4 Things You Should Never Buy at CVS

Convenience stores make life a little easier. Most of the time, all you have to do is drive a short distance or walk a few blocks, and you’ve got just about everything you could ever need in one place. If you’re looking to make a quick purchase, your first thought may be to head over to a convenience store such as CVS. While CVS is a great resource for products on the go, you may not be getting the best deal and quality compared to products from other retailers. If you’re searching for a good deal, here are some items you’re better off not purchasing from CVS.

1. Shampoo and other toiletries

Man taking a hot shower

Taking a hot shower | Source: iStock

Your search for clean, silky hair shouldn’t end at the drug store. Your best bet is to purchase name-brand shampoo directly from your hair salon. When you purchase top-brand shampoo from a drug store, you run the risk of buying a knock-off. You should also be leery of purchasing popular shampoo brands online. One product that has been vulnerable to copycats is the Paul Mitchell line. There was one incident where a potentially hazardous batch of fake Paul Mitchell products made it to a drugstore shelf — the fakes had high levels of bacteria, reported ABC-7 News in Detroit. A Paul Mitchell representative told the news station that top-of-the-line hair products are sold directly to salons and not drug stores. Although sometimes a wholesaler purchases products from a salon and resells them to a third parties, you’re still taking a risk. If you see your favorite name brand on a drugstore shelf, it may not be the real thing.

When it comes to other toiletries like dental floss, toothpaste, and toothbrushes, your local dollar store may be a better alternative. Frugality website Bargain Babe said many dollar stores carry the same toiletry brands for a fraction of the price.

2. Groceries

woman grocery shopping

Grocery shopping | Source: iStock

Many drugstores now feature elaborate grocery sections with fresh fruit and staples like milk and eggs. While the displays may seem inviting (especially if you’re hungry), prices are generally lower at a traditional grocery store. The experts suggest sticking with your supermarket when it comes to grocery items.

3. Prescription medication

young man dropping medicine in his eye

Man using eye drops | Source: iStock

Are you trying to save money on prescription drugs? If so, you may not want to buy your medications at CVS. Research conducted by Consumer Reports found that prices at the three largest chain pharmacies weren’t the best. In fact, the study found that CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens had the highest drug prices when compared to more than 200 chain pharmacies, independent pharmacies, and pharmacies within supermarkets. When shopping for a prescription drug deal, the results showed the best deals can be found online. HealthWarehouse.com, in particular, yielded the best results.

Securing the best price is important, especially in light of the fact that roughly a third of participants in a Consumer Reports poll said their prescription drug prices rose within the last year. Price jumps ranged anywhere from a few dollars to more than $100 for each prescription. If you want a good price for your medications, it pays to shop around. One suggestion given by Consumer Reports is to fill some prescriptions at a chain or big-box store if you take a common generic medication. They said some of these stores will dispense a 30-day supply of medication for just $4 if you pay out of pocket. Some pharmacies that offer this deal include Target and Walmart. Check with your insurance company first, as well as the store, to see if any restrictions apply.

4. Footwear

Man wearing shoes

Shoes | Source: iStock

Drugstore footwear typically consists of colorful plastic flip flops and off-brand sneakers. Unless you only need these items for a short trip or to wear around your home, you may want to pass on the footwear. Target may be a better option when it comes to durable, cost-effective shoes.

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