Did you know that some grocery chains now offer some common antibiotics for free? Of course, you need a prescription from a doctor, but there are no strings attached! An as example, Publix, based in Lakeland, Florida, offers the following drugs free (a 14-day supply, regardless of insurance, and no limit on the number of prescriptions) at their approximately 700 pharmacies located in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Cephalexin
  • Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim (SMZ-TMP)
  • Ciprofloxacin (excluding ciprofloxacin XR)
  • Penicillin VK
  • Ampicillin
  • Erythromycin Stearate and Ethylsuccinate
  • Doxycycline Hyclate (capsules only)

Some other groceries do the same thing, but may have restrictions on the time frame, and include different antibiotics, so check the store\’s site for their specific information.
However, one big warning…even though these are free, remember that viral diseases (such as colds and the flu) aren\’t affected by antibiotics, and there is a huge problem with over-prescribing antibiotics and a rise in resistant bacteria. But, if you really need an antibiotic that is covered by one of these programs, it can certainly save you money – you can\’t get much cheaper than free!

Jan Cullinane is the co-author of The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale, 2007). She gives seminars on the (primarily) non-financial aspects of retirement through her company, "Retirement Living from A to Z."