How Much Do Potato Chips Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 14, 2018

Potato chips are America’s favorite snack.  Countless brands and choices are available on the market today, from regular potato chips with standard ingredients to “organic” and “healthy” selections using “natural” ingredients like sea salt.

Homemade Potato Chips by Pictures by Ann, on Flickr
Homemade Potato Chips” (CC BY 2.0) by  Pictures by Ann

How much does a bag of chips cost?

On average, a basic bag of potato chips at your local grocery store will retail for $2 to $5.  Smaller bags that are often found in convenience stores can be as cheap as $1 to $2 per bag.

A 24 to 50 package of single serve bags that are less than an ounce typically retail for $0.30 to $1 per bag.  This will depend on the quality and type.  A healthier, organic version will cost more than your traditional Lays or Ruffles.

Economagic.com followed the price of potato chips from 1980 until now.  In 2017, at the time of this writing, the average U.S. city average was $4.43 per 16-ounce bag.




Factors that affect the price

The cost of raw materials

Potato chips are made using raw materials including spuds, wheat, maize and sunflower oil, with prices that can fluctuate depending on a number of economic factors.  When the prices of these raw materials rise, the costs will naturally increase, making the price higher for consumers as well.  Higher packaging costs can also contribute to a rise in potato chip prices.

Brand names

Popular potato chip brands are typically more expensive compared with the lesser known ones. Most of the time, however, branded products will have superior quality.  However, there are less famous brands that also make quality products, but because they have lesser brand recognition, their prices may not be as expensive.

Potato chips overview

Potato chip purchases may come in various-sized bags, canisters or multi-packs.  They can be many different flavors including barbecue, sour cream and onion, salt and vinegar, cheddar cheese, and many others.  Lay’s, for example, offers more than 30 flavors, with flavors ranging from barbecue to dill pickle.  You can check out all of their current flavors here.

Chips can also vary in texture; there are the traditional flat potato chips or there are crinkle cut chips, for instance.  Potato chips can also be made differently.  For example, kettle cooked potato chips will be thicker and crunchier than traditional potato chips.

Each bag will have the ingredients listed.  This is important for people with allergies to certain food products.  Each bag will also have nutritional information.

Popular chip brands include Ruffles, Pringles, Synder’s, Simba, Lay’s, Zapp’s and Munchos.

Tips to know:

Check the total fat content of the potato chips package.  Avoid potato chips that use partially hydrogenated oil as this is a source of harmful trans-fats.  Look for products with non-hydrogenated, high monounsaturated oil having no more than 10% saturated fat.

Baked potato chips have 65% less fat compared to regular potato chips.  They are natural, cholesterol-free and contain neither MSG nor trans-fat.

Kettle-style potato chips are not rinsed beforehand, so they retain more starch.

Chips that come in multi-packs of individual sized bags are very often re-sold at events.  For example, schools or churches may have these bags for sale at a concession stand of some sort.  These multi-packs are labeled for this individual resale, which means you could potentially earn back your money and then some.

Potato chips nutrition

How can I save money?

Buy in bulk to get discounts.  Single serve bags are a great way to save and help reduce the calories!

Check out dollar stores.  There are some with grocery sections displaying name brand potato chips with prices lower than supermarket retail.

Look for retailers and dealers that offer guaranteed lowest prices.

Many name brands offer coupons in the local paper and on their social media pages.  Items like potato chips will also be on sale during certain events or holidays, such as the Super Bowl or New Year’s Eve.

Do not forget to take advantage of grocery store brands.  These brands can be a lot less and taste just as good.

Take advantage of free shipping when ordering online.


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Average Reported Cost: $1

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

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  1. mark (chicago,  Illinois) paid $1 and said:

    lays vending machine

    Was it worth it? Yes

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