Odds are you have a drugstore just a few blocks from home, making it arguably the most convenient place to shop. While it's tempting to make a pit stop every time you need something, certain items could be costing you way more than they should. Here are some common goods you should skip and where you can find them cheaper instead. Of course, prices will vary by state and city.
According to the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab, toilet paper is always cheaper to buy in bulk. They also point out that buying generic brands may not be so wise, either. "Though some people may think it's cheaper to buy a store brand toilet paper, most drug store-branded toilet paper was actually more expensive than other brands available in bulk sizes in our recent test." explains Senior Textiles Analyst Lexie Sachs. Try shopping at Costco or on Amazon instead.
If you've ever been rushing to get a last-minute birthday card, you know that you can end up shelling out $5 or more at popular drugstores for a simple "happy birthday." Sachs swears by stocking up at places like TJ Maxx in advance, where she pays around $1.99 each for high-end cards. The Dollar Tree is also known for their 2-for-$1 cards, in a pinch.
You wouldn't think it based on their name, but drugstore vitamin prices are through the roof. A 200-count bottle women's multivitamins can cost double the price from Jet.
Most pharmacies charge up to 23 cents a pop for their photo printing services. It may not seem like much, but the cost can quickly add up when you're hoping to develop a big batch. Instead, try using online services like snapfish.com, which cost just nine cents per print.
"Technically all toys sold in the US should meet the necessary safety standards, but drug stores may not be as diligent about ensuring such," explains Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist in the Good Housekeeping Institute. Plus, they tend to be more expensive. Try shopping from a more trusted retailer like Toys R Us, instead.