(WMC-TV) - Ignore the conventional wisdom that merchandise is generally more expensive at drug stores.
Teri Gault, professional shopper and CEO of The Grocery Game (www.thegrocerygame.com), said drug stores typically drop their prices on select items as loss-leaders to get customers in the door.
"There is a desire to bring people into the doors," said Gault, "and I believe they are bringing us in because they want to get our (pharmacy business).
"I don't mind. I'm going to go ahead and get the deals!"
Gault gets the deals by using manufacturers' coupons, store sales, rebates from retailers' web sites and the deal-stacking strategies she revealed in our other Action News 5 specials, The Grocery Game and Undercover Savings (for those specials, please click here: http://www.wmctv.com/story/13472710/the-investigators-the-grocery-game and http://www.wmctv.com/story/13431421/the-investigators-undercover-savings).
She applies all of her tricks to what she calls the three main treasure-troves of drug stores:
* MAKE-UP/BEAUTY PRODUCTS. "Drug stores often keep beauty products at low prices because that's a 'blue item' -- something shoppers like to buy in bulk," Gault said. "Catch them on sale, add on a coupon, send away for the web rebate -- you might even get something for free.
"Smart shoppers are finding that drug store-brand beauty products are often just as good for one-fourth the price."
* DAILY "GOTTA HAVES." Toothpaste, body wash, eye drops, deodorant -- all are typically discounted at drug stores, according to Gault, and they are the products most likely to carry BOGO (Buy One Get One) sales.
* GROCERIES. This is the category Gault said most shoppers take for granted. They get stuck in the mind-set that groceries must be bought at a grocery store. But drugstores sell all the staples -- milk, cereal, bread, etc. -- and often carry sales on them that compete with the big grocery chains.