$10 Off

One time when I was discussing my cable and internet bill with my provider, they offered a bundle that included “free” landline. When I told them you couldn’t pay me to have a landline, they gave me ten dollars off the package of internet and cable only.


52 Weeks: Medical – Prescriptions

Prescription medication can be prohibitively expensive. There are several approaches to dealing with this.

First, if the cost is a problem, make sure your doctor knows this. Oftentimes there are alternatives that will work as well or almost as well, at a fraction of the cost of the first thing they thought of. If the pill is a type that can be cut in half, see if the doctor will prescribe twice the dose, with the understanding that you will take half a pill to get the dose they really want. I’ve been doing this for years. The higher dose doesn’t cost twice as much as the lower, so I save a lot of money that way.

Second, choose your pharmacy. A wonderful resource is  Put in the exact name of the medication and the prescribed dose, and they will show you the price at many drugstores near you. Sometimes there’s a coupon you can print out for a discount at one of the stores.

Be aware that many supermarket pharmacies give away some basic medications free. In my area, Publix gives away metformin (diabetes), lisinopril (high blood pressure), and seven antibiotics.

Walmart has a very long list of generic medications that cost only $4 a month, or $10 for a 90 day supply.




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.

Mama Needs New Shoes, Discounted

A few years ago, I needed new shoes, so I signed up for Payless Shoe Source’s email newsletter. Shortly after I signed up, they sent me a 10% off coupon. I decided to wait a while. A week or two later they sent a 20% off coupon. I thought I’d go pretty soon. Then they sent an email coupon for 30% off. I went the next day to a nearby store, but the shoes I needed were out of stock. So they gave me a slip for $4 off, to make up for having to go to another store. The next morning I went to that other store. Lo and behold, they were marked down from $40 to $17. Between the mark down and the two discounts, I paid a grand total of $9.70 for my new shoes. The clerk told me that they send different coupons and offers by snail mail than by email. So I signed up for that too.



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.

Fall in to the Gap

That phrase used to be an ad for The Gap clothing store. Now I think of it as the rip in the social safety net. Many people I know assume that everyone in this country now has access to medical care, by one route or another.

Hoping to avoid debate about the Affordable Care Act, I just want to mention something about it that many people don’t realize. A lot of people don’t know that the subsidies are only for a certain income range. Below a certain level, the ACA website puts you through to the Medicaid site for your state. Fine and dandy, but states differ in who is eligible for Medicaid.

At this writing, there are still twenty states that have not expanded Medicaid coverage to bridge the gap to ACA. In Florida, to get Medicaid you have to be a child, a pregnant woman, certain impoverished parents of children, in long-term care, or in hospice. Ordinary adults are not eligible no matter how low their income is.

The three sources of health insurance that I can think of are employer benefit, government program such as Medicare or Medicaid or VA, and buying it yourself. None of those work for me, so I use

Sounds silly, but I have gotten sharp discounts on dental and chiropractic care through Groupon. For a long time, my back has been really bad. I can stand, but only for a few minutes. I can sit, but only for an hour or so (except in my recliner). I can walk, but only a few yards. I got a really great deal on x-rays and two chiropractic adjustments through Groupon.

Wow, no wonder! My lower vertebrae are bristling with arthritic spurs, noticeably out of alignment, and quite close together due to disc compression. It’s like a six-bone pile-up in there. The compression is why I’m an inch shorter than I used to be. It’s called “degenerative joint disease with retrolisthesis of L2 upon L3 and L3 upon L4.” The two Groupon adjustments will ease the worst of the symptoms. By the time it gets bad again, maybe there’ll be another Groupon offer.

On the way home I stopped off and gave blood. That got me a mini physical. My blood pressure and pulse are normal, temperature my usual low normal, cholesterol lower than it usually is, probably the liver tonic.

There are ways to cope without traditional medical care. Indeed, when I hear about hospital-borne infections and fatal medical errors, I’m downright grateful that I have to seek out alternatives.