Ever wonder if Thrive Market is right for you? Here’s my open and honest Thrive Market review, with the good, the bad and the ugly. Can you save money? Is it really healthy? Come and read for yourself!
Have you ever wondered if Thrive Market is a good deal or not?
One of the best ways to save money is to dive deep into a store or service and see if it’s a good fit for you and your budget.
I’ve tested and given my honest review on Butcher Box, asked if a Costco membership was worth it and now I’m digging deep into Thrive Market.
If you’re looking for an honest Thrive Market review, here it is!
My Honest Thrive Market Review: What You Need to Know
Thrive Market is an online grocery store. They have a large selection of healthy and natural foods, including allergy-free and foods specific to certain diets like keto, Paleo and Whole30.
They market themselves as a “Whole Foods meets Costco prices,” which I believe is true for the most part.
Not sure if Thrive Market is a good fit for you or not? Keep reading!
How much does Thrive Market cost?
Thrive Market is a membership model, similar to Costco. You purchase a yearly membership and that allows you to shop their online store of organic, non-GMO and sustainable products priced 25-50% off retail.
As of this writing, a membership costs $59.95 per year (or $5 per month) and includes members-only deals, rewards, and free full-size product gifts. However, you can try Thrive Market for FREE through a 30-day trial membership + 25% off right here! Considering Thrive Market already discounts their items, this is an incredible deal!
If you like it, you can become a member. Every paid membership is matched with a free membership, given to a low-income family, student, teacher, veteran, or first responder.
Thrive Market offers a guarantee on their membership. If, at the end of the year, you don’t save the equivalent of your membership, Thrive Market will add the difference of what you didn’t save to your account as Thrive Cash that can be used on a future purchase.
How does Thrive Market work?
Whether you’re on your free 30-day trial or you have a membership, shopping at Thrive Market is pretty straight-forward and easy.
- Search for the products you’re looking for.
- Add them to your cart.
- Check-out and wait for the items to be delivered to your home.
If you prefer to browse, there are numerous ways you can filter through the store to find what you’re looking for:
- Search by diet (i.e. gluten-free, vegan, AIP, low FODMAP, paleo, etc.)
- By grocery aisle (i.e. flour & meal, cereals & granola, honey & sweeteners, etc.)
- By area of the home (i.e. beauty, bath & body, babies & kids, etc.)
You can also shop what’s new, and you can shop the deals.
See my section below on how to save money at Thrive Market, and be sure to sign up for the free 30-day trial membership + 25% off to give it a test run!
An Honest Review of Thrive Market: Packaging & Shipping
I’ve placed a few orders through Thrive Market and so far, every one of them has been packaged very well. For example:
- Chips are segmented so they don’t get squished
- Bottles are wrapped to prevent breaking
- Items that could possibly melt are shipped with an ice pack
Orders should arrive in 2-3 business days, and that was the case with my two most recent orders.
- The first was ordered on a Sunday and was delivered on Thursday.
- The second was ordered on a Tuesday and was delivered on Friday.
Quality of Thrive Market Food
I’ve only ordered shelf-stable food from Thrive Market, so I can’t speak to their wine, frozen meat & seafood, vitamins, beauty, bath & body, babies & kids, home, or pet products.
However, the quality of the food I’ve purchased so far has been the same level or better than the food you can find in mainstream health food stores.
What are the Best Deals at Thrive Market?
My goal here at Crumbs is to help you save money on healthy food, so it’s important that we talk about the numbers. First, a few disclaimers:
- The prices at Thrive Market are the same for everyone, but they do change from week to week. The prices I note below were gathered in a continuous two month period.
- I compared the items at Thrive Market to items at my local Walmart. I thought this would yield the most consistent results from region to region.
- The same quality was compared from each store unless otherwise noted. That means that if an item was organic at Thrive Market, I compared it to another organic item.
With that said, I took my shopping lists for the past several months and compared prices to Thrive Market before shopping anywhere else. Here’s what I found:
Items at Thrive Market that are Cheaper, or About the Same Price, as Walmart
- Organic Arrowroot Powder: $7.45 for 18 oz at Walmart (41¢/oz) vs. $4.29 for 16 oz at Thrive Market (27¢ per oz)
- Canned Coconut Milk: $1.98 for 13.5 oz at Walmart (14¢/oz) vs.$1.99 for 13.5 oz at Thrive Market (15¢/oz)
- Canned Coconut Cream: $3.38 for 13.5 oz at Walmart (25¢/oz) vs. $0.79 for 13.5 oz at Thrive Market (5¢/oz)
- Wild Planet Non-GMO Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon 6 oz: $0.94 for 6 oz at Walmart (15¢/oz) vs. $3.19 for 6 oz at Thrive Market (53¢/oz)
- Wild Planet Albacore Tuna No Salt 5 oz: $3.12 for 5 oz at Walmart (62¢/oz) vs. $3.19 for 5 oz at Thrive Market (63¢/oz)
- Organic Tomato Paste: $0.92 for 6 oz at Walmart (15¢/oz) vs. $0.99 for 6 oz at Thrive Market (16¢/oz)
- Sweetleaf Sweet Drops Liquid Stevia: $11.99 for 2 oz at Walmart ($5.99/oz) vs. $15.49 for 4 oz at Thrive Market ($3.87/oz)
- Organic Ghee: $9.97 for 12 oz at Walmart (83¢/oz) vs. $9.99 for 13.5 oz at Thrive Market (74¢/oz)
- Organic Molasses: $11.03 for 16 oz at Walmart (68¢/oz) vs. $4.99 for 16 oz at Thrive Market (31¢/oz)
- Some Organic Spices (organic nutmeg, organic ground ginger, organic thyme to name a few)
- Traditional Medicinals Smooth Move Tea: $4.42 for 1.13 oz at Walmart ($3.91/oz) vs. $3.99 for 1.13 oz at Thrive Market ($3.53/oz)
Items at Thrive Market that are within $1 of Walmart Items
- Canned diced tomatoes (organic): $1.08 for 14.5 oz at Walmart (7¢/oz) vs. $1.99 for 14.5 oz at Thrive Market (14¢/oz)
- Organic Tomato Sauce: $0.92 for 15 oz at Walmart (6¢/oz) vs. $1.49 for 15 oz at Thrive Market (10¢/oz)
- Thai Kitchen Red/Green Curry Paste: $2.44 for 4 oz at Walmart (61¢/oz) vs. $2.49 for 4 oz at Thrive Market (62¢/oz)
- Sunflower butter: $5.12 for 16 oz at Walmart (32¢/oz) vs. $5.69 for 16 oz at Thrive Market (35¢/oz)
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar: $3.89 for 32 oz at Walmart (12¢/oz) vs. $4.99 for 32 oz at Thrive Market (15¢/oz)
Items at Thrive Market that were More Expensive than Walmart
- Coconut sugar: $6.98 for 2 lbs at Walmart (21¢/oz) vs. $4.59 for 1 lb at Thrive Market (28¢/oz)
- Organic Virgin Coconut Oil: 14.96 for 54 oz at Walmart (27¢/oz) vs. $19.99 for 54 oz at Thrive Market (37¢/oz)
- Organic Balsamic Vinegar: $3.98 for 16 oz at Walmart (24¢/oz) vs. $7.99 for 16.9 oz at Thrive Market (47¢/oz)
- Avocado Oil (non-GMO): $7.49 for 16.9 oz at Walmart (44¢/oz) vs. $9.99 for 16.9 oz at Thrive Market (59¢/oz)
- Organic Cacao Powder: $8.49 for 16 oz at Walmart (53¢/oz) vs. $9.99 for 16 oz at Thrive Market (62¢/oz)
Pros, Cons, and Pitfalls to Shopping at Thrive Market
Every store has pros and cons, and after shopping there a few times, here’s my Thrive Market review.
- If you need a very specific brand for dietary reasons, Thrive Market is great. You can get items like Red Boat Fish Sauce (b/c it’s Whole30 compliant) or certified GF oats (b/c you’re celiac) or coconut wraps (b/c you’re vegan).
- Thrive Market has good options for healthier “snack” foods, although eating whole foods like fruits and vegetables is still a more frugal and better option.
- There are good options for healthy alternatives to standard American diet pantry staples, like cream of mushroom soup and chicken stock. (Although, making homemade cream of mushroom soup and homemade chicken stock is still more frugal.)
- Thrive Market has good options if you need something very specific, like date sugar or monk fruit or organic arrowroot powder.
- If you don’t have a local health food store, like a locally-owned store or a mainstream store like Sprouts or Whole Foods, Thrive Market is a good alternative.
- You can see what you ordered before under the “Buy it Again” tab, which is very helpful when you’ve determined that Thrive Market has the best price, but you can’t remember what you bought.
- You can set up monthly auto-ship for the things you need to replace often.
- If you don’t need your auto-ship order for whatever reason, you can skip a month.
- Thrive Market offers a 30-day membership for free before jumping in with two feet. Start your free trial through this link.
- If you cook most of your food from scratch, you may find few things that interest you.
- Some things require you to buy them in multiples. For example, you must “buy 2” beans and “buy 3” bags of chocolate chips.
- They send a lot of emails. I’ve unsubscribed a few times and I feel like I still get them often.
- Inconsistency in pricing. I found Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips priced at $4.69 for 10 oz AND a separate option for two bags for $10.99. Buying two bags individually is the better option, so it’s best to really search the whole “aisle” to get the best deal.
- You can’t always GET what you want. On one occasion, I wanted one bag of dark chocolate chips but got a “too hot to ship” error. However, I was able to purchase dark chocolate chips if I picked the two bags for $10.99 option.
- You can’t always FIND what you want. If you enter “chocolate chips” in the search bar, you’ll get several options, including a Thrive Market brand of dark chocolate chips. However, if you use the menu bar to choose “food” and then “baking” and then “chocolate,” you are given just one brand of chocolate chips and the Thrive Market brand is not available. (Which is a shame, because the Thrive Market brand is the most affordable AND really good!)
How to Save Money at Thrive Market
With all that said though, I do think that a Thrive Market membership is a good option for those who have limited shopping options locally.
If you choose a Thrive Market membership, use these tips to help you maximize your membership and save the most money.
- Spend $49 or more. Shipping is free when you spend over $49 AND you get a free gift. I received a very nice water bottle in my last order, and as I write this, they’re offering organic creamy peanut butter for free.
- Spend $59 or more. I don’t know if this is a recurring offer, but they’re offering a free item at this level too. As of this writing, it’s a box of Swerve Pancake & Waffle Mix.
- Shop the “Deals.” These change often, but one day I found lentil pasta for the same price as Walmart, and Late July Organic Salt & Lime tortilla chips for less than the best price I’ve ever found locally.
- Shop “Extra Savings.” You can save anywhere from 10% to 30% back on certain brands, on any given day. The sales are constantly rolling, so you have to check when you’re online. I was able to get sustainably caught tuna and wild-caught salmon for an amazing price through this sale.
- Shop “Cash Back.” Similar to the “extra savings” category, except the money you save is applied to your NEXT purchase. I’ve seen the Thrive Market brand for 10% cashback consistently, which means you’re saving even more by buying the store brand.
Exclusive for Crumbs Readers!
Thrive Market is offering Crumbs readers receive 25% OFF + 30 Day Free Trial Membership when they join through this link.
Will I keep shopping at Thrive Market?
The short answer, yes. I’ve gone through and marked all the foods I can’t get anywhere else for less as favorite items so when I’m ready to shop, I can quickly fill up my cart and checkout.
However, since I have access to both Whole Foods and Sprouts locally, I don’t think Thrive Market will completely replace either of these options.
Plus since roughly 80% of the food we buy is produce or meat (which I get from Butcher Box), I’m not sure it would make sense for me to place a monthly order. However, placing an order every other month, or once a quarter, does make sense.
Is Thrive Market right for you?
Generally speaking, Thrive Market is best for people who:
- Have limited local access to healthy foods
- Have a hard time finding foods required by a specific diet
- Don’t live near a mainstream health foods store, like Whole Foods or Sprouts
Thrive Market is NOT for people who:
- Have access to a wide variety of healthy foods within a short driving distance
- Do not have trouble finding foods required by a certain diet
- Live near at least one major health food store
Don’t forget – you can give Thrive Market a shot and see if it’s right for you by signing up for a FREE 30-day trial membership! At the same time, you’ll also save 25% off your first order AND Thrive Market has already greatly discounted their foods compared to many local health food stores.
There are no strings attached, making this a great opportunity to take Thrive Market for a trial run. Click here to get started!
Good article, one thing that was missing was their pricing on vitamins and face/body products. I have purchased their chicken in bulk, but I am not too familiar with the frozen and wine selections.
I have compared their vitamin prices with Natural Grocers and Amazon. Thrive Market always had the lower cost. This is what keeps me shopping with them.
I just placed an order and opted out of the “worker’s safety fee” of $1.95 at least 5X in the course of placing the order. It kept coming back. Finally, it looked like it was staying and I clicked to place my order. When I received my email confirmation of the order the $1.95 was back on the order!!! I find this infuriating. I know it’s just $1.95 but it’s the principle of it. I’ve tried calling but I always get a recording saying they’re too busy to answer. So I’ve sent an email. I’m waiting to see what their response is. I don’t appreciate these deceptive practices. I will not be shopping with Thrive ever again.
Karen @ Team Crumbs
Thank you for sharing your experience. Let us know how it turned out for you. Did you get a refund?
I had the same issue, thought it just me.
Just a trip to the store can add to costs. You spend on gas and car maintenance, buy things that catch your eye but were not planned on. You might buy coffee or a snack. Delivery saves time, so that even if you still have to go to the store it will be a quicker trip. For some, time is valuable and delivery helps with that.
During the pandemic I was ordering groceries online. I was very pleased with purchases and prices. Don’t rember having ti join a membership.and none of the food delivery services listed here ring a bell. Would anyone know of other food services that might have been available during the pandemic?
So I reached out to customer service today because I signed up but then was disappointed in some of the prices I saw. They told me if I EVER find a better price elsewhere for any of their items, I can chat with customer service, send a link to the item, and they’ll match the price! Add that to 10% off using auto ship and your guarantee to get your membership fees back, that makes it totally worth it for me! In the end I’m saving money and I don’t have to deal with the grocery store! Just wanted to throw that out there for your “more expensive” lists! ❤️
Great article! How do you shop the deals and the thrive cash? I want to get started because they offer unique items but I want to maximize my savings.
Is there any way to look at the items and pricing that Thrive offers without signing up for the subscription?
Karen @ Team Crumbs
Not to my knowledge. But you might try contacting Thrive Market directly with this inquiry. Hope this helps. 🙂
I was able to see all the prices. I just pushed the “browse” button. I could search for all the products I wanted to see.
Nope you gotta sign up first and pay membership fee b/4 you can see what they offer n cost.
So it says this is not good for people who cook from scratch. They don’t have a wide variety of actual produce? I cook. I need a lot of veggies.
Karen @ Team Crumbs
As mentioned in the post, Thrive Market has a large selection of healthy and natural foods, including allergy-free and foods specific to certain diets like keto, Paleo and Whole30. Specialty flours, dried pastas, lentils, canned goods & etc. You might try a different subscription service for produce, like Misfits Market, although I haven’t tried them myself. Hope this helps.
Thank you for this. I have been curious about Thrive and looked into it after a fashion without actually subscribing. I have been hesitant because so much looked like a bunch of prepackaged products which I don’t use, since I grow and can as much as I can and cook almost exclusively from scratch. I also have a decent sized cellar and since we live a good hour from any stores I tend to shop in larger quantities (I also have 8 kids with 7 at home). I just went through you price comparison list and compared the items I purchase with Azure Standard where I typically get them. Azure is still much cheaper for me. Only one item I compared came out more with Azure. Everything else was cheaper; some significantly so.
SJ - Team Crumbs
You’re most welcome Heidi! Know that Thrive recently added a subscription option in which you can schedule products every 1-3 months and get 10% not only the subscription but also anytime you purchase. I’ve almost always cancelled the subscription order but kept the discounts. It’s saved me $50-100/mo on my non perishable groceries.
A great article. I told several of my friends to check this article out. Your research is amazing!!
SJ - Team Crumbs
Thank you so much for sharing Cindi! We take that as the highest compliment. 🙂
I find that Thrive Market is almost impossible to navigate using a screen reader for bisually impaired. Granted, it should be a market available to all, but even when I call for assistance, I get the usual “I’m so sorry” diatribe. I will be withdrawing my support.
if you have a smartphone you can enlarge the font size in your settings, accessibility, then hit display and text size, I hope this helps
SJ - Team Crumbs
Thanks for the tip Chris!
do they have a shopping plan for wheat, nuts and soy free. I have Oral Allergy Syndrome and cannot find soy free that includes no oils, lecithins, emulsifiers etc also no sunflower proteins which they use in vegan
SJ - Team Crumbs
Hi Marilyn, They have filters when you search for with a lot of what it sounds like you’re looking for including but not limited to: vegetarian, plant-based, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, preservative free and more!
Interesting and useful review. Thrive also works well if you’re in a MAJOR metro area (NYC/NYC suburbs) where is no Walmart and food prices are significantly more expensive – we’re talking $6 for a 1/2 gallon of organic milk. Yes, TJ stores have consistent prices nationwide, but Whole Foods stores do not – not even throughout the five boroughs. So, for now, Thrive every other month it is!
SJ - Team Crumbs
Great advice! I’ve found it helpful as well! It’s crazy how much food prices change by locale.
Great article. Thank you!
You say we will get 25% off of our first offer, I don’t see that happen, is there any code? Besides even if you say 30 day free trial, they still take out your trial membership free right away from your card
SJ - Team Crumbs
Email their customer service and they can help!