15 Things You Should Always Buy at the Drugstore

If you want to save the most money on your essentials, then you need to be smart about where you purchase them. Getting everything at one place means you’ll wind up overpaying — and that’s a big mistake.

Most people don’t consider the drugstore when they think about weekly shopping trips. But if you’re not frequenting these types of stores and enjoying their discounts, then you’re missing out on some fantastic savings.

Ahead, check out the best bargains you should always buy from the drugstore.

1. Laundry detergent

Person holding detergent pod in hand in front of laundry machine

Laundry detergent | ssuaphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Prices on laundry detergent can vary dramatically, especially depending on the brand and type you’re buying. But when it comes to sales, you can’t do much better than your local drugstore. The Krazy Koupon Lady recommends heading to Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid to get the best deals on major detergent brands like Tide. Sign up for the store loyalty card for even deeper discounts and special coupons.

Next: You probably buy this fridge essential every week.

2. Milk

Milk Bottle

Milk | kuarmungadd/iStock/Getty Images

The sticker price on milk is typically higher at the drugstore than it is at your local supermarket. But if you happen to catch a sale, then you’ll often pay way less for this staple household item. Another bonus: buying milk at the drugstore is more likely to be a quick stop since the stores are smaller.

Next: Kids at home? This is a must-buy item at the drugstore.

3. Diapers

Baby diapers

Diapers | Laboko/iStock/Getty Images

National brands like Pampers and Huggies are usually on sale at the drugstore, and when you stack those savings on top of manufacturer coupons, you have a great bargain on a parenting necessity. Just be sure to double check the brand name price versus store brand — often you’ll find better deals when you buy generic.

Next: Finding the best deal on these is easy if you know where to look.

4. Paper products

Paper towels

Paper towels | Paylessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Paper towels, napkins, toilet paper — many everyday paper products are expensive unless you buy them on sale. Sometimes you’ll find the best bargains at the supermarket, but often you’ll enjoy deeper discounts at the drugstore when you use extra rewards points, too.

Next: Couponers love to save on this item.

5. Deodorant

Applying deodorant

Deodorant | Anetlanda/iStock/Getty Images

Everyone needs deodorant. This is one of the first things that extreme coupon enthusiasts stock up on because there are almost always manufacturer coupons for them in the Sunday newspaper. Stack those coupons with drugstore sales for even more savings.

Next: Play your cards right and you could get this for free.

6. Toothbrushes and toothpaste


Toothbrushes | Nik_Merkulov/iStock/Getty Images

Like deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste often have manufacturer coupons in addition to in-store sales and coupons at the drugstore. Sometimes you can get these items for a dollar — or less — if you stack coupons and shop at the right time.

Next: The drugstore offers great deals on this item.

7. Shampoo and conditioner

Shampoo and conditioner

Shampoo and conditioner | nd3000/iStock/Getty Images

When it comes to shopping for shampoo and conditioner, the brand matters and the sales do, too. You’ll usually wind up paying much less for shampoo and conditioner at the drugstore than you would at the grocery store, especially when you clip coupons and shop for them while they’re on sale. You’ll also enjoy a larger selection and some drugstore-exclusive brands.

Next: You may have never thought to look for this at the drugstore.

8. Baking items

Ingredients and tools to make a cake, flour, milk, raisin ,eggs. With space for text.

Baking ingredients | Medea83/iStock/Getty Images

Most people don’t think to purchase baking items like cake mix, flour, sugar, and other pantry staples at the drugstore. But like so many other items, these are often on sale, which can save you a few bucks when you buy them at this unlikely spot.

Next: Timing is key when you’re buying this type of item.

9. Holiday items

Christmas stockings hanging on fireplace mantel

Christmas decorations| Sam Edwards/OJO Images/Getty Images

You’d be surprised how cute the holiday décor is at the drugstore. A lot of times they get exclusive products that no one else has, and since not a lot of people think to shop there, you can often find more in stock than you’ll find at more popular stores like Target or Walmart.

Your best bet? Shop the clearance items in the days and weeks following the holidays and save your decoration finds for next year.

Next: Get the generic version of this.

10. Cold medicine

cold medicines

Cold medicine | Scott Olson/iStock/Getty Images

Flip over a bottle of generic cold or flu medicine and you’ll see a list of ingredients that looks very similar to the brand name version. Spending the extra money for the name brand versions of drugs usually isn’t worth it — and when you’re shopping at the drugstore, you can find some great bargains on the store brand medicine.

Next: Find the name brands on sale at the drugstore.

11. Cereal

selection of cereal in store

Cereal | Karen Bennett/The Cheat Sheet

Save on the name brand cereals you love when you buy them at the drugstore. When you shop sales and use coupons, it’s possible to spend less than you’d pay for the exact same cereal at the supermarket. You’ll also be less tempted to overspend since the selection isn’t as large.

Next: The deals and savings on these items are exceptional.

12. Cosmetics

Makeup cosmetics

Makeup cosmetics | Yuriy_K/iStock/Getty Images

No matter how you look at it, purchasing cosmetics at the drugstore is a good idea. It’s cheaper than specialty stores like Ulta or Sephora, plus there’s a larger selection of items than you’d find at the grocery store. Some drugstores offer generous return policies, too.

Next: You can save a lot on this expensive type of item.

13. Razors

Razor on sink

Gillette razor | Nikelle Murphy/Gear & Style Cheat Sheet

Razors (and blades) are expensive. But you never have to pay full price for them. Instead, shop at the drugstore when they’re having sales and stack them with manufacturers coupons. It’s better than using dull blades when you’re trying to shave.

Next: Find drugstore exclusives you can’t get anywhere else for this thing.

14. Candy

Halloween candy at a Walgreens store on September 19, 2013 in Wheeling, Illinois.

Halloween candy | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Here’s something most people don’t know: the drugstore often stocks exclusive candy flavors and varieties that the supermarket, Walmart, and Target never get. Sometimes you can even find these candy varieties on clearance, especially after a major holiday.

Next: Your drugstore has the best inventory of this.

15. Prescriptions

Prescription bottles at Publix

Prescriptions | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Pharmacies are known for stocking medication, and even though some other types of stores fill prescriptions, they don’t always stock as much as a bona fide drugstore. That means you may wind up waiting a few days for the store to order your meds instead of getting them right away.

Read more: 11 Drugstore Products the Best Hair Stylists Swear By

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