Vitamin supplements are an integral part of diet. You can find vitamin supplements in every household’s refrigerator and pantry. IbisWorld estimates that Americans will spend over $37 billion in vitamins and other dietary supplementation in 2022.
Americans are cutting back on unnecessary spending in an economy that is experiencing inflation and fear of recession. This could mean that vitamins may have been put on the back burner. You might be wondering if taking vitamins is worth it if you already take them. While they are not a substitute for regular exercise and a healthy diet, research has shown that supplements can have multiple health benefits. It may be worthwhile to keep them in your budget.
What are vitamins?
Vitamins are organic substances which play an important role in our overall health, nutrition, and well-being. The essential vitamins support and strengthen almost every organ and function, including bone health, immunity, metabolism, and bone strength. You can find them in many foods, including grains, meats, fruits, and vegetables. With a little luck, you will get the majority of your vitamins through what you eat.
Penn Medicine says that vitamin supplements can be supplemented with a healthy diet and guidance from your doctor to fill in any vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
Here are 10 ways you can save on supplements
1. Improve your diet
Vitamins are good for your health and can be included in your daily diet. This is also a great place to save money on vitamins. Are you low on vitamin B12? You can add more meat, poultry and fish to your diet. Do you need more vitamin E? Increase your intake of leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, whole grain and nuts.
2. Consult your doctor
Vitamins are essential for your health but it is possible to take too many. Vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are fat-soluble vitamins, can be toxic if taken in excess. Before you start any supplement regimen, consult your doctor.
Talking to your doctor can help you save money. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best vitamins and the ones that you shouldn’t worry about. This will ensure that you only pay for the vitamins you actually need.
3. Multivitamins are a good option
Supplements for multiple vitamins can quickly add up. Multivitamins are more affordable. They are usually designed to give you a balanced mix of vitamins that will help you get the most out of your vitamins. Additionally, they are much cheaper than individual vitamins.
If you are only aware of your deficiencies in one or two vitamins it might be cheaper to buy supplements for them instead. Your doctor will help you choose the right option for you.
4. Reduce vitamins by half
Most people get the majority of the vitamins they need from their daily diets. You may only need a small amount of vitamin supplements to help you get over the hump. You can reduce the amount of vitamins you take by half, which will prolong the shelf life and help you save money.
This route is not recommended if you are taking time-release vitamins and pills with an enteric coating. These products are meant to remain intact until they reach your body. Cutting them can reduce their effectiveness, and even make it dangerous.
5. Online shopping
Although there are likely to be a few vitamin superstores in your area, these might not be the best option if you want to save money. Online shopping is often the best way to get the lowest prices, as is the case for many products.
Amazon and other big-box retailers like Walmart are some of the best places to purchase supplements online. You might also want to check out online vitamin retailers like Vitacost and The Vitamin Shoppe for great deals. You can even save money with subscriptions. Make sure you research the company thoroughly to ensure you are dealing with a trustworthy vendor.
6. Examine your health insurance
Many vitamins can be purchased over-the-counter, which generally excludes them from any insurance coverage or reimbursement plans. If your doctor prescribes a supplement to treat a specific medical condition, you may be eligible for coverage. This is possible with some insurance plans. Flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts often reimburse doctor-prescribed expenses.
Check your plan details to see if you qualify and talk with your doctor.
7. Consider generic brands
Vitamins with a well-known brand name are often more expensive than other products. However, a big brand name does not necessarily mean that you are getting a better product. You can often get the same quality vitamins from a generic or less-known brand. This can help you save a lot of money over the long-term.
Look at the ingredients label carefully if you are interested in a cheaper brand. To ensure quality, the vitamins you choose must meet standards set forth by third-party testing agencies. These three companies are worth looking for: ConsumerLab.com (US Pharmacopeia), NSF International (NSF International).
8. Bulk Purchases
Stocking up can help you save money once you have committed to a particular vitamin regimen. You can often get discounted prices and special deals by buying bulk. If you order online, you will also receive free shipping.
Vitamin supplements generally have a long shelf life provided you follow the storage instructions. It’s a good idea, however, to verify the expiration date of any vitamin supplements before you purchase. This will ensure that you don’t run out of your supply. You could lose a lot of money if you don’t use your supply before the expiration date.
9. Use coupons and other rewards to save money
There are likely ways to reduce the price, even if the retail price tag for a particular vitamin shocks you. Many major vitamin brands offer discounts codes online or in-store. These discounts can be found on many websites, such as Coupons.com.
To earn cashback or rewards, you can also use shopping rewards apps like Rakuten or MyPoints. Many retailers offer their own rewards programs.
10. Do your research
It would be frustrating after all the effort you put into finding great deals on vitamins. Make sure to do your research and check out any potential purchases on an independent supplement review site. ConsumerLab, Verywell Fit, Healthline and SupplementReviews.com are all reputable sites that can help you ensure you’ll get the most out of investing in your health.