend about $150 dollars for a week-two weeks of food! Ouch. We NEED to budget and cut in so many ways! So, where do I start? How do I figure out this double coupon stuff and all of this stuff, I just feel lost.

    • Angie – I know exactly how you feel – I felt that way in September. I saw these lists and was so frustrated that I couldn't get it. I didn't have the coupons that were being referred to, etc. But if you stick with it, it will get better!

      Start with a small goal. Maybe just focus on Rainbow – read the list, figure out how it works. Start saving your Sunday paper's coupons. After about 1 month to 6 weeks, you'll have most of the coupons that are being referred to in the lists. Don't expect that your weekly spending will go from $150 to $30 instantly. Maybe try to whittle it down gradually – $150 for the next 2 weeks, then $130, etc. Just a few suggestions. Good luck!

  28. Thanks for reposting this I am new too and as I am no longer a stay at home mom it is taking me forever to compile my own price list. We are a family of 6 (with 3 teenagers) and we easily spend 200 or more a week!

  29. Just looking for other people's opinion here. I live about 18 miles from Rainbow (mostly highway, though, so about 20 minutes). I'm stressing out as I am working about 3 days a week, trying to shop multiple stores, homeschool my kids, run the house, etc… I've been thinking about using the Rainbow ad to price-match at Target and forgoing those lovely double coupon days. Does anyone else do this on a regular basis? It's starting to make sense to me (I've been maintaining this craziness since September while hubby is searching for another full-time job and I'm getting burned out). Anyway, I have a route that could shop Target, Aldi's, Cub and Walgreens…and drop Rainbow so far away. Just thinking out loud here, I guess it's either give up Aldi's (also about 11 miles away in a different direction) or Rainbow. Thoughts, anyone?

  30. Can anyone fill in the gaps for me? Thanks!

    Pork chops

    Pork ribs

    Cottage cheese

    Cream cheese

    Juice

    Kitchen garbage bags

    Dry cat food

    Dry dog food

  31. Can anyone help me with prices on pork chops, pork ribs, cottage cheese, cream cheese, juice, kitchen garbage bags, dry cat food, and dry dog food? Thanks!

  32. Allison I was reading at your reply (Angie) I'm in the same boat as her we spend $150.00 for two weeks I mainly buy at Sams Club, Walmart and Target we are a family of 4 and 1 on the way, trying so hard to figure this out thanks for your advice.

  33. Does anyone have any suggestions about getting a good deal on a Sunday paper subscription? I don't have one yet and balked when I looked into the price of a Star Tribune subscription yesterday. I really just want it for the coupons and I know there must be a better way than to spend big bucks on the paper…

    • I don't know is this a good deal or not but they have an offer going on right now 26 weeks of the Sunday Star Tribune News Paper per 99cents per week.

  34. The Economart in my town (zimmerman) is selling Our Family pizzas 4/$10, on the Our Family Foods dot com website there is a link for coupons where they have $2/1 coupons for their pizzas making the pizzas .50 a piece!

  35. Thanks for all of the info! I have nothing to add right now but I want to receive the future pots.

  36. Kim:

    I too live about 18 miles from a Rainbow. The way I do is this. What deals are there at Rainbow and would I really benifit from the doubled coupons some weeks, no as there are not enough items to make the overall cost worth it. I usually always go the week they do 10 as then I can really make that one 25 transaction work for me.

    I am working on a system (still working) where I list what I need that week, have a list of "if good price buy" and then work from those lists. I review the deals at CVS, Walgreens and other stores and pick three stores that will get me the best deals on my must have and nice to have lists. Some weeks I just do the grorcery store near me or Target others I do Rainbow or Cub…. it just depends.

    I have not done Aldi's yet — but there is not one close to me either (not sure how far away the Champlin one is). I have also found that watching the deals at MarketPlace (the local store here) can result in great deals.

  37. Carrie,

    Thanks for putting this list together. It helps me put it all into perspective. Just an FYI Aldi sells routinely sour cream for 0.89 & cake mixes 0.69.

  38. This would depend on the size of the diaper I would think. The size 1 and 4 value boxes are sold for the same price, but the size 1 box has more diapers.

  39. We try to aim for $50 a week or less for our family of three -my husband, myself, and our 1 year old little boy, oh and our huge lab and small peagle. I think this is because I just started the stockpiling, and I haven't done the math in awhile, but I think it's going down weekly, which is great! We cloth diaper our son, cleaners are homemade, detergent is purchased through a great website – rockingreensoap,com, or we use Norwex – ask me about this if you haven't heard about it before – it's wonderful and economical for cleaning. I would like to start buying organic milk, at least for my son. We go through maybe 2 whole gallons a week for him of whole milk. Does anyone have a brand they prefer? Kwik trip recently had bread for .59 a loaf. We freeze a couple loafs and use those for things like french toast, toast, or any recipe calling for bread. It's not too great unfrozen for sandwiches. We also shop Sam's club since alot of their bulk items are sometimes cheaper than Target on clearance with a target and MF coupon.

    • Wow Kristin, your family sounds remarkably like mine! It's me and my wife with our nearly one year old son. I aim for $50 a week for food, though in reality I typically have three weeks a month where I spend more and one where I spend next to nothing. We try and do mostly organic foods for our son, though he's not drinking cow's milk yet (and likely won't for a while as my wife plans on breastfeeding longer than a year). We do cloth diapers nearly all of the time unless we're traveling, which has been great. We save money, create less waste and it's better for our baby's bum as well. All for just a couple extra loads of laundry a week.

      What's Norwex? We're always looking for better and cheaper cleaners that are more natural and less harsh.

  40. Awesome list, thanks a lot. I've gotten the hang of it at Wags and CVS, but haven't quite mastered the groceries yet since we live in northern MN and no CUB/Rainbow in site.

    Great ideas from everyone!

  41. Thanks for the great list! I know that many products seem to go on sale every few weeks-few months, but some things seem to be worth stocking up on once a year or so. I would be interested in seeing a list of what time of year certain things are usually on sale or when coupons are available for the items, i.e. turkey at Thanksgiving, baking stuff around the holidays, etc. I haven't been keeping track of prices long enough to predict when I can get the best deals and stock up. Thanks!

  42. Haha! Thanks for the reply 5 months later! :)

  43. Kim – where do you buy wheat germ?

  44. Theresa K. says:

    This is a great thread! I can't help but notice that Aldi's prices are at or below rock-bottom, according to the prices given by everyone so far. Of course, you gotta be picky there! I will try to get a price list of my typical purchases there and post this week. Not tomorrow, though! ;)

  45. Theresa K. says:

    Naomi,

    I can relate to you! I have 2-3 teenagers in my home, plus my husband and I, a lab and a cat. I used to spend $200 a week, but have recently gotten it down to between $100 and $150. Rainbow has been a big part of this and so is Aldi's. I also shop SuperTarget, but much less than before. I'm trying to plan meals around weekly specials (or my stockpile). Another thing that helped lower the cost of groceries is that I was dx'ed with mild high blood pressure last fall. That changed the way we eat! I began to cook from scratch, because there's just no other way to keep sodium at reasonable levels.

  46. I have been trying to use coupons and save money on groceries over the past few months, but I am finding it difficult to start a stockpile. For example, when cereal goes on sale, I'd like to buy a bunch of boxes at a time, but it cuts into my grocery budget for the week. I'm guessing this is something you do over time. Can anyone give me suggestions for how they started stockpiling and sticking to their budget at the same time? Thanks!

    • Hi Nicole, I had the same problem initially but just budgeted some "up front costs" of starting the stock pile….pay a little more now to get it going, then you can stick to a budget when you're maintaining it. Any room to add to the food budget for like a month? Then your maintenance budget might even go under….

      Just a thought….

      Julie

  47. Me too! I would like to see a list to when things typically go on sale for groceries.

  48. We buy a 1/2 beef at a time in late fall. There are lots of organic farmers that love to sell their beef! After paying for the processing, packaging, etc, it works out to be around $1.40 per pound, BUT that is for everything-hamburger, roasts and steaks! If you have the freezer space, this is the only way to do it in my opinion!

    • Great idea, I've considered that at times but havent had the big chunk of up front cash for it! Any farmer's you recommend?

      Julie

    • I would love to know where you get your beef. If you are able to let me know that would be great! my email is jamiej10 at comcast dot net

  49. I find that packing a deli meat sandwich everyday for lunch can get pricey. My husband likes chicken salad and doesn't mind egg salad every once in awhile. I am trying to make a point of cooking an extra chicken breast to cut up and freeze. I can pull it out the night before and whip up a salad in in 5 min. and then he uses that for his sandwich. Same with having hard boiled eggs in the fridge.

    Another tip – when we grill during the summer I grill an extra chicken breast, slice and freeze it in a vacuum sealed bag. If we have a green salad leftover from dinner (or I intentionally make an extra salad) we pull out a pack of the grilled chicken and it's thawed by lunch time for him to put on his salad.

    Last idea, I make a marinated vegetable salad, like from the deli counter. I have this Garlic Expressions marinade (I plan to start making my own – can't be that hard), and I cut up any leftover vegetables – cooked or raw – and throw them in a bowl with some of the marinade. Sometimes I buy special vegetables as a base – cherry tomatos, colored peppers, brocolli, etc – but then I'll throw in anything I have left in the vegetable drawer that needs to be used up (cucumber, onions, zuchinni, as well as leftover green beans or peas or corn – all the little half cup servings that can't feed the whole family). I can add to it over the course of a couple days to stretch it. Sometimes I've added in pasta as well. My favorite is to cut up the stalks of brocolli that we don't like at dinner and throw them in. They add a fun color, a crunch and are easy to eat that way!

  50. Pork chops – many time you can but a half or whole pork loin at Rainbow for .99 cents a pound. (have them slice into chops and a couple bigger pieces for roasts

    Pork spare ribs – can get for .99 cents/lb. during summer grilling months otherwise 1.99/lb

    Pork st. louis ribs – 1.50 to 1.99/lb

    Pork baby back ribs – 1.99 to 2.99/lb

    Philadelphia cream cheese – with sale and coupon recently got for .11 cents each

    Dry cat food – purina cat chow 16 lb. – FYI reg. prices Cub-15.99 rainbow -3.99 Target-11.89

    i buy at Target with at least $1 coupon – so 10.89 but better if they are running a gift card deal

    • Thanks JC! What a great idea with the pork loin and making them into chops! Now, I only need help with:

      Cottage cheese

      Juice

      Kitchen garbage bags

      Dry dog food

      Paper towels

    • Phil. cream cheese – can get free this week at Rainbow.

      They have on sale in the 10/$10 sale – so $1 each

      There are coupons for $1/2 at "Game Day Greats" displays at local grocery stores near crackers (Triscut or Ritz I think)

      So buy 2 = $2 use a coupon $1/2 tomorrow (Wed) and qualify for doubling.

      Get two free

  51. Family of 3 here – us and teenage girl – who seems to be constantly eating..lol along with dog and cat

    Anyhow, spent $2839.51 last year for groceries, household, personal, pet items at Target, Cub, Rainbow and drugstores. Saved over 62%. Avg. $240 per month

    and here is a repost of my rockbottom I had started for myself

    Feel free to use as a beginning or for your own use

    last column is MY rock bottom (or lowest I have actually paid)

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AoT-0iDCE

  52. You might try calling them to see what kind of offer they could give you. In my area, they offered me the Sunday paper for .50/ week for a year. I thought that was a great deal. Then again, my mom couldn't get the same price, even though she's only a half hour away from me.

  53. Rock bottom price on salsa?

  54. I've found wheat germ in the health food section at Coborn's. And I think by oatmeal in the cereal aisle at Walmart.

  55. 70th & Nicollet sells Sara Lee bread like multi grain for usually $1.50 I have gotten it for $1 at times! They also have lot of other bread all for pretty cheap, if you drive near that area it makes for a good deal! (My mom lives pretty near it!)

  56. Just a second on the Norwex! I use their antibacterial cleaning cloths ( you use with water and they are bacteria free when dry). I also love the glass/mirror cloths and dusting cloths; and dryer balls! Initial expense, but then money saving. Also, I picked up a set of 4 microfiber cleaning cloths at Target for $10 (mirror/window cleaning and dusting cloths that I didn't feel needed to be antibacterial). They are in the mop aisle, opposite the mops, in a small rectangular box.

  57. There is an Aldi's in Elk River…across from Menards, in case you're close to there.

  58. If you have an Aldi's near by, you could really stock up on fresh produce and vegetables for very cheap if you are looking for healthier food. That is where I am now doing most of my fruit/vegetable shopping. It has saved me a lot more money and I don't have to worry about coupons when I go there. Good Luck.

  59. I was in the same boat that you both are in. I was spending about $250 every two weeks on groceries and household products until I started using this site. I am now hovering between $50-$75 a week but getting a lot more food for that money. It did take me some time to stock up on the coupon inserts but if you continue to read this blog and read all the tips and comments form everybody you will also be down to $50 a week very soon. Good Luck and take baby steps.

  60. I get my papers at the Dollar Tree for $1 each. That way I can not get any papers on a week that doesn't have any coupons. It also means I can get as many as I want (within reason).

  61. Check out Dr. Phil's take on potty training. My friend and I are not big fans of his but she swears by his method! Her 27-month old daughter was trained in ONE day and I plan to train my niece next month when her parents go away for a weekend. Too many people swear by his method to not, at least, try it in my opinion.

  62. We buy all of our bread (typically 10 or more loaves at a time and freeze it) which is 100%whole wheat at the Taystee Bread outlet store in Eagan. It's usually $1.25 at the most and buns are 50 cents.

  63. I live in Chicagoland, but I love the way Carrie puts her lists together. I want to know how to buy diapers at $0.07 each. I have two kids in diapers and it would be great to get them at 1/2 the price that I usually pay for them.

    I've only been following the site for a couple of months and I still don't make those trips to CVS or Wags to get the free stuff. Once I see the stuff for free that I need, I will be sure to go.

    Aldi usually has English Muffins for $0.99 and that includes the whole grain ones. I think you can even get the fancier whole grain breads for less than $2.00

  64. Sara Beth – Thanks for that website! I have family & friends in other states and they often ask where they can find deals for their area. This will help so much :)

  65. Kim, can you enlist the help of your children? They could clip coupons, scan sale ads, and match the items. Many are size- or variety-specific. This teaches close observation and attention to specifics. At the store, they can help you locate the items, again matching the correct sizes and/or types. They can then calculate price per ounce to see which brand or size is the best deal. You can teach them about nutritiion at the same time (reading food labels, etc.) It seems this would be a great math and nutrition lesson, not to mention a life lesson.

  66. Carrie-could you give an idea of the time of year for some of the rock bottom prices so the newbies like me can plan when to stock up?

    Thanks for all you do -this site is a real money saver for me!

  67. SP — Please do share a good source for beef at that price if you can! I have been researching buying a quarter or side of beef (possibly still splitting with friends since that is a lot of beef!) but the prices I have been finding so far are double what you are quoting or more.

  68. I would love to see some sort of symbol (A star, a rock) next to an item listed in a shopping list that represents Carrie's Rock Bottom Price for that item! I printed this list and have referred to it…but still don't have rock bottom prices in my head for all the items I buy.

    For example if rainbow has an item on sale and with a double coupon the price is Carrie's rock bottom, it would be indicated with a symbol, and we would know that item is a super good deal!

  69. Sheridan says:

    JC, This is awesome, thanks so much for sharing!

  70. cindyjo1959 says:

    Using Our Family Coupons – I did this at Econofoods, and also got the pizzas for 50 cents each. I printed another high value coupon, $2 off 8 oz instant coffee, and it was $3.99 on the shelf, so got that for $1.99 (also Our Family brand). Thank you for the tip! I know it was months ago, but was able to do it this last week.

  71. Karla Scott says:

    Hi again! you were right! I have stocked up on tampons for my daughter and they were free!! I wouldn't have beleived it if I hadn't of kept my eye on your rock bottom price list.

    Thank you.

    I have been really pelased with some of the things I have been putting on my free list! I no longer pay for good razors, deoderant, shampoo, conditoner, tooth paste, tooth brushes, body wash! I am so suprised by what I have been getting for free.

    I am now trying to find more other things for free so I can add that to my free list.

    Thanks for your list.

  72. I am wondering if anyone knows what the rock bottom price for trash bags are?

  73. we spend about 60-80/wk on groc. my husband takes lunch and 2 snacks to work, he doesn't have refrig there either so it limits what he can take with. we have a 2yr and 4 mo old. I was lucky to start potty training my daughter at 10 mo and was completely out of diapers, even at night by 16 mo. I plan to start trying my 4 mo old soon. The book that helped the best was this at… "Early Start Potty Training" by Linda Sonna (I checked it out from the library). that was the best savings on diapers :)

  74. Michelle Teeter says:

    I really need help. I have tried and tried to save on groceries but I just can't seem to get my food budget any lower. Just on food we spend about 175 dollar a week for 5 people (and I often skip meals) Two of my three kids are on special low sodium diets. Unfortunately, the generic are often higher in sodium so I have to buy name brand. I also have to stay away from processed foods.

    Then there is Veggies. I lose a lot because they go bad before I can use them. Is there really anything out there that can help keep them longer? I suffer from chronic pain so going to the store more than once a week is difficult. However, I am on the brink of doing that. If anyone can give me ideas about stretching Veggies I would be so grateful.

    Thanks in advance from someone who is very frustrated.

    • Hi Michelle

      It can be very difficult saving on groceries. What stores do you shop at? Is your family picky when it comes to food? Send me an e-mail directly, and I will see if I can help you with your problems. samanthagiordano@att.net

      Sam :)

    • Would it be helpful if you cooked and froze your veggies shortly after you returned home from your grocery shopping?

  75. At walmart in the commercial bread isle I found bread called "Late Bake". It is priced at 79 cents a loaf, either white or wheat. 16 oz. It is made by saralee. It is located by their "great value" breads. Its not bad, especially for the price.

  76. Laura T says:

    What would a rock-bottom price for red bell peppers be?

  77. Are ziplock-style snack and freezer bags things that can be gotten for free? Is it best to wait for a sale and use a coupon or would this and things like aluminum foil be best to buy somewhere like CVS where you get money back on transactions?

    Thanks!

  78. Do you think these prices are still current? In my opinion, inflation seems to be kicking in.

  79. Can you update some of the rock-bottom prices? I have not seen most of these prices on any of your deal lists in recent months. How do you get diapers for .07 or even .15 for the larger size?

  80. I know that you have commented on meat prices going up, but are there others? When you have a chance, could you update this Rock Bottom Price list? It serves me and many others a lot!

    Thank you so much!

  81. COuln't this be put in a print friendly document like the start tribune form is/was on this site?

  82. Molly – Thanks for the suggestion! When we update this list (it's on our list of things to do), we'll keep that in mind.

  83. I agree that the rock bottom price list needs to be updated. There are many items on there that I haven't seen for that price in some time.

  84. What is rock bottom for paper towels and how do you compare with different roll sizes? Thanks!

  85. It has been a year since this list was created. Can you create an updated list, maybe one that can be downloaded to spreadsheet form for us to compare. Thanks! You are awesome!

  86. If you're looking for this list as a 1-pg, just cut & paste it into a 2-column WORD document w/ .25" margins all around. It works perfectly. If I could, I'd post what I did for you but can't post documents.

  87. Eileen M says:

    I bought Huggies diapers off Amazon.com a few weeks ago for just over 0.07/diaper. (140 size 4 diapers for $10).

    How?

    1. Sign up for amazon mom (free 2 day shipping + discounts), its FREE

    2. Sign up for subscribe and save. This with amazon mom gives you a 30% discount (just make sure you cancel it after you receive your shipment or they will send you diapers every month)

    3. Baby Talk magazine (and maybe other places) have 20% and $10 off amazon.com diaper coupons (I used 2 20% coupons on my order). The magazine is FREE

    A friend of mine got same box for only 2.99 (0.02/diaper) with a different coupon combo. Only bummer is amazon won't take manufactures coupons. This is by far the best deal I've found on diapers, plus you don't have to spend time/money on driving to the store!

  88. Jacqueline says:

    Paper towels?

  89. Here's a link to a Google Docs spreadsheet with the Rock Bottom Price List

    https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?hl=en&hl=

    • To save a copy on your computer, scroll down to the bottom and click on "Edit This Page"(I made it so anyone can edit it), then click "File", then "Download As" and then "Excel".

    • Thank you Chris! I was just about to do the same thing with the list and am glad that I decided to read all the responses to see your list!!! You saved me some time so now I can get back to creating my grocery list for shopping today! I appreciate you sharing!

  90. thank you for making the spreadsheet Chris… I am going to taylor this list to the products that I buy the most.. I am new at being a strategic shopper so I am still learning but recently I got deodorant for about .25 so with a few minor adjustments this list is awesome…

  91. My rock-bottom list is just beginning. But some items I have that you may want to add are:

    Nondairy milk (soy, rice, etc) $1.50/half gallon

    Bacon $1.75/lb

    Potatoes $1.75/5lbs

    What do you aim for on paper towels and kleenex/tissues?

  92. Thank you Chris!!!

  93. I have gotten bacon a couples times for 1.99lb

    This Sunday I will be able to get hot dogs for 29 cents a pack. Is that good? and Ranch dressing for .45 a bottle. What is a good price for ketchup?

  94. Shannon says:

    I agree that the prices seem to be a bit out dated, as getting these target prices seems harder and harder. I wanted to know if an update was due out soon.

    I as gas rises too going to Cub and Rainbow, for some, may not be a realtistic goal. Ideas on good prices when you can not double coupons?

  95. ya cause we don't have anywere close the doubles.

  96. What would you consider a stock up price for bbq sauce and mustard?

  97. Jamie, last summer you could get the larger bottles of Heinz ketchups for $1.00 at Target and Walmart. Ans who knows if we will see that again or not. It could be $1.50 the way prices have been going. I plan on holding off until July, maybe August. And when it does go down, stock up. Check the expiriation dates, it usually lasts a year so buy what you think you'll use for the whole year if it's a buck. Now that is a non-coupon price mind you. It does seem the odd brands usually have coupons, but kids can be particular on what they'll eat.

  98. BBQ sauce I can usually get free

  99. Sara Jane says:

    Jamie, I stock up at $.99 or less….

  100. I know we can get great deals on bags of "fun-size" candy after Halloween, but what's a good price to look for before the Trick-or-Treaters get here?

  101. Great list can you add what months of the year each item may be at the best price?

  102. Does getting things for free require you to shop at places that double coupons? New at this so still learning how to get the best bang for the buck. Any tips are greatly appreciated.

  103. I wish you had a rock bottom price for nuts….all kinds…at least the basic ones like almonds, peanuts, cashews etc…. They are a great healthy source of protein and you all sorts of meats listed…I would like to see your rock bottom price on nuts and legumes.

    Thank you!!!

  104. Considering this is 2 years old, how close are you to updating this list?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] and observe what their prices are at their different sales prices. Pocket Your Dollars has a great Rock Bottom Prices list that can be a helpful guide to learning about [...]

  2. [...] A friend of mine couponed and would show me her receipts where she would save over 50%, I felt like I was a lost cause, until I found a wonderful website Pocket Your Dollars http://www.pocketyourdollars.com/. This site was great because it had all the different grocery stores and then a list of the different deals. Not only did it provide the deals it gave different options on how to use your coupons…GREAT  news when you are starting out. This helped me learn the different ways to use coupons. It also had a list of what a “good deal” actually was. Check out the Rock Bottom Prices section http://www.pocketyourdollars.com/2010/02/rock-bottom-prices/. [...]

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