Thursday, April 15, 2010

Frugal Friday: Deals of the Week, Getting Inexpensive Prescriptions & Giant Eagle is Coming to Town!

It was a slow week again. I went to Martins for a few items, made a stop at Tops (which used to be BiLo soon to be Giant Eagle) and got my couple deals at CVS. Tops has all their inventory on clearance. The shelves are about 1/2 empty. Clearance prices range from 20-50% so I wouldn't say there were the best deals I've ever seen, but I did get a few items at decent prices. (It was interesting to see people in the store - it appeared like they were loving the prices - I guess these people probably don't look at regular sale ads to recognize a good bargain.)
I am excited about Giant Eagle coming. I picked up their pharmacy flyers (and a few promotional freebies) the other day because we send our patients to that pharmacy. They have several antibiotics for FREE now in addition to a nice list of $4/$10 generics. I am going to switch my prescription from mail-in to Giant Eagle (hopefully with an extra incentive gift card or something) because my copay for mail-in went from $0 to $20 for 3 months at the beginning of the year. At Giant Eagle I can pay $10 for 90-day supply! I think it really pays to keep checking out options for prescriptions.
Most people don't think of shopping around when it comes to health care, but it really is worth it (especially if someone has to pay out of pocket, unless it's an emergency, ask about costs first, even for labwork/testing etc). If you or someone you know is paying out-of-pocket for health care, ask the doctor about costs and alternatives before you leave the office.
- Drug companies often have samples at the physicians offices.
- For low-income patients, many pharmaceutical companies offer patient assistance programs for medications.
- Sometimes there will be a rebate on a prescription.
- Or, if nothing else and it's not available in generic, ask if there is alternative medication that will work just as well.
Unfortunately, physician's don't always think about costs when it comes to ordering tests or writing prescriptions, so it pays to be knowledgable, shop around and ask for alternatives. I experience this daily at work and we've experienced it personally recently as well.
We were grateful for the kindness shown to us last weekend when Mike had strep throat. We avoided a trip to the ER and the prescription was a $4 generic at WalMart. We saved possibly a few hundred dollars!
Finally, here are my deals of the week at CVS...
-(2) CVS toilet paper single rolls 2/$1 - $1 coupon from CVS on paper products = Free
-Dove shampoo/conditioner $4.49 - $1.50 "peelie" coupon on the bottle - $4.49 ECB = $1.50 profit
So, I walked away making $1.50 (actually $1.75 - more on this later) for this trip to CVS ;)

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