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Simple tips for saving money on medications

Dear Heloise: Do you have any hints about how to save money on prescription medications? — Helen in Ohio

Helen, I sure do. At your appointment, ask the doctor if your medication has a generic brand. Also ask about any alternatives, possibly homeopathic treatments, that might work for you.

Be sure to inquire about free samples. The pharmaceutical representatives usually leave samples when they visit the doctors.

Check out prescription drug price comparison websites and mobile apps. Finally, visit the drug manufacturer’s website — there may be coupons available. — Heloise

TECH TUESDAY

Dear Readers: Surveys suggest the vast majority of seniors cherish their independence and don’t want to live in a retirement community or assisted living facility. But what if a senior, living at home alone, has a medical emergency? A PERS (personal emergency response system), also known as a medical alert system, could be a lifesaver. PERS is a lightweight, battery-operated device that can be worn as a pendant or on the wrist, belt or in a pocket. With the push of a button, the monitoring company becomes aware of the emergency and sends help. — Heloise

THINK IT OVER

Dear Heloise: I’m a big online shopper; the ease and convenience have won me over. It’s so easy with just a couple clicks to buy just about anything!

But I’ve made a deal with myself. Purchases over $50? I think it over for one full day. Sometimes I realize that I don’t need or want the item after all. — Katie in Minnesota

SAVING ENERGY AND MONEY

Dear Heloise: My electric company sent out some money- and energy-saving hints. They suggest:

* Become aware of peak demand times. These are when it’s hottest outside — the late afternoon hours.

* Use fans instead of lowering the air conditioning.

* Raise the thermostat up 3 to 4 degrees.

* Close curtains and blinds to keep hot sunlight out.

* Run the dishwasher, clothes dryer, oven and other appliances after peak demand hours. — Connie in Florida

Connie, great hints! Readers, to learn more about electricity conservation, check out your electricity provider’s website, look for inserts in your billing statement or give them a call. — Heloise

FAN LETTER

Dear Heloise: I have a small tabletop fan that has accumulated a lot of dust. During my TV-watching time, I clean the unplugged fan by using a cotton swab sprayed with a lightly perfumed spray mist (damp; not dripping wet). I can get in between the grates of the fan and collect the dust on the swab.

When I turn on the fan, it emits a pleasant scent from the perfumed mist. — Carol in Alabama

LOOK AROUND

Dear Readers: In the car, don’t rely solely on the backup camera when backing out. Cars can sneak up quickly behind you. View the camera, but also check your rearview mirrors and back out slowly. — Heloise

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.

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