Pay less – or maybe nothing – for meds

Prescriptions can be pretty pricey, especially if they’re maintenance meds you’ll be taking for the foreseeable future (or maybe forever). Whether it’s a one-time antibiotic for bronchitis or a long-term medication, check to see if it’s on the list of …

7. Generics for $4/$10

Numerous pharmacies, including those in supermarkets and discount stores, offer a long list of generic medications at $4 for a month’s worth or $10 for a three-month supply. The list is long, so take a look, you could save some serious coin.

Another way to take the sting out of a prescription is to ask about …

8. Rewards programs

Whether it’s CVS ExtraCare, Rite Aid’s Wellness+ or Walgreens Balance Rewards, you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t get enrolled. Earn store credit and coupons for deep discounts or even free products. (Tip: Deal bloggers like The Coupon Mom do the matchups for you each week.)

The money you save can go toward paying for your other needs, including medicine, and rewards programs offer specific pharmacy perks, such as extra credit for filling prescriptions or getting immunized.

Mary Hoover, who blogs at Mission to Save, says that supermarkets such as Kroger and Giant Eagle offer fuel rewards each time you fill a prescription, plus bonus fuel rewards if you transfer a prescription. Make sure you swipe your loyalty card when doing either one, to get a cheaper price on gasoline.

Still worried about the bottom line? Some pharmacies offer …

9. Free medications

Yes, really. You can get free prenatal and/or children’s vitamins, certain antibiotics, and diabetes meds and supplies at chains like Meijer, Price Chopper, Reasor’s, Schnuck’s and ShopRite. Products and policies vary, so ask what’s available at your local store.

Incidentally, the pharmacy isn’t just for humans any longer. More and more you see drugstores offering …

10. Pet medications

If Fluffy or Fido has thyroid issues, gastrointestinal conditions, diabetes, arthritis or other health problems, you can probably fill the prescription at your local drugstore.

Maura White, who blogs at Happy Deal Happy Day, loves the convenience of getting pet meds at the Wegmans supermarket pharmacy. “I may not have to take an extra trip to the vet’s if my cat has worms,” she says.

Another great perk offered by Wegmans, Walgreens, CVS and other pharmacies is …

11. Free delivery

Having a prescription mailed to you saves you that extra trip. Set up auto-refill, and you’ll never run short because you forgot to call it in. This service is also great for those who spend winter months somewhere else, like Fort Lauderdale. Instead of having to move your prescription down with you, simply change the mailing address.

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