My family was recently inflicted with the dreaded stomach flu so I thought it was time for an article about saving on medications. Obviously prevention is cheaper than treatment, and hand washing is always free, but if you do get sick here’s how to take care of yourself and your budget.
-Be prepared. There’s nothing like lying on the bathroom floor with the stomach flu and realizing that your Pepto expired. In 2005. Keep a current supply of over the counter meds that you typically use, like cold meds, pain relievers, antacids, and allergy medications. Make sure they’re current or they won’t do you any good.
-Stock up when meds are on sale. It’s just like creating a food stock pile, only it’s harder to gauge how much you’ll need. If pain relievers are on sale at your local store, use a coupon to bring the price further down, and buy one to keep on hand. Check the expiration date and only buy what you think you might use before it expires. Unless it’s free after the sale and coupon there’s no need to stock up on a ton. Unless you’re sick you can’t use it up before it expires.
-If you’re in a pinch and you need a medication immediately, compare prices on the national brand versus the store brand. The product is the same and sometimes they are even manufactured by the same company. If you’re loyal to the national brand check the manufacturer’s website or your Sunday newspaper inserts for coupons. If you feel up to it you can always check to see if any of your local stores are running a sale on the items.
-If you’re shopping at a pharmacy or drug store ask the pharmacists if there is a generic or alternative medication that works as well as the one you’re looking for. Sure, it sounds simple, but sometimes there are cheaper medications that can be substituted with the same effectiveness. You can also ask if there are any herbal remedies to treat your ailment; they can be cheaper than the traditional treatments. Happy savings!