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.
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. Click here to see the Exclusive Offer for Crumbs readers!
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?
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.
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.
- 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.
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 – Click here to see the Exclusive Offer for Crumbs readers! Thrive Market has already greatly discounted their foods compared to many local health food stores.