20 Grocery Store Items You Should Never Pay Full Price For Gallery

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Unless you're a freegan or an entirely self-sustaining farmer, you have to go to the grocery store. Paying money for food and common household staples is just a way of life. But it's easy to waste money at the supermarket, and not in the obvious ways like picking up items on the aisle caps or walking in hungry. You can throw away your hard-earned dollars just by paying retail price for basic groceries and home goods. There are just some items you should never pay full price for.If you shop seasonally and know how to optimize coupons and sales, you can seriously reduce the price of your grocery bill. Pantry staples like flour, milk, eggs, and butter rarely - if ever - go on sale. But shelf-stable products, freezer aisle favorites, and common household items are almost always available at a discount.You need ketchup and mustard in your fridge, toothpaste to brush your teeth, and pasta sauce for a 30-minute meal. But you absolutely should now blow your budget on these staples.


Bottled Drinks

Soda, sports drinks, and bottled water are always going on sale, especially around major holidays (such as Memorial Day and Thanksgiving) and events like the Super Bowl. Stock up when these items are at a discount, and you can keep soda and sports drinks for six to nine months; bottled water will keep for up to two years, but you definitely don't want to drink it after its expiration date.



Everyone knows that candies go on deep sales after Easter and Halloween, so be sure to hit up the holiday aisles in the days following those celebrations. If you have coupons, you can basically get candy for free. Also, as candy companies announce new products, they'll go on sale to lure new customers. So be sure to pick up those limited-edition M&M's when you can!


Canned Soup

Canned soups go on sale with some regularity, but you're going to see bigger discounts at the beginning of fall and winter. Check for coupons for these items too, and you can get them dirt cheap! The best part about canned soup? Other than being an easy meal, they'll stay good for years.



Cereal is a pretty constant coupon item; you can get 50 cents or $1 off boxes of the most popular breakfast cereals. Cereal also tends to go on deep sale during the back-to-school season, so if you double up, the savings can be immense.



You can find coffee coupons for $1 or $2 off, and when a bag of coffee retails for around $5, that's a significant percentage. Coffee and other hot beverages like tea and cocoa also tend to go on sale in the late fall and early winter, and bags of coffee are good for six months when stored in a cold, dark place.



Who doesn't love a box of chocolate chip cookies? When you don't feel like baking a batch of cookies at home, look out for coupons for Nabisco cookies. You can often find 75 cents off a box of these treats.



The same coupons that apply to cookies often apply to crackers, but unlike cookies, it seems like every time you walk down the grocery aisles you see them on sale. So you can get your Ritz and Wheat Thins at a deep discount, which makes your cheese board a whole lot more affordable.


Frozen Dinners

Frozen dinners aren't always the tastiest option, but hey! They're convenient when you need an easy meal. You won't often find coupons for frozen dinners like Lean Cuisine or Stouffer's macaroni and cheese, but they do go on sale with some frequency. Just know what the healthiest frozen dinners are before you shop.


In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, stock up on your jars of gravy. This convenience item is not only easier to buy than to make from scratch, but the prices are practically free. Keep your eyes peeled for coupons and then you can literally get your gravy for free. Gravy is insanely shelf-stable too; when left unopened, it'll keep good for three years.


Laundry Detergent

Even the most casual couponer will tell you to never pay full price for laundry detergent. Not only do all brands and varieties of this household must-have go on sale all the time, but there are also almost always sales on detergent of some kind. If you combine a sale with a good coupon, you can get detergent for insanely low prices.


Pasta Sauce

We love a homemade tomato sauce as much as the next person, but when you're busy, the jarred stuff can make dinner a breeze. It can also be insanely cost effective! The best pasta sauces are always going on sale for as low as $1 a jar. If you pair that with coupons (and there are oftentimes coupons), you can have a cheap yet delicious meal. Bulk up on these too; oil- and tomato-based sauces will last about one year in your pantry, while cream-based sauces have a shelf life of about six months.


Pasta Sides

Know your 10-for-10 deals! Boxed pasta dinners like Kraft macaroni and cheese, Rice-a-Roni, and Knorr Alfredo noodles never really have coupons, but they will go on sale often. These boxed sides can be stored for about 18 months.

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Salad Dressing

Sure, you can make your own salad dressings, but isn't it so much easier just to buy that bottle of ranch? Keep your eyes peeled for sales on dressings, especially in the summer months as barbecue season heats up. Just know what the healthiest and unhealthiest salad dressings are before you shop.



When grilling season hits, keep your eyes peeled for deep sales on ketchup, mustard, and barbecue sauces. Similarly, marinades are always featured in coupon books, and if left unopened, they can stay in your pantry all summer long and for next summer, too. And a marinade can make even your cheap cuts of steak tender and delicious.


Shampoo and Conditioner

Wander down the convenience section of your grocery store, and you'll find a selection of shampoos and conditioners that rival any Walmart. These hygiene items oftentimes have coupons that range from 50 cents off to $2. If you pair that with a sale, you can get these items for free with ease.



It's important to wash your hands; everyone knows that. But your healthy kitchen and bathroom habit doesn't have to cost you a darn thing. You can get 50 cents or a $1 off coupons for name-brand soaps almost every week. Pair that with a sale, and your hands are clean for free.


Shredded Cheese

Shredded cheese isn't as shelf-stable as most of the items on this list, but if you find yourself sprinkling cheese on your tacos and salads on the regular, pick up this convenient (and delicious) product. It's almost always on sale. Shredded cheese won't have coupons as frequently as many other items, but if you find one, definitely nab it for ultimate savings.


Paper Goods

Paper towels, toilet paper, and paper napkins are absolute must-haves in every household. Unlike other staples, these goods will go on sale and will have coupons almost every week. The best thing about these products? Unlike food, they never go bad. So if you have the storage space, you can seriously stock up when the sales and coupons combine.



A couponer will tell you never to pay for one thing: toothpaste. Keep your eyes peeled for 10-for-10 sales, combine it with a toothpaste coupon, and you'll get this must-have item for free.



Yogurt is a seriously healthy breakfast or snack, and it frequently goes on sale. Not only will this be another 10-for-10 item, but you can get coupons for popular yogurt brands like Yoplait, Chobani, and Siggi's, seriously cutting down on your grocery bill. And while these 20 popular items often go on sale and have coupons, there are many more ways to cut your grocery bill.More From The Daily Meal:Ways You're Wasting Money at the Supermarket20 Ways Supermarkets Trick You Into Spending More MoneyHow to Shop Fast and Cheap for Any PartyThe Best Grocery Store in Every State for 2018How to Fill a Healthy Grocery Cart for Under $50

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