Do You Know What’s A Good Price?

Oakville Grocery

Do you ever get to the store, see a “sale” and wonder if it’s really a good price or not?  Hopefully this will help! I'm always amazed as I talk to new couponers that many people just don't have any idea of what to pay for basic pantry staples.  So often, it's easy to just go to the store, grab whatever you need, and not even think about what what you're paying for it.

That can be a huge budget buster.  If you don't know what's a good price, how can you know when to stock up at that price?  Or, when to wait for a better deal?  Here's my list of what I like to pay for on items in our home, and hopefully it will help you out at the grocery store too.   I updated it last night (as I realized that some of these things have just gone up a bit!), but this is a general idea of what you can expect to pay (after coupons!) for these items.

Remember that grocery prices vary quite a bit by area, so you may need to tweak this to suit your area, but hopefully this will give you a place to start!

Meat –

  • Fresh Fish – $3.99/lb
  • Frozen Fish – $2.99/lb
  • Pork Chops (bone-in) – $1.499/lb
  • Pork Chops (boneless) – $1.79/lb
  • Pork Roast – $1.79/lb
  • Beef Roast – $2.49/lb
  • Beef Stew – $1.99/lb
  • Ground Beef – $1.79/lb
  • Ground Chuck – $1.89/lb
  • Whole Chicken – $.99/lb
  • Split Chicken Breasts – $1.19/lb
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts/Tenderloins – $1.99/lb


  • Milk – $2.59 (this one varies A LOT by area – Sam’s, Costco or Aldi usually have it the cheapest)
  • Margarine – FREE to $.50
  • Butter – $1 to $1.50
  • Eggs – $.99/dozen
  • Shredded Cheese – $.50 to $.99 for 8 oz.
  • Sour Cream – FREE to $.50
  • Cream Cheese – $.25 to $.50


  • Bananas – $.39/lb. (I haven’t seen that in awhile though, so maybe $.49!)
  • Grapes – $.99/lb.
  • Apples – $.99/lb.
  • Peaches $.99/lb.
  • Letttuce – $.99/head
  • Green Peppers – $.50 in summer, $.99 in winter (stock up in summer time and freeze)
  • Canteloupe – $1.50


  • Chex Mix – FREE to $.50
  • Snack Crackers (i.e. Keebler, Ritz, etc.) – $.50 – $1
  • Popcorn – FREE to $1
  • Cookies – $1

Baking Products

  • Brownie Mixes – $.30 to $.70
  • Cake Mixes – $.30 to $.70
  • Frosting – $.25 to $.50
  • Yeast (Fleischman’s 3 pack) – FREE to $.50
  • Baking Soda – FREE to $.50
  • Baking Powder – FREE to $.50
  • Corn Starch – Free to $.50
  • Salt – Free to $.50
  • Flour – $1
  • Sugar (4 lb bag) – $1.30


  • Spaghetti Sauce – $.30 to $.80
  • Pasta – FREE to $.50
  • Tomato Paste – FREE to $.20
  • Canned Tomatoes – FREE to $.50
  • Cereal – $1-$1.50
  • Ketchup – $.30 to $.80
  • Mustard – FREE to $.30
  • Mayonaise – $1 to $1.75
  • Steak Sauce – Free to $1
  • Syrup – $1
  • Salad Dressing – $.30 to $.80
  • Frozen Veggies – FREE to $.50
  • Frozen Waffles – $.50 to $1


  • Loaf of Bread – $.99
  • Hamburger Buns – $.99
  • Hot Dog Buns – $.99


  • Bar Soap – FREE to $.50 for 3-pack
  • Handsoap – FREE to $.35 for small pump (Softsoap is often on sale $1 with $.35 coupon doubled)
  • Shampoo, Conditioner, Hairspray – $.50 to $1.50 (usually cheapest at drug stores)
  • Toothpaste – FREE to $.50
  • Deodorant – FREE to $.50

Paper Products

  • Paper Plates – FREE to $1
  • Napkins – FREE to $1
  • Paper Towels – FREE to $.45 per roll (Publix occasionally makes them the penny item)
  • Toilet Paper – $.01/square foot (to figure this out – take the cost of toilet paper and divide it by the square foot – you’ll find the square footage on your package)

Cleaning Supplies

  • Window Cleaner – FREE to $.50
  • Lysol Cleaners – FREE to $.50
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner – $1
  • Dishwashing Soap – $.50 – $.80
  • Dish Detergent – FREE to $1.50
  • Laundry Detergent – $2-$3 for 30 loads
  • Liquid Fabric Softener – FREE to $1.50 for smaller bottle (use vinegar when you can’t get it free!)
Baby Needs

To compare, here are a few staple prices I found recently at Sam's Club:


  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.97/lb.
  • Tyson Individually Wrapped Chicken Breasts $2.78/lb.
  • Split Chicken Breast $1.85/lb.
  • Whole Chicken $.87/lb
  • Pork Spareribs $1.97/lb.
  • Ground Beef $2.68/lb.
  • Ribeye Steaks $7.98/lb.
  • Round Steak $4.50/lb.
  • Chuck Roast $2.88/lb.


  • Bananas $1.29 for about ten bananas
  • Apples $4.98/5 lb. bag


  • Frigo String Cheese $7.48 for 48
  • Sargento String Cheese $5.96 for 24
  • Kraft Shredded Cheese 2 lbs for $6.12

This is by no means a complete list – do you have other suggestions on top prices?  There are a few items that I struggle to find a great item (trash bags, paper towels, & really cheap toilet paper!), but by saving in other areas it makes room to pay for those.

Photo courtesy of axelhecht  on Flickr.

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  1. Victoria says

    This is awesome… Yes I always wonder this question and am new to all super shopping. I really enjoy your site because you seem to explain budgeting and saving as well as show the deals. Thanks Vickie

  2. Thanks so much for your website. I am going to print this out and keep it in my purse and use as a reference. Thanks again. This is my favorite website. I am so glad my sister-in-law told me about it/you.

  3. I struggle to find a good price on lysol/clorox wipes. I can never seem to find for $.50 or less! As for trash bags, I stock those when I find them on clearance. Walgreens just had a bunch of no-name boxes on clearance for $1.39. I bought what I could of the stretchy variety.

  4. Thank you so much for this list!!!! My husband and I are new to couponing and we find ourselves asking constantly “Is that really a good price for that?” LOL Now you’ve answered our never ending question. I was sad to have missed your class last night (Hubby works nights and we have two little ones) but I am hoping to attend the next one that you have in Madison. I was wondering if you know of any coupon trading groups in the area. I hate throwing away coupons that we know we won’t use, and I’d love to be able to trade them for something we will use. Again, thanks so much for all the time and effort you put in to this site. It helps a lot of us out so much!! =)

    • So glad it helps Kelsey! I know it’s something that I have a hard time with too – especially meat prices (other than chicken and ground beef!) We’ll have another class in Madison in September, so we’d love to see you there!

      I don’t know of any coupon trading groups in Madison, but it seems like there should be one (I keep thinking it would be great to have a weekly coupon clipping night, but I don’t have time to actually do it!) You may want to see if any of your friends would start one – it’s a great idea!!! 🙂

  5. I hate to admit it, but at the age of 56 and after raising 2 children in 35 years of marriage, I am now a coupon clipping/searching mama and grandmamma! Your site makes couponing so very easy for someone like me who is new to this. I also appreciate your price list more than you can imagine. I, too, will print it out to keep with me while shopping to be sure to get the very best pricing possible. Thanks again for all the many hours you spend to help all of us be better stewards of what God has loaned us for our use. I believe we will answer for many things like this on THAT DAY!

  6. Rachel West Arnette says

    Could you update this for 2014? Thanks so much!

  7. Penny, thank you so much for all of your shopping and saving advice! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your website!! And all of the free printables!! On this basic cost sheet, have you by chance updated somewhere, and I’m missing it? This would be so helpful to me as I try to start winning at these grocery wars!! Thanks in advance!!

  8. Natalie Kolbeck says

    LOVE this list. So much easier when you have a goal price. Thank you. Is this list offered in a printable format anywhere?

  9. Cyndie Bradtke says

    Thankyou Laurie for posting this. I dont know if the membership is still free but I love the fact that you spent the time doing the price comparisons. I dont have any of the stores you have, I wish I had Krogers as I love Krogers but we have Walmart which my husband hates so we look at all the sales ads and the coupons and go from there. They did away with double couponing and Walmart no longer price matches so it’s a game of making sure you get it from the right store at the right time or you are out of luck. No rainchecks on sale items on alot of things. Ahhhhhhh. It’s enough to pull your hair out. I also use and Ibotta. Well trying to learn Ibotta. Thankyou again for all your hard work and time. You guys have a fantastic team.

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