Wednesday, April 26, 2017

3 Must-Haves for a Budget-Friendly Home Gym

We all know that when you are trying to save money, cooking dinner at home is more cost effective than eating out. The same goes for exercise! If you have the floor space, working out at home can save you hundreds of dollars in gym memberships and class fees. While you could go crazy spending money on equipment for your home gym – you don’t have to! We’ve combed through the top fitness websites to identify the three core components you need to build a home gym on a budget:

1. Floor Protection
There is a reason that all gyms have rubber flooring. All of the experts agree that proper, padded floor protection is safer for you, safer for your floors, and safer for your equipment. Check out Amazon for a variety of reasonably priced options or watch for a sale at your local sporting goods store. Depending on your square footage, you might be able to get away with something as simple as a heavyweight yoga mat.

2. Cardio Tools
Even if you plan on only doing strength workouts at home, most fitness experts recommend a short warm-up to get your heart pumping. And, while you can run or walk outdoors 90 percent of the time, having some strategy for indoor cardio is a smart move for those rainy or cold days. If you don’t want to invest in an expensive cardio machine, a jump rope is a quick and easy solution. Cheap and simple to use, a jump rope takes up almost no space and can help you to quickly warm-up at the beginning of your workout.

3. Strength Tools
This is where it is easy to get overwhelmed. Start by taking stock of your goals and preferences. If you are new to working out, it makes sense to make small investments first and establish regular fitness habits before investing in a high-tech weight bench or power rack. A “starter” strength set-up might include:
      Resistance bands – Mentioned in every resource we consulted, they are often the first tool recommended for home-gym strength training.
      Adjustable dumbbells – Arguably a small investment, but Michael Mathews at MuscleForLife recommends adjustable dumbbells because they save space and are easier to work with than more traditional plated dumbbells.
      Stability ball – A powerful, inexpensive, easy-to-store tool for building core strength.

And if you want to go all out (or if you just like checking out fun fitness gear), Men’s Health has a great list of 20 Ways to Build a Better Home Gym.

Do you work out at home to save money? Share your tips on the FamilyWize Facebook page! Looking for some great home workout routines? Check out our Pinterest board for ideas!

Finally, don’t forget to reach out to us today for the best pharmacy savings cards, best RX discount cards, and much more.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

4 Tips to Trim Your Family’s Spending

As the holiday season, with its terrifying credit card bills, fades more and more into our collective memory, we’re all starting to feel safe to spend money again. We are preparing warm weather wardrobes, booking flights for summer vacations, and putting down deposits for summer camps.

With that in mind, spring is a perfect time to think about our spending and how we can keep it in check. At FamilyWize, we want to help you save money. Here are four tips to trim your family’s spending:


Track every dollar that you are spending. You won’t know whether or not you are overspending unless you know what you spend. We put this tip first on purpose because no one wants to hear it. If you think that you may have a spending problem, it is way too easy to just put your head in the sand and pat yourself on the back for clipping a few coupons. Coupons help, but they won’t ensure that you will avoid financial disaster. 

The team at Get Rich Slowly has a nice comprehensive approach to tracking your spending each month, so that you will have a clear picture of your financial situation.


Touch your money and pay cash as often as possible. This is an age-old trick because it works. We all love the convenience of plastic, but if your spending is out of control then removing the convenience of a credit card will help. The AARP makes an insightful research-based case for why the extra pain of paying by cash will help you to be more thoughtful with each purchase.


You walk into Target and see the TV that you have been coveting for months on sale. You know that the sale is temporary and that stock will be limited. Do you pull the trigger?

The experts at MoneyUnder30 say to delay. Give yourself a 24-hour period to think about the purchase before you make it. That delay will help you to remove the emotion from your purchase. Do you still need to replace your old TV? Then buy a new one. Were you just looking for a big pick-me-up after a bad day at work? Then look at the money you are saving for your next vacation and spend some time daydreaming about your trip instead.


Once you start tracking your spending and you know where your money is going each month, you have the opportunity to do a little research. Could you find a better deal on your car insurance? Maybe a few minutes spent comparison shopping will lead to a smaller payment.

Are you regularly spending a lot of money on prescription medications? Regardless of your insurance situation, we here at FamilyWize can help you spend less money on your family’s prescription drugs with the Free FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card. Get your own card or download the app today.

How do you trim your family’s spending? Let us know on our Facebook page!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ask an Expert: A Quick Guide to Controlled Substances

This post is part of our “Ask an Expert” blog series. In this post, Ken Majkowski, Pharm.D and Chief Pharmacy Officer at FamilyWize, addresses a common question consumers have when it comes to prescription drugs. Ken brings more than 40 years of healthcare experience to the FamilyWize team, including 14 years of clinical pharmacy experience in retail, hospital and home care. Read his full bio, here.

Most of us have a very general understanding that a controlled substance is a drug or chemical that is restricted by the federal government because it can be physically or psychologically addictive, possesses psychoactive properties, or is illegal to sell or distribute for various reasons.

From time to time, we receive questions from families or individuals looking for more information about controlled substances and how they relate to common prescriptions.

Below, we have pulled together a brief summary of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to help address some of these questions. As always, please speak with your doctor and pharmacist for additional information.

What is a Controlled Substance?

Controlled substances are chemicals that are regulated by the federal government, including both illegal drugs and legal medications.

The CSA was signed into law in 1970 as a way to curb drug dealing, trafficking, and abuse. It specifically names:

       Which drugs are controlled substances
       When it is illegal to make, sell or have controlled substances
       The punishments for breaking these laws

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is tasked with enforcing the CSA.

Controlled substances are broken down into five different groups, called schedules, based on how physically or psychologically addictive they are, how likely they are to be abused, and how legal controlled substances must be prescribed and dispensed for appropriate medical use. Each group is controlled by a different set of regulations.

What Do Patients Need to Know about Controlled Substances?

First, controlled substances are more commonly used than you might think. Lyrica, Codeine, Ambien, Valium, Adderall, anabolic steroids, and all narcotic painkillers are examples of drugs identified as controlled substances.

Second, your doctor and your pharmacist have to follow strict protocols when prescribing and dispensing these drugs – including how the prescription must be sent to the pharmacy and whether or not and how often they can be refilled without a new prescription. These protocols are monitored by the DEA and professionals who fail to follow them are breaking federal law.

If you understand the restrictions doctors and pharmacists must follow related to controlled substances, you can better plan for it if, or when, you need a new prescription or refill.

We all benefit from the careful use and monitoring of controlled substances. For additional information, please see the DEA’s Controlled Substances website.

Do you have another question for our pharmacist? Visit FamilyWize on Facebook and let us know.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

It Takes a Village to Raise a Healthy Child [Every Kid Healthy™ Week]

Every Kid Healthy™ Week is observed the last week of April each year to celebrate school health and wellness achievements. This special week highlights the connection between nutrition, physical fitness, and learning, and encourages schools to host events that promote and reinforce healthy eating, nutrition education, physical activity, and physical education.

The old saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is just as true now as it was hundreds of years ago. As we approach Every Kid Healthy Week, we wanted to share some of the modern “villagers” or resources available to families to help keep your children healthy.

Local School Districts
Regardless of whether you send your children to public or private schools, today’s educators build health and wellness into their curriculum more than ever before. Most children in the United States attend school for six hours a day and consume as much as half of their daily calories while at school. Because of that fact, the federal government has created programs like the USDA Farm to School Program, which helps schools to incorporate healthy local produce into their breakfast and lunch programs.

Local Park Districts
It is hard not to love Leslie Knope’s enthusiasm for her local park district on Parks and Rec, but in all seriousness, today’s modern park districts are doing incredible things to help raise healthy children in their communities. For example, the National Recreation and Park Association considers health and wellness to be one of its three core missions. Visit this page to read more about the organization’s national initiatives and how it improves parks and open spaces for the health of our children.

Local Pediatrician Offices and Clinics
Today, many pediatrician offices are doing more than just reactively treating ear infections and pink eye outbreaks.  They are proactively helping their young patients to tackle serious public health issues like obesity, drug abuse, and sports injuries. Check out the bulletin boards at your local pediatrician’s office for events and activities near you, or visit – a website created by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Your family’s local drugstore is more than just a place to pick up prescriptions. Your local pharmacist can help you understand how drugs may interact with one another, which medications may be best for your daughter’s sensitive stomach, and can advise you of when more cost-effective treatments may be available. The Free FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card can also play a role by helping your family save money on each and every prescription drug purchase. Use the Drug Price Lookup Tool to research the best prices in your area without ever leaving home and the online Medicine Cabinet to save your family’s frequent searches.

We are all villagers and the health of our children matters to all of us. Will you be participating in a local Every Kid Healthy™ Week event? Let us know on our Facebook page!