Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Strip Show

It’s time to play the diabetes strip game. That’s where you surf the Internet to find the most reputable place selling your brand of meter test strips for the lowest price.

For one, brief, shining moment, I had an insurance Camelot and I could get 100 test strips a month for a co-pay of $10. All good things must come to an end, though, and my new insurance has a different policy on “non-formulary” items. It now costs me $50 for 100 strips at the pharmacy. Still not a bad price, but I hate the pharmacy and I hate that I have one more prescription. I’d much rather just order all my “non-formulary” items online, where I can get them in bulk and get them for about the same price. If I look.

I’ve been using Hocks.com for a while; they seem to have everything I need and at good prices. Shipping is free when you order above a certain dollar amount (not hard to do when buying test strips), and you can earn “dollars” that you can apply to future orders, which means I almost always get four or five bucks off my total. They’re really reliable, too, and they’ve only messed up one order one time and immediately fixed it.

Every now and then, though, you gotta do the comparison-shopping thing. Who knows? Maybe someone got a good price on a huge box of test strips and they’re selling them off cheap, or someone has a good heart and is selling them for what they’re worth, not what the mark-up is.

Here are this week’s findings. Each price is based on 50 strips. Stunning, really, when you see the varying prices…

Health Warehouse: $28
Drugstore.com: $59.99
WalMart: $103.04
American Diabetes Wholesale: $28.78
Allegro Medical: $32.95
Walgreens: $114.99
Overstock Drugstore: $29.98
OTC Wholesale: $31.99
Hocks: $27.99

Hocks is still my winner, although there are a couple of other places that come close—but they don’t let me earn dollars and some have a shipping charge as well. I’ll also order my pen needles and my syringes at the same time—they have a really good inventory. And, I can get 200 alcohol swabs for $2.39. AND, they have Sugar-Free Tums!

I’m not being paid by Hocks to write this. It’s just that I’ve been all over the Internet for the last six years (except for my time in Camelot), always looking for the best prices and decent service, and I was hoping to save someone else a little time and trouble. Hocks doesn’t always come up in searches for Freestyle test strips, so someone might miss them.

And, of course, I’m always open to hearing if someone else has found a gem of a place to order diabetic supplies in bulk, online, for cheap.

We gotta stick together. These strip shows don’t come cheap—a dollar here, a dollar there…

As always, more to come…


Jack Guest said...

You can get 50 strips from Wal-Mart.com for $20 or 100 strips for $39 using the ReliOn brand. You'd have to change meters, but that's only once and the meter is even less at $9. That's by far the lowest combination I know of while keeping a high quality (5 seconds, 0.6 microliters of blood, tons of memory, etc).

Lora said...

Thanks for the info, Jack. I checked out the meter online and based on the photo, it looks pretty large. One of the reasons I like my Freestyle meter is it's really small in size. While I'm all for saving money, it has to be with the brand I like!

CALpumper aka Crystal said...

I used to use HealthWarehouse for test strips. I have not searched on the net in awhile tho. Great (and sad) list.

Like the new header. :)

Thanks for your comments. My brain would enjoy time with your dog, just to get away from my cat. And yeah, Yoda and I are not getting along so much right now.

Love your wv montages....lies pho worked, well. Awesome. ;-)

wv: jagir

If I jagir to the left maybe I can get this site to produce better blood sugars. Maybe.

Sarah Jane said...

Posts like these make me want to cry. I have GREAT insurance through my parent's jobs, and I get a 3 month supply of ALL my supplies and a few non-diabetes related drugs for about 200 dollars. I know, I'm sorry! I'm not trying to brag! But I am 22, and in the next 18 months I'll be finishing up school and getting booted off mom and dad's insurance plan...

HELP! I don't wanna spend 50 dollars on 100 test strips!

phonelady said...

I agree with you on the reli on brand of stuff . I already carry a back pack with everything I need in it . I would hate to see if I had to carry anything larger , hell my boss already asks me if i moving in there with the back pack all the time . I would hate to see his reaction if I brought something larger .LOL !!!