The costs of prescription drugs and food continue to climb but there are ways to buck this trend. You can save cash on groceries, take advantage of restaurant discounts, and even enjoy a beer or some wine for less money. In addition, you do not need to worry that your prescription medication will set you back too much when you follow these tips.
Step 1: Use Web sites that feature reduced restaurant prices. Restaurant.com offers at least 50 percent discounts at over 15,000 restaurants. Join Livingsocial.com and Groupon.com to get the discount of the day on dining, spa treatments, and more. At Wow-coupons.com, you will find deals for retailers, restaurants, and other discounters.
Step 2: Bring your lunch to work and pack lunch for children to eat at school. Purchase enough lunchmeat, cheese, bread, snacks, and fruit for one week. Cook large enough quantities of food on weekends to last for several days and take leftovers for lunch some days.
Step 3: During the past year, the price index for eggs, poultry, fish, and meat has risen the most of any food category. Save money by eating vegetarian meals like bean burritos one or two times per week.
Step 4: Purchase comparable brands of wine that cost less than your favorites. Enjoy budget-priced beer that rivals the microbrews in taste but blows them away when it comes to price.
Step 5: When ordering prescriptions, choose generic drugs whenever possible. Ask your physician if splitting pills is acceptable. For example, you will spend the same on a 30-day supply of 10 or 20 milligrams of Crestor. Splitting the 20 milligram pills in half will save about $63 each month.
Step 6: Purchase medications using a mail order feature that provides a 90-day supply for nearly the same price as a 30-day supply from the pharmacy.
Step 7: Take advantage of the tax benefits of health savings accounts. Money contributed to this account is tax-deductible. It grows tax-deferred and it can be used on a tax-free basis for medical expenses that you incur in any year. The health insurance plan must have a minimum $1,200 deductible for individual coverage or $2,400 deductible for family coverage to qualify. Up to $3,050 ($6,150 for family coverage) can be contributed to a health savings account in 2011.