No one likes spending money unnecessarily. Advice on driving frugally to lower fuel bills, or tips to save on electricity are common as these are essentials most of us can not do without in our daily lives. Therefore, to the fitness or weight training junkies out there, why not too save money on those equally essential supplements. Take a look at our 8 tips below:
1. Buy in bulk
Economies of scale usually make purchasing multiples of something cheaper than buying just one. Often you will find discounts on buying more than one item. Some retailers website’s have discounts hard coded into their systems for customers ordering items in bulk. Many retailers offer free postage on orders over a certain value, too, which will save you ever more.
Can you say with some certainty that you will continue to use a supplement for the foreseeable future? If so, take advantage and buy in multiples. Most supplements will last last many months in their sealed containers.
Many brands, particularly whey protein, offer their products in various sizes; usually the largest size will offer the best value for money. This can add up to a sizeable saving over the course of a year. If you’re going to buy it again anyway, why not go for the largest size on offer?
2. Unflavoured whey protein
Do you struggle to find a whey protein that’s available in a palatable flavour? If so, it may be worth trying unflavoured whey protein. Unflavoured whey is typically available in bulk (multiple kg’s) sizes, and because it is usually ‘un-branded’, is substantially cheaper than equivalent brand name varieties.
The trade off is obviously a lack of flavour, which may bother some. A quality unflavoured whey will have little to no taste when mixed with water. Flavouring whey is easy, popular mixers include squash, crusha (milk shake flavouring), fruits or cocoa powder – but anything with flavour that can be blended into a shake could be used.
3. Buy online
This may be obvious (considering what you’re reading) but online retailers typically sell supplements considerably cheaper than high street stores or gyms. This can be put down to lower overheads and increased competition online that keeps prices down.
Finding the best price on your favourite brand is as easy as clicking into different retailers websites, or using price comparison websites (such as this one). Sign up to retailers newsletters to receive notification of promotional discounts or special offers.
4. Consider your goals
Do you really need a dozen different supplements? Do you even know what exactly each does? What benefit are you actually getting? Is there a cheaper way to get the same desired effect? Lots of answers to consider.
Clever marketing gimmicks can lead to impulse buys where the consumer isn’t really sure what they are getting or if it’s effective.
Before placing your next order, ask yourself what benefit are you really getting from each item in the basket? Do you need a supplement to assist you in shedding fat, gaining muscle or bulking up? Chances are you won’t be getting value for money out of everything. Read the descriptions carefully, if in doubt search for reviews.
5. Expiry dates
Much like food from the supermarket, the majority of supplements will have an expiry or best before date. Consider a whey protein supplement, for example, which is actually a packaged food stuff and as such expires in much the same way that other food stuffs do. Being a dry powder stored in a sealed container it will last much longer than a stick of cheese or bottle of milk.
What does the expiration date actually mean? The date specified on the packaging is the last date the manufacturer guarantees the product will be at its highest level of quality. Therefore, if stored properly, many supplements can be used past this date without any health risks, however they may lose some part of their effectiveness (however that would apply to the product in question) and the taste could change.
Extend the life of your supplements by keeping them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
6. Buy only what you need
There are many, many supplements on the market; far more than anyone could ever buy, let alone require, and yet it is all too easy to purchase the latest fat burner or new NO2 maximiser containing scientifically proven xyz ingredient. Before every purchase, simply ask yourself what your goals are and how this supplement can help you achieve those goals. Using common sense logic should help you avoid impulse wasteful impulse buys.
7. Non-brand names
You may feel a certain attachment to the usual brand you’ve been using the past few years, but perhaps deep down you know it is expensive compared to the alternatives. Perhaps it’s time to give the cheaper non-brand names a try.
Think the non-branded alternatives uses inferior quality ingredients? This may be so, but in many cases different brands buy exactly the same ingredients from a single manufacturer. Chances are the packaging isn’t as enticing and there may not be any exaggerated claims on the label, but if seeing results from your supplements is priority then this should be no problem.
Secondly, pay careful attention to the ingredients list on the label. Often there may be only one or two effective ingredients, with the rest being included as fillers to make it appear the supplement offers more. This is especially the case with diet aids, which almost always contain caffeine to make the consumer ‘feel’ something, making them believe it is having a positive effect.
8. Cheaper alternatives
Any supplement that gains popularity will usually be released again in a different guise, sometimes with modifications of the original ingredient, a change in packaging or combined something else. While this is fine, it benefits the supplement brands by keeping interest in their products high and potentially confusing the consumer into believing the new product is better.
Perhaps the best example of process lies with Creatine. The original compound, Creatine monohydrate, has been on the market for many years now and is consumer by thousands of fitness trainees all over the world. To keep interest high, supplement companies have developed new variations on the original compound, possibly the worst of which being Creatine Serum, a drinkable form of Creatine that had poor reviews and was found to be much less effective than Creatine Monohydrate. Creatine Esythl Esther (CEE) is the newest compound, and while some claim it is noticeably better than Creatine Monohydrate, many others doubt this. CEE is more expensive than Monohydrate, so while Creatine Monohydrate may not be considered new any more, it could still be the most effective and cheapest.
If ever in doubt, do some research for yourself. Reviews are usually easy to find.