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DEAR HELOISE : Do you have any hints about how to save money on prescription medications?

— Helen in Ohio

DEAR READER : 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.

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.

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 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

DEAR READER : 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.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

[email protected]

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS

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