4 Pharmacy Chains That Offer Free Prescription Drugs

Pharmacist taking a prescription from a customer
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What’s the best way to save money on medications? Get them for free, of course.

It’s easier than you might think, at least for certain meds.

Some pharmacy chains offer free prescription drug programs. Through these programs, you can get commonly used generic drugs — like antibiotics and maintenance medications for chronic conditions — for $0.

You generally need only a doctor’s prescription to qualify for and obtain these drugs for free.

Granted, the freebie may be a lure designed to get you to buy other things at the pharmacy or associated grocery story while picking up your free meds. Or, it might be an attempt to get you to transfer other not-free medications you take to the pharmacy. But there is no real catch here.

See for yourself: Below we’ve listed several grocery store chains with free prescription drug programs, along with the meds they offer for free.

Pharmacies offering free prescription drugs

1. Good Neighbor Pharmacy

Through its Free Vitamin Program, this chain offers free:

  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Multivitamins for children
  • Multivitamins for adults

Good Neighbor Pharmacy has locations across the country.

2. Meijer

This supermarket’s pharmacy offers the following for free:

  • Certain antibiotics
  • Certain prenatal vitamins

Meijer has locations primarily in the Midwest.

3. Price Chopper

Through this grocery store pharmacy’s Diabetes AdvantEdge Program, the following are free:

  • Several diabetes medications
  • Glucose meter
  • Lancet device and lancets

Price Chopper has locations primarily in the Northeast.

4. Reasor’s Foods

This grocery store pharmacy offers free liquid antibiotics for children.

Reasor’s has locations in Oklahoma.

Other ways to get prescription drugs for free or for less

If you belong to a warehouse club, you may also be able to get free medications through it.

For example, if you have a Sam’s Plus membership at Sam’s Club, you are eligible for extra discounts on certain prescription drugs — including select medications you can get for free.

If you live near a Kroger or one of the many other Kroger Co.-owned grocery stores, look into the Kroger Rx Savings Club. It costs $36 per year for an individual and $72 per year for a family, but boasts savings of as much as 85%. Club members can buy certain medications for only $3 for a 30-day supply or $6 for a 90-day supply, and several prescriptions are completely free.

If you do not have health insurance, you may qualify for free or low-cost prescription medications through a patient assistance program.

For more ways to lower your medication costs, check out:

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com

10 Times When It Pays to Be a Cheapskate

Cheapskate
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Nobody wants to be labeled a cheapskate. But sometimes, it makes good financial sense to purchase a cheaper option if you can.

A high price tag doesn’t necessarily make something better.

Often, low-cost items will serve your needs just as well. Or, the higher-quality option might not be worth the extra money. Other times, there’s little or no difference in quality between the priciest and cheapest versions of products.

What follows are examples of times when it’s smart to be cheap.

Prescription drugs

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Generic prescription drugs must have the same active ingredients and strength as brand-name versions — and they can cost up to 85% less, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

So, unless your doctor or pharmacist has given you some reason to pay extra for a brand name, you likely are smart to be a cheapskate about prescription drugs.

To see if you can save even more on your prescriptions, check out the free online tools like PharmacyChecker that we detail in “5 Websites You Should Check Before Buying Prescriptions.”

Over-the-counter medicines

Shopping at the drugstore
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When you’re sick, the sinus, headache and flu medicines you think of first probably are the ones you’ve seen advertised on TV or in magazines.

However, these well-known brands are more expensive because those advertising costs are built into the price. Often, just as with prescription medicine, you can find generic versions of these products at a cost much below those of the popular brands.

Tools you’ll rarely use

Man using skill saw
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Do you have a one-time project requiring tools you don’t already own? Think hard before you invest in expensive drills and saws. Buying costly tools just so they can gather dust is the very definition of a bad investment.

If you won’t be using these tools over and over, renting them could be a smarter choice. In fact, you might even be able to check out certain tools from your local library for free, as we detail in “8 Surprising Things You Can Borrow From a Library.”

Furniture

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Have you checked furniture prices lately? You could easily spend thousands of dollars furnishing a single room of your home if you paid full price at a retail store.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to find decent-quality furniture without paying retail prices these days — if you know where to look.

If you’ll consider buying secondhand, you have a growing number of options.

There are always thrift stores and consignment shops — and don’t forget to check estate sales, too. Nowadays, you also can find individuals selling furniture in your area via platforms like Facebook Marketplace and apps like OfferUp and Letgo.

If buying used is not an option for you, look for a local furniture outlet store, such as a Rooms To Go Outlet, or a discount store with a furniture section, like some Big Lots locations have. Or, check your local warehouse club.

Greeting cards

Woman with greeting card
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When you buy someone a present, the purchase doesn’t feel complete unless you add a greeting card. Unfortunately, greeting cards can be ridiculously overpriced — $3 to $5 for a piece of paper? So, always look for ways to save.

You also can make your own greeting cards. Or, find them for a buck or less at dollar stores and even Trader Joe’s.

Cars for teenage drivers

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It’s tempting to buy teen drivers a new car. After all, modern vehicles have fewer maintenance issues and come with the latest safety features.

But consider the financial drawbacks. New cars depreciate quickly. Even a slightly used car will cost you thousands of dollars less than a comparable new model. That’s why buying a cheaper used vehicle is always your best choice.

“The 15 Cars Most Likely to Last You 15 Years” offers valuable information for your next car purchase.

A cabin on a cruise ship

Couple on a cruise ship deck.
Michaeljung / Shutterstock.com

Ahhh, it’s great to treat yourself to a vacation. And if you refrain from blowing all of your savings on this one trip, you’ll have more left in the bank for the next trip.

If you are planning an ocean cruise, for example, think about which splurges matter the most. Cabins with sea views are more expensive than inside cabins. Unless you’re planning on spending a great deal of time in the cabin looking out the window, though, why get one that overlooks the water?

Overnight hotel stay

Family checks in at hotel
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When you’re planning to stay at a hotel for several nights, why not pick one with all the amenities you’ll need? You’ll want a large room for relaxing, a restaurant, a swimming pool and perhaps a gym.

However, when you’re on a road trip and just need a place to lay your head, a cheap, no-frills hotel is a smart choice. After all, you only need a clean, secure room and a comfortable bed.

Stop by our Solutions Center to find ways to find more travel savings on cruises, hotels and flights.

Musical instruments for beginners

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

It’s great to give your children the opportunity to learn to play music. But when they’re just starting out, they don’t need an expensive instrument. Putting a $4,000 guitar in the hands of a 10-year-old is asking for trouble.

Until you see a child demonstrate true commitment and growing skill, a cheap, entry-level instrument is fine for exploring potential.

Formalwear

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There are times when it’s important to look your best. If your company is hosting an event or your teen is planning for prom, showing up in the right outfit will matter. But don’t head immediately for the mall.

If the formalwear will be used just once, you can save by shopping secondhand. Try thrift shops or consignment stores specializing in gently worn items with few signs of wear. Another cost-saving option is to find a store that rents out formalwear.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com

The Average Salary of a Pharmacist

The Average Salary of a Pharmacist – SmartAsset

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If you’ve been to the pharmacy lately, you may have found yourself wondering how much pharmacists make. Being a pharmacist, at least at the retail level, involves a lot of standing, long shifts and dealing with customers. In other words, it might not be for everyone. On the plus side, salaries in the field are on the high side, with an average annual salary of $123,670. 

The Average Salary of a Pharmacist: The Basics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the mean annual salary of a pharmacist in May 2018 was $123,670 per year. The highest-paid 10% of pharmacists earn a mean annual wage of $161,250. The lowest-paid 10% of pharmacists make an average of $87,790. So, no matter where you end up on the pharmacist income scale your annual wage is likely to be much higher than the annual income of the average American.

The BLS also provides a job outlook for the professions it studies. The job outlook shows the percent by which a field will grow (or shrink) between 2016 and 2026. The job outlook for pharmacists is 6%, which is just shy of the 7% average across all fields. Between 2016 and 2026, the BLS projects the field will add 17,400 jobs.

Where Pharmacists Make the Most

The BLS also looks at state and metro-area data on the jobs the Bureau studies. So where does it pay the most to be a pharmacist? The top-paying state for pharmacists is Alaska, with a mean annual wage for pharmacists of $139,880. Other high-paying states are California ($139,690), Vermont ($135,420), Maine ($133,050) and Wisconsin ($132,400).

The top-paying metro area for pharmacists is Tyler, TX, with an annual mean wage of $174,870. Other high-paying metro areas are Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($155,330); Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($153,820); Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($151,590) and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($149,790).

Becoming a Pharmacist

In order to get a job as a pharmacist, you first have to get a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, also known as a Pharm.D. A Pharm.D. is a postgraduate degree, but most programs only require applicants to have two years of undergraduate education under their belts. Many future pharmacists will spend two years taking prerequisite courses like chemistry, biology and physics. Then, they’ll matriculate and spend the next four years in pharmacy school.

Once you have your degree, you’ll need to pass two exams to receive your license. The first is The North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX), which assesses your knowledge and skills. The second is either a state specific test or the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE). This tests your knowledge of pharmacy law specific to the state you’ll be practicing in.

The Cost of Becoming a Pharmacist

Becoming a pharmacist requires years of study and, for most people, taking on student debt. According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
Graduating Student Survey, 84.8% of pharmacists-in-training borrowed money to complete their Pharm.D. degree program. Of the survey respondents who borrowed money, the median amount borrowed (across public and private institutions) was $160,000.

Bottom Line

While pharmacists have an advanced degree and a high salary, they are often working in a retail setting. And retail, with its heavy emphasis on customer service, isn’t for everyone. Still, the high pay and job security, along with the intellectual and public-service aspects of working as a pharmacist, might make it worth it. If you’re thinking of becoming a pharmacist, it’s a good idea to talk to some professionals in the field before you commit to an expensive course of study.

Tips for Forging a Career Path

  • Your salary dictates a lot of your financial life, such as how much you can afford to pay in rent and the slice of your paycheck that goes to taxes. However, there are some principles that apply no matter your income bracket, like having an emergency fund and saving for retirement.
  • Need help managing your money and growing your nest egg? You should probably be working with a financial advisor. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/skynesher, ©iStock.com/gradyreese, ©iStock.com/IPGGutenbergUKLtd

Amelia Josephson Amelia Josephson is a writer passionate about covering financial literacy topics. Her areas of expertise include retirement and home buying. Amelia’s work has appeared across the web, including on AOL, CBS News and The Simple Dollar. She holds degrees from Columbia and Oxford. Originally from Alaska, Amelia now calls Brooklyn home.
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Source: smartasset.com