Pharmacy Do's and Don'ts to Save a Fortune

Feb 21, 2018Reading Time: 5 min

It’s a new year, meaning you’re probably working with a new budget. If you haven’t already started, now is the perfect time to get one in place. Of course, there are the obvious places to start tightening up your spending: groceries, clothes, travel, and dining out. But have you ever considered making a budget for your trips to the pharmacy? You might be surprised to learn that you actually have more control on what you spend than you probably thought. Here are a few easy ways to try and save at the pharmacy. They might not work every time, but it’s worth giving it a shot!

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Get a Pharmacy Rewards Card (or Multiple)

Just like getting a rewards card at your grocery store, there is really no harm in getting a rewards card at the pharmacies that you frequent. In addition to having weekly sales, you can also earn money back on many of your purchases, both general needs and at the pharmacy. It only takes a few minutes to set up and then you just have to remember to add the card to your keychain and swipe everytime you visit. Even if you don’t shop too often at the pharmacy, it’s easy to save money of everyday things you need at home!

Ask Your Doctors’ for Samples

If you’re going to the doctor and getting a new medication, see if there are any samples that he/she can give you before you fill a full prescription. This is especially relevant at a dermatologist's office if your doctor has a few different creams or face washes he/her wants you to try. Nothing is worse than buying a full bottle of cream, only to find out a week later that your skin is too sensitive or reactive to that medication. Don’t feel embarrassed asking what they have to offer; drug companies drop off samples for that exact reason. Of course, there won’t always be a sample available, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask! It won’t save you money forever, but it’ll help you make sure you’re getting something that will work and can give you more time to get the money together to buy what you need.

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See If There Are Generic Medication Options

Much like samples, there might not be a generic medication available on your prescription, especially if it’s a newer drug on the market, but you should have a talk with your doctor before he/she prescribes anything. Do your research and ask your doctor if there is a difference between the two. Understanding why your doctor is prescribing one over the other is not only informative, but also just a smart move to make. You can also talk to your insurance to compare the prices between the two and then loop back in with your doctor. Knowing all your options is key when buying medication.

Shop Around for the Best Price

We tend to be loyal to certain stores, but your wallet will thank you if you check prices at a few different pharmacies in your area. Some places just have better prices than others, so it pays to have different medications with different pharmacies from time to time. It might take a little more investigative work in the beginning, but once it’s there and filled, you’ll just be saving money month after month. If you have to buy it, you might as well be saving as much money as possible.

Bonus Tips for Saving at the Pharmacy

  • Always Submit the Rebates if You’re Given The Option
    • You know those little rebates that can be annoying to fill out after you’ve already gotten your medication? Well, don’t ignore them or throw them away. It might not be a ton of money, but that adds up at the end of the year. Fill it out, send it in, and then wait for your rebate to come back in the mail.
  • Get a 90-Day Prescription
    • Much like generic drugs, the option might not always be available to get a 90-day prescription. Look into the option and talk to your doctor about getting a 3-month prescription written if you’re on a recurring monthly prescription, like birth control. Not only can it be less expensive, but it also saves trips to the pharmacy, which saves you time. Time is money.

Saving money at the pharmacy might not be fully in your control, but there are some ways that you can cut the costs and put some hard earned money back in your pocket. Good luck with your 2018 pharmacy budget!