ShopSmart Finds Target, Walmart Offer Lower Prices, Bigger Savings on Over-The-Counter Drugs than CVS, Walgreens

    ShopSmart Finds Target, Walmart Offer Lower Prices, Bigger Savings on
                  Over-The-Counter Drugs than CVS, Walgreens

PR Newswire

YONKERS, N.Y., April 11, 2013

Shoppers can save hundreds of dollars a year by changing how and where they

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

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 shoppers uncover deals.
The trick is to sign up and read up. Here is a look at some of the perks of
loyalty card memberships that anyone can join:

1.CVS ExtraCare. Earn two percent back on almost all nonprescription
    purchases in stores and online; members receive extra rewards for buying
    select items each week. Additional rewards can be earned by enrolling in
    special beauty, diabetes and pharmacy programs. Rewards include instant
    savings on featured items and ExtraBucks cash-bask coupons for future
    purchases. ExtraBucks coupons generally expire after 45 days.
2.Rite Aid Wellness+. Shoppers earn  one point for every dollar spent on
    eligible nonprescription items in stores and 25 extra points for
    prescriptions. Program offers instant savings on featured items and +Up
    Rewards to redeem on future purchases. Earn 500 points and get rewards
    such as fitness memberships, magazine subscriptions and health screening.
    +Up Rewards are good for 14 days. Wellness+ for Diabetes (free, with
    separate enrollment) offers exclusive member benefits. 
3.Walgreens Balance Rewards. Members earn points for buying certain items in
    stores and online (for example, 250 points for toothpaste and 3,000 for
    laundry detergent); 500 points for prescriptions and immunizations.
    Shoppers receive instant savings on featured items. Earn 5,000 points to
    get $5 to spend on a future purchase; hit other point levels and get up to
    $50. Earn ten points for every mile in the Walk with Walgreens fitness
    program; get bonus points by linking an AARP membership to a Balance
    Rewards account. Points expire after three years or sooner if an account
    has been inactive for six months.

About Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing
organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey
research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services
annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to
its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division,
Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial
reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the

About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the
publication's celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and
providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmart  features product reviews,
shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and "best of the best"
lists. It's ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has
a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers
including Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Borders, Kroger, Safeway and Publix.
ShopSmart is available by subscription at

ShopSmart is available 10 times a year. Subscribe at

SOURCE ShopSmart

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