Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ensure Plus is so Expensive

I have been drinking Ensure Plus for a few years now because I have a hard time gaining and maintaining weight and it has a lot of calories. You get 350 calories for an 8 ounce bottle, plus lots of vitamins which is great. The problem is, it has become very expensive. Most places sell a 6 pack for about $9.50. 

I have been buying the generic versions for a while because they are cheaper and still have the same nutritional value, but guess what? Now those versions are disappearing! My main store Jewel does not have them any more. Target rarely has them in stock and even when they do, they are still expensive. I even had to go to Walmart which had their own version which I don't like as much and it's still like $7.00 there.

They have them online at stores such as Amazon, but the prices are not much cheaper. 

I don't know if the price of ingredients is going up or what, but the overall cost is becoming too expensive. Sometimes you can find Ensure coupons. A while back I had some good ones, $3 off a 6 pack, but those coupons are not around anymore.

UPDATE 11-23-11
I just went to Jewel and the store brand is back in stock, the only thing is they changed the packaging type from can to carton. I'm glad to see they didn't do away with it all together.

After trying the new version in the carton, I don't like it.  It is hard to drink without it dripping down the side and the taste seems to be not as good. I don't know if they changed the formula or if the carton is changing the taste, but either way I don't like it.

UPDATE: 2-15-13
The prices keep going up. Average price of Ensure Plus is about $10-$10.50. Even the store brands are usually about $8. Sometimes you can find coupons for Ensure in the paper and if you use these when they are on sale, the price is ok, but still not cheap.

UPDATE: 11-25-13
Today I found the most amazing deal on Ensure drinks. At Marianos grocery store, they were selling the 16 pack of regular vanilla for $5! That is not a typo. You read that correctly, $5 for a 16 pack of Ensure!  I had to stare at the price tag for about 5 minutes to figure out if this was actually right. I kept looking around for someone who worked there to verify it. Then I saw a big display of them also marked for $5 so it was true! $5 marked down from the normal price of $22! This is probably the best deal I have ever found in a  grocery store, especially for Ensure. The only catch is that I noticed the bottles expire in about 5 weeks, but that is plenty of time to drink them. I don't know if they made a mistake and ordered too much or what, but this was some amazing deal!

UPDATE 5-23-16
I recently signed up for the Ensure coupons which helps because they will send you coupons like $3 off a multi-pack. You can get a pretty good deal with this especially if you find them on sale. 

UPDATE 5-26-22 

With the price of food going up on pretty much everything, it is no surprise that Ensure is getting more expensive too. At this point the only time I consider purchasing it is if I have a $3 off coupon. I even switched over to the regular Ensure since it is cheaper and you can still use the coupon, but even the price on regular Ensure is getting too expensive. I checked all the local stores for the best prices and at this time the cheapest regular Ensure 6 pack is over $9. Even with the coupon it is still expensive. I may have to hold off on purchasing it anymore unless prices drop back down. 

UPDATE 3-31-23

I just found another amazing deal at Mariano's store. They had a 16 pack of Ensure Plus marked on clearance for $16.75! Regular price was $33.49. That's 50% off! Not to mention, it did not have any issues such as damage or a close expiration date. I double checked the shelf where they usually have them and they had the exact same 16 packs at regular price. I have not idea why they marked this one down 50% but I'm glad I was able to catch it!


  1. has the butter pecan flavor for $36 for 24, and its $30 if you are a subscriber

  2. Well I like to think about it this way:

    Ensure (235ml bottle) has 12 grams of protein and about 25% of about a dozen other vitamins/minerals.

    If you take a scoop of protein powder (a 5lb container costing $60 contains some 60 scoops), you now have enough protein to fill two bottles of insure. But what about the other vitamins? Well for $15 you can buy a multivitamin that has every vitamin that ensure has + more and in higher quantity (mg).

    Take the protein powder scoop and mix it with water/milk to make a protein shake, and then grind that vitamin pill into the mix too. You now have two ensure bottles worth of nutrients for a tenth of the cost, and it'll likely taste just as good.

    And what helps is, keep your old ensure bottles and fill them up with the protein/vitamin shake, it'll actually make you feel better drinking it off the ensure bottle vs drinking it out of a glass (placebo?).

    Anyway, that's my tip. Ensure, like vitamin water, provides less than your over the counter vitamins and supplements, yet the packaging and marketing makes people spend hundreds more every year.

    P.S. You can replace the protein powder with mass gainer powder since you like the calories.

    Hope this helped!

    1. Connected IsolationMarch 7, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      Thanks for the response and the tips. Yes my main goal is getting the most calories which is why I like Ensure Plus. I may have to look into making my own mixes like you mentioned. Years ago, I did buy one of those mixes from GNC. I found that it did not mix will with liquids and was very hard to clean off the glass when it was finished. So I did not stick with it for long. Maybe I can look into it again and try another kind. Thanks.

    2. Look at the ingredients, ensure is mostly a con to sell you high fructose corn syrups close cousin maltodextrin with a ground up multivite and perhaps a dash of protein powder, then charge you a buck fifty for a tiny bottle, its a hell of a con.

    3. Connected IsolationOctober 5, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      I think it is a little better than that, but if you say it is a con, what is a better alternative to get a convenient high calorie drink that has protein and vitamins?

    4. Well if you can afford $1.50 a bottle for questionable nutrition you can afford to just eat a better diet in general, make a fruit smoothie from time to time, most anything will do, even a good soup with some veggies pureed into it, its real food, not some maltodextrin with a multivite whacked into it. If money is no object, buy pre prepared real food, not a bottle of massively overpriced water.

  3. I used to work for Abbott, the manufacturer of Ensure products. Theses products are a rip off. I can't believe so many people are duped by the advertising. Look at the ingredients. The top ingredient is WATER. If you need vitamins, you would be much better off drinking 8 oz. of milk and taking a multi-vitamin pill. This would cost you about 1/10th of the bottle of Ensure. If you need calories, eat more food.

  4. I drink em cause they taste good

  5. I drink them as a meal replacement when I don't feel like making a sandwich/meal. They taste good and fill me up for hours.

  6. I live in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and Ensure us really expensive I am recovering from cancer and I'm on tight budget, I need ensure for the extra protein is there anyway the price can be reduced for senior and cancer patients

    1. Good question. My dad was in the hospital recently and they provided Ensure drinks for him, but that was only while he was there. I'm not sure if they would cover it out of the hospital setting. Sometimes the stores have their own brand of the nutrition drinks that are usually a little cheaper.

  7. You wanna talk about price of ensure. At the store I go to in just a month it went from $11.00 to $16.00 for a six pack.

    1. Yes, the prices are outrageous right now. I'm certainly not buying them anymore.