Doctor Amazon

Ever need a medical device, maybe a carpal tunnel wrist brace or walking boot? What did it cost?

Wandering around Amazon I saw a reviewer saying a walking boot for his broken foot would have cost $250 and insurance didn’t cover it. He bought it on Amazon for $40.

When I shop Amazon I always filter the search to include only four star or higher ratings, and eligible for free shipping (on orders $49 or more).



Is It True? Zap! ‘Restorer’ As Seen on TV

There is a type of commercial I’ve learned to be suspicious of. The product always is supposed to solve a real life problem with amazing wonderfulness. They always offer a second one free or for a nominal price, “just pay an additional handling charge.”

After seeing the commercial for Zap! for the umpteenth time and wondering if it would clean the grout in my floor, I Googled “Zap! complaints.” The first result was a link to where it is sold on Amazon (not solely online as they claim). Here are the reviews:

Most said it was no more effective than any other ordinary cleaning product, and was not effective on grout.

When in doubt, Google it.


52 Weeks: Pets – Dog food

I read that dog food can be less expensive at feed stores. I hadn’t seen a feed store since I lived in a country town in the 1960s. But I Googled, and yes, there are several feed stores in my area, one just seven miles away. If you have a dog, that might be worth checking out.



Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on in both Kindle and paperback versions.

A Little-Known Way to Save on Groceries

We’ve all heard the advice to never grocery shop when hungry. I’ve found that to be profoundly true – if I shop hungry, everything looks yummy and I buy things I would not have otherwise.

Today I discovered another level of that strategy. I had a grocery store secret shop that included reimbursement for $10 of food. Because I was not only not hungry but also slightly nauseated, I had a hard time finding ten dollars worth of anything that seemed appealing.

Granted it’s not something that happens too often, but shopping while nauseated is a real money saver.

Senior Discount: Ask For It

As a teenager, I didn’t understand why my mother was excited to turn 55 and start getting senior discounts. Now I get it.

Many place have senior discounts, but don’t advertise it. You have to ask. Once I ask, sometimes they don’t ask my age, they just trust my gray hair.

Here’s a site with a list of restaurants that give the discount. It varies locally more than they say, my Taco Bell doesn’t insist you be 65, and it’s 10% but no free drink.

The above list is outdated, especially the travel section – airlines rarely give discounts for seniors anymore. The main point is, don’t forget to ask for discounts.

The senior discount is by no means limited to restaurants. Anywhere you’re about to part with money, ask about discounts for seniors, military, veterans, educators, AAA members, anything that distinguishes you.

Free Shipping at

I was ready to place an order, but I needed $4.58 more to qualify for free shipping. The only item I could think of to add still left me a few cents short. I remembered about I went to the site, typed in 4.58, got a list of Amazon items that cost that much and up. Fifth item down, there it was, something I was going to have to buy next week anyway and had forgotten about. Order compete, shipping free, no trip to the store next week.