Money Watch lists items not to buy at a drugstore (saying they should instead get them at a grocery store.) Why? Because there's a HUGE price difference. The details:
ConsumerWorld.org, a consumer education web site, just conducted a pricing survey in the Boston area, tracking 25 common grocery items — both foods and household products. It found the average drugstore charged 50% more than the least expensive supermarket: $102.94 vs. $68.55 for the basket of goods studied.
Stores in the survey included: Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, Stop & Shop, Shaw’s and Market Basket.
Among the drugstore chains, Rite Aid proved the priciest, with the 25 items adding up to $107.96; CVS was the least expensive, at $98.12. Meantime, among the supermarkets, the receipt from Shaw’s had the biggest total at $83.56, while Market Basket had the lowest at $68.55.
Here's my take on this:
1. We don't shop at drugstores for food items except in the following situations:
- They have a sale on/coupon for an item that we know is a good price even for a grocery store (examples: milk and Blue Diamond Almonds).
- Movie-box-sized candy (they are 25 cents cheaper than the grocery store every day.)
- There are some sort of rewards related to the purchase that make it an overall better deal than if it was bought at a grocery store (though with my 6% cash back Amex card, this one doesn't occur much.)
2. We rarely even go to Rite Aid or CVS. The Rite Aid near us is on the wrong side of the street for easy access (coming home) and there isn't a CVS that's convenient.
3. We are in Walgreen's quite often, but it's mostly as a pre-movie stop (candy).
4. We haven't gotten into the rewards game at any drugstores, but from looking at it from the sidelines it appears that you can get some decent deals if you do. Anyone willing to share their tips for saving with a rewards program from any of the drugstores?
Overall, I think there's a reason one is called a drugstore and the other is a grocery store. It's "generally" better (less expensive) to get drugs (in the broad sense) at the drugstore and food at the grocery store.