ways to save money

When our Sandwich Generation familys health needs require more than a bandageFor many of us in the Sandwich Generation, trips to the doctor's are a common occurrence. And the issues often require much more than a simple bandaid, don't they? Even if they do have cute hearts or super heroes on them (which my younger grandkids have always LOVED!) Do you need to pick up prescriptions regularly (or irregularly) for you or your senior parents? Are you on a tight budget too? It can really pay to shop around. With ONE notable exception!

I usually purchase my prescriptions for myself at Walmart. It's often a bit cheaper and I practically live there so it works out well. Most of my senior mom's I keep at Walgreens since they have the drive-up window AND later hours. Some even have 24 hours, which is awesome. Especially after a late visit to the urgent care center or the emergency room!

Recently, I was shopping at Sam's Club and had to ask a question about a non-prescription item I was buying. While there, I just happened to ask how much they charged for my one monthly prescription item. I was pleasantly surprised to discover they were less than Walmart! I immediately moved it and one over item over. I don't get in there often, so I only moved the things I could take my time at getting.

Today, as I was picking up those items, I asked about another prescription for my senior mom. It's one that comes in big amounts and rarely a rush to pick it up. It was no cheaper so I left it where it is – as the hours and location are handier for me.

It definitely pays to ask prices at the various pharmacies – then couple the amount with the needs for yourself or your elderly parents. Sometimes price may win out, sometimes convenience is more important, and it's nice to be able to make an informed decision.

What's the one exception, you ask? If it is considered a "controlled" medication, such as a narcotic (Lortab, Vicodin, etc.), some states are now getting even more creative in working hard to protect all of us from drug abuse and one way we've recently discovered is that many patients have to sign a form at the doctor's office listing the specific pharmacy they will buy that type of medication and agreeing to ONLY buy it there. If that includes your state and there are one or more medications you or your aging parents take that fall into that category, I would recommend discussing the situation with them to see which pharmacy would be the best option for that particular medication. I, personally, would recommend one – like Walgreen's – that is open longer hours. Then if you are issued a new one after a hospital visit, you won't have any problem getting it filled right away. (And talk about a timely subject – check out this link to read the latest ElderCareChat on senior substance abuse – one of the vital reasons for these new laws! 🙂 )

How about you and your Sandwich Generation family? Got any medicine issues or tips to share with us? We'd love to hear. 

 

Beverly's Got tons of cute pink things each Saturday to put a smile on the face of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren

 

 

Old-time TV. My senior parents grew up on it and my mom continues to enjoy the programs from back in the 40s and 50s. I still have fond memories of Our Miss Brooks and Father Knows Best. What I just learned was that apparently they. along with many other programs, started out on the the radio before eventually landing on TV where I discovered them. Even more interesting is that iTunes has a wide variety of these shows available for free! Perfect for a Sandwich Generation senior home care giver and grandparent.

While doing some research, I discovered Old Time Radio. Just go to iTunes, iTunes store, and in the top right search box, type in Old Time Radio. You should see a handful of the podcasts they offer along with the words "See All." Click "see all" and you will be delighted to see:

  • Old Time Radio Nostalgia
  • Old Time Radio Comedy
  • Old Time Radio Drama
  • Old Time Radio Mysteries
  • Old Time Radio Scifi
  • Old Time Radio Shows
  • Old Time Radio Thrillers
  • Old Time Dragnet
  • The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd
  • Boxcars711 Old Time Radio Pod
  • My senior dad's favorite genre – Westerns!
  • And so many others

Most are listed as Kids & Family, so I would assume they would, indeed, be fine for every age, but, of course, it's always wise to check them before letting the grandkids listen. All of the above have that listing except Dragnet, which is under Arts. There are several other options that are actually being developed as a current project, which may have more language and other issues than the "Old Time" shows, so we're sticking with the oldies. 🙂 

Just to give you a tiny flavor of what you will find:

  • Jack Benny
  • The Shadow
  • Superman
  • The Life of Riley
  • A Date with Judy
  • Maxwell House Coffee Time
  • Blondie
  • The Bob Hope Show
  • Fibber McGee and Molly
  • Family Theater
  • CBS Radio Mystery Theater
  • Dr. Kildare
  • Mister I.A. Moto
  • The Fat Man
  • The Falcon
  • Mystery Playhouse
  • Gangbusters
  • Inner Sanctum Mysteries
  • Hallmark Playhouse
  • And many, many more.

For a Sandwich Generation senior home care giver and grandmother, who is also a full-fledged member of the Baby Boomer Generation, these Old Time Radio Shows brought back so many fond memories, including times spent with my dad and mom when I was very young, laughing our heads off over Eve Arden and her co-stars in Our Miss Brooks. 

Best of all, they are all FREE (always one of my favorite ways to save money), and I've subscribed to most of them. Once a week, I go through and pick a few from each of the categories and copy them (burn them) to CDs for my senior mom to enjoy on her beloved CD player. She has throughly enjoyed them. They are bringing back terrific memories, giving her a nice alternative to TV re-re-reruns, and "exercising her brain" – always a good thing.

They are also handy for those times when I'm going to be away for longer periods. Making up several of these CDs gives my senior mom a special treat and the cost is low since a 50-pack of CDs runs me about $15, or less if I find them on sale. That's only about 30 cents per CD. iTunes is such a wonderful resource for all of us in the Sandwich Generation, from our oldest senior parents to our youngest little grandkids! I love that you can Download thousands of popular radio programs on iTunes. Not to mention great music, sermons, business podcasts, and so much more!  How about you? Have you found any other interesting  old-time radio or TV shows online? We'd love to hear about them.

 

Thursday I told you about the big Toyota recall. It is definitely a headache for them. It's also a headache for those of us in the Sandwich Generation if we have to add elderly parents' car and/or our car repairs' to our To Do list. As I'm sure you'll agree, a Sandwich Generation To Do list is rarely short!

Today, though, I want to write about Toyota again, from a happier perspective. A hearty THANK YOU to my local dealership, which provides car washes and useful waiting rooms to their service customers.

One of the new things I've learned since moving to Kentucky is that rock salt, salt brine, and ice melt are wonderful and necessary things for our roads after a big snow. They provide us with a safer road to travel on when we have to head out to take a grandchild to school or an elderly parent to the doctor's office.

They are not great for our cars, however. Within three days of the last storm, my minivan had a dirty white layer all over it! A friend warned me that it needed to be washed off quickly or it would be damaging to my car. Before I had a chance to do so, I discovered I had a dead parking light bulb on the same car. With Bible study class, babysitting, and doctor appointments all filling my calendar to overflowing, I called my Toyota dealer, explained the situation, and asked if they could squeeze me in AND if it could be done in an hour or less.  I was so happy to be told, "Sure, bring it in. We can have it done for you in plenty of time." They did too!

I sat in their waiting room with my iPhone plugged in, checking my email as they fixed the small but vital light. They brought my car around, sparkling from their car wash! What a wonderful gift to this Sandwich Generation senior home care giver! What a smart move on the part of the dealership. Not all service departments do this, I can assure you. And what a great time saver for me.

You know I"m always looking for great ways to save money, but ways to save time can be just as vital – sometimes even more so. I definitely look for good time saving options whenever I have to do anything, including getting my car repaired. I will definitely be calling this Toyota dealership again when I have another problem. And bragging about them to others! 🙂

How about you? What ways to you save time when it comes to car repairs? Do you have favorite companies who help you as you deal with all your Sandwich Generation duties? Be sure to let us know in the comments below! 🙂 And don't forget to sign up for the FREE SandwichINK email to stay caught up on other great ways to help the Sandwich Generation save money and time.

Talk about trauma! Three of my grandkids were busy working on their Webkinz sites last week when they all got a notice that their one-year plan was up in two weeks! If they didn't add a new Webkinz pet code in the next couple of weeks, all the virtual pets they already had in Webkinz-land would disappear forever into the netherworld of the internet! 

Having found Target and Walgreens to be great ways to save money on cute Webkinz toys, I checked on their stock later in the week when running errands. I was disappointed to find that Target had sold out of most of their Webkinz during Christmas. Walgreens had a couple of the little Webkinz for $6.99 which isn't bad, but all the rest were the big ones and more expensive. I picked up those two to use as birthday gifts for the grand-twins and headed home. Spotting a second Walgreens as I got near my house, I popped in and was thrilled to discover they had a bunch of the bigger Webkinz left over from their Black Friday sale for only $5! WOW! Definitely a great way for this grandma to save money. 

I now have a huge bag of Webkinz in my "gift" closet, full of presents for everyone's birthday gifts for the year AND some extras for those unexpected needs that always seem to crop up at the worst times. And being the care-giving grandma I am, I've let all the parents know that if any of the grandkid's codes give out BEFORE their birthday, to let me know. We can always add the code in early, and save the actual stuffed animal to wrap up on the actual day. 

Webkinz is one of my favorite ways to save money, add a special treat to a birthday gift, and have fun with my grandchildren. In fact, this week found me playing a snow sled game with one grandkid, a great educational word game with a second grandchild, and even adding some Webkinz dollars along with some strawberry seeds to the account of a third grandchild who lives at a distance. How fun is that! 🙂 

I don't know if anyone else's Walgreens is offering this great deal but it's certainly worth checking out. And if you spot some great prices on Webkinz toys for grandkids in your neck of the woods, do give us a holler in the comments section.  🙂