Booze for sale, KEPR finds best price in Tri-Cities

TRI-CITIES - It seemed like Black Friday when I was there Friday morning as Costco opened its doors for liquor sales for the first time. Locals packed Costco, grocery stores, drug stores, and new private liquor stores throughout the Tri-Cities on Friday.

"It's just here how convenient, I don't got to drive nowhere else, save the gas money is one thing, that could go towards the purchase alone," said Albertson's shopper Arik Gonzalez.

Advertisements filled this morning's paper with every store claiming to have the best price. So KEPR decided to do a price comparison ourselves. We picked these three popular spirits: Absolut Vodka, Captain Morgan, and Jose Cuervo. We also looked at three different locations: Albertson's, Costco, and the new Mid-Columbia Wine and Spirits in Richland.

Costco doesn't sell fifths, so we had to go with the larger half-gallon size for the true apples to apples comparison.

For Absolut, Costco has the best price at 32.99, with Mid-Columbia just a couple bucks behind.

For Captain Morgan, Costco is at 25.99 and Mid-Columbia is just about a quarter more without the membership.

For Jose Cuervo, once again it's Costco with the cheapest price at 25.99. Mid-Columbia charges a $1.25 more. For all three Albertsons costs about $8 more than Costco.

"I think when all the stores all start competing the prices will come down a little bit -- Costco's gonna be a competitor in that," said Costco shopper Travis Tulson. "Pay for my membership and it will be worth it."

One thing you need to know is that the advertised price is not going to be the price you pay at the cash register. For example, Absolut vodka has a list price of $34.95, but with taxes you're going to pay about $15 more.

The options are now wide-spread for those looking for their favorite drink, but saving money remains a priority.

"I still feel looking at the shelves that it's a fair deal, get your money's worth," added Gonzalez.

Liquor stores admit they can't compete with Costco's Kirkland Signature brand of liquor, but expect most prices to match across the board after a month of the new law being in place.