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Poll: Most women consider themselves bargain shoppers

BY Allison Cerra

YONKERS, N.Y. — More than three-quarters of women regard themselves as bargain hunters, a new national poll featured in the May issue of ShopSmart magazine found.

For these women, saving money and the thrill of a deal are the prime motivators, according to the poll, which was conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. Among 1,010 female adults ages 18 years and older, 76% considered themselves bargain hunters, with 10% noting they enjoy the challenge of finding the best deal. Additionally, 65% of women typically opt to purchase items when there is a sale, versus buying items at full price.

But while 40% bargain-shop because of a limited budget, and one-quarter of women noted they hate to overspend, more than 4-out-of-5 women (83%) still would search for a bargain if money was no object.

When it comes to savings, coupon usage is widespread, with 91% of those surveyed disclosing they use coupons to get a better deal. Among these respondents, 51% print coupons from the Internet, 29% use competitor coupons and 11% use coupons directly off their cell phone.

So where are these women shopping for the best deals? The top go-to locations named by respondents were mass merchandisers, dollar stores and discount stores.

The news comes at the heels of reports that disclosed looming food and gas prices this summer.

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Study: Intensive diabetes education programs could improve blood-sugar control

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — A diabetes education program developed by Johns Hopkins researchers significantly improved long-term blood-sugar control among patients.

According to findings published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the program taught low-income, poorly educated diabetics to better manage their disease. Researchers divided 56 participants into two groups, providing one group with an intensive problem-solving course that spanned more than nine sessions and covered standard diabetes self-management and care, as well as ways to manage financial, social, resource and interpersonal issues related to the disease. The latter received a condensed two-session version of the program.

Three months after the end of the program, participants in the intensive group saw their hemoglobin A1C levels fall by an average of 0.7, compared with their levels before the start of the program. Levels below 5.7 are considered normal, while the A1C target for people with diabetes is below 7. Participants in the two-session group, however, did not see any improvement.

"We know that people need information to manage their disease, but having knowledge of the facts is not enough for behavioral change," said Felicia Hill-Briggs, an associate professor in the general internal medicine division at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study’s lead author. "With this novel approach, we have found a way to give people the skills to solve problems in all areas of their lives so that they can take diabetes off the back burner and start caring for their health."

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Walgreens’ quarterly dividend increases

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — The board of directors for Walgreens declared a quarterly dividend that was 27.3% above last year.

The dividend, valued at 17.5 cents per share, is payable June 11 to shareholders of record May 20.

Walgreens noted that it has paid a dividend in 314 straight quarters (or 78 years) and has raised its dividend for 35 consecutive years.

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