Stop paying so much for vitamins

@Money September 9, 2011: 5:27 PM ET
vitamin costs

(MONEY Magazine) -- Few health products have more price variation than supplements. Scan the drugstore aisle and you'll see some multivitamins priced at $1 for a month's supply -- and some at $73.

The more expensive ones often contain higher vitamin levels than those recommended by the U.S. government, but "they aren't necessarily better," says Paul Thomas of the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements.

A recent study of 38 popular multis by independent testing firm found that 13 didn't even contain the levels claimed on the label.

Send The Help Desk your questions about cutting health care costs.

Of those that do contain established RDAs of key vitamins, according to the study, the best-priced ones are listed below.

Multivitamin buys for:
  • All adults
  • Nature's Way Alive! Daily Energy
  • Cost: $3.17 a month
  • Savings vs. similar brand: 32%
  • Women
  • Walgreens One Daily for Women
  • Cost: $1.95 a month
  • Savings vs. similar brand: 24%
  • Men
  • Berkley & Jensen Men's Daily
  • Cost: $1.02 a month
  • Savings vs. similar brand: 60%
  • Children
  • Flintstones Plus Bones Building Support
  • Cost: $3.55 a month
  • Savings vs. similar brand: 24%

NOTE: Savings vs. multivitamins studied that had similar content.  To top of page

Help! We need a makeover
Young dad, $15,000 in credit card debt
Readers' Choice

Carlos Rodriguez is trying to rid himself of $15,000 in credit card debt, while paying his mortgage and saving for his son's college education.

$400,000 portfolio, too many holdings
Readers' Choice

Susan Carson and Laura DeLallo make $225,000 and have half a million in retirement savings, but their sprawling portfolios is proving hard to manage.

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.82%3.84%
15 yr fixed2.96%2.94%
5/1 ARM3.25%3.31%
30 yr refi3.82%3.85%
15 yr refi3.02%3.02%
Rate data provided
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
CNNMoney Sponsors

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2015. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2015 and/or its affiliates.