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How To Find Affordable Supplements Online

Author:

Justin Mares

Published Date:

January 31, 2024

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More than half of American adults use supplements regularly. Supplements have become an important part of our daily wellness routines. As more and more people opt to take a proactive (and preventative) approach towards the management of their own health, it’s likely supplement use will rise. 

Supplements can get quite pricey, especially for people who purchase for their whole family. People looking to spend wisely often seek deals online. This is what consumers need to know about sourcing high-quality affordable supplements online and how to tell if they’re actually getting a good deal.

1. Look for Reliable Supplements

We take supplements to help promote our health, and it only makes sense that ingredients in the supplements we take should be safe and responsibly sourced. If a supplement is suspiciously low priced, ask yourself why. High-quality ingredients don’t have to be extraordinarily expensive, but realistically, there’s never a time when they come dirt cheap, either.

It’s also helpful to check the supplements’ country of origin. Supplement laws are lax in some parts of the world, and many countries aren’t required to adhere to safe farming practices. Herbal supplements may have been grown in soil containing lead or mercury, and there’s even a chance that a supplement doesn’t actually contain what it claims to contain.

It’s also important to check the supplement’s “best by” or expiration date. Supplements that have been heavily marked down or put on clearance may be nearing their expiration date if it hasn’t already passed. You’re not getting a great deal if the supplement will expire before you have enough time to finish the bottle.

2. Check the Quantity and Serving Size on the Bottle

You may be overpaying for supplements if the bottle contains more than 30 servings, especially if you’ve never taken a supplement before. It may be more cost-effective to buy in bulk if you’ve regularly used a particular supplement for an extended period of time. It’s a wise idea to avoid bulk purchasing of supplements you’ve never tried before.

A supplement label should clearly tell you the following pieces of information:

  • How many total pills or capsules per bottle
  • How many total pills or capsules per serving
  • How many times a day you should use a serving

It takes about 30 days of consistent supplementation to experience a noticeable difference in your wellness when you begin a supplement regime. Keep in mind that 30 servings of a supplement may not be a 30-day supply. Some supplements are intended to be used twice or three times daily. You should always follow the recommendations on the bottle for the best results. 

If you find that a particular supplement isn’t working for you or helping you reach your wellness goals after 30 days, you don’t need to repurchase it. If you’re stuck with a 90-day supply of a supplement that doesn’t work for you, you’ve essentially wasted money. 

3. Look for Supplements for Multiple Ingredients

Some supplements work in unison to promote wellness. Your supplement regimen becomes more affordable when you choose a supplement that serves multiple purposes. For example, you can take turmeric on its own or turmeric with additional curcumin — and research suggests that turmeric with curcumin is more effective than turmeric on its own

Choosing a supplement that contains turmeric with additional curcumin provides the benefits of both ingredients while also combining the price tag. Multiple active ingredients in a single supplement simplify your wellness routine while saving you money. 

4. Shop With a Retailer That Accepts HSA/FSA Funds

Your HSA/FSA funds are designated for healthcare and wellness purchases. Vitamins and supplements fall under that umbrella. An increasing number of online retailers accept HSA/FSA funds as payment for many wellness purchases, including supplements — and shopping through Truemed makes it easy to find them. 

You already have the money set aside. Use it for its intended purpose, and save your personal cash for other important expenses. 

5. Consider Online Subscription Services Carefully

Subscription services for supplements and customized supplement packs can be helpful if you have a well-established supplement routine. You don’t have to worry about reordering or running out of the supplements you use every day. Just make sure that bespoke supplement services or “subscribe and save” services are actually saving you money. 

It may look like a deal to get everything delivered in one package, but you may contend with high shipping fees or other fees related to your subscription that ultimately drive up the price. It may also be difficult to cancel your subscription services or change your monthly order if you decide to add or remove supplements from your routine. 

6. Choose a Supplement Brand That Offers Refills

An environmentally friendly approach can also be an economical approach. Many companies are gravitating away from single-use packaging in favor of more sustainable metal or glass packaging. These companies often sell refill packs for durable, reusable supplement bottles. The packaging is a one-time investment, and your supplements are shipped in a sustainable bag that you empty into your primary container.

Refillable supplements save your wallet and the planet at the same time. If you regularly use supplements, consider how much you’ll save by going the refillable route. 

7. Take Advantage of Samples or Trial Size Supplements

A two-week supply of a supplement probably won’t be enough for you to tell if the supplement is meaningfully impacting your wellness. On the other hand, it’s plenty of time to tell how well your body tolerates the supplement. If a supplement leaves you with an upset stomach, digestive issues, or a rash, you’ll know it’s not the right supplement for you. You don’t have to commit to the price of a full-size bottle if you’re only testing the waters.

Companies that don’t offer samples or trial-size supplements may have a lenient return policy if you’ve used the supplement and determined that it’s not the right fit for you. Make sure to read the full return policy. You may be refunded in the form of store credit rather than a refund to your credit card or bank account. 

8. Stock Up During Supplement Sales

The average shelf life of most vitamins and supplements is two years. You can purchase a yearly supply of your supplements and vitamins during a large sale event to help you cut costs throughout the year. 

It’s important to store vitamins and supplements in a cool, dark environment to maintain their potency. Keep the lids securely shut and store them away from moisture or heat. If there are hot water pipes near your bathroom cabinets or if your supplement cabinet is above your stovetop, you can cause your supplements to degrade before you use them. A dresser drawer or a linen closet may be a better storage solution for the long-term preservation of your supplement haul.

9. Don’t Buy Into Brand-Name Hype

There are many luxury lifestyle brands that sell a wide array of very expensive wellness products. Many of these brands are adding niche supplements to their offerings, and the supplements often come at a hefty price. The price tag shouldn’t suggest that these supplements work better than any other supplements. Often, the active ingredients in the supplement they’re selling have never been clinically proven at all. 

If you’re interested in the active ingredient of a supplement, do a little research. Check for any quality studies of a supplement’s efficacy for its intended purpose. You can also do some price checking. A quick search will show you if another company is selling the same version of a supplement for significantly less. If you’re still interested in giving the supplement a try, opt for a generic version and skip the big brand tax. 

The Bottom Line

There are two important things to consider when determining how to find affordable supplements online. The first is the value of the supplement you’re purchasing, and the second is how you intend to purchase your supplements. 

Choose a reliable brand that offers great value to keep your costs reasonable, and carefully consider how you’re going to pay for your supplements. Do you want the money to come out of your pocket, or would you rather use a dedicated healthcare expense account?

Supplements help support your health and wellness. Shouldn’t they be considered a healthcare expense? Truemed is the easiest way for businesses to accept HSA/FSA funding for health-related purchases, like supplements and vitamins. 

Truemed can unlock HSA/FSA funds for purchases that your customers need to proactively prioritize their health and manage wellness concerns. Shop through Truemed to use your HSA/FSA for your wellness-based purchasesSources:

Sources:

Dietary Supplement Use Among Adults: United States | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How do I know if a dietary supplement contains what the label says it contains? | Sloan Kettering

Turmeric Probably Won’t Help Your Arthritis, But Curcumin Might | Arthritis Foundation

The Truth About Supplements: 5 Things You Should Know | Penn Medicine

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