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Money

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by Johnmac, May 11, 2016.

  1. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    Fixing our ailments gets expensive, so I thought I’d start a thread on saving money – how to do it all cheaper.

    This isn’t a definitive list (no squabbles over the magnesium content of spinach, please). It’s more to get-the-ball-rolling - to stimulate ideas & elicit cash-saving strategies from others, so we can all afford to do this better & for longer.


    Buy through iHerb:

    I’ll start with the obvious one.

    iHerb has at least 98% of what most of us need. Its bulk purchasing capacity means its prices are lower than most other places most of the time. And one order means one shipping charge.


    Buy ‘compounds’:

    For example a few multi-Bs (e.g. Jarrow B-Right) contain doses of B1, B2, B3, B6 etc that are high enough for many people here.

    Cod liver oil contains vitamins A & D, and the omega 3 PUFAs – usually in quite high quantities.


    Low-hanging fruit (start with a cheaper, simpler protocol):

    If you don’t know which protocol will work best, start with a cheaper one. For example the Simplified Methylation Protocol, & the approach suggested by Dr Greg at B12Oils, are simpler & cheaper than more elaborate methylation protocols such as Yasko’s.

    This doesn’t only apply to methylation. If you have gut problems, try the FODMAP Diet: takes an hour to learn, adds nothing to your food bill, & most people get a result in a day or 2. (In one small study I saw, low-FODMAP significantly improved or cured 75% of people with IBS. So it’s not exactly a longshot.)

    Similarly Chris Kresser’s low-carb/betaine HC solution to GERD is about 500 times faster & cheaper than medical specialists, proton pump inhibitors, et al. It also tends to work for significant numbers of people.

    People have cured diabetes by exercising & giving up grains.

    (And so on.)


    Where possible, replace supplements with food:

    Deriving nutrients from food:

    * Is usually cheaper.
    * Reduces the likelihood of creating new imbalances. (E.g. zinc supps can lead to copper deficiency, which can make you very ill indeed. Being very ill tends to be expensive.)
    * Gives you co-factors that make the original nutrient more potent (e.g. the bioflavinoids you get with your vitamin C from oranges), or are simoly good for you (e.g. the ‘free’ zinc, copper & magnesium you get when you eat brazil nuts for their selenium).

    For example:

    - One orange contains 60-80% of your required daily value (DV) of vitamin C.

    - 50g of sunflower seeds (which fits in the palm of your hand) contains half the daily value (DV) of vitamins B1, and B6, and E, and of selenium, manganese and copper. (And varying amounts of other vitamins & minerals.) Fill the other palm & you’re covered for the day.

    - A handful of almonds has 1/3 to 2/3 of the DVs of B2, E, Mg & Mn.

    - Making a salad with cos or romaine lettuce will give you 714% DV of vitamin A, & 128% DV of vitamin K, & 1/3 of your folate DV. Spinach is similar. Parsley’s even better, if you can work out how to eat enough (~100g) of it.

    - 100g of Pacific Mackerel has ½ to ¾ of the DVs of B12, D, B3 and Se. Atlantic Salmon is comparable.

    - If you want anthocyanins (the stuff in blueberries that fights inflammation & oxidation, to say nothing of varicose veins & dementia) buy black currants instead of berries: they contain roughly the same amount of anthocyanins & are a fraction the price.

    - If you want your 400 mcg of selenium per day, eat 4 brazil nuts. They improve selenium status better than supplements (Thomson CD, Chisholm A, McLachlan SK, Campbell JM. Brazil nuts: an effective way to improve selenium status. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Feb;87(2):379-84. PMID: 18258628). Ensure the nuts don’t come from the selenium-depleted soils of New Zealand, or South America’s west coast.

    - Use antioxidants & anti-inflammatories such as tumeric & cinnamon. Extremely powerful and ridiculously cheap.


    - Iron: Medicine’s ‘normal’ ranges are wrong, so many are unknowingly iron-deficient. Heme iron pills are about $1 each. Pills or fluid from plant iron are 10x less assimilable, & they aren’t especially cheap either.

    An alternative is to eat animal organs, which are very cheap relative to meat, & contain much more iron than meat. (Every one of our ancestors but for the last few ate organs & bone marrow in preference to flesh – for about 500,000 years.) Two lamb kidneys contain 122% of the B2 daily value, 1315% of B12, 20% of C & folate, 69% of iron, 25% of zinc, 313% of selenium, & a whole lot more. Lamb liver is similar, with less iron, but 500% of the vitamin A daily value. (So alternate.)

    If you’re in a hurry to raise your iron levels, & want to do it for free, nearly all developed countries have government-covered medical - so an alternative is an infusion.

    As you see above, foods that I’ve found with high doses of several nutrients include pink salmon, Pacific Mackerel (& no doubt quite a few other fish so long as they are both oily & wild-caught), lamb liver & kidneys, sunflower seeds, almonds, cos & romaine lettuce, black currants, cooked spinach, cod liver oil (very expensive but you only need 5 ml a day, so it lasts). Also dark chocolate - which I didn’t list, despite its high-to-stupendous amounts of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper & manganese - because of its sugar content, which tends to give me a headache; & because raised blood-sugar is implicated in nearly every disease known.

    [DYOR please: RDA & DV tables vary a lot. The above is to spark ideas, not make definitive claims.]


    Transdermal:

    For B12, switch to transdermal. More of the vitamin gets to the bloodstream, so you need considerably lower dosages. And because of much higher penetration, you'll also 'top up' earlier.

    Transdermal also saves the significant dental bills that can result from sublingual.

    (It is also way easier & less time-consuming – set & forget. And it gives a smoother, more extended delivery.)


    Buy things you use a lot of in bulk from China:

    This applies to people who are in this for the long haul, who use a lot of product – e.g. methyl B12. Chinese suppliers (generally contactable through Alibaba) have just about everything.

    Their “minimum orders” often prove to be very flexible. And they can be negotiated with on price – the Chinese love a haggle.

    I’ve found Chinese suppliers via Alibaba to be reliable and fair. I have one friend who was ripped off - though he was buying goats in Thailand from his home in Laos; & he was not careful. There are many ways to check a supplier’s cred & trading record on Alibaba.

    Buying bulk vitamins from China, prices can be as much as 500 times lower. I believe there is a B12 ‘buying group’ somewhere on this forum.
     
    erin, ghosalb, Kathevans and 10 others like this.
  2. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    You can use chocolate without added sugar, e.g.

    http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi...Dairy_Free_Chocolate__No_Added_Sugar_45g.html

    It's delicious!
     
    Kathevans likes this.
  3. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    Good idea for the thread. Thanks for the many tips.

    I used to use iHerb until I found Vitacost. Orders from iHerb usually take more than a month to arrive where I live (vs. 1-2 weeks for Vitacost), sometimes get stuck in customs and result in the processing fee being added on top of the taxes collected. iHerb's prices are almost always higher than Vitacost (sometimes significantly.)

    Vitacost often has BOGO deals (buy one get another 1/2 off, or sometimes get the second free.) They also have 12-15% off coupons at least once a month, $10 flat rate shipping to Canada (taxes auto-collected so the package doesn't get stuck in customs), and excellent customer service. In the years that I've used Vitacost they've done everything right.

    Ways to save with Vitacost are:
    * Wait for the regular BOGO deals and coupons
    * Order a lot at once to make good use of the flat rate shipping (if in Canada)
    * If you're in the US: sometimes they have free shipping on everything, other times you can get free shipping on the entire order if you purchase a particular item.
    * Check to see if Vitacost has a their own brand of what you're looking for. They sometimes license well known products and sell them cheaper under their own brand.

    This is the way I would prefer to get all my nutrients but some people have problems with malabsorption and need higher amounts of a nutrient in order to assimilate more.

    Seed and nut butters should be easier to absorb. They're already ground for easy digestion and less energy is required to chew them (useful for those of us with easily fatigued muscles.) Butters can be purchased, or made in a powerful blender.

    This is a useful tip. Black currents also store well. Are you aware of any drawbacks other than sugar content?

    Chocolate should be avoided by anyone with adrenal problems as it's a strong adrenal stimulant.

    If you can, it might be a good idea to rename this thread 'Ways to save money'. It's a more descriptive title.
     
    MeSci likes this.
  4. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    caution on this one for some cases, if you have issues converting (genes or gut absorption), and have tummy issues no matter what you eat it will not help and you will not get what you need. I was not absorbing and eating great and looked lacking a lot in the blood tests. So I had to switch to pills under the tongue or topical. Since then I was diagnosed w colitis but the point is, take into account your tummy state (sometimes plp have issues w no obvious symptoms like me).
     
    PatJ likes this.
  5. silverseas2014

    silverseas2014

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    Hi @Johnmac --- An additional note to your "Buying in Bulk" --I buy a lot of powders, and cap them myself. Even if you don't see the vitamin/mineral listed on their websites, these companies do have the connections to make "bulk purchases" --and could probably source whatever vitamin/mineral you wanted---sometimes it is easier to let a middleman do the work. Some of my sources:

    Capsule Machines and Empty Capsules:

    http://www.cap-m-quik.com/

    http://www.capsuledepot.com/capsule-size-information/

    https://capsuleconnection.com/capsule-machine


    Bulk Powders and Supplements---might be able to do a “Group Buy” through one of these companies and negotiate some testing with them (additional cost) but might provide a bit of safety in terms of quality:

    http://www.powdercity.com/

    https://www.bulksupplements.com/

    http://purebulk.com/

    http://www.hardrhino.com/


    There are more companies, but these are the ones I use and seem to have good products.

    Excellent topic---thanks for starting it!

    Cheers,
    Silverseas2014
     
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  6. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    Why not change the title to include more info, Money is rather non-descript.

    GG
     
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  7. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    For any online shopping:
    http://www.getinvisiblehand.com/
    I haven't had any problems with it as far as spyware, malware, etc. It will find bargains across Amazon, eBay, Vitacost, PipingRock, Swanson, iHerb, Lucky Vitamin, Pure Formulas, etc. (btw, iHerb is not one of the lowest cost for me, but it may differ depending on where you live; I live in the US.)
     
    PatJ, Sidereal, ahmo and 1 other person like this.
  8. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    Thanks for the further ideas.

    @MeSci I’d forgotten about sugar-free chocolate. If one can handle chocolate, it may be worth a look, as dark chocolate contains something like these daily values:

    82% magnesium
    10% calcium
    97% iron
    12% vit K
    40% phosphous
    24% potassium
    64% zinc
    162% copper
    208% manganese

    12% selenium

    ...tho it is high in saturated fat & omega 6s.

    @PatJ my saying ‘Herb is cheapest’ was pure assumption. I hadn’t checked it out, tho I’m glad you have. I’ll be investigating Vitacost next time I do a supp purchase.

    (My order arrived from iHerb to Australia in 4 working days this week, so I can’t complain about their speed. Australia doesn’t have any customs hassles up to $800 in value, tho I’ve heard of several countries that do.)

    Don’t know of any other downsides to black currants; tho there are several benefits I didn’t mention – e.g. various vitamins & minerals, anti-inflammatory effect.

    @silverseas2014, thanks for the encapsulation idea. I once did this with DMPS, a mercury chelator a friend & I imported in bulk from China. It drove me nuts (no patience). However for those who can do it, it’s a good way to save $$$.

    I’d also note that fat soluble vitamins (among other things) come as bottled oils, & can be droppered into shakes, onto salads, etc. I imagine the oils would have to be cheaper than buying the same oil encapsulated.

    I’m glad there are a few companies selling powders etc in bulk. I’d guess most of these products originate in China, so going direct to the Chinese might save a few bucks.

    @CFS_for_19_years Invisible Hand sounds interesting. In practical terms, for supplements, would it mean going all over the place to get your vitamins – e.g. the cheapest vitamin A is at one place, the cheapest zinc at another, etc etc?
     
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  9. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    Yes, somewhat. What I do is wait until I need to order several things at once, and start at Amazon, which generally does NOT have the best price, but I know that Amazon will usually carry the product I'm interested in. While I'm browsing Amazon, Invisible Hand will bring up several other websites carrying the exact same product.

    I'm on the marketing list for several online supplement retailers, and at least once a week I get an email that says something like "$10 off your $50 order" or "20% off your $75 order." I also check http://www.retailmenot.com for current promo codes. I keep these promotions in mind as I'm composing my shopping list.

    I mostly order from Swanson Vitamins, Piping Rock, Puritan's Pride, Lucky Vitamin, eBay and Jet.com (similar to Amazon, but carries fewer items). It can be time consuming if you're looking to save every last dollar, but you'd be surprised at how much prices can vary for name brand items. InvisibleHand is free to install and easy to use.
     
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  10. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    Thanks - I'll check it out, & I imagine others will too.
     
  11. Oberon

    Oberon Senior Member

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    Don't forget about using cashback websites with sites like Vitacost. I've always stacked it with their coupons in the past so you could wind up saving another 2-8% depending on the cashback at the time.

    I've used ebates before (Canadian version) http://www.ebates.com/coupons/vitacost/index.htm, but apparently there are tons of options: http://www.cashbackholic.com/cashback-rebates-vitacost.com.html

    Another thing to consider is getting a credit card with a higher cash back percentage like the MBNA credit cards which will wind up saving another 1-2% off the order.
    __
    On that note I can't comment for other regions, but I would presume it's the same worldwide. As a Canadian buying supplements from the U.S. it is absolutely essential to have a credit card that charges no foreign exchange fees. I use Amazon's credit card, which would probably be a good place to look for most since I'm sure they have them internationally. Most credit card companies will charge you approximately 2% for the conversion; Amazon will convert the funds at today's currency rate at no additional charge to you.
     
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  12. KitCat

    KitCat be yourself. everyone else is already taken.

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    What's your experience ordering from china?

    I read an article once from someone who used to work for the fda. He said people manufacture fake supplements in china and sell them online?
     
    KauaiWahine likes this.
  13. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    I'm sure that's happened, but my experience is that the chelation agent we ordered had quality certificates (independently tested) & in fact worked.

    I've also ordered other (non-med) stuff from China with no problems.
     
  14. KitCat

    KitCat be yourself. everyone else is already taken.

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    thanks john, glad to hear it :)
     
  15. Hutan

    Hutan Senior Member

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    Not a squabble....,
    but just to put anyone stressing over whether their Brazil nuts come from the 'selenium-depleted soils of New Zealand' at ease, to my knowledge not a single brazil nut has ever been grown in New Zealand. :)

    As I write this, we here in NZ are expecting the cold winds from the Antarctic to blow in next week as autumn turns to winter. Of course, it might be worth being vigilant about New Zealand grown brazil nuts in 100 years time when global warming has done its work.

    Nice thread idea, thanks.
     
  16. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    The table in the link I provided did include brazil nuts from New Zealand. However now I've checked his citation, & there is no mention in it of brazil nuts grown in NZ. It was an NZ study (selenium depletion is quite a problem in your soils), & the nuts were supplied by an NZ distributor - but that says nothing about provenance. So you are undoubtedly right.
     
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  17. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois Prairie ❀❤✿Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ✿❤❀

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    Prunes and strawberries are also less expensive sources of anthocyanins. The anthocyanins in different foods are slightly different with different benefits. A good website is:
    https://www.lef.org/magazine/mag201...ad-Spectrum-Protection-of-AnthocyAnins_01.htm
    So was he planning to have these goats shipped from Thailand to Loas? o_O
     
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  18. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    He sent his last $10,000 from Laos to Thailand with only a phone number from the goat vendor - who, needless to say, disappeared. About the worst deal of all time.
     
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  19. Kathevans

    Kathevans Senior Member

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    This is a fantastic thread. Thanks, @Johnmac I started one based on my own reaction to sticker shock at iHerb back in December where others chimed in: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...-the-prices-at-iherb.41810/page-2#post-699414

    Chocolate is hard to give up. I found that Chocolove makes a very good 77% dark chocolate with only 6 g of sugar per serving--and I usually am satisfied with only a few squares or about 1/3 serving. You can order it at iHerb and by the dozen box at Amazon! Sadly, I didn't know it was an adrenal stimulant. But it's high oxalate, anyway. So not good on that count either. On the up side, it's good for the soul!
     
  20. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    Thanks Kath. Chocolate has numerous pluses & minuses, so I tend to focus more on kidneys, spinach, etc, which have less minuses (& are admittedly far more boring).

    Thanks for underlining your thread about iHerb - I was way out of date in my first post above. Clearly there are several alternatives.
     
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