Thrifty Thursday: Four ways to save on prescriptions

If you have prescriptions that you have to fill regularly, the cost can add up quickly! Here are a few tips for saving on prescription medications.

Ask if there is a generic alternative ~ Talk with your doctor and find out if there is a generic alternative for the prescription medications that you are taking.  Many retailers are now offering a 30 day supply of a number of generic medications for just $4 or a 90 day supply for as low as $9.99

-CVS generic prescription drug list ($9.99 for a 90 day supply)
KMart generic prescription drug list (30 day supply starting at just $5)
-Kroger generic prescription drug list (30 day supply for $4, 90 day supply for $10)
Rite Aid participating generic prescription drug list ($8.99 for a 30 day supply, $15.99 for a 90 day supply)
Target generic prescription drug list ($4 for a 30 day supply, $10 for a 90 day supply)
Walgreens generic prescription drug list ($9.99 for a 30 day supply, $12 for a 90 day supply)
Walmart generic prescription drug list ($4 for a 30 day supply, $10 for a 90 day supply)

Even if you don’t have a generic prescription, it doesn’t hurt to call different pharmacies to price it out!

Don’t be afraid to ask for samples ~ Many physicians receive free samples of prescription medications from pharmaceutical reps.  Don’t be afraid to ask them for free samples or coupons!  If you can’t afford your prescriptions, ask your physician about prescription assistance programs that may be available.

Find out if your insurance includes a mail order option ~ Many insurance companies offer a mail order option where the cost of your prescription will be discounted significantly if you order by mail and get a 90 day supply.

Transfer your prescriptions for added benefits ~ Many national chain stores, grocery stores, and drug stores want to compete for your business when it comes to prescriptions that you fill regularly!  They frequently offer coupons where you can get a gift card with any new or transferred prescription (ranging from $10 to $30 typically). Target typically offers these coupons in their ads once a month.  Lately, Kroger has been offering them in their weekly ad.  CVS and Walgreens will typically accept these competitor coupons, too!  You can transfer your prescriptions each month and make a little extra money along the way!

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Thrifty Thursday: Saving on vitamins!

In another lifetime, I used to buy those big huge bottles of vitamins at Costco and Sam’s Club.  I would anywhere from $10-14 and think I was getting a really good deal and that I was saving a lot of money.  That was before I discovered coupons of course!

It actually took me awhile to figure out that you can get vitamins MUCH cheaper by taking advantage of drug store deals.  If you check out your weekly ads, you will see that they typically have at least one brand priced at “Buy One, Get One Free.”  To sweeten this deal, there are money saving coupons to use, too and since most coupons will let you use TWO coupons (one for each item) on a buy one, get one free deal, you end up saving lots of money!

Let’s say that your drug store has Nature’s Bounty vitamins on sale BOGO free and you have two $1/1 coupons.   If the Vitamin C is priced at $2.99, here’s the breakdown of what this deal would look like:

Buy 2 Vitamin C – $2.99/each

Use 2 $1/1 printable coupons
-$2.99 (store promotion – BOGO free)

Spend $.99 out of pocket for two bottles of Vitamin C!

That’s a much better deal than any deal I ever got at Sam’s Club or Costco!

Here are some tips for saving money on vitamins:

1.  Register for money saving coupons from the following companies:

Nature’s Bounty

Nature Made


2.  Watch your drug store ads for Buy One, Get One free offers (sometimes grocery stores offer these promotions, too!)  Pair your coupons with these promotions for extra savings.

TIP: When taking advantage of a buy one, get one free promotion, make sure that you are buying items that are equal or comparable in price.  Typically, the lowest-priced item will come off as the “free” item and if you are buying two items that have a big variance in price, you won’t be saving as much.

For example:  If you are buying Niacin, which is priced at $9.99ish usually and then Vitamin C, which is priced at $2.99ish, the breakdown would look like this:

Buy Niacin – $9.99
Buy Vitamin C – $2.99

-$2 (two $1/1 coupons)
-$2.99 (store BOGO free promotion)

Spend $7.99 OOP

You would save more if you bought two bottles of Niacin!

Also, if you are buying more than just two bottles of vitamins and the vitamins have varying prices, make sure you break them up into separate transactions and buy bottles that are equal or comparable in price together!

I stockpile vitamins just like I stockpile other items.  Just make sure that you check the expiration dates when you purchase them and that you store them in a “safe” location!

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Coinstar: Get a $10 bonus when you cash in for an iTunes gift card!

Earlier this year, I posted about starting a change jar to save money.  When you “cash in” your change at a Coinstar machine and you choose a gift card option, there are no fees!  Right now, there is a promotion where you will get a free $10 iTunes gift card when you cash in at least $40!

Here’s how to take advantage of this deal:

1.  Take your change (at least $40) to a Coinstar machine (you may want to check online first to make sure that they offer iTunes gift cards as a “cash out” option)

2.  Choose to cash out for an iTunes gift certificate

3.  There will be a $10 promo code at the bottom of your Coinstar receipt.  Enter your code here and your gift card will be mailed to you within 2 weeks!

The offer is available through 5/31/11!

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Thrifty Thursday: Cute Meet the Teacher gifts that won’t bust your budget!

My daughter starts back to school next week, but our curriculum night and meet the teacher night are this week.

If you’re looking for a cute “meet the teacher” gift for your child’s teacher, here are some ideas from across the blogosphere that won’t bust your budget!  (These would also come in handy as Christmas gifts or when Teacher Appreciation week comes along)

Acrylic Post it Notes holder by Eva Kipler Designs ~ I work in education and Post it Notes are a LIFESAVER.  For this cute project, all you need is acrylic photo frame, card stock, 3X3 Post it Notes (which you can get free at Walmart and Target right now), and a paper trimmer!

Back to School Apples for the Teacher by Cute as a Fox ~ I love this idea because it’s quick and easy, especially if you’re not “crafty” and every teacher likes having a little treat!  All you need for this one is red candy (M&Ms, jelly beans, red hots, etc.), cupcake liners, plastic wrap, toothpicks, and some green ribbon.

Decorative Clipboard by Skip to my Lou ~ Clipboards are a must for most teachers and it’s nice to have one that’s trendy to show off!   For this project, you need a clipboard, note pad, ModPodge OR Elmer’s Spray Adhesive and Krylon Matte Finish.

First Day of School Survival Kit by Bee in Our Bonnet ~ These Back to School Survival Kits are super kit and easy to make!  All you need is a mini organizer, some odds and ends (erasers, paper clips, candy, etc.), cardstock to make the label, and some ribbon to tie it all together!  Budget 101 has some cute ideas here for other things that you can add to your kit and catchy phrases to explain why you’re using them (ex: Band Aid for when things get a little roughTip Junkie also has some ideas for making a Back to School Survival kit for your kids!

Personalized Pencil Holder by Made with Love and Glue ~ This one is fairly simply although you might not be able to pull it together in time for Meet the Teacher because you need the vinyl.  Super cute and easy, though, and all you need is the pencils (which you can get for next to nothing right now), a vase, the vinyl, cellophane wrap, and ribbon!

Teacher Treat Jar by Eighteen25 ~ I have yet to find a teacher who doesn’t like treats!  If you can get the treat jar and the treats, you can download the labels for free here!

Water Bottle Pick me Up ~ Sometimes it’s the thought that counts and I think most teachers would be grateful for a little “pick me up” mid-day!  All you need is a water bottle, a drink mix, some cardstock, and a little creativity! (I’m lacking in that department, but I think even I could pull this one off!)

Teachers are never expecting anything, but it’s always the thought that counts.  You could also make some treats for them and write a little note or put together a “goody bag” of school supplies (highlighters, post it notes, pens, etc.).

Do you have other budget friendly “Meet the Teacher” ideas or another Thrifty Thursday tip to share?  Feel free to link up below!  For more Thrifty Thursday ideas, check out Coupon Teacher, Madame Deals, and Life as a Mom.

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.

Thrifty Thursday: Taking advantage of school supply deals to give back to the community!

As the start of a new school year approaches, many of you are probably taking advantage of the great deals on school supplies.  As you take advantage of these deals, consider buying a little extra for yourself and some to give to someone else.  Most teachers will ask for more school supplies mid-year, but there aren’t really any good deals at that point in the year, and who wants to pay full price for school supplies when you can get them dirt cheap right now??

We are on a tight budget right now, but I always try to look for ways that I can help others and still stay within the budget.  If you are able to, I would also encourage you to buy a little extra to help out others in need.  Also, if you have backpacks that are still in good condition, consider donating them as well!  Check with local church organizations in your area – many of them will organize school supply drives.  Also, check with your local school counselors as they often collect items for children in need.

Here are some of the items you can purchase and donate without busting your budget:
-Crayola crayons (24 ct) – $.25/each (Walmart/Target)
-Crayola markers – $1/each (Walmart)
-Erasers – $.20 (Target)
-Glue – $.25/each (Walmart and Target)
-Kid scissors – $.79-$.99 (Walgreens/Walmart/Target)
-Notebooks (single subject) – $.15/each (Walmart)
-Pens -$.15-$.50 (Papermate are $.15 @ Office Max this week; Bic are $.50-$.99 at Walmart/Target)
-Pocket folders – $.10/each (Walmart/Target)
-Poly binders – $.50/each (Target)
-Rose Art colored pencils – $.50/each (Target) – plus you get free crayons this week when you buy them!
-Rulers – $.19 (Walgreens)

Here are a few organizations that I came across where you can donate supplies (some are local to my area, but may be options in your area, too).  If you know of other organizations, please feel free to comment and share!

KCM Red Apple Program ~ Organize a drive in your community or church group or donate supplies and backpacks to the program

Operational Homefront ~ Donate backpacks and supplies to help support military families (find a local chapter near you)

Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child ~ Fill a shoebox with school supplies, hygiene items, and small toys to help children in other countries who are in need.  (This would be a great activity to do as a family!)

YMCA Operation Backpack ~ Donate backpacks and supplies to your local YMCA.  They will donate them to families in need.  (This links to the YMCA in my area, but there may be locations in your area participating in this program as well)

Do you have a Thrifty Thursday idea to share?  Feel free to link up below!  For more Thrifty Thursday ideas, check out Coupon Teacher, Madame Deals, and Life as a Mom.

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.