Friday, June 24, 2011

Shop Rite Pharmacy: My New Bestie!

I routinely take more than ten prescription medications, so I have considerable experience as a pharmacy customer. For years I wasn't really loyal to any one company. If I was shopping at Giant, I would get a scrip filled while I shopped. Otherwise, I might stop by someplace on the way home from my doctor's office. It was a matter of whatever was most convenient for me. Then Rite Aid opened a new store very close to my home, with drive-thru service, which instantly made it the most convenient. Our relationship only lasted about four years. During that time, they made a few mistakes with my prescriptions, but nothing that could be considered truly dangerous, so I dealt with it. The real deal-breaker was the habit they developed of taping up handwritten signs in the drive-thru window, "Drive-thru Closed. Come Inside." They were destroying the only real advantage they had over their competitors, so when a CVS with a drive-thru opened nearby, I became a former Rite Aid customer.

I immediately found CVS to be friendlier and more efficient than Rite Aid. Over the past year or so that I've patronized them, they've never made a mistake with my medication, and I also like their incentive program. A while back I even wrote an entry here about why I liked CVS so much. I still like CVS.

However, I like holding onto my money even more and the spanking new Shop Rite Pharmacy, at Chesapeake Square in Glen Burnie, does that better than any other pharmacy in town.

Now, I know that some other places are offering free antibiotics and low prices on generics, but Shop Rite still has them trumped. Not only are they meeting the competitors' offers of free antibiotics, but they're also offering several common diabetes medications for free. Free antibiotics are helpful to families with young children who might be prone to ear infections and such, but when I can can get half of my diabetes medications that I use every day of my life for free, that truly makes a difference in my medication expenses. In addition, Shop Rite offers generics for less than four dollars, like some of the other pharmacies. But, at Shop Rite, you can get a 90-day supply for less than ten dollars! AND, not only do they accept most insurance plans, but also the health plans of their competitors!

The Shop Rite Pharmacy, in my few visits thus far, has provided service every bit as friendly and efficient as that which won my heart at CVS. But, I didn't make the move without a bit of skepticism. My experiences with in-store pharmacies had been less than thrilling -- Giant, Super Fresh, WalMart and such. For instance, I expected the pharmacy to be located at the far rear or side of the store, requiring customers to navigate through multiple merchandise aisles. They know most of us are susceptible to impulse buying! Secondly, I expected to be routinely be told that my prescription would be ready in 30 or 40 minutes. Again, leave plenty of time for the customer to roam the store and do some impulse buying.

Neither has been the case at Shop Rite Pharmacy. First of all, the Shop Rite Pharmacy may lack the convenience of a drive-thru, but they simply could not make it any easier to reach it from the front door of the store. The photo to the left is taken from the doorway of the Chesapeake Square store. You can actually see the pharmacy from there. The only thing you have to pass to get there is the floral section and some produce - not something I'm terribly likely to buy on impulse. And so far, I've waited less time at Shop Rite than I normally do in the drive-thru of CVS.

So, if saving money is your top priority, but you don't want to sacrifice service or convenience, you owe it to yourself to check out the new Shop Rite Pharmacy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Once in a while you find a really healthy food that is also really delicious. LARABARs taste yummy enough to be a satisfying snack or dessert, and their pure, healthful goodness will leave you happily guilt-free. They contain no chemicals or preservatives, no sugars, fillers or additives. They contain nothing but fruits, nuts, and other naturally good stuff.

As you can see in the photo, the Chocolate Coconut Chew (my personal favorite) contains only dates, almonds, walnuts, unsweetened cocoa powder (fair trade certified) and unsweetened coconut. The Cashew Cookie is made of nothing but cashews and dates. When you can find a treat that tastes good and is good for you, as Martha Stewart would say, "That's a good thing!"

Go HERE to sign up for $1 off coupon.

CVS vs. Rite-Aid? CVS WINS!

I switched to CVS Pharmacy two or three years ago after becoming dissatisfied with Rite-Aid. I had tolerated a lot of sub-par service from Rite-Aid -- long waits, prescription mix-ups, refills orders that didn't get processed -- but the "final straw" was the habit they developed of frequently placing a handwritten "sorry, closed" sign on the drive-thru window. I can only speculate about their reason for doing so, but my best guess would be that it was a convenient way for them to handle peak busy times. Their location was extremely convenient for me, but that cut the convenience factor way down. I finally decided to help them out with their overload by giving them one less customer to deal with.

In the time that I've been patronizing CVS, their drive-thru window has never been closed. They've never messed up a prescription. They almost always have my refills ready on time -- and if my doctor is slow in responding to an expired prescription, they call to take care of it. Now, it would be one thing to give a glowing report if I only picked up a prescription a few times a year, but with the number of medications I use, I'm there about once a week, usually for more than one prescription at a time, so I've "tested" them pretty rigorously over the past couple of years.

In addition to their outstanding service, they have the best customer reward program I've ever found -- the Extra Care program. I've received coupons for "Extra Bucks" for as much as thirty-some dollars at a time. Rewards like that really add up, and I frequently get coupons, like 20% off on a total purchase, free products, etc.

What prompted me to post about the wonders of CVS came yesterday. A while back, I requested to have my prescriptions filled without using child-safe caps. I have some arthritis and opening the safety caps can get to be a chore, especially with a number of medications. Sometimes a prescription will be filled by labeling the original bottle that the medication comes in, if the number of doses matches up right. So, yesterday, I got one of those original bottles and I was surprised -- pleasantly so -- to find that the pharmacist had removed the safety cap that comes on the original bottles and replaced it with a regular cap. (The inner seal was still intact.) I thought it was really "going the extra mile" for them to do that! You can see in the photo, my old bottle of medication with the original safety cap (on the right) and the new bottle with the easy-open cap on the left. CVS was already at the top of my customer service list, but now they have a gold star beside their name!

Click HERE to see current in-store specials.

Sensodyne Isoactive

I am not a "morning" person and even though I sometimes try to be, I don't think I'm fooling anyone. In the past, good strong coffee and soft fresh cinnamon rolls have made mornings bearable. But now I've found something that actually makes my mouth happy in the morning! The foamy, bubbly sensation of Sensodyne Isoactive toothpaste makes me look forward to brushing my teeth! Not that I'm a slacker in that area -- I actually floss every day. I even use a proxabrush. I have an electric toothbrush because it can scrub away that nasty plaque like nothing else. But the toothpaste.... well, that's never been much of an excitement for me. Until now. I love this stuff.

I normally use a "regular" toothpaste -- meaning not one for sensitive teeth. My husband routinely uses Sensodyne and I originally bought this for him. I happened to try it when I ran out of my own brand. I thought, "Oh, this is kinda nice." Then we used up the can and I bought myself a tube of my regular "normal" toothpaste and that's when I realized how much I really liked the Sensodyne Isoactive. It's not just the way it feels in the mouth -- I also like the "body" of the foam. It maintains a thickness during brushing that prevents that chin-dripping mess that can happen with regular toothpaste. I was glad to get through the tube of my old brand so I could go back to the Sensodyne Isoactive. (The MultiAction type we use is pictured, but it also comes in a Whitening formula.}

Works for me! Click HERE to get a $1.00 off coupon to try it yourself.