What Not to Buy at the Drugstores

There are certain things that we should never purchase at drugstores without a major coupon, reward or other fantastic sale going on. It definitely helps to know how to shop at the drugstores to save the most so you know what bargain to expect.

At times, we all have fallen to temptation of convenience. Who among us has not looked at that potato chip aisle in the drugstore, thrown caution to the wind and purchased the $5 bag of Doritos simply because they were there and convenient? You can rationalize it away by telling yourself that it is silly to drive all the way to the grocery store to save a buck or two, but you know that is not really logical at all.

To save even more, this list of items to never purchase at the drugstores will help you stay focused.


If you like cereal or have kids, it is very easy to imagine how you might end up paying an outlandish price for the overpriced cereal in drugstores. Heck, cereal can be priced outrageous at the grocery stores! Unless there is a reward or special promotion, the prices will not be anywhere near what you can find at grocery stores, big box stores or wholesale clubs.

Bottled Water

While there are occasional rewards offers for bottled water, it is rarely cheap enough to purchase in the drugstore. You can find bottled water cheaper elsewhere all the time. When we do purchased bottled water, I will purchase from Aldi or Costco because their prices are cheaper by the bottle.

Snack Foods

I mentioned the Doritos above. Price them out sometime in your local drugstore and you will see what I mean. Unless there is a reward promotion running, snack foods will be grossly overpriced. Always.

cleaning equipment

Find lots of ways to save money on cleaning products.

Cleaning Supplies

Some of my best bargains I ever purchased on cleaning supplies did come from drugstores but they are rare. Certainly this category is worth checking out each week, but without a nice coupon match-up or reward, it is rarely worthwhile.

Ice Cream

Dairy is actually sometimes cheaper in drugstores when it comes to milk or cheese. Ironically the folks that price the ice cream did not get the memo, however. Ice cream is through the roof in drugstores most of the time, and I would guess it has something to do with impulse purchases.

Tea or Coffee

Even with stacking coupons and using register rewards savings, tea and coffee are usually so expensive that I won’t even consider buying them here.

Soups and Canned Goods

Canned goods and soups can be gotten so inexpensive in supermarkets that it makes little sense to pay the higher price at the drugstores. Use some coupons and get this stuff for next to nothing in the grocery stores and discount chains instead.

Drugstores are not always expensive in all of these categories but they usually are. Is it still worthwhile to comparison shop in drugstores? Of course it is.

I always see what rewards offers are advertised each week to see if a trip is justified. Just understand that your buying opportunities in drugstores are usually going to be in other areas. After all, there are a number of items that you should never buy in grocery stores too!

Ways to Save Money on Groceries

What to Never Buy at the Grocery Store

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How to Save Money on Groceries Without Clipping Coupons

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  1. Your are wrong about some of your comments about pricing. I work in a drug store and our reg. Prices compare to grocery store prices. Grocery stores are also expensive if you don’t get items on sale.

    1. B, that hasn’t been my experience. I never buy anything full price, but if I were to walk into my local drugstore and compare to the grocery stores I shop, the drugstores have typically been more expensive.

  2. Christopher says:

    Interesting you mention cereal, because lately I’ve been getting great deals on cereal at CVS after coupons, extra bucks, and sales. Makes me wonder why I never saw it before. Lots of cereals only $2 a box on sale, and when you throw in a few coupons and get $4 off $20 it works out nicely!

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