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Managing Diabetes While On A Budget

By Amanda Holloman posted 05-22-2022 20:51

Currently, inflation is on the rise and it could be getting harder and harder for our patients to be able to afford the tools they need to appropriately manage their diabetes.  Gas prices, grocery prices, and prices on everyday necessities are increasing daily while our patient's incomes are not increasing causing burden.  Below are some useful tips that educators could share on how to save money and still treat diabetes appropriately:

  • Medications:
    • FREE and discounted medications at Sam's Club (discounted medications with regular membership and some FREE medications with plus membership) 
      • medications at Walmart and Publix (no insurance or membership fees required) 
    • Discounted medications at Publix and Walmart (no membership fee or insurance required) 
    • Discounted insulin prices
      • Novolin R, Novolin N, and Novolin 70/30 $24.88 per vial (each vial contains 1000 units and can last up to 28 days)
      • Novolin R, Novolin N, and Novolin 70/30 $46.88 per box of 5 pens (each pen contains 300 units and can last up to 28 days)
      • Be sure to ask your doctor first if switching is appropriate for you
    • Manufacturer coupons 
      • Ask your doctor or pharmacist if these could work for you (some cannot be used with certain insurance plans) 
    • GoodRX
      • FREE!
      • or download their app
      • Check with your pharmacy first.  Some pharmacies do not accept GoodRX.
    • Buy medications in bulk
      • Fill a 90 day supply instead of a 30 day supply to save money on gas (not going to the pharmacy as often) and receive a discount from the pharmacy or your insurance 
    • Save your gas going to the pharmacy!
      • Mail order
      • Most retail pharmacies now offer mailing prescriptions to your home for FREE!
      • Refill Sync - most retail pharmacies have this program to align all of your medications to be ready on the same day each month
  • Healthy foods:
    • Prices can be cheaper at money savings grocery stores such as Aldi or Lidl
    • Buy from local farmer's markets (eliminates the "middle man")
    • Meal prep
    • Eat left overs
    • Pack your lunch/dinner for work
  • Support Groups and Resources:
    • Facebook support groups
    • Online diabetic food recipes 
    • Check with your local health department! Some state/county health departments offer FREE in-person diabetes education!
  • Diabetic Supplies:
    • Buy in bulk (can receive a discount from some stores or insurance plans if you buy in bulk)
    • Walmart/Sam's Club
      • $9 for 50 pen needles (made by BD)
      • $5 for 25, $9 for 50, and $18 for 100 testing strips
      • $1 for 100 alcohol swabs
      • Some diabetic testing meters as low as $9
      • $2 for 100 lancets 
    • Check GoodRX prices for FreeStyle Libre supplies
  • Physical Activity/Exercise:
    • Gym membership and fees are not required to exercise daily
    • FREE YouTube videos
      • Make some space in your living room to do these workout videos
      • All levels of intensity from just walking to HIIT workouts
    • No internet or don't have a smart tv/laptop?
      • Walk/run at a community track
      • Lift small weights at home
      • Ask your diabetes educator about planning some at home exercises

Please reach out to me with questions or more great ideas!
Amanda Holloman, PharmD

Thanks for reading!
1 comment



05-26-2022 14:52

Great information. Thanks Amanda!