Saving Cents: Viewer tips on how to get cheap meds, groceries and books


by By Sherry Williams / 11 News

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 9 at 3:12 PM

HOUSTON-How do you save money on medications, groceries and books? Just ask 11 News viewers. They know.

11 News video
May 29, 2009

Vin from Sugar Land e-mailed a tip about The site has coupons for Vesicare for bladder control, BenzaClin for acne and Maxalt for migraines, to name a few. The blog directs you to free trial sample giveaways, and you can find a pharmaceutical company that gives free glucose monitors and blood sugar test strips to diabetics. also has advice on properly disposing of old medications. Apparently you should not put old pills in the trash or flush them down the toilet. Traces of medications have actually turned up in some municipal water supplies. The blog site recommends crushing them, mixing them with cat litter and then putting them in the trash. The site also has the 4-1-1 on $4 prescription plans at stores and pharmacies.

Another viewer responded to a recent Saving Cents report on buying books on the cheap. Cindy in Huntsville said she goes to thrift stores for her reading needs. Cindy is smart. A check of a couple of Houston thrift stores found hardback books going for only a buck, and paperbacks selling for 50 cents.

Louginia in Santa Fe e-mailed to say when you go to the grocery store, compare the unit price when trying to figure out the best bargain, because sometimes the economy size is actually more expensive than the smaller size.

Stores are required to display the unit price. You find them alongside the regular price.

For example, a six-pack of soap may have a unit price of 60 cents per bar, but a three-pack may have a unit price of 56 cents per bar. So you're better off buying a couple of the three-packs instead of the six-pack.

You could do the math by dividing the price by the quantity, but it's easier to look at the unit price. You may only save a few cents, but those add up to dollars.