Before you do any shopping…

The Holidays are here!  And in that post-Halloween lull, advertising starts heating up.  Can you feel it?  Has the Holiday shopping rush begun too early this year?  There seems to be lots of news coverage of stores opening earlier than before, trying to grab those early shoppers as early as possible to get the biggest bang for their 4th quarter earnings, and expectations are high.  I, myself, have never been one for the day after Thanksgiving, in-person, door-buster frenzy.  But, one year my husband and I ventured out, before sunrise, on an extremely cold morning in Minneapolis to get a $200 laptop of some sort.  It was exciting, the promise of great deals, and standing in line waiting for the store to open, hot chocolate in hand…  First problem was, we were too early for any of the coffee shops, so a warm beverage was not an option.  Second problem?  Laptops were gone with the first 20 customers.   But we were able to load up on batteries and extension cords.   Usable?  Yes.  Giftable?  Not exactly.  And, SO not worth getting up at 5am to stand in a long, cold line.  Though, who am I to say!

My advice?  Sleep in, invite family and friends for brunch and DO IT ONLINE!  And while you’re at it, before you click all the way through your order, google that online shop and do a fast search for any deals you might be missing.  On a recent Land of Nod purchase, I found a free shipping code that saved me nearly $60.  Retailmennot.com is a deal-listing favorite of mine, but there are others.  Special tip: include the current year, and maybe even month, to get the most relevant results.  Happy shopping!

A Penny Saved…the truth about pharmaceuticals

My doctor recently prescribed some supplements to “optimize” my health and keep this busy mom on track.  As I picked up my prescription I was shocked at the cost of my vitamins!  I had a few lengthy discussions with my pharmacist that were so enlightening, I wanted to share them with all of you.  Here are some tips to keep your costs down:

1. Call your insurance company and inquire about similar formulations/brands that may  have a lower cost, then call your doctor to see if s/he approves of the different brand/formulation

2. If your supplement has a dual component, ask your doctor if you could purchase the components separately (or even OTC)…It’s counterintuitive, but sometimes the bundling of supplements by a manufacturer can actually cost you more money (a lot more money!!

3. Inquire with your pharmacist about discounts associated with a multi-month supply.  You may be able to save 10-30% or more by ordering 3+ months at once!

After consulting with my insurance provider, pharmacist, and doctor, and applying these strategies I saved nearly 75% of the original cost!

[Note: I am not a health care provider, pharmacist or other health or dietary professional! Please check with your doctor and pharmacist for all questions related to your health.]