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5 savvy ways to save on medicine

Running out of medicine can be a huge budget buster. You could end up paying close to $10 for an item that you should be able to get for almost free as a frugal shopper. Try these tips to get you started on saving on medicine.

5 savvy ways to save on medicine


1. Ask for samples

I stumbled upon this idea when one of my babies was about to be vaccinated. I had forgotten to give him medicine before his appointment. Our nurse kindly offered to give him some. Drug companies offer free samples to doctors’ offices to promote their brand. Most doctors are more than happy to share these free samples with patients…you just need to ask. And these samples can even be full-size bottles.
At the pharmacy yesterday, I saw a patient leaving with 6 free packages of allergy medicine – if you suffer like I do during this dreaded season [bless you], this idea could be a real money saver.

2. Check expiry dates

This money-saving trick is important whenever you buy medicine. Check the expiry date on every package. If you buy medicine that expires in 3 months, you may have to dispose of it before it is used up – and that is like flushing money away.
Expiry dates can be so different even if the same products are on the same shelf. I broke my own rule the other day and almost purchased medicine that expired in 6 months. But I found a package tucked behind that expired 18 months later. Pharmacists are also willing to check expiry dates on items such as puffers if you ask them to.

3. Stay organized

Find a system to organize the medicine that works for you. I find labeled containers grouping like items together works best. Knowing exactly what you have on hand will prevent overspending on medicine. Plus, you can make a list of what is needed before you run out, in order to watch for upcoming sales.

4. Shop the sales

Many frugal shoppers have a stash of medicine that they obtained…for free. Follow along with MapleMoney to find your own great deals. Combine coupons with the best sale prices, and you will be amazed at what you can score for next to nothing.
I have had good luck scoring Children’s Tylenol for free over the past few years. Printable coupons for medicine that offer $4 off, combined with Walmart occasional sales at $3.97? Yes, please.
And don’t forget to read our Ultimate Guide to maximize your Shopper’s Drug Mart Points. Cashing in optimum points can help you get a variety of medicines for free that rarely go on sale anywhere.

5. Swap it out

One or more swapping buddies help multiply your savings. Ask about swapping items that you both got for free or almost free. If you dig into your stockpiles, you might find the perfect items to trade. You could offer dishwashing detergent you got for free by using a mail-in rebate…and they may have Advil they got for free. The result? Free medicine for you and your family.

This website is dedicated to helping readers save money on almost anything. Trimming medicine costs a bit at a time can add up to significant savings over the year.

Do you have any ideas for saving when purchasing medicine? Please share.


  1. Tianda

    Expiry dates on medications only represent when manufacturers stop testing the medication, not necessarily when they start losing efficacy. So if you have some OTC meds that are a bit expired, they would be fine to try and see if they haven’t yet lost much potency.

  2. Karen G

    Thanks for taking the time to comment about expiry dates. I’m much more laid back about the dates – but not my husband. He fires it out quickly if I don’t stop him. 😉

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