Extreme couponers share the items they’re willing to splurge on.

By Kristine Gill
Updated February 12, 2019

Why pay full price when you can pay less? Extreme couponers are known for their strict adherence to this mantra because it pays! But what products are so exceptional that even someone who stocks up on 10-cent toothpaste is willing to spring for it? We asked extreme couponers what they’re willing to pay full price for—and anyone can benefit from splurging a bit on these grocery store finds.

couponers-pay-full-price coupons money
Credit: Getty Images

Pure maple syrup and honey

Heather Wheeler and Joanie Demer own The Krazy Coupon Lady, and while they refuse to pay full price for most products, they say they will make an exception for maple syrup (although they buy the least expensive option on the market). Kirkland’s brand at Costco sells for just 35 cents per ounce versus competitors such as Trader Joe’s (50 cents an ounce) and Walmart (58 cents an ounce).

They will also shell out full price for local honey. “At about $12 per pound for local honey, compared to $5 per pound of the organic stuff at Walmart, it’s not the cheapest option,” Wheeler says. “But the quality and benefits are totally worth the price tag.” (Consuming local honey can help with allergies because the bees that produce it are exposed to local pollen.)

Produce and meat

If freshness and quality matter, you're going to have to pay full price for meat, veggies, and fruit. However, what you pay in the store (even at full price) is still less than you'd pay at a restaurant, points out Stephanie Nelson, who runs Coupon Mom.

“Even full price fish at the grocery store is much less than going out to eat and paying four times as much, when it only takes 10 minutes to bake a piece of good fish,” she explains. “And it's healthy!”

Nelson says she also pays full price for fresh produce, because she believes good food improves health, which can reduce long-term medical costs.

If you are willing to purchase and use some meat or produce that’s just past its prime, there are still ways to save, Demer says. Try shopping first thing in the morning, when supermarkets are more likely to mark down meats that are past their sell-by dates. (Many items are still safe to consume a day or two after the sell-by or best-if-used-by date has passed, but use your best judgment and be sure to cook any meats thoroughly.)

Apple products

Most users are willing to pay the price for a newly released Apple product. Demer and Wheeler say if that’s you, don’t worry about missing out on a deal.

“You’ll rarely find the latest iPhone or MacBook release on sale,” Wheeler says. “If you’re into getting Apple gadgets as soon as they’re released, go for it without worrying about missing out on a killer deal or coupon.”

There are still ways to save, even in this category. Check out Apple’s buyback program, which will offer anywhere from $35 to $300 on an old phone and $430 to $2,500 on an old computer when you trade in for a new one.

“In fact, Apple will even take your old PC,” Demer adds.

Trusted brands

When she can’t find a deal on her favorite brands, there are two products Nelson will pay top dollar for: Curel body lotion and Tide laundry detergent.

“Keeping my clothing newer-looking longer saves me money on clothing in the long run,” she says.

And Curel is the only brand Nelson has found that works for her. “It’s not worth feeling itchy for cheaper options,” she explains.

If there are brands you love, sometimes having them is better than paying less for something that won’t get the job done.