Saving Myself with Savings

Meagan Esler

| May 1, 2014

The price of everything seems to be increasing. Grocery costs, gasoline costs, and, of course, healthcare costs are steadily rising. If you've ever wondered how you were going to pay for your next bottle of insulin or test strips without cutting back on buying necessities like food, I am here to give you some tips. Despite my health insurance, living with diabetes is incredibly expensive. Years ago I had to walk away from my test strips at the pharmacy because I couldn't cover the cost, so I decided to get creative with finding other ways to save money.

Here are a few things that have helped me:

I clip coupons, lots of them. Don't laugh. You can actually save a ton of money with coupons. While I always thought coupons meant saving $.50 or $1.00 on a shopping trip, I found out that I could save a sizeable amount each week on things I need and already buy. While the savings vary from week to week depending on what is on sale and what coupons are offered, I currently save approximately $50 to $100 in paper coupons and online deals every week. I purchase two to three newspapers each Sunday for the coupon inserts. I bring the newspapers to a resale shop to re-use them as wrapping paper once I've collected my coupon inserts so that nothing goes to waste.

There are some little-known tricks with coupons. You can match a manufacturer's coupon and a store coupon on the same item. Look for matching manufacturer coupons on manufacturer websites, social media, the newspapers and websites like You'd be amazed at how much you can save! 

Make sure to also take advantage of mail-in rebates. I have gotten a variety of items for free simply by following the guidelines on the rebate form and by sending in the paperwork on time.

Of course, there are some catches when couponing. You have to be knowledgeable about your local store's coupon policy as they widely vary between states and are subject to change at a moment's notice. There are frequently limits on items, for example some stores allow only one purchase per customer, some allow up to four in my area. There are also limits on the amount of coupons you are allowed to print from each computer, generally two prints are allowed. You are in luck if you have access to more than one computer so you can stock up on items during deep discounts. Certain retailers accept competitor coupons and some even accept expired manufacturer coupons. I learned the hard way not to discard coupons until they have been expired for 30 days after I got rid of a coupon that meant I could have purchased brand name toothpaste for just $0.13 a tube during a sale at a local store.

Another great source of savings is to price-match if you can. A local retailer in my area offers price-matching on items that are advertised in competitor's retailer advertisements. This means you don't have to run to three or four different stores to score the big deals. Just bring the advertisements in and they'll match the sale prices. One-stop shopping is always a big time and gasoline saver. Combine this strategy with coupons and you'll really rake in the savings.

I once saved $114 on a transaction that originally retailed for $301. I was lucky enough to have a rare 20% off store coupon and I combined it with my other coupons and an online deal. It's pretty thrilling to save the retail amount of a box of blood sugar test strips in one transaction!

Sure, those kind of savings don't happen every day, and it is a lot of work, but my thought when I started using coupons was "even if I can just save enough to pay the co-pay on my insulin each month, it'll help", and boy did it. I'm still learning, so if you have any money-saving tips for me, please share!

I wish you the best of luck if you decide to invest time in coupon clipping and price-matching. Before you know it, you'll be hooked too!

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: bottle of insulin, clip coupons,, Health Insurance, mail-in rebates, manufacturer websites, social media, Test Strips

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (1)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by Anonymous on 2 May 2014

I believe saving is great. Thanks for the many ideas, Meagan.

I also have great experience with earning a little extra on the side by taking short surveys on my smartphone while I am commuting e.g. Field Agent or Yourcaremoments. The latter pays you to do a short survey every time you are at the pharmacy or at the doctor's office. This might get you hooked too :-)


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.