Another Reason I Don't Go To Wal-Mart

I avoid Wal-Mart for lots of reasons, most of them obvious. But now I have a new one. They advertise inexpensive prescriptions--but this is a LIE! At least it proved to be completely false advertising for us.

Since we're both bipolar, Mr. O'Kitten and I spend a lot of money on meds. (I could go into a whole rant about not being eligible for Low Income Medicare Part D and what a rip-off that scheme is, but I won't--for now.) So last month he decided he wanted to fill a few scripts at Wal-Mart instead of our local IGA (Independent Grocery Store).

I grimaced at the thought. I hate Wal-Mart with a passion.

"But it'll be far cheaper than IGA. Everyone says so," he insisted.

It wasn't far cheaper. In fact, we wound up losing about $50 on the deal. Here's the breakdown if you don't believe me.

Prescription 1 (a name-brand drug, no generic available): IGA price $24.81, Wal-Mart $27.78. We're only out $2.97, but still.

Prescription 2
(a generic): IGA $16.62, Wal-Mart $23.46. We're out $6.84 on this one.

Prescription 3: IGA $16.06, Wal-Mart $55.84. A difference of $39.78! Holy cow. Same script, same strength, same quantity--everything.

So we got--to my mind--totally ripped off for $49.59 by Wal-Mart and their false pretense of "cheaper" prescriptions. (Good thing we had some Christmas money, because that certainly wasn't in our budget.)

Don't go in there--ever.

I'll stick with my IGA--which, by the way, is also competitive with the bigger supermarkets on most things, not to mention ten miles closer. Everyone thinks these huge superstores are so much cheaper--sure, they'll have a "super sale" on milk or crappy hamburger meat to get you in the door, but honestly, compare before you judge. You might just find that your smaller local store has better prices than you think (or than the big chain stores want you to believe).

So they won't have five thousand different types of cereal or eighty-nine brands of Tide. I get vertigo in those big stores anyway. They're soul-suckers.

Think small and buy local.

Steps shyly off of soapbox...

Friday Night Video

I graduated from high school in 1986, so Bowling for Soup's "1985" has a special place in my heart. You've probably heard the song, but if you haven't seen the video, the send-ups of '80s videos are simply terrific.


Chris said...

Ugh! Further proof that W*lMart is evil...

Mouse said...

What a giant pile of suck!! I absolutely hate W*lmart as well and won't go there unless its absolutely necessary. Ugh.

Jaime said...

I'm sorry to hear about the medication thing. It sucks, though I wish I could say I was surprised. Walmart has been pissing me and my mother off a lot lately. Their prices keep going up and up and it's getting to the point where it's becoming harder and harder to slide through each month. Sadly, they're about all we have here (it's just a small one - not one of those super, open-all-night things.) Most of our local businesses are geared more toward farming...

I can sympathize with the big stores thing. While I've never gotten vertigo in walmart, I do find them confusing and tiring. The super walmart in the next town is bigger than most of the malls I've been to in my entire life. And the lighting in those stores can be a nightmare sometimes. I nearly had to run out of kmart (in the next town, too) because their flourescent lighting was starting to trigger my seizures. It was horrible...

And don't even get me started on Medicare. It is a rip off for most people. I'm forced to pay $1,100 and something a year, plus $100 deductable for it and I can't even go to the dentist to have my impacted wisdom teeth removed (yet I could go to the doctor to have the random infections they cause treated, but to solve the problem completely, I'm on my own.) I can't use it for glasses, or eye allergy meds (which I struggle to pay for on my own,) and I've heard that their prescription plans don't cover all of the recent anti-seizure meds (which is about all I have left - I've failed five different meds, including one of those I noticed in your drawer.) Even if I did still choose to take medication, I couldn't afford to pay for it. *sigh*

Carrie K said...

Spinning and knitting are good.

Smaller grocery stores? No such animal out here anymore. It's all the big chains, including Whole Foods.

I can't bear to look at your prescription costs. New year, new deductible to meet for me. It won't take long, but it's painful.

Obsidian Kitten said...

jaime is so right on the mark.

i just typed a long-winded comment, but lost it, i'll have to save it for a post.

and yes, medicare cost each of us $1,122 last year, plus the deductible, and that doesn't cover prescriptions, dental, or eyes.

not to mention that there's about a 30% co-pay for most doctor visits and other services. and this on the extremely limited income you get from SSDI.

BUT, if you're like us, that extremely limited income is just a wee bit too much for you to be eligible for Low Income Medicare Part D (prescription coverage).

okay, i'll have to rant about this in another post.

but hey, at least we HAVE health coverage, for what it's worth. i mean, a *few* doctors still accept medicare. how many Americans don't have any health coverage at all?

--> Nearly 47 million Americans, or 16 percent of the population, were without health insurance in 2005, the latest government data available.
--> The number of uninsured rose 1.3 million between 2004 and 2005 and has increased by almost 7 million people since 2000.
--> The large majority of the uninsured (80 percent) are native or naturalized citizens.


mrspao said...

Hug. We avoid the Wal-Mart clone here because it is horrid.

Puss-in-Boots said...

Hi O'Kitten. Good to catch up with you again. We have IGA here, too, but we get our prescriptions from pharmacies rather than large supermarkets.

As for the large supermarkets, I get as much stuff as possible from Aldi, a European competitor. They have beautiful meat and pretty well priced, too. Their shampoos and conditioners are great, as are their face cleansing products.

I've cut my grocery bill down by up to $40 per week shopping there. The big supermarkets are just rip off merchants with second rate goods.

Hope winter is not getting to you too much, my brother would empathise with you...

Rachel said...

Living in Northwest Arkansas, where Wal-Mart is King, we literally have one on every corner. Its like Starbucks here. Thankfully we live in a very liberal part of the state that hates WM so we have a few smaller stores to go to instead of WM. I shop at those and Target. I know Target isnt much better but it sure as hell is better than WM.

I hope you get to feeling better, maybe spring will come a bit earlier.


Obsidian Kitten said...

i happen to have a real soft spot for the Target... =)

thursday said...

Ok, I stopped going to Wal-Mart about five years ago when I realized it made me want to kill people. Seriously. I feel much better not going!

I hope you make it through winter ok. I've been feeling down, too, and I am not bi-polar, and I live in Arizona where there's still plenty of sun. At least you're still knitting - that's impressive! I can't even manage that these days.

Andrée said...

They are trying to get a Walmart in here. Folks say it'll be better than going to Canada or New Hampshire for underwear, but if I ask them why? they are not sure. They know that the wages are minimum, that they keep people at poverty levels. But they still want that. But I'll keep plugging away.

historicstitcher said...

I stopped shopping at WM several years ago. I had cut back, because I didn't like the bigness of it, but then I talked to someone who works there, and quit shopping there altogether. While they make a big deal out of promoting employee-friendliness and the "lack of need" for unions, it's not quite that simple. Employees are punished for being sick (loss of seniority in choice of hours for calling in), little flexibility in hours (you work what you're assigned, period), and part-time/full-time accounting games (scheduling for 39 hours, regularly, to avoid having to call them full-time and offer benefits), among other "games".

Also - you can call any pharmacy and ask the prices ahead of time. It doesn't have to be a crapshoot! You also have the option of bargaining with them over the price - I have done so successfully at both chain box stores and small pharmacies. Just ask them to meet your previous price, or the price you were quoted from another pharmacy. (You might even be able to get a lower price at your IGA if you call around and ask prices, then ask IGA to meet them...)

I lived without any insurance at all, with a toddler, and in need of expensive Rxs. I learned the hard way how to get cheaper meds.

Oh- one other option! You can walk away from the expensive pharmacy, go back to your normal one, then "transfer" the Rx back to the cheaper one. It's a common misconception that you _have_ to pay what they tell you! Especially at somewhere like WM!

pins&needles said...

That sucks. I'm not surprised, but at the same time, with a store like Walmart, I'm not. I try not to go there as much as I can. I have my reasons.