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Buying groceries at the drug store is no deal, survey finds

Posted by Mitch Lipka  October 5, 2011 02:29 PM

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Going to the convenient local pharmacy instead of the supermarket to buy groceries can be costly, according to a survey of Boston area stores by the Massachusetts-based site

While the occasional deal can be had at the drug store, a sampling of prices of 25 items showed it costs 50 percent more to shop for groceries at the average drug store compared to the least expensive supermarket.

ConsumerWorld founder Edgar Dworsky said his collection of groceries costs $102.94 on average at drug stores including CVS and Walgreens, but cost only $68.55 at Market Basket.

Some examples:

  • A can of Maxwell House coffee was $6.99 at Walgreens and $3.49 at Market Basket

  • A pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was $6.29 at CVS and $3.99 at Shop & Shop.

  • A box of Lipton tea bags was $5.19 at Rite Aid and $2.99 at Shaw’s and Market Basket.

“Drugstores are not doing shoppers any favors by carrying groceries at convenience store prices,” Dworsky said.

Incidentally, the survey also showed that Market Basket was the least expensive of the three chains, he visited and Shaw's was the costliest with Stop and Shop squarely in the middle. That mirrors the findings of the last state survey of area grocery stores.

Dworsky's advice: Know your prices and comparison shop so you don't end up paying way more than you should.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at


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