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Day 48: friendly neighbourhood pharmacy VS evil giant conglomerate pharmacy

Barbie's Dream Wedding. Probably cost more than $73.34 (even just for the dolls).
Firstly, I got a bunch of hits on yesterday's column (about my parents' frugal wedding) which is lovely, and I'm happy that so many people found inspiration in my parents' amazingness.

I have a few addendums to the tale:

1) My mother wants me to point out that her father paid for the food at Henry House. Which I think was very nice of him, and I bet he was happy not to have had to fund a 2011-style multi-thousand-dollar catered affair.

2) This means that "Wedding weekend - $19" is now a complete mystery. But I theorize that this money went to providing bus tickets to their 10 guests.

3) When I was a little girl, this story HORRIFIED ME. Because where was the poufy, Barbie-esque princess gown? The tiara? The flowergirls? The dancing and the bridesmaids and the tuxedos? What was WRONG WITH THEM?

I now, obviously, adore this story to pieces and can only aspire to this level of frugality.

Anyway, today I am currently in a bit of a frugal conundrum vis-a-vis pharmacies. Because I love my pharmacy I go to. It's a tiny little office on the main floor of my doctor's office, and when I pick up my medication, they give me a chocolate. Not just a chocolate - a creamy-mint-filled chocolate. Every time I get a prescription refill (i.e. every month!)

They are so friendly and nice and I luuurve them.

"And here is your chocolate. Free of charge, as I realize you are extremely frugal."

But the thing is, being a small independent business, they are only open 9-5:30 on weekdays. And I work 9-5:00 most weekdays, and can't get there before 5:30. And I need a refill. And there is a large billboard at my neighbourhood Evil Conglomerate Drugstore saying I would get several thousand bonus points to switch my prescription there.

Free bonus points are like free money. And the Evil Conglomerate's pharmacy is open until 11pm or something preposterous. So it would be more convenient.

So... do I make this choice based on emotion (chocolates!)? Or frugality (free points to switch!)? Or convenience (open past 5:30!)?

Note: I have two pills left and need to decide ASAP. Any advice greatly appreciated.


jenny+patrick said...



Red said...

Go with the conglomerate! Okay, I'm all about chocolates, and I love mom and pop shops. But if a business's practices are inconveniencing you (ignoring the free chocolate) and you would benefit greatly from another business, you should switch.

I use Walgreens, which is about 2 miles from our house and open 24 hours a day. I don't play their coupon games (though I know I should!), but I work and go to school in the evenings. They're the most convenient option for me, so they're the ones who get my business.

In other words, look out for numero uno! ;)

Kate said...

I'm pretty sure that pharmacies can't incent you to switch with loyalty points. Frugal for you maybe, but unethical for them.

Stay independant if you can. I bet if you talk to the owner about it, there will be some kind of arrangement they can make to keep your business to help you through the inconvenience of their hours.

Plus, you pay more for dispensing fees at the evil conglomerate. Your health plan may cover some of it, but your co-pay may go up.

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