Shopping Discussion

What is typically the cheapest pharmacy?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 11th, 2020 4:03 pm
[OP]
Member
Jul 7, 2020
372 posts
195 upvotes

What is typically the cheapest pharmacy?

If I need something more specific than just a toothbrush or a tube of toothpaste, which store or pharmacy typically offers the lowest price on things like vitamins, cleanser, cream, pain and other medicines, and etc.? I avoid Shoppers and Rexall like the plague. Recently I was in a Jean Coutu (in Ontario) for some things from the flyer that were on sale at a great price, and while I noticed their regular prices seemed to be lower than the other stores, they were still pretty high. Is Walmart significantly cheaper? Or Guardian/IDA/Independent pharmacies? In recent years I have gotten these things from Amazon and Superstore, but I no longer have a Prime membership and I am not conveniently located near the one Superstore in Ottawa where I live now.
32 replies
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22774 posts
21607 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Truth is ...

Not any one place.

Cuz what you save on one item @ regular pricing, you pay more for another @ regular price.

That’s just how stores structure themselves (pharmacies & grocery stores in particular) where all the stores in the category ... in completion with each other are selling the same goods. It’s how they make their profit.

Best bet ... watch for sales.

Make a list of everything you buy ... track what their regular pricing is (it will be a range) and what their sale pricing is (also a range). Basically this will give you the LOWEST Price ... and a MID to HIGH price for any product.

Remember that the LOWEST of the LOW price though is based on volume / cost per unit. So don’t be tricked out by the size of a container ... or thinking a bulk buy is the cheapest.

For some things ... you’ll prob find Costco to be the clear winner ... but downside to Costco is they carry limited items

Other stuff ... it may be at any store ... Drugstore or a Dept Store (like Walmart). Or even the Dollar Store.

Best bet ... shop the sales. Peruse the Flyers. Buy wherever you get the best deal.

And DONT IGNORE LOYALTY PROGRAMS ... the one @ Shoppers played right can be extremely beneficial. Esp if you do your shopping for sales items on a 20x the Points Event (= 30% Back in Points ) .... and then spend those points again on items on Sale (or at least well priced) on a Bonus Redemption Event (where gains could be as high as = 50% more buying power)

Played right ... all said and done, at the end of an entire year say ... you could be getting your goods for up to 50% less than you actually paid out (which is waaaay less than those items at full price )

I used to play this strategic buying game at both SDM and Rexall ... but since Rexall left AirMiles, and has moved onto their own Loyalty Program ... that really isn’t that great compared to SDM ... I now am only needing to track prices at just SDM.

It’s purely a case of buy on promo (lowest prices)
And cash in when the rewards are their biggest

EDIT / ADD - We live in Eastern Ontario, so we shop Jean Coutu as well. Although not nearly as often as SDM. More a case of I got to see a good flyer filled with deals, and a BONUS AirMiles event running at the same time. But yes, I have definitely snagged some good deals @ JC
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
8397 posts
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Mississauga
OP put your location in your profile and you might get more specific suggestions.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 19, 2017
7407 posts
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KhetysTeachings wrote: If I need something more specific than just a toothbrush or a tube of toothpaste, which store or pharmacy typically offers the lowest price on things like vitamins, cleanser, cream, pain and other medicines, and etc.? I avoid Shoppers and Rexall like the plague. Recently I was in a Jean Coutu (in Ontario) for some things from the flyer that were on sale at a great price, and while I noticed their regular prices seemed to be lower than the other stores, they were still pretty high. Is Walmart significantly cheaper? Or Guardian/IDA/Independent pharmacies? In recent years I have gotten these things from Amazon and Superstore, but I no longer have a Prime membership and I am not conveniently located near the one Superstore in Ottawa where I live now.
you don't have to buy many things from pharmacy stores. Many big grocery or department stores sell the same things that most pharmacy stores sell.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
9779 posts
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Toronto
I like Metro in Toronto.
Some No Frills and Freshco's also have a pharmacy section.
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2016
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Nobody beats Costco on dispensing fees.
For everything else, Walmart regular prices usually beat SDM and Rex regular prices. Look out for specials.
Sr. Member
Jan 17, 2013
772 posts
368 upvotes
Yes, generally Walmart has the cheapest prices, followed by Superstore. For other stores, check their flyer for sale items.
Moderator
May 28, 2012
11924 posts
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Saskatoon
Costco for prescriptions and also for their Kirkland branded pain relievers, allergy meds, vitamins, etc. Pretty much brand name quality for a fraction of the price - I haven't bought Tylenol or Advil in years.
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 19, 2002
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Vancouver
Costco

$5 dispensing fee at their pharmacy.

Kirkland generic vitamins and OTC medication is unbeatable in pricing.

You don't need a membership to enter their pharmacy either. Did I mention they give you free pill cutters?
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
2076 posts
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Edmonton
It all depends, like PointsHubby said. Shoppers’ regular prices are exorbitant but sometimes their sales bring it down below regular Walmart prices, for example. But still can’t beat the average price of Walmart most likely.
[OP]
Member
Jul 7, 2020
372 posts
195 upvotes
Spinner wrote: Costco

$5 dispensing fee at their pharmacy.

Kirkland generic vitamins and OTC medication is unbeatable in pricing.

You don't need a membership to enter their pharmacy either. Did I mention they give you free pill cutters?
Is that just for prescriptions, or can you buy vitamins and cosmetics without a membership?
Deal Fanatic
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Jun 13, 2010
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Pharmacies are more expensive for items that you can get elsewhere. Walmart or a grocery store will almost always be cheaper.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
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Mississauga
KhetysTeachings wrote: Is that just for prescriptions, or can you buy vitamins and cosmetics without a membership?
You don't need a membership to fill a prescription. My guess is those other items aren't prescription drugs and would require a membership to purchase.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
29038 posts
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EastGTARedFlagger wrote: Nobody beats Costco on dispensing fees.
For everything else, Walmart regular prices usually beat SDM and Rex regular prices. Look out for specials.
Most of the pharmacy too.
Dispensing fees are the lowest but even other OTC stuff is DIRT cheap.

Also I'm pretty sure literally anyone can beat SDM/Rexall regular pricing. Even sale prices aren't that "saley" except in fairly rare circumstances where you have to do stupid crap like wait on a points promotion.
KhetysTeachings wrote: Is that just for prescriptions, or can you buy vitamins and cosmetics without a membership?
Prescriptions and maybe OTC stuff that's behind the counter.
Vitamins are on the floor so those need a membership.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
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Apr 1, 2015
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NOYFB
It would appear op was asking about general items rather than scrips; also he didn't make Costco an option

So the answer would be Walmart

BTW some drug plans offer discounted dispensing fee at certain pharmacy that would compete with Costco. So if you have a good plan then Costco isn't necessarily the best place to fill your prescriptions
plz don't touch my signature.

don't make me less of a human just cause i don't share your "idiotologies".

👮‍♂️👮‍♀️lives matter
Newbie
Jul 19, 2019
65 posts
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For prescriptions as a couple of people have already mentioned, Costco! Lowest dispensing fee. For over the counter stuff I like to buy either Costco or shoppers (to earn PCoptimum points).
Moderator
May 28, 2012
11924 posts
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Saskatoon
Terabithia wrote: It would appear op was asking about general items rather than scrips; also he didn't make Costco an option

So the answer would be Walmart

BTW some drug plans offer discounted dispensing fee at certain pharmacy that would compete with Costco. So if you have a good plan then Costco isn't necessarily the best place to fill your prescriptions
Walmart is like Home Depot, with their advertising campaigns, they've conditioned shoppers to believe their prices are the best. They are not...convenience plays a huge factor...a lot of people want to one-stop shop so it fulfills that aspect. Their Equate brand is not as good quality as Kirkland, imo.

One example of a good buy at Costco is their Kirkland vitamin D...you get 2-360 count bottles for around $7, sometimes it even goes on sale for cheaper. Try pricing out Jamieson brand to see how much more you pay.
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Last edited by Terabithia on Jun 28th, 2021 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
plz don't touch my signature.

don't make me less of a human just cause i don't share your "idiotologies".

👮‍♂️👮‍♀️lives matter
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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Mars2012 wrote: Walmart is like Home Depot, with their advertising campaigns, they've conditioned shoppers to believe their prices are the best. They are not...convenience plays a huge factor...a lot of people want to one-stop shop so it fulfills that aspect. Their Equate brand is not as good quality as Kirkland, imo.

One example of a good buy at Costco is their Kirkland vitamin D...you get 2-360 count bottles for around $7, sometimes it even goes on sale for cheaper. Try pricing out Jamieson brand to see how much more you pay.
100% this

Walmart LIVES off the fact they have brain washed Consumers into thinking they are the cheapest option all the time

They are not

You can go to Walmart & pay $ 10 for something regular price
Or you can buy it on sale for $ 7

Or you can see it at SDM for $ 11 as it’s regular price
But pick it up at SDM On sale @ $ 8
BUT on a 20x the Points Day
And end up getting 30% back in points
30% of $ 8.00 = $ 2.40
$ 8.00 - $ 2.40 = EFFECTIVE VALUE of $ 5.60
Waaaay better than $ 7.00 @ Walmart

Even greater savings if you have a Manufacturers Coupon
Or another PCO Offer to STACK

And so it goes for most things @ Shoppers
If you KNOW YOUR PRICES
Save up your PCO Points (think of it as a Savings Account)
And then turn them into even greater savings on Bonus Redemption Events
Where 50,000 Points ($ 50) gets you $ 65
Or 100,000 Points ($ 100) gets you $ 140
Or 200,000 Points ($ 200) gets you $ 300

Best also spent on merchandise on sale ... and KNOWING your prices
Or on stuff that seemingly never goes on sale
Like high end Cosmetics, Fragrances, or some OTC Meds

All in... one can turn less money into more product

So how do they do it ?

Lol, cuz every day there are people who just buy at regular prices without thinking
Or don’t belong to the Loyalty Program

Everyone earning PCO Bonuses ... does so thanks to THOSE Customers

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