If you're looking for an honest Thrive Market review, here it is!
They market themselves as a "Whole Foods meets Costco prices," which we believe is true for the most part.
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! 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.
Thrive Market: Packaging & Shipping
We have 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.
Quality of Thrive Market Food
However, the quality of the food we have 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?
Our goal 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 we note below were gathered in a continuous two month period.
- We compared the items at Thrive Market to items at our local Walmart. We 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, we compared it to another organic item.
With that said, we took my shopping lists for the past several months and compared prices to Thrive Market before shopping anywhere else. Here's what we 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 and Cons 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.
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!