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What do you think of when you hear the word “hospital”?
Sickness, sterile, sadness? How about expensive?
I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals in the past couple of years. Not only are the medical costs high, living itself is expensive when stuck in a hospital room or waiting room. There are a few things I’ve learned to make being in hospital or visiting a relative in the hospital cheaper.
Pack Your Own Snacks & Drinks
If you are going to be stuck in a waiting room waiting for a loved one to finish surgery, those vending machines can start to look tasty. While the snacks are yummy, the prices are crazy. By simply planning ahead, you can bring your own snacks and drinks and avoid paying $5.00 for a small bag of chips. And yes, if you are in the hospital for days, whether as a patient or a visitor, you will be tempted to do just that.
Keep an Overnight Bag in Car
Even if you are going in for a routine surgery that’s supposed to be outpatient, having an overnight bag in your car can be helpful. In medical situations, you just never know when things are going to get more complicated. If by chance, you or your loved one has to stay overnight, it’s better to be prepared. You won’t have to spend the gas to drive home and gather what you need. The savings are even higher the further away you are from home. How many of us would be more likely to head to the nearest store to get what we need over driving home? I know I would for sure. Having an overnight bag in the car can save you a bundle.
Ask For Extended Parking Discounts
Hospital parking is never any fun. That may be because I despise parking garages but also because the fees really add up quick. If you are going to be in the hospital visiting a loved one for a few days, ask about a parking discount. Most hospitals have paid parking garages but they will often discount the fees for “frequent parkers”. It doesn’t hurt to ask if you can have discount.
Avoid the Gift Shop
I try to avoid hospital gift shops whenever possible. Yes, there are a lot of cute gifts but there are also a lot of unnecessary and overpriced things in them too. When you’re in the hospital or visiting someone in one, you’re emotions are already heightened. If you are an emotional shopper (like me!) it’s best to avoid the gift shop in emotionally charged situations.
It’s never any fun being in the hospital or visiting a relative in one. (Unless it’s the maternity ward! New babies are awesome!) You and your loved ones don’t need the added stress of worrying about the cost of visiting. Hopefully, now you can make the experience a non-expensive one.
What is the one thing you always pack for a hospital trip?