YONKERS, N.Y., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Drug stores may be a convenient choice for over-the-counter medications, but there's a price to pay for convenience. The May 2013 issue of ShopSmart, from Consumer Reports, features findings from the magazine's price scan of 185 drugs at hundreds of stores nationwide that revealed potential savings of hundreds of dollars a year for shoppers willing to change their over-the-counter medication shopping habits.
ShopSmart's secret shoppers compared prices of common name- and store-brand nonprescription medications available at CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart and supermarkets and found that Target and Walmart beat the drugstore chains every time. Walmart had the lowest prices on 26 items, the most of any of the retailers. Target offered the biggest savings on a single item – their store-brand Ibuprofen (24 count) was 73 percent cheaper than the store-brand offering at Walgreens.
When shopping for nonprescription medications, choose the right size container. The largest packages are not always the smartest buys. ShopSmart found the savings on some medium-sized bottles are comparable to their giant counterparts, and the drugs are less likely to expire before they can be used.
"If you're still buying drugs at drugstores you're missing out on a major way to save," said Lisa Lee Freeman , editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. "Our price scans on many different products, including food, and beauty items, and now medications, show that by simply shopping at Walmart and Target you can cut your costs by hundreds of dollars a year."
Maximize Savings with Drugstore Loyalty Programs
ShopSmart found that drugstore chains almost always had the highest regular price on nonprescription drugs, but joining a loyalty program at one of the big chains – CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens – can help shopper
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