Vitamin supplements are an integral part of the American diet. Look in any pantry or refrigerator, and you’re bound to find at least one bottle of vitamin C. IbisWorld reported that Americans are going to spend more than $37 billion in vitamins and other dietary supplements in 2022.
In an economy where everyone is feeling the pinch of inflation and fear of recession, Americans are reducing their non-essential expenses — it could mean your vitamins might have taken a back seat in your budget. If you’re already taking vitamins, you might be wondering if it’s worth it. Although they are not a substitute for a nutritious diet and regular exercise, research shows that many of these supplements can contribute to multiple health benefitsso it may be worth keeping them within your budget.
What are vitamins?
Vitamins are organic substances which play a vital role in our overall health and nutrition. The 13 essential vitamins help support and strengthen nearly every organ and function, including bone strength, immune health, and metabolism. They are found in lots of different foods such as cereals, meat, fruits and vegetables, and with a little luck and a little attention to your diet, you will get most of the vitamins you need through what you eat.
According penn medicinewhen taken with a balanced diet and under the direction of your doctor, vitamin supplements can provide additional support by addressing vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
Here are 10 ways to save on supplements.
1. Improve your diet
In terms of health benefits, the best way to get the vitamins you need is to include them in your diet. It’s also less expensive, so it’s the best place to start saving money on vitamins. short on B12? Add more meat, poultry, fish or fortified soy milk to your diet. need more Vitamin E? Increase your intake of leafy greens, vegetable oils, whole grains and nuts.
Learn itof the 13 essential vitamins and plan your grocery store visits and cooking schedule accordingly.
2. Consult your doctor
Although vitamins can be essential for your health, it is possible to overdo them. Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K can be toxic when pushed to excess, so it is important to know the appropriate limits. You should always consult a doctor before starting any supplement regimen.
Talking with your doctor can also save you money. Your doctor can advise you onand those you don’t have to worry about. This way you only spend money on the ones you need.
3. Opt for multivitamins
If you take supplements for several different vitamins, your costs can add up quickly. Ais probably a more economical option. These are usually designed to provide a well-balanced mix of vitamins to supplement the ones you need most, and they’re much cheaper than buying individual vitamins.
However, if you know you are only lacking in one or two vitamins, it may be more cost effective for you to buy supplements for these instead of a multivitamin – your doctor can help you choose the option. that suits you.
4. Cut vitamins in half
Since most of us get most of the vitamins we need in our daily diet, you may only need a little extra to help you get through this. If you don’t need the full daily dose provided by your vitamin supplements, you can consider cutting them in half to extend the life of each bottle and save a little money.
If you go this route, be sure not to take time-release vitamins or pills that have a enteric coated. These products are designed to stay intact until they are in your body, so cutting them will reduce their effectiveness and may even be dangerous.
5. Shop online
There are probably a few vitamin supermarkets near you, but these might not be your best bet if you’re trying to save money. As with many products these days, shopping online is usually the way to find the best prices.
Online retailers like Amazon — and even big-box store websites like Walmart — are often the cheapest places to buy supplements. It’s also worth checking out the many online vitamin retailers, such as Vitacost or The Vitamin Shoppe, for great deals. Some even havewhich can save you money. Just be sure to research the company first so you know you’re dealing with a reputable supplier.
6. Check your health insurance
Most vitamins are available over-the-counter, which generally disqualifies them from any health insurance coverage or reimbursement plan. However, if your doctor prescribes a particular supplement for you to treat a medical condition, it may be eligible for coverage. Some insurance plans allow this, and flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts often reimburse these. doctor prescribed expenses too.
To see if this option is right for you, check the details of your plan and discuss it with your doctor.
7. Consider generic brands
As with any other product, vitamins that carry a well-known brand are often sold at a high price. But that great name doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better product. In many cases, you can get the exact same quality of vitamins by buying a generic or lesser-known brand. This habit can save you a lot of money in the long run.
If opting for a more affordable brand sounds appealing, be sure to check the label for ingredients. The vitamins you choose must also meet standards set by third-party testing organizations to ensure quality. You should look for these three testing companies: ConsumerLab.com, American Pharmacopoeia and NSF International.
8. Buy in bulk
Once you’re committed to a specific vitamin regimen, you can save money by stocking up. Buying in bulk will usually get you access to discounted prices or special offers, not to mention free shipping if you buy online.
Most vitamin supplements have a fairly long shelf life – as long as you follow the storage instructions. Still, it’s a good idea to check the expiration date before you buy to make sure you’ll use up your supply before it expires. If you don’t use it before, you risk losing a lot of money.
9. Look for coupons and rewards
Even when the retail price of a particular vitamin shocks you, there are still likely ways to cut costs. Major vitamin brands often offer discount codes on their website or in stores. Moreover, there are many sites, like Coupons.comwho collect these offers and make them easy to find.
10. Do your research
After all your hard work finding great deals on your vitamins, it would be especially frustrating to find out that the supplements you’ve chosen don’t even provide the health benefits they claim to provide. To make sure you’re getting what you pay for, complete your research by checking your potential purchases with an independent supplement review site. ConsumerLab, Verywell Fit, Healthline, and SupplementReviews.com are all reputable sites that can help you get the most out of your investment in your health.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.