How to Save Money » Frugal Living

Thirteen things you should never pay full price for

When you start using coupons and see how much money you can save, you never want to pay full price for anything ever again – and you don’t have to! Not for certain things anyway.

Here is a list of things you should never pay full price for.

CDs & DVDs

I’m somewhat of a movie collector, but I will only buy DVDs if they are dirt cheap and I love the movie. However, I would never pay full price for a DVD. (I really love Rogers on Demand for renting movies as well.)

As for CDs, I like to use iTunes and only download the songs that I want. It’s much cheaper than buying a CD that only has a few songs on it that I really enjoy.


I almost always buy our kids’ toys second hand, unless they are extremely inexpensive at the store (usually on Boxing Day or right after Christmas).

There always children’s toys on clearance and most stores have sales all year round (but especially right before and right after Christmas), so you should never be paying full price for toys.


I usually get my books from Amazon and pay with Swagbucks. Book stores are a huge temptation of mine (I want to buy everything!), so I avoid them whenever possible.

I also purchase many used books from thrift stores and yard sales. Many times I can find books that are brand new for a very small fraction of the original cost.


Thrift stores are fantastic for clothes shopping. They get new clothing items every single day, so there is always something great to be found at a thrift store. I just love hunting for an article of clothing and finding it for a dirt-cheap price!

Thrift stores frequently have sales as well (and sometimes offer coupons). I try to only shop on sale days, but the prices are so good that you can shop any day and still find some great bargains!


Most people go to a car lot and buy whatever catches their eye, at whatever price it’s listed at.

Did you know that you can actually haggle with a car salesman? When I bought my last car, it was about $1500 over my budget. I told the salesman that if he reduced the price by $1500 I would take the car. Guess what – he reduced the price. It never hurts to ask.


I don’t remember the last time I paid for toothpaste, let alone paid full price. I shudder at the thought. When I see people paying full price at the store, it makes me want to cry.

There are always coupons for toothpaste. Hold on to them long enough, and there is sure to be a sale that will make your toothpaste FREE (or very cheap) after applying your coupon.


I know that some people are brand-specific when it comes to their hair products, but I am not one of those people. As long as it gets my hair clean, that’s all I care about. Holding on to my coupons and waiting for sales almost always results in very inexpensive shampoo & conditioner.

Razors & shaving cream

Razor and shaving cream coupons are extremely popular. You can find them almost anywhere, all year round. You would be crazy to pay full price for these items when you can get them much cheaper by using coupons.


Diapers always go on sale. Every single week there will be a sale somewhere. This is one of those items that you should never, ever pay full price for.

You can almost always find diaper coupons as well (especially for Pampers), making a sale price even sweeter.


I love a big bowl of cold cereal at any time. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner – it doesn’t matter to me. We go through a lot of cereal in this house and I couldn’t tell you the last time I paid full price for it.

Even without a coupon, there are often very good sales on cereal all year round (especially around back to school time).

Paper towels, bathroom & facial tissue

I hate buying products that are garbage the moment you use them. It’s like flushing money down the toilet. I always stock up on these items during sales to prevent ever paying full price.

I also redeem my Shoppers Optimum Points to get these things for free.

Candles, air fresheners, etc.

Before I started using coupons, I would pay full price for candles all the time. I really love candles, especially in the fall and winter. The full price was expensive, though. What was I thinking?

Since I’ve been using coupons for years now, I know that there is always a coupon for candles or air fresheners. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is (especially right before Christmas), you will be able to find a coupon. Don’t ever pay full price for these items.

Feminine products

Feminine products are always free (or close to it) with coupons. Always. End of story.

I do believe that there are some things you should splurge on, but for the most part, I often advise against paying full price. There always deals to be had on just about anything.

Do your research and make sure that if you are going to spend money on something, it’s worth the cost.

What are some things you would never pay full price for?


  1. Michelle

    Hi Cassie!!

    Question for you…how do you earn that much from Swagbucks each month? Is it due to referrals?? I seem to only earn approx. $10 for a Starbucks card every 2 months.

    I also want to say…great post!! I absolutely agree with you on not paying full price for those items. I have another quick question for you. Is your husband supportive of you with all your deal hunting and purchases? I’m only asking because I am a stay-at-home mom and mine is not. I get so excited when I get items for free or almost free with coupons and want to share with him but he just makes comments like…you’re obsessed. I never go insane with multiples. I never purchase more than at most a year supply and it’s always items we use regularly. I don’t ever purchase anything just because I have a coupon. I save us thousands of dollars a year and get no appreciation. It’s really maddening sometimes. You would think that he would be loving the fact I save us so much and put so much time and effort into it. Instead of being one of those wives that buys Gucci bags and spends all of the money he makes. Just curious if you ever experience the same.

    Keep up the great work!! Love the site 🙂

  2. Ashley

    @Michelle: My husband was the same way when I first started couponing. He would tease me about it, and I usually just didn’t tell him about the deals I got. Eventually, I opened up more about it and started sharing everything. It has taken time, but he has totally warmed up to it. He even used 1 coupon a few weeks ago, and called me to tell me about it! Lol. What I suggest is keep an excel sheet and tally up how much you have saved just on store sales, and how much you have saved using coupons.

    I do this, and then once a month or more often, I will tell him “Hey did you know that we’ve saved $650 since May on groceries and household items?”. Once he hears that large of an amount, then he realizes that couponing and shopping sales is totally worth it. Your hubby sounds like one of those people who think why bother using coupons if you’re only saving 25 cents here or there. What he and others don’t realize, is that there are very valuable coupons out there, not just 25 cents off an item. So keep track of what you save, and once it gets to be a significant amount, tell him about it and show him the excel sheet. He will come around eventually 🙂

  3. Cassie Howard

    thanks michelle! 🙂

    with swagbucks, i use the computer alot, so i guess that helps. also, one thing that i do, which is kind of sneaky is search for something on swagbucks (something i search for often) and then set that page as my homepage. by doing this, every time i open up my browser, it’s possible that i will get swagbucks, without even searching for anything (because the search page is my homepage!). doing this has really helped me to get SB very fast!

    and i agree with ashley, maybe you should do a spreadsheet or something to show your husband how much you save. i’m sure he would appreciate it then!

    my hubby is very supportive of my couponing. he knows i spend alot of time doing it and save us thousands of dollars every year. he is very thankful that i am not one of those wives that goes out and blows all of the household income on expensive clothes, purses, shoes, etc.

  4. Clare

    I appreciate having a site that is Canadian to find out deals. I am collecting swag bucks and I only usually get about 5 dollars a month, any ways of raising that? Also where do you find the coupons for the feminine hygiene products, there are three of us girls and it is costly each month. Thanks Clare

  5. Martina

    Hi. I love you blog. Could you possibly do a blog on how to use Swagbucks site. I can not figure that site out and would love to know your secrets.

    Thanks 🙂

  6. Cassie Howard

    martina, that is a great idea! i will definetely write up a post in the next little while to help you earn swagbucks faster! 🙂

    clare, i will do a post on how to earn swagbucks faster, but the things i can think of off the top of my head is referrals, having a search page as your home page, and going to your homepage multiple times a day. as for feminine coupons, you can find them all over. Check my other site and search for feminine products under categories, you will see coupons there. hope this helps!

  7. Theresa

    Great post. I cannot seem to find toothpaste for almost free with coupons though. Do you buy a certain brand? Also, feminine hygiene products, again I can get them cheaper, but not usually free or next to free. Any tips??

  8. Cassie Howard

    for free toothpaste, i have “bought” colgate total, arm & hammer, and colgate sensitive. there are lots of crest coupons but i have never been able to get those free. however, if you have LD, you can probably do that. there are crest coupons on the colgate total and colgate sensitive toothpaste i got from my dentist! and the arm and hammer coupons were for $1 on ANY so i got the trial size for free. those coupons were on but now they are for $1 off TWO. keep your eye out for toothpaste coupons though, there should be some new ones soon.

    as for stayfree, new coupons come and go and i hold on to them until i see a sale to get them free with coupon. you can also call johnson&johnson once a month and request coupons – the one i always request has $2 off stayfree/ob.carefree and some other brands. they send 2 $2 coupons and if you can wait long enough, these things go on sale for 2/$5 alot and even as low as $1.99 (free!). speaking of free, there is also a coupon for a FREE pack on right now –

  9. Karen

    Hi, I’d love some more detailed info ie. swagbucks for dummies too, but my question today is about feminine products. I so far have one J&J $2 coupon. I think this week SDM has them for $2.99 and that coupon was burning a hole in my pocket but I haven’t cashed it in. Do they really go down to $2.00 fairly often? The coupon is good till next summer so I do have lots of time.

  10. Cassie Howard

    good until next summer? then yes, i would hold on to it. i’d say they go on sale for $2.. hmm maybe every other month? usually at SDM.

    ill post the swagbucks info asap. 🙂

  11. Michelle

    Good post! I love using coupons to shop. Never seem to find many toys on clearance.. but always on the look out.
    Look forward to the post on swagbucks.

  12. Mary

    I would also add furniture…I know you mentioned don’t cheap out on furniture and I don’t but can you still haggle with any store. We usually buy Lazy Boy and I have never paid full price. Like you said with cars (I have NEVER paid full price and I usually get a great deal – play dealerships against each other 😉 ) it never hurts to ask 🙂

  13. Jenn

    I agree with everything but the toys. It is easy to buy second hand toys and clearance toys when your children are young, but what happens at Xmas when they are asking for the latest hot toy from Santa? Or their birthday? Unfortunately, I cannot deny my child one thing that they REALLY want from Santa because I don’t want to pay full price.

  14. Julie

    There are so many things I would never pay full price for again. It actually scares me to think about how many years I bought the items without thinking about the price until I started couponing last year.
    Cleaning products
    Paper product
    zip lock bags
    dish soap
    body wash
    and tons more 🙂

  15. Christa

    I also like browsing through Value Village and Once Upon A Child (especially kids clothes cause they grow out of them so fast when they are babies and so rough on them as they grow older). We also have a very cool used book store here where you can bring your books to and get a credit. I was in there one time with my granddaughter looking for books for me and the owner let me have 4 free books for her.

  16. Christine

    Renting dvds and cds from the library are completely free! With cds you can transfer what songs you want to your itunes and scrap the rest. As long as you bring back your items on time you don’t even need to pay the $1.29 per song or $4.99 per on demand movie rental.

  17. Patricia

    I never pay full price for clothing. Outlet stores are fabulous for having the latest styles for 50-80% off. I’ve raised two boys as a single parent on a disability and they have always had great clothing from the outlet stores. 😉

  18. Chris Harrison

    Electronics are much like vehicles: as soon as you “drive” them off the lot, they depreciate significantly.

    I can’t remember the last time I paid full price for electronics. They can often be found used or like-new (e.g.: open-box, factory seconds, demo/display units).

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*