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This is a new way that I have learned to get free (yes, I said free) groceries.  A lot of the pharmacies and grocery stores with pharmacies have started putting coupons in their ads that give you a gift card for their store if you bring in a new or transferred prescription.  I was able to make use of one of those coupons today.

Chris, unfortunately, came down with a sinus infection.  I had him take his prescriptions to our local Food Lion Grocery Store, who had mailed me some coupons – one of which was for a $25 Food Lion card with any new or transferred prescription.  Chris got the prescription filled, and that gave me $25 to play with at Food Lion.  I did a search on my favorite savings website southernsavers.com for the deals there this week, and then I went shopping!  I put $61.39 worth of items in my cart, and headed to check out!  First I take out the $14.26 I saved by purchasing items that were on sale. That brought my total to $47.13. With the prescription coupon, I also got a coupon for $10 off of a $25 or more purchase, so after that was subtracted, and I used the gift card, my total was just $12.13!

Here are a couple of DO’s and DON’Ts that I have found helpful for maximizing your savings.

DO call the pharmacy to make sure they take your insurance plan.  If you are going to a major chain the likelihood that they don’t take your insurance is low, but why chance wasting your savings on higher prescription prices if you don’t have to do so.

DON’T feel like you have to use the card the moment you receive it.  It is a gift card.  It will hold until you get your “patient” well again.  You’ll make much better use of it if you plan ahead.

DO ask about any guidelines or limitations about using your credit.  Some stores “store” their credit on your loyalty card, so no hard copy is needed.  Some are just the opposite, and if you lose the gift card (or receipt slip) then your “free food” is gone!  Some cards have expiration dates, and others can’t be used with other special offers (like the $10 off coupon I used above).  Asking ahead of time will head off unexpected disappointments.

DON’T go shopping without a list.  Yes, the food will still be free, but if you make a list, you will get SO much more!

DO check to make sure you have already signed up for any needed customer loyalty programs before heading to check out.  Many chains (like Food Lion for example) require you to be signed up for their program to get the advertised savings.  Take care of it before you start shopping, so you don’t annoy other customers while they wait for you to sign up in line.

Now I will say that some people may not feel comfortable using these deals.  If you are on multiple medications, or take a regular medication every month, you may want to keep all your prescriptions at one pharmacy.  This allows the pharmacist to warn you about possible drug interactions, or unpleasant side affects.  But if, like me, you only wind up heading to the doctor when you need the rare antibiotic, or prescription sinus meds, this is a GREAT way to get free groceries.  If you have to be sick, at least you an get something positive out of the experience. 🙂

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