Drugstores offer a lot more than a place to fill a prescription for monthly meds. Many offer surprisingly competitive prices on everything from ice cream to toothpaste. Here's a list of the top 10 deals you can find at drugstores.
Drugstores have the best candy when you are far from Candy Heaven (aka 7-Eleven). Nerds. Charleston Chews. Fun Dip. Where else can you get an old-school sugar high for pennies? Plus, with such a wide selection, something is sure to be on sale.
2. Ice cream
I'm not talking about packaged dessert but fresh scoops of ice cold creamy goodness. About 400 Rite Aid stores in California sell scoops of Thrifty ice cream starting at about $1. The quality isn't on par with Haagen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry's, but it is still an amazing value, especially if you're the one buying the cones for all the kids in the carpool this summer.
3. Nail polish
With so many competing brands, drugstores are nearly always hosting a beauty sale. Revlon marked down by 50%, perhaps? Wet 'N Wild $1 off? If not, look for miniature pots of nail polish, which start at about $1.50 and provide plenty of colored goo. Colors may be limited, but really, have you ever finished a full-sized pot of polish? I didn't think so.
With regular sales knocking off $1 or more off the price of toothpaste plus a nearly endless supply of coupons, you never have to pay more than $1 for a full tube of toothpaste. Keep newspaper coupon inserts sorted by the week they were published and monitor store sales via email or in-store flyers. When you match a coupon with a sale, buy as many as you can.
Similar to buying toothpaste, there are regular deodorant sales and coupons to boot. Save your coupon inserts, monitor store sales, and when you find a match, pounce! Aim to pay no more than $1 per stick.
6. Cough drops
Walgreens sells a generic brand of cough drops that are similar to Ricola that often go on super sale at the same time Ricola drops its price. I've gotten bags of 18 to 24 Walgreens generic drops for as little as $.99, while Ricola is often more than $2 a bag.
7. Greeting cards
Make a bee-line for the $.99 section. Yes, the selection is less than the cards that cost $2 -- $5, but really, do you want to spend more than a buck on a fancy piece of paper? It's the thought that counts, anyway.
Generic brand vitamins almost always beat name brands, even when the latter is on sale and you have a coupon. I've seen drugstore brand vitamins sell for half the cost of rivals. Make sure to compare the active ingredients listed on the back so you know the product is similar.
9. Shampoo and conditioner
If you are open to multiple brands, play favorites with whatever is on sale. Bottles of Suave shampoo and conditioner can often be purchased for about a $1 either on sale or with a coupon. Combine both and you will pay pennies on the dollar. Garnier Fructis products go on sale regularly in my neck of the woods, too.
When it comes to sun protection, drugstores are often better at breaking down the price per unit, such as ounce, than grocery stores. With this quick math plastered on price tags, it's easy to chose a tube of sunscreen that meets your budget and quality standards.
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