This past year, we’ve spent more time at home than ever, which means constantly stocking up on household supplies — spending $50-plus a month on laundry and cleaning supplies alone. Here are eight savvy shoppers’ tips to save on home essentials the next time you go to the grocery store.
Hit this spot for laundry detergent.
“It may not be the obvious place to buy laundry detergent, but in a side-by-side comparison, Dollar General beat Amazon on laundry detergent pricing. For example, Gain laundry detergent, when on sale and paired with a coupon from Dollar General (which you can find in their circular or on the free Dollar General app), costs just $1.95 for a 40 ounce bottle, while a pack of two costs $15.40 at Amazon. Want even more staggering savings? Dollar General is a great place to shop for sponges — while you’ll pay at least $5 for most sponge six-packs from Amazon, you can get a six-pack of sponges from Dollar General for a dollar.” —Cindy Livesey, founder of LivingRichWithCoupons.com
Snag $2 toilet paper.
“Now that toilet paper is easier to find, you’ll get the best prices by using this strategy: At the beginning of every month, Coupons.com usually releases Charmin coupons, valued at up to $1. I print at least four of them (you can download two per phone) and hold on to them until there’s a promotion at CVS (about every few weeks). Then I buy a $7.99 Charmin Mega Roll pack for just $1.66!” —Joanie Demer, cofounder of TheKrazyCouponLady.com
Pay less for batteries.
“Being home so much, the one thing I’m constantly buying is batteries! But I’ve found that the best deals on name-brand batteries are on Amazon. For example, the site sells a 24-pack of Duracell AA for $10.22 — that’s $4 less than the same package at Walmart. Even if you aren’t a Prime member, you can snag free shipping if you spend $25 all at once. Simply buy a few packs and store the extras.” —Kyle James, founder of Rather-Be-Shopping.com
Snap up generics to slash 40 percent.
“Find you’re using your Magic Erasers or Scotch Brite 3-in-1 Microfiber Cleaning Cloth twice as much now? Consumer Reports found that the store brands of household erasers and cleaning cloths were 40 percent less expensive than the name brand, yet because these generic brands are made from the same materials as their brandname counterparts, they are virtually identical. So they get the job done just as well — for a whole lot less.” —Kathryn Snearling, money-saving blogger at DoItOnADimeBlog.com
Score a bargain on cleaning supplies here.
“Shoppers aren’t always getting the best deal buying in bulk at warehouse stores, especially when it comes to perishables. But when it comes to buying commonly used household items, like cleaning supplies and dishwasher detergent, one study found prices were 19 percent cheaper at Costco stores than at Amazon. Plus, they have a long shelf life, so you’re sure to use them up before they go bad.” —Karrie Truman, money-saving blogger at HappyMoneySaver.com
Spend less on light bulbs.
“Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut energy bills. In fact, replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures with LED light bulbs can save $45 each year. According to Consumer Reports, LED bulbs can last up to 50,000 hours (five times longer than any comparable bulb). For the best deal on these bulbs, check out IKEA, where their 60W-equivalent LED bulb costs $5 (and 99 cents when on sale!), and The Home Depot, which has sold Philips LED bulbs for as low as $2.50 per bulb.” —Holly Johnson, moneysaving expert at TheSimpleDollar.com
Get kitchen helpers for less at office suppliers.
“I shop at Office Depot and Staples for the best prices on paper towels, bottled water and more. Their prices are unbeatable when you use coupons, which you can often find on their websites. At Staples, I snagged 12 Bounty Mega Rolls for $16; they’re $25 at other stores. The only catch: You usually have to order online and select free pickup in-store.” —Chelsea Hudson of TopCashBack.com
Save money on dish soap.
“We’re cooking and eating at home so much more, which means double the dirty dishes. When stocking up on dish soap, most shoppers don’t realize that the name-brand ‘splurge’ can actually save you money. When we compared 12 of the most popular dish soaps, Dawn Ultra came out at the top of the list because it made quick work — we used less soap to get the best results on basic meat, spinach, oatmeal, milk, and egg stains, and it dissolved bacon grease better than any other soap we tested. So even though you might spend more ($2.64 for 19 ounce versus 99 cents for a 14 ounce bottle of Ajax dish soap), it will last you longer — and get your dishes cleaner, so you spend less in the long run!” —Cindy Bailen, reviewer for Reviewed.com
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.