Saturday, November 28, 2009

Princeton Price Comparison Round 3: Cleaning/Bathroom Supplies

This week’s round of low-price hunting and bargains should be of particular interest given the holiday season. I don’t know about you, but I need all the money I can get to pay for the multiple (for some reason ridiculously expensive) gifts to family members (ie- by sister and her new Nintendo DS), so I’m looking for cheap prices everywhere I go.

By special request from an email I received, we’ll be looking at cleaning/bathroom supplies this week. Similar to last edition, I’ll only be examining CVS and the UStore since the Wawa carries very few of these products (don’t worry, we’ll be returning to the Wa next week for sure).

I’d also like to address a comment that came up in last week’s article: just because I’m a Princeton student, doesn’t mean I’m advocating for the U-Store. This is a completely unbiased study. In fact, I’m just as surprised as some of you by their low prices. If anything, the U-Store’s received a bad rap because some of its products are ridiculously overpriced (high-end electronics, for example) but, based on what I’ve found so far, most of its run-of-the-mill products are very similar in price to the other local outfitters. So with that out of the way, let’s move on to this week’s prices.

Crest Toothpaste (Note: because so many brands are available in both stores, I’ve decided to list price ranges for this product)
CVS: 2.49-5.39
U-Store: 4.49-5.69
Advantage: CVS

Old Spice deodorant
CVS: 3.29
U-Store: 3.49
Advantage: CVS

Tide (50 fl. oz.)
CVS: 10.39
U-Store: 9.99
Advantage: U-Store

35 Clorox Wipes- CVS; 40 Western Family Wipes- U-Store
CVS: 4.19
U-Store: 2.99
Advantage: U-Store

1 roll paper towels
CVS: 1.49-2.19
U-Store: 1.89
Advantage: CVS

Kleenex single box
CVS: 2.39
U-Store: 3.39
Advantage: CVS

Interestingly enough, pretty consistent findings across the board this week point to CVS as the go-to place for bathroom/cleaning supplies with a few minor exceptions. Something I thought I’d mention briefly: product selection. I pretty much choose products on a random basis. I try to select products that I know both, or all three stores, will have. In some situations, this is pretty tough considering all the different brands and types of products available so in a way, it’s a minor miracle my data is as coherent and organized as it is. Not sure yet what I’ll be examining next week, but rest assured it’ll include the Wawa.


Anonymous said...

just a suggestion- Make sure you compare the generic/CVS-brand things at CVS rather than the name brand ones because "Western Family" definitely doesn't do any advertising, so their costs are lower. Also try a per ounce price comparison because sure a smaller tube of toothpaste costs less, but what really matters is the value you receive.

ps- CVS actually stands for Consumer Value Store!

Anonymous said...

Dear Author !
I can not take part now in discussion - there is no free time. Very soon I will necessarily express the opinion.

Cleaning Supplies said...

I would imagine that CVS would have the advantage most of the time as it's a brand name store with great supply chain efforts, but some of these prices are outrageous.

Anonymous said...

Dear Author !
Thanks for an explanation, I too consider, that the easier, the better …