Why I Decided to Try Thrive Market (+ Cost comparison between Thrive, Amazon & Whole Foods)
If you follow a couple natural wellness or real food blogs, you’ve probably noticed them promoting a new buying resource called Thrive Market. Basically Thrive Market is like Costco meets Whole Foods only you don’t have to leave the comfort of your house and yoga pants to shop it. Alright, well maybe I do leave the house with yoga pants on but who is judging?
I had been meaning to join so I could check it out for quite some time now but I kept slacking because I already had a membership to Amazon. I wasn’t sure it was worth it to sign up for a membership to another site to save money but I finally caved in and tried it out.
Two words describe my overall experience: Pleasantly surprised.
Although most products available on Thrive are ones I typically won’t buy (organic and natural doesn’t always necessarily equal healthy), there were quite a few of our personal favorite “junk foods” that I found. Those are my biggest costs when I go grocery shopping and I try to keep them to a minimum, but as a busy mom who believes in balance, it was incredibly relieving to find our favorite snacks substantially lower than what I normally buy them for at Whole Foods and my local health food store.
Thrive Market 411:
Thrive Market is a membership-only site — much like Netflix and Costco — except this website enables you to get great prices on organic and natural brands you love… without leaving your home. For less than $5 a month, you can shop 3,500 of the world’s best-selling natural and organic products at 25-50% below retail prices — whether it be food, personal care, beauty products, or natural supplements. By paying for the membership, it enables Thrive to search out the best deals and pass on the savings to us.
After a 30-day free trial an annual Thrive Market membership costs $59.95. After placing my first order through Thrive, I personally believe the low annual membership fee is worth it because I saved $55.83 on my first order (almost my membership fee!). Not only that, when I compared my total cost on Thrive to Amazon and Whole Foods, the savings through Thrive Market were substantial. You can find a price breakdown and cost comparison between the three by continuing reading.
My Thrive Purchase + Price Comparison/Savings Between Thrive, Amazon, and Whole Foods:
Below you’ll find a list of everything I purchased on Thrive including the cost per item. Under the cost of the item on Thrive, you’ll also find what it would cost me to purchase the item through Amazon and Whole Foods. I picked those two because those are the more well-known buying retailers. One issue I had with Amazon was that most of the items I wanted to purchase were only available in bulk packaging which drove up the cost. When I calculated the total cost on all three retailers, I included the bulk price cost for Amazon because that was the only option.
Ethical Beans Rocket Fuel French Roast, Ground:
- We don’t have this brand at any of the stores I shop at but I buy Whole Food’s brand of organic french roast then grind it in their (conventional) grinder and spend around $11 a pound. I found organic ground french roast on Thrive for $8.45 a pound.
- Amazon: $10.66 (Prime free shipping enabled)
Sir Kensington Classic Mayo, 16oz jar:
- Thrive: $5.75
- Whole Foods: $7.79
- Amazon: $8.19 for 10 oz (only available on Prime Pantry)
Late July Mini Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers:
- Thrive: $2.95
- Whole Foods: $4.99
- Amazon: $7.89 + $.99 shipping — I could only find the individual packs instead of the box
Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour, 16oz:
- Thrive: $9.45
- Whole Foods: $12.95
- Amazon: $9.59 (if purchasing through Prime Pantry) or $14.99 (with Amazon Prime)
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Oats, 32oz:
- Thrive: $3.95
- Whole Foods: $5.59
- Amazon: $21.29 for pack of four (pack of 4 only available option, prime shipping)
Late July Organic Tortilla Chips, 5.5oz:
- Thrive: $2.95
- Whole Foods: $4.99
- Amazon: $5.29 + $2.49 shipping
Jackson’s Honest Potato Chips:
- Thrive: $4.25
- Whole Foods: Can’t find them. Also unavailable at my local health food store
- Amazon: $9.98 (prime shipping)
Late July Sweet Potato Chips:
- Thrive: $2.45
- Whole Foods: $3.49
- Amazon: $5.69 + $5.99 shipping
Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks:
- Thrive: $3.95
- Whole Foods: $5.99
- Amazon: $12.00 for a pack of four (prime shipping)
Stretch Island Strawberry Fruit Strips:
- Thrive: $.43 a piece
- Whole Foods: $.69 a piece
- Amazon: $13.93 for a pack of 30, comes out to $.46 a piece (prime shipping)
Jovial Diced Tomatoes:
- Thrive: $3.45
- Whole Foods: $5.00
- Amazon: $26.99 for a pack of six; comes out to $4.49/jar + $5.99 shipping
Newman’s Own Organic Fig Newmans:
- Thrive: $3.45
- Whole Foods: $4.99
- Amazon: $12.49 for a two pack; comes out to $6.25/pack (free shipping)
That’s a lot of numbers… Give me the total cost of each and savings
Thrive Subtotal Cost = $92.83 – $23.21 (25% off first order coupon); Thrive Total Cost = $69.62
Amazon Total Cost: $196.04 (The total cost for Amazon is noticeably higher because many of the items had to be purchased in bulk instead of singular)
Whole Foods Total Cost: $121.08
When compared to the same shopping trip at Whole Foods, I saved $51.46 through Thrive. Because Amazon required many of the items to be purchased in bulk packages, I saved a substantial amount on Thrive Market since I was able to buy each item individually.
How were my “breakable” items delivered?
So, I went a little chip happy on Thrive. After placing my order for six (yes, six) bags of chips, I felt a little uneasy about them being delivered. The first and last time I placed an order on Amazon for chips they arrived completely crunched to pieces. Any chip-loving-person knows that crumbled chips are a no-no. When my order arrived, the first thing I was anxious to see were the chips — obviously.
I was extremely happy to find that ALL 6 bags of chips that I bought were in their normal sized pieces. Thrive, you sold me!
Thrive Market vs. Amazon: Pros and Cons
So, which is better? Thrive Market or Amazon? In my opinion, I believe they both hold their value equally and I think it would be beneficial for a person to have both memberships. Here’s a quick list of pros and cons for both online stores that I’ve found.
- 3,500 high quality organic and natural brands available to shop; but most importantly hard-to-find brands
- Bulk purchase is not necessary to get a good deal
- Free shipping on orders over $49
- Every paid membership is matched with a free membership for a low-income American family
- Prices don’t fluctuate
- If you only want to order a few things, you have to pay for shipping
- Shipping is not as quick as Amazon
Amazon PROS (when you have a Prime Membership):
- Free two-day shipping no matter what purchase total comes to
- Thousands upon thousands of products to choose from; you can exercise your membership to buy non-food items and get good deals
- Generally low prices on products
- A great resource for those who like and can afford to buy in bulk
- Many organic and natural brands found on Amazon have to be purchased in bulk instead of a singular item; this makes it hard for folks who have a tight budget and can’t afford to buy it in bulk
- Prices tend to fluctuate; one day an item will be $5 and then the next day it will be $10
- Premium, smaller organic and natural brands are harder to find on Amazon and tend to include shipping costs
One last important thing to note about Thrive:
Thrive Gives. No, seriously — they do. Through the Thrive Gives initiative, every paid membership is matched with a free membership for a low-income American family. Not only is Thrive making it possible for my family to enjoy healthier foods at cheaper prices, they are also helping families in need that aren’t able to spend the money on organic food.
That’s huge and such an incredible mission to support. Can you imagine how many family’s will be able to feed their children food without artificial colors, preservatives, and GMOs because of Thrive Gives?
Conclusion about Thrive Market
All in all, I am a very happy mama. I think Thrive Market is going to pave the way for natural and organic foods (especially since they give a low-income American family a free membership with every paid membership). I think it is a great resource for saving money on food you love. While everyone’s needs are different, I think anyone will find Thrive Market worth spending their dollars at.
Stay tuned for a post on other ways I save money on organic and natural food!
See also: How to Eat Well But Spend Less (3 Money Saving Tips)
A friend tagged me in a FB post of this blog article. As a blogger myself, I have to say that I read blog articles with a critical eye. You did a great job on this article. Very detailed with lots of research and good information! I’m going to sign up for a Thrive membership because of your post!
Thanks Lea Ann! Breaking it down like this also reaffirmed to me that shopping through Thrive is another great way to save money.
LOVE THEM. I am going on 6 months with THRIVE… and saved over $500.00. Now to get my friends hooked, I am talk’n to you, Mel and Val! Thanks for the great breakdown!
I have been a Thrive member for about 8 months. I also have two friends that are now members as well! Yay for discounts!
My drive to a Whole Foods is close to 20 miles, one way! I am in a rather rural area, so specialized shopping is out for me.
I have always loved Lundberg wild rice, and not only is Thrive cheaper, but they come in 1# bags vs. 12 oz. locally. Liquid castille soap is cheaper than Amazon.
I find I am shifting my grocery money away from processed food, and able to afford organic/other values food from Thrive!
I wouldn’t give up my Amazon membership though, for it is good for other things not found @ Thrive. Love Thrive!
Wow, this is exactly what I was looking for! I recently, joined Thrive (on mistake actually) and needed a good resource to see if Thrive was a good place to go or not. I’m slowly going gluten free and trying to change how I’m eating and what I’m eating. Definitely going to keep following you!