Dollars & Sense columnist John Ewoldt searches the Twin Cities and beyond for bargains and strategies to spare you time, money and hassles.
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Posts about Pharmacies

Free H1N1 shots at most Rainbow Foods pharmacies

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: February 5, 2010 - 1:23 PM

Most Rainbow Foodsstores with pharmacies are offering FREE H1N1 shots during limited hours on Sundays through Wednesdays for a limited time. Call the Rainbow nearest you to check availability and hours. At the Apple Valley location, for example, there is plenty of vaccine and the hours are 9-4 Sunday, 9-8 Mondays and Tuesdays and 9-4 Wednesdays.

Snyder's Drug discounting everything 30 percent

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: January 28, 2010 - 11:19 AM

The going-out-of-business sale has begun for Snder's Drug. Everything is currently discounted 30 percent. In the past I didn't consider that Snyder's everyday prices were as competitive as, say, Target or Wal-Mart but Snyder's sale prices were generally pretty good.

Now that everything is discounted 30 percent except cigarettes I suggest looking for items that aren't typically on sale at other discounters. I wouldn't buy Pantene shampoo at Snyder's, for example, because it's such a highly advertised sale item at the discounters, but I would buy specialty items such as the extensive line of Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products, which I saw yesterday at the Snyder's in Highland Park.

All sales are final at Snyders. Locavores can take comfort in the fact that Snyder's is a locally-based company.

Should your eye doctor sell supplements?

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: January 21, 2010 - 9:40 AM

After a recent eye exam, my optometrist sent me away with a bottle of EyePromise. The 60 softgels cost me about $30.  They contain 250 mg of fish oil, 8 mg of Zeaxanthin and 4 mg of Lutein. This is after my doctor had done a macular degeneration test that showed I have a slightly low amount of macular pigment (more pigment is better). And my 85 year old father has M.D., although it is being treated successfully and he is allowed to drive.

There's something fishy about this, besides the fish oil, in my opinion. If a doctor wants to suggest that this product may help, show me the research and tell me that I can buy it in places besides your office. I later discovered that a similar formula with Lutein, Zeaxanthin and fish oil is available at Sam's Club for half the cost. I suspect it's available at any retailer that sells a lot of supplements and vitamins. 

I checked with Dr. Steven Bennett, a retinal surgeon with VitreoRetinal Surgery P.A in the Twin Cities ( He wrote in an email that studies have shown the supplements to be helpful only in people with early signs of macular degeneration. The presence of drusen (tiny white or yellow deposits that can form usually after age 60) in the eyes is a sign of degeneration. I wasn't tested for drusen at my appointment. 

Dr. Bennett wrote that a large study is underway regarding the Lutein, fish oil and Zeaxanthin supplements. Until more is known the current preventative recommendations are to avoid smoking, maintain a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits and dark leafy veggies, reduce fat intake, avoid abdominal obesity, exercise, treat blood pressure, and wear sunglasses when appropriate. The list goes on to say that Omega-3 fish oil and a daily multivitaim with lutein may be helpful.

It's a good law that doctors can't sell prescriptions to their patients. That ought to be expanded to supplements so that consumers aren't being overcharged or sold a questionable remedy.

Save 40 percent at through Wednesday

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: November 2, 2009 - 11:19 AM

Save 40 percent on all CVS brand items at CVS' website through Wednesday, November 4. At first you might think you can't spend the $49 to ensure free shipping, but check the categories: baby and child care, skin care, personal care, vitamins and supplements, OTC medicines and household items. Plus if you spend $50 you get $10 off. If you can't fuind enough items to reach the free shipping, move into other items on sale this week online, such as body wash and soap (30 percent off).

Hardcore CVS shoppers can also plug in their Extracare Bucks number for Extra Bucks credit.

Don't like the CVS brand of dental floss? Return any CVS product that doesn't meet your standards for a refund.

More deals on massage and acupuncture

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: September 25, 2009 - 3:07 PM


Do Twin Cities residents in the east metro also want a massage? Apparently, I didn't think so since I went no further than Woodbury. I missed the St. Croix Center for Healing Arts (411 County Hwy. UU, Hudson, 715-381-1402). It's $39 per hour for a massage ($25 per hours for adults 55 or older). Appointments are taken 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fri., and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat.

The Pin Doctor (2913 Harriet Av. S., Suite 103, Minneapolis, 952-922-2141) practices community ("sliding scale") acupuncture to make it more affordable. People pay what they can afford between $15 to $40. Sometimes two or three treatments a week can be more helpful than once a week or less often if they can't afford it, said owner Mats Sexton. No proof of income is required, but insurance is not accepted.


Want to see the original articles with the lists of massage and acupuncture schools? Click on the links.


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