While living with diabetes takes dedication and diligence, the cost associated with the most effective methods of management can be quite high. The price tags on the testing strips needed to ensure you are testing as much as your doctor recommends can add up. Sometimes, many patients with diabetes are forced to choose between buying groceries, paying bills, or affording their medical supplies.
This impossible situation has made it more difficult for those managing their diabetes than it really needs to be. Large retailers such as Walgreens have come out with more affordable options for testing blood sugar levels for those living with diabetes. But how do these meters and their test strips compare to other more popular brands on the market?
In this review we’ll discuss the three different meter and test strip options available from Walgreens.
- Walgreens True Metrix Bluetooth Meter
- Walgreens True Metrix
- Walgreens True 2 Go
We’ll take a detailed look into their specific features, initial cost, ongoing costs as well as much more. If you are someone who finds affording your testing supplies to be a bit of a challenge, this article is for you.
Walgreens True Metrix Bluetooth Meter
The Walgreens True Metrix Bluetooth Meter has all the basic abilities of your typical blood sugar meter. There is no coding necessary, so this helps to save time with testing, which is great for those needing to find out their blood sugar level fast. Getting results is pretty quick as well. Most other brand name meters on the market take upwards of 5 seconds to receive your blood sugar results, which is pretty fast, when you consider the meters used in the hospital setting can take upwards of 20 seconds. The True Metrix Bluetooth Meter however, goes a step further in the quickness of receiving your results with a 4 second time wait.
The True Metrix Bluetooth meter also gives you the option of using alternative testing sites, to help save those fingers from consistent scarring. The 0.5 microliter size for the sample also allows you to need much less blood than some other traditional meters on the market.
Blood Sugar Data Management
One of the most important parts of diabetes management, other than taking your medications is keeping track of your blood sugar levels (make sure to download our diabetes management starter guide). All modern meters on the market feature data saving abilities allowing you to store results for a certain period of time. The True Metrix Bluetooth meter stores up to 1,000 results including their date and time. In addition to blood sugar level readings, you will also have the ability to include “tags” which each reading.
These tags include:
- Before meal
- After meal
What’s nice about this feature is that you can include these tags to give you and your doctor more information when it comes to determining the best regimen for your diabetes management. This allows you to indicate whether low blood sugars may have been caused by increased activity periods, or if they were due to another reason. Having a more detailed picture about your blood sugar levels can really help to determine what is really going on and where changes may need to be made.
Bluetooth Smart Technology
The Bluetooth smart technology on this meter gives you the option to wirelessly send your blood sugar data to your mobile device. Most everyone has a smartphone now and uses a good deal of mobile applications. Being able to keep your data in one convenient location on your smart phone or tablet is definitely a plus. The mobile Bluetooth feature is compatible with Android devices 4.4 and later as well as iPhone 4S and later versions.
The strip release button removes the test strip easily after use. Additionally, you can set up to four different testing reminders to ensure you test and check your blood sugar levels frequently throughout the day.
Getting a look of how well your blood sugar control is can be helpful in determining if your current treatment regimen is working. The True Metrix Bluetooth meter gives you a look at an average blood sugar reading for a period of 7, 14, 30, 60, and 90 days. This can allow you to get a better picture of what your a1c level may be at your next doctor’s visit.
The Walgreens True Metrix Meter is currently available for out of pocket purchase to help provide you with a more affordable option for those in need. Additionally, it is eligible for most flexible spending account reimbursements. The cost for the meter is initially $24.99 but a mail in rebate included in the box provides a full rebate on the meter, making it FREE after sending the completed forms in.
The test strips used by this meter is the Walgreens True Metrix Blood Glucose Test strips. They come in boxes of 50 for a price of $39.99. Additionally, Walgreens offers a member’s rewards program that gives you points on your purchases to use for discounts for further items. Some coupons are also available to meters that give you up to $20.00 off each box of 50 from time to time, making them even more affordable.
Walgreens True Metrix
What’s the Difference Between the True Metrix and True Metrix Bluetooth Systems?
If you’re considering using one or the other, I’d have to recommend the Bluetooth system. Both systems feature the same basic functions.
- 0.5 microliter sample
- 4 testing reminders feature
- Alternative site testing
- Strip release button
- No Coding necessary
- Results in 4 seconds
- Event tagging
- Uses True Metrix strips
- 3-volt battery
However, the Bluetooth meter also features additional functions that the original True Metrix does not.
- 60 and 90 day averages
- Mobile device compatibility
- Up to 1,000 result storage versus 500 with the True Metrix
The initial price for the True Metrix system is only $9.99 which is slightly lower than the Bluetooth system. However, similar to the Bluetooth system, the True Metrix also features a mail in rebate which makes the meter completely FREE after all information has been submitted. So considering both meters are free of charge after mail in rebates, it seems like a more sensible solution to go with the more advanced system that provides you with additional features that allow you to more accurately monitor your diabetes management.
Walgreens True 2 Go Glucose Meter
This compact version of the True Metrix brand meters offers better portability than the other larger meters.
All basic functions are the same as the other True Metrix meters including:
- No coding required
- 4 second results
- 0.5 microliter sample
- Up to 500 results stored
- 7,14,30 day averages
- Downloading function for data management
- 3-volt battery
- Uses True Metrix test strips
You will notice that the advanced feature of event tagging is not available with this more compact version. The main benefit to using the True 2 Go meter is that it allows you to discretely keep your blood sugar meter with you while on the go. If you don’t have the room to keep a larger meter with you, this meter may be the better option for you. However, for better data management and overall blood sugar control, I’d definitely recommend also having another one of the True Metrix meters as well. The event tagging feature is a great way to keep track of your levels in a more accurate manner.
While you still can do this more detailed data collection with the True 2 Go meter, it requires a manual method of recording your blood sugar levels and any particular notes about those readings via a diabetes logbook.
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For those looking to save on diabetic testing supplies, the Walgreens brand of True Metrix meters are comparable to the other more common brand name companies. The pricing structure is more affordable, especially when special discounts are leveraged, making these meters a top choice among many on a tighter budget.