The Expense of Vitamins and a Healthy Lifestyle

I just had a conversation with a friend the other day about how unaffordable vitamins and fruits and vegetables are.

We all know that eating healthy food along with exercise and vitamin supplementation is essential to our overall health and the health of our eyes. However, the high cost of doing these things can make it extremely difficult (and stressful). If you ask me, this is a huge problem that more people need to be talking about. Especially those of us who NEED these things in order to help preserve our vision for as long as possible.

Healthy eating is expensive

It’s really no wonder why many families eat off of the dollar menu at fast-food restaurants or buy unhealthy sugar and preservative infused foods at the grocery store. I understand that a lot of this is the convenience factor, but some of the struggle is the price of healthy food as well.

The cost of healthy food

Why would I spend $8.99 on a quart of strawberries (I literally just painstakingly did this last week and they weren’t even that great) when I could get a loaf of bread (sugar), a jar of ‘fruit’ preserves (sugar), ‘fruit’ snacks (sugar) and some ‘fruit’ juice boxes (sugar) for the same cost? Throw in some chips and you’ve got lunch for an entire week for your kids.

For those of us dealing with macular degeneration, it really isn’t an option to not buy fruits and vegetables. They are essential to the health of our eyes and ultimately play a huge role in preserving our vision.

Vitamins are extremely expensive

Certain nutrients, like lutein and zeaxanthin, are important to those of us with macular degeneration. If we don’t eat enough of these nutrients within our diet, then we supplement them with vitamins.

Well, that’s easier said than done. Vitamins are extremely expensive!

The cost price of my vitamin shopping list

If I paid full price for JUST the vitamins my children and I take in a month it would break down like this:

  • Children’s daily multivitamin gummies (two a day times two kids): $12.99 for 180 gummies, this bottle would last my family a month and a half
  • Children’s daily probiotic gummies (one a day times two kids): $11.99 for 30 gummies, so I need two bottles per month for my kids = $23.98
  • Ocuvite for me (one a day): $16.99 for 30 pills
  • Probiotic for me (one a day): $33.95 for 45 pills
  • Acidophilus/second specific probiotic for me (one a day): $14.49 for 60 pills
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids for me (three a day): $21.95 for 45 pills, I need two bottles per month = $43.90
  • Daily multivitamin for me (two a day): $41.50 for 60 pills
  • CoQ10 for me (one a day): $24.99 for 90 pills

Not to mention the two prescription medications I take daily for other health needs, partly paid for by insurance, partly paid for out of pocket at the pharmacy. Annnd, just like that, my total cost for vitamin supplements per month is $212.79 or over $2,500.00 annually.


Quick Tip: Please keep in mind that these are not vitamin suggestions for anyone. These are the vitamin supplements I have researched and choose to take and give to my children for our own specific health needs. It’s important to remember that we all have different needs and respond differently to supplements. Understanding what is best for you requires a discussion with your doctor along with some research.

Let's not forget about excercise

Exercising is important for those of us struggling with macular degeneration. Not only does it allow the nutrients we ingest to be absorbed to their full potential, but it also helps us maintain a healthier body weight.

In an article I wrote titled Why People With Macular Degeneration Don’t Just Exercise to Get Skinny, I explain that the lighter our weight is, the less pressure is pulling on our retinas. The less pressure, the less opportunity for a problem such as a retinal tear.

Gym memberships can be costly. They also sometimes try to ‘rope’ you into signing a contract and paying a monthly fee even if you don’t show up. And let’s be honest here, sometimes showing up is HARD.

Balancing frugality and health

I am both a frugal teacher mama and a huge advocate for health. I am not willing to give up my family’s health because my vitamins and nutritious foods are expensive. I’m also not usually willing to pay full price for them either.

Coming up in article 2 in this series, I will explain how to cut back costs for all of these things that are imperative to the health of our eyes. I'll also give tips on how to incorporate them into our daily routine.

Andrea Junge

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