Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shopping Around Duane Reade

image from Google
Several months ago, a few friends and I went on The Ride, which is one of those New York City bus tours, but with a twist. The seats face sideways, and one side of the bus is a huge window, so riders can see the streets of the city as they are driven around. There are actors on the street who interact with the riders and the hosts, and because it's New York, random people on the street also get involved. The hosts on The Ride keep the riders entertained, and one of the running jokes is pointing out Duane Reade after Duane Reade as the bus passes them.

Because they are so plentiful, it becomes default for New Yorkers to head to the nearest Duane Reade. The signs are bright and easily recognizable, one knows what she will find inside, and the layouts are similar enough to make it easy to grab whatever one needs. But if one is only stopping into one store chain, she is not taking the time to check the prices, and this morning I was reminded of this when I stopped in to pick up a couple items.

One item is something I purchase regularly, so I have an idea of the cost, but today I took a double take at the price listed -- it was about 50% higher than I usually pay.

Unwilling to spend that much money on a brand I buy only because it's inexpensive, I decided to head over to Gideon's Drugs. Gideon's Drugs is in Midtown at 38th Street and Broadway, and although there are ten Duane Reades within ten blocks of Gideon's Drugs, if one happens to be in midtown, I recommend heading over to them. Most of their prices are lower than one finds at Duane Reade, they have a really nice selection of items, there is rarely a line, and the people at the pharmacy are incredibly friendly. One item I needed was the same price at both stores, and the other was three dollars less expensive -- that's three days worth of coffee at McDonald's.

To be honest, I walked right past Gideon's Drugs on my way to Duane Read for over a year because it looked expensive, and I only stopped in when my prescription plan stopped working with Duane Reade. I'm glad I did, because now I know how easy it is to walk past Duane Reade instead.

Whether it's Gideon's Drugs or any other non-chain store, it is worth taking a minute to stop to compare prices. Not only did I find what I was looking for priced lower than at Duane Reade, but I was reminded how important it is to shop around at least a little for better prices. Even on something as small as toiletries.

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