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Posted on Thursday, March 19th, 2009 at 5:36 pm
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I am a big CVS fan, as most of you know – I am in there several times a week, working the Extra Care Buck deals. Lately, I had a bit of a wake up call on the cost of medicines. I LOVE my local CVS pharmacy, and they accept my insurance and work well with my doctor. But times  being what they are, I do look for ways to save money.

I have type II diabetes, and I’m about a generation short of qualifying for medicare – and thankfully, we are insured and don’t qualify for medicaid. I control my diabetes with oral medications.

When you add up the co payments every month for three medications, AND the test strips for those free meters, it really packs a wallop. So I work with my doctor and insurance company to find the “preferred” drugs on my health insurance company’s list for diabetes that will require a lower co pay. Unfortunately, I can’t change all my medications, but I changed one so that now the co pay is cut in half, and another is a generic. You have to watch them.

Prescriptions are highly regulated, and so are incentives pharmacies offer to transfer them. You can’t get a coupon for medication or prescription medical supplies unless it is issued by the manufacturer. CVS will give you a $1 ECB credit for every two prescriptions filled,  no matter how expensive or how cheap. They can’t match it with special offers and a percentage rebate like they do with non prescription items.

If you are motivated to fill your prescriptions by mail, will give you a $30 credit on non prescription items for a new or transferred prescription – and they will give you two additional $10 credits with your next two refills. Shipping is free if you spend $99  or more on new or renewed prescriptions.  (they have free shipping for $25 worth of non prescription purchases too) also fills pet prescriptions, and offers manufacturer rebates on prescription drugs for the cost of your co pay or their rebate amount, whichever is less. Check all our deals for them here and save big on non prescription items and selected prescription medications and supplies.

The $30 offer is not good in New Jersey for people under the age of 60.

Next week I’ll tell you my adventures with all those diabetes glucose meter promotions and other health care giveaways for supplies.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.