Illustration of women with vitamin D bottle.

Vitamins and supplements are essential health items in many people’s pantries and medicine cabinets. However, they can quickly — and substantially — add to a grocery bill. Knowing how to shop for vitamins can help you get the most out of your grocery budget without sacrificing your health priorities.

So, if you find you’re spending more than you want to on vitamins, try these strategies for saving a few dollars.

How to save money on vitamins

The first step in reducing your spending on vitamins is knowing how much you’re spending already. So, use an app, spreadsheet or a simple notepad to add up how much you spend on vitamins each month. This can be as simple as recording:

  • The specific vitamins you’re buying
  • The doses per package
  • Where you’re buying them
  • How often you’re buying them

The cost of the vitamins you purchase depends on many factors, such as what brand you buy, where you buy and the quantities you buy. So, look for trends in your notes and identify opportunities to spend less. For example:

  • Could you replace several individual vitamins with a single multivitamin?
  • Could you buy generic vitamins instead of a specific brand?
  • Have you consulted with your doctor about which vitamins you actually need?
  • Have you compared prices at different retailers, including online stores?
  • Can you buy in bulk?
  • Are you using vitamin coupons from our website?

Taking these steps can help reduce the overall cost of your vitamins.

Where to buy vitamins

Where you buy your vitamins can play a significant role in how much you’re spending. So, be sure to compare prices from online retailers, membership stores, grocery stores and specialty outlets after identifying exactly which vitamins you need. If you’re not sure what you should expect to spend on average, ConsumerLab lists price ranges for common vitamins and supplements that you can use as a starting point. Simply buying your regular vitamin regimen from a different retailer could make a big difference in price.

For example, compared to your local pharmacy, big-box and membership stores like Sam’s Club and Costco likely offer larger quantities of what you need at a lower-per-price rate. However, while shopping at membership stores may save money, it may also result in overbuying, or, having more of a supplement than you can get through, ultimately leading to waste. So, if you choose to buy in bulk, check the sell-by dates to determine whether you can realistically consume them before they expire.

Finding the best vitamin at the best price

Once you’ve deduced which supplements you want/need to take and you’ve established your ideal vitamin budget, use smart strategies like comparison shopping and coupons to get the highest-quality option without overpaying. You can shop with confidence knowing that you’re making the best choices for your health — and your wallet.