Diabetes has made me frugal but I am not cheap

I was never a coupon clipper, until I became a diabetic. It started with test supplies and pharmacy coupons for my metformin. Strolling the internet for deals and anything I can find to save me money, believe me I was never like this and being a single young guy in my early 30’s, some of my friends who don’t know me very well tend to give me those funny looks when I pull my stack of coupons when I shop for groceries or pay for my meds but at this point I don’tcare.

There is a fine line between being frugal and being cheap, the other day I was listening to the radio and its been a common occurrence for the radio personalities and the media to bash Lebron James here in Cleveland because of a story where he went to a local steak house and spent over $ 800 on his friends and left a $10 dollar tip.
Is Lebron James cheap I don’t know, I wasn’t there and no one can distinctively say what happened, even though he did send a $ 200 note when the story broke out.
But before I offend his highness and this becomes the tipping point get it “tipping point” that makes him bolt for NYC in 9 months. Let me say this, I don’t care what he does as long as he gives us that much needed championship here in Cleveland.
If that means getting a free lifetime of XO steaks as long as he stays in Cleveland then so be it…I will chip in my 2 cents to make that happen.

What has this to do with diabetes and being frugal well I will tell you.

I brought a coupon to my latest family gathering at a restaurant. I normally don’t eat out, I think its a waste of money but since it was a family get together, I went anyway and I got sum embarrassing looks when I presented the coupon to the waitress and it kinda ticked me off that I had to explain myself to the people who know me the most, OK so its a macho thing, guys don’t carry coupons around, my uncle practically told me but I honestly didn’t care, we left with a 15% savings on our meal and for the life of me, I couldn’t fathom why it was such a big deal. I don’t know maybe it really has become a part of me and to me that’s a very good thing.

Diabetes is 98% behavior and 2% everything else and to make significant changes in the way you manage it doesn’t have to all happen at once, the choice that we make for change, will permeate your whole life.
Its not just the healthy eating or the exercise but it encompasses everything else in our lives.

The first time I was diagnosed with diabetes, I never bothered to manage the disease, mostly because I was UN insured and I could not afford to buy the medications and testing supplies I needed, plus I was 19 at the time and I thought I was invincible.
It took a near death experience to force me into where I am today. I may still be uninsured but that does not mean that I cant fight this disease effectively.
I stated by clipping one or two coupons for my diabetes medication and supplies honestly because I could not afford paying for them otherwise but I am the king of savings today, If there is any way to get my diabetes management for free or cheap, I know about it. It is not a choice however but a necessity, I just will not let diabetes win this fight.

So next time you are faced with a challenge, In your diabetes management and in life, I always advice anyone to start with small steps and small changes, you might surprise yourself one day when you look up and you have surpassed all your goals.

Ronald Gregory Mutimba is a type 2 diabetic a full time blogger on diabetic issues, you can find his work at his blog at diabetes journey

Beautifully written Ronald…and I agree with you one hundred percent! I am insured but my insurance does not cover any of my diabetes supplies nor medications. The pharmaceutical company “Sanofi Aventis” that carries my metformin have a discount card that I use for more than a year now. They have a scheme that for the first 3 months they will give a discount of 20%. The next 3 month they offer 30%. And on the 6th month onwards, one is entitled 50%. This is something that my doctor actually gave me when she prescribed the meds. I have the option of using or not but I DO use it consistently. Not to mention the great savings i have had. This gives me the opportunity to purchase more test strips which are far more expensive.

Being unreasonably proud is a being a “loser”.Being frugal is being intelligent.

Thanks teena, I currently use the giant eagle savings plan, I think its only in Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland, though…I get my metformin and prinivil scripts for jus 4 dollars for the month. I call it my asset distribution program (my trying to sound smart)…with specific assets (dollars) a month when I can shift my money to something else, by saving on another, it helps make my management easier…

Power and health to you, Ronald:) I too know what it is like to be frugal to manage your diabetes as well as possible. Sometimes folks get in a funk that they do not think they deserve the best care, just because they lost their job or do not have coverage…we are here to say, yes you do! Intensive management keeps us well, safe and participating in our communities. It is the best investment we as individuals, and we as a society can make:) Being creative is part of being a person w/ diabetes…especially in a system w/ rationed care. I have had to get supplies on Craig’s List, Ebay, etc…and I HAVE insurance! $1,200/yr does not go far, especially w/ the cost of strips, insulin, etc. So, thanks for posting about Ronald…it is important that we all understand that the current insurance system does not work for a lot of us, but we need to power on and somehow, get the best of what is available to manage what is a life long disease. Be well:)

You are right patricia, when you are fighting, diabetes, it is not just the disease it is the life as well. A Higher quality of Life can be achieved by all of us with just a few bright thinking outside the box ideas, we should never let diabetes keep us down.