Frugal Friday

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It’s a fact of life: children get sick despite your efforts to prevent illness.  Another fact of life is that they get sick even if you don’t have health coverage or coverage for prescriptions.  This is when life can get complicated and expensive!

If you don’t have health coverage, and your child needs medication for an illness, make sure to tell the doctor that you don’t have insurance coverage.  Sometimes, he or she may be able to order your child a generic prescription which will work just as well, but will cost less and save you money.  The doctor also may have samples of the prescription which could also help your budget.

If your child is on medicine for a chronic condition, you may be able to get several weeks of samples from your doctor just by asking.  Sometimes, drug companies also offer free or reduced cost prescriptions for people who are un-insured and meet other income requirements.  You can look online to find the manufacturer or a particular drug and check to see if that company offers any financial assistance programs.

Some drug stores offer drug discount programs.  You can purchase a membership in the program which entitles you to discounts on prescription drugs.  Before you purchase a membership, make sure that the particular drug that your child needs is on the program list!

I have found that several grocery stores are offering free prescriptions at their store pharmacies.  Someone has suggested to me that it is actually a clever marketing ploy to lure shoppers into the stores during these difficult economic times.  Even if it is, I’m still grateful for the savings!  Wegman’s will fill generic anti-biotic prescriptions for free in the months of January, February, and March.  Giant food stores and Stop and Shop stores are also offering a free anti-biotic program. 

During the winter months especially, make sure that your children are well rested and that they eat nutritious meals.  These things can help to strengthen their immune systems and keep them healthy.  Another way to prevent them from getting sick is to teach them to wash their hands and request that they wash their hands regularly.  I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on the kitchen counter and also in the car so they can sanitize their hands after blowing their noses or after coughing.  Hopefully, this limits the spreading of germs! 

Do you know of any other stores that are participating in a free prescription program?  Do you have tips for keeping your children healthy during the winter months? Please post!


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