Friday, June 12, 2009

My Target Prices

The other day a friend was asking me whether she got a good deal on chicken, and I was thinking that sometimes it is hard to know what constitutes a good deal. Just because a store advertises something as "on sale" does not mean that it is a significant savings over the regular price or that the item is not a much better deal at another store.

For a while, I was keeping a detailed price book, but that started to become difficult to keep up with, especially with all the fluctuations in food prices in the last year. However, as I kept the price book and as I traveled farther on my grocery-saving journey, I did start to be more and more aware both of the regular prices of items and of what kinds of deals it was possible to get. Now for many items I have a "target price," which I try to get when I buy the item.

For me, my target price is lower than the regular price of the item but is a price that with smart shopping I can get a good portion of the time. In general, it is the highest price I like to pay for the item. Sometimes I can get the item for less than the target price, and occasionally, if I really need the item, I resign myself to paying more.

I thought I would share a few of my target prices for items that I regularly buy. (Remember, I live in the Washington DC area, so I assume that my grocery prices are on the higher end of the national average.)

Meat - $1.99/lb. - With stocking up on sales, I can almost always get the club pack of ground beef or bonless chicken at this price, and occasionally I can get pork chops, pork loin, or top round steak.

Eggs - $.99-$1.19/dozen - If I can't get a $.99 sale, I try to get the 30 eggs for $2.97 deal at Harris Teeter.

Yogurt cups - $.45/each - This is the regular price of the Wegmans brand yogurt, which is perfectly good. Lately I've been able to get Dannon and Yoplait for even less than this price at double and triple coupon events.

Cereal - $1.00/box - You need a good sale and a good coupon to get this price, but there have a been a lot of high-value internet coupons for cereal in recent months.

Granola bars - $.15/bar - I can often get them for less than this price, but I try not to pay more.

Brownie mix - $.50/box - With a good sale and a coupon

Toilet paper - $.50/roll - For double rolls of a decently soft brand.

Paper towels - $.75/roll

Diapers - $.13-$.16/diaper (depending on size) - This is the price of my usual Walmart brand diapers, and it's very rare to find a better deal per diaper. If I do find one, I snatch it up!

I'd be interested to hear your target prices for basic items. How do they compare to these?

For more frugal living tips, check out Frugal Fridays at Life as Mom.


  1. Wow we match up almost identically on our targets. I also have targets for produce!

  2. Our target prices are very comparable for most of the items you listed. My price for national brand diapers and Pull-Ups is 17 cents though, a little higher than your target. And I don't usually pay over 50 cents per roll of paper towels and over 30 cents per yogurt cup. I pay more for YoBaby yogurt for my daughter occasionally though.

    Thanks for sharing your targets! It's nice to hear what others find a good deal.

  3. Nice deals! You are so good at this! :)


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