7 of the Best Things to Buy at Drugstores

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Woman applying cosmetics
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Do you want great deals at the drugstore? No problem. If you have 60 seconds and a smartphone, you can find the best bargains at major chains like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens.

For starters, you can rack up cash back by using the Ibotta app, which offers cash rebates on purchases from the biggest of drugstore chains and others. And if you sign up for the loyalty programs of the drugstores you frequent, you’ll land even more bargains.

It’s the combination of sale prices, coupons, store rewards and cash-back offers that enables Christie Hardcastle — owner of the drugstore deal websites Wild For Wags and Wild For CVS — to pay as little as zero dollars for drugstore items.

“I routinely walk out with things that cost me absolutely nothing,” she tells Money Talks News.

Sound like too much work to squeeze into your busy life? Then focus on the following items, which are among the best bargains at drugstores.

1. Cereal

Dad and son eat cereal
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Hardcastle says that any time you visit a drugstore, you’ll likely find cereal deals. Why? Cereal is a relatively expensive product, so offering low prices on it brings people into a store.

Don’t want to mess with combining sales, coupons and rewards to maximize your savings? If you live near an Aldi grocery store, just buy cereal there instead. It’s often cheaper there than it is at warehouse clubs or grocery stores, as we report in “7 Things I Never Buy at Costco.”

2. Shampoo and conditioner

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If you’re like me, you always see shampoo and conditioner on sale at drugstores. Those are two more stock-up-and-save products.

Combine a sale price with a coupon, rewards offer or cash rebate, and you just may get shampoo and conditioner cheaper there than anywhere else.

Speaking of coupons, note that CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens are among a handful of retailers that allow coupon stacking. That means you can use both a manufacturer coupon and a store coupon on the same item to boost your savings.

3. Dairy and eggs

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Swing by the drugstore for milk and eggs, and you’ll likely save $1 on each product, Hardcastle says. Prices vary regionally, but you’ll almost always get a better deal on these products than you will at a grocery store.

For more items that you should avoid at the supermarket, check out “19 Things You Should Never Buy at a Grocery Store.”

4. Cosmetics

Asian woman applying lipstick
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There are plenty of great cosmetics available at drugstores. Spend a little time online, and you’ll find plenty of great bargains, too.

Drugstore deal sites like Hardcastle’s and general deal sites like The Krazy Coupon Lady routinely find makeup for next to nothing. And you can find free manufacturer coupons for cosmetics online.

5. Toothbrushes and toothpaste

a father brushses his teeth
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Toothbrushes and toothpaste are constantly on sale — and, like other items on this list, they’re even cheaper with coupons, cash-back offers and rewards offers.

“I actually can’t remember the last time that I paid for toothbrushes or toothpaste or floss,” Hardcastle says.

So, stock up when you find them cheap — or free — and you can avoid ever paying full price.

6. Drugstore-brand diapers

Smiling baby in diaper, lying on her back.
Alena Ozerova / Shutterstock.com

No coupons are necessary to score a deal on this item. Simply stock up whenever you see a “buy one, get one free” sale, which Hardcastle says happens every so often and is “an amazing deal.”

7. Sweetener

Sugar substitute tablets.
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Another great item you can buy at the drugstore for bargain prices is sweetener, both sugar substitutes and the real thing.

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